The 613 Mitzvot: 1-5
We are often asked to do teachings on the 613 commandments found in the Jewish faith. Understandably, such a teaching or teaching series would be an immense undertaking. However, we thought we may be able to go through it, at least in part, in our blogs. This will be an ongoing blog series that we will do at different times without any real schedule planned. We will not be going into great depth in this series.
The format for these blog posts will be simple. We will cite a traditional rabbinic commandment as found in the AENT (Aramaic-English New Testament), provide the Scripture that it is supposed to be based from, indicate if we agree that it is a commandment we can do today or if it is one that cannot apply today and then why or why not. Then we will give a few notes or thoughts as to why believe it can or cannot be applied today. So, let’s begin.
Commandment: To Believe In God
Exodus 20:2 (ESV)
“I am the LORD (YHWH) your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
We believe this still applies to us today. We understand believing to means to believe/commit/trust/ have faith in the Word of God which is the Way, the Truth, the Life, the Light, Freedom, and Instructions. Our “Belief” in God (YHWH) inwardly will impact our outward behavior. As we are grow we should be become more and more a reflection, or image, of the Word. Essentially we should become more Christ/Messiah-like. For more on believing, please see our teaching by the same name "Believing" and our teaching "Grace, Faith, and Obedience".
Commandment: To Acknowledge the Unity of God
Deuteronomy 6:4 (ESV)
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD (YHWH) our God, the LORD (YHWH) is one.
We agree this does still apply today. We understand this unity to simply mean there is only ONE Word and ONE God. Do not worship other gods. The unity comes from the one united set of instructions…one light, one truth, one way….collectively to an infinite depth, that’s known as YHWH. There are not multiple truths. If something isn’t the Truth, then it’s not of YHWH, as He is the source of all perfect Truth and instruction.
Commandment: To Love God
Deuteronomy 6:5 (ESV)
You shall love the LORD (YHWH) your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
We believe this does still apply to us today and can be followed. We love God is by keeping His commandments. See Exodus 20:6, Deuteronomy 5:10, 6:5, 7:10, 11:13, 11:22, 30:16; Leviticus 19:18, Nehemiah 1:5, Daniel 9:4, Matthew 10:39, 16:25, 22:35-37, John 14:15, 21, Romans 13:9, 1 John 5:2-3, 2 John 1:6. For more on this, please see our teaching titled "Do You Love God?".
Commandment: To Fear God
Deuteronomy 6:13 (ESV)
It is the LORD (YHWH) your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.
We agree this is a commandment that can and should be followed today. Fearing God is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge (Proverbs 1:7, 10). Additionally, we are reminded in Ecclesiastes that fearing God and obeying Him is the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13). This is an internal thing which we all can do; nothing prevents us from obeying this commandment except ourselves.
Commandment: To Serve God
Exodus 23:25 (ESV)
You shall serve the LORD (YHWH) your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you.
Deuteronomy 11:13 (ESV)
“And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the LORD (YHWH) your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,”
Deuteronomy 13:5 (ESV)
But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD (YHWH) your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the LORD (YHWH) your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
We agree that this commandment still applies today and can be followed. Doing His instruction is obeying His Torah, is evidence of our faith and is how we loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5, and echoed by Messiah in Matthew 22:35-37). We are all that stands in the way of our own obedience.
We hope this has helped bring a little clarity to this first set of 5 commandments as why we believe they both can and should be applied to our lives today. This opening set is fairly simple and self-explanatory. We are our greatest obstacle to obeying this commandments. Each day we must choose whether to obey or disobey thereby choosing who we are serving.