Paul Commands Us to Uphold the Law | Romans 3:31

Romans 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! May it never be, on the contrary, we uphold the law.

What does the text say?

It says, ‘Do we overthrow the Law? By no means! We uphold the Law.’

For clarity, let’s look at some of the words that Paul used in Romans 3:31.

The word “overthrow” is Strong’s G2673, καταργοῦμεν/katargoumen in the Greek. This is the word that Paul wrote to tell the whole world what the Law is not. Katargoumen is defined by Thayer’s Greek Lexicon as: to cause to cease, put an end to, do away with, annul, abolishThis is what the Apostle Paul says the Law of God given through Moses is not.

Very clearly, and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul stated ‘the Law is not abolished or annulled or put to an end by our faith’.

What then becomes of the Law?

Paul concisely stated, “we uphold the Law!

The word “uphold” in the Greek is Strong’s G2476, ἱστάνομεν/histanomen, and Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states this to mean: to stand by, to stand firm, to establish, to keep in place, to uphold, to continue safe and soundThis is the word that the Apostle Paul used to tell the whole world what we are to do with the Law of God given through Moses.

This word “uphold”, histanomen in the Greek, is a Present Tense Verb which is Active Indicative and 1st Person Plural; that is:

  1. the tense is present describing action taking place now.
  2. the voice is active meaning that the verb’s subject (“we“) is doing the acting and not being acted upon.
  3. and the mood is indicative which demonstrates true reality.
  4. and the viewpoint of the narrator/speaker refers to or talks about himself together with others.

Uphold; this is the word that Paul used to tell us what “we” are supposed to do with the Law, “in the here and nowHe says we are to – stand by it, uphold it, keep it in place, establish it, stand firm in it! According to the Apostle Paul, we are to observe and keep the Law; not to be justified, nor to earn salvation, but to walk righteously, and set-apart to our Creator and King.

How passionate was Paul about this? How did he respond to an ‘apparent notion that we might misunderstand him or somehow assume that the Law might be overthrown or put to an end by our faith?

Paul vehemently said, μὴ γένοιτο/mē genoito, which is literally “never be” and stated by Thayer’s Greek Lexicon as: “a formula especially frequent in Paul, Far be it! God forbid!”

So, why does mainstream theology teach the opposite of what Paul taught??

It’s because he is greatly misunderstood, as Peter warned in 2 Peter 3:15-17.

I scratched the surface of Romans 3:31 in “Justification vs. Righteousness”, discussing how the justification we have through belief in the Messiah is not contrary to the righteousness embodied in the Law of God given through Moses. We don’t obey and uphold the Law for justification or salvation; that’s unscriptural and unsound doctrine. We uphold His Laws in order to “not” sin. His Instructions (Laws) are His ‘Right Ways’ of living.

That’s why Paul commands us to “uphold” the Law, and not to make it void or overthrow it…

The disconnect is this: because Paul chastised those believers that “tried to be justified” by keeping the Law, we have assumed that he’s telling “everyone, everywhere” that keeping the Law is by default “trying to be justified”; this is a ‘Straw-man argument’, and an utterly false assumption! Please read ‘Galatians Part 1: Freedom or Bondage‘.

Paul never taught that the Law was abolished nor had passed away. In fact, he said just the opposite, that ‘faith does nothing to void or abolish the Law’! Please read ‘The Law: Fulfilled or Abolished‘.

Again, today’s mainstream theology teaches the exact opposite of what Paul taught.

The ‘truth‘ is, we do not and cannot keep the Law of God for salvation, deliverance or justification; that is blatantly obvious, as this is taught nowhere, from ‘Genesis’ to ‘Revelation’. That being said, any assumptions or personal interpretation of a text using our own ideas (eisegesis) beyond that ‘truth‘ is adding to the Word of God. Just because we can’t keep the Law ‘for justification/salvation’, does not mean we shouldn’t keep it at all. If we pluck out part of a verse here, or half of a sentence there from Paul’s writings, without the context of the surrounding verses and chapters (and test it to the whole Word of God), we can ‘twist the Scriptures to our own destruction’ as Peter warned; 2 Peter 3:15-17.

Paul obviously knew that he could be misunderstood and taken out of context. That’s why, after he explained about justification by ‘faith’, he fervently proclaimed that ‘faith’ does not void the Law; “By no means is the Law voided by faith“. He deliberately told us that ‘we are to uphold, follow, observe, continue in and keep the Law’.

As probably the greatest Scriptural scholar of his day, Paul knew the Word of God better than anyone. He knew that the Law of God given through Moses is forever.

What does the text say?

Genesis 17:9,13 9And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations13both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant.[reaffirmed in Leviticus 12:3]

Exodus 31:12-13, 16 12And the LORD said to Moses, 13“You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you… 16Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever.

Leviticus 23:14 And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

Leviticus 23:16, 21 16You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the LORD… 21And you shall make a proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.

Leviticus 23:26-27a, 31 26And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 27“Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement…. 31You shall not do any work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.

Deuteronomy 5:29 Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever!

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,

Deuteronomy 12:28 Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God.

Deuteronomy 12:32 “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.

Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

It doesn’t say, ‘until I send my Son‘ or ‘until Paul comes‘. It says forever.

Is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob a liar?

Need I go on?

Psalm 111:7 7The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy; 8they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.

Psalm 119:142,144 142Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is truth 144Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.

Psalm 119:151-152 151But you are near, O LORD, and all your commandments are truth. 152Long have I known from your testimonies that you have founded them forever.

Psalm 119:160 The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

  • Side note: the last three verses have something else in common. “Your Law is truth”, “your commandments are truth”, “your word is truth”; sound familiar?
    • Sanctify (set-apart) them in the truth; your word is truth”. ~ spoken by the Word of God himself, John 17:17. Please read ‘What is Truth?‘.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of mankind.

Malachi 3:6For I the LORD do not change;

Matthew 5:18-19a 18For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.

  • Deuteronomy 30:15-16,19 15See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments 19I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live ~

Luke 16:17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.

  • Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

So here we are, right back where we started, at Romans 3:31.

The Lord GOD specifically used “heaven and earth” as witnesses to the covenantal promises that He made regarding His Teachings and Instructions/Laws. Jesus purposefully referred to these two witnesses in ‘Matthew’ & ‘Luke’ above, to emphasize and reaffirm those witnesses. The Son is reminding us that ‘The Law’ of His day (The Law of Moses), will be valid, current and in effect until heaven and earth have passed away. Take a look outside to verify…

The Apostle Paul, clearly and concisely, told us that the Law of God is not abolished, regardless of what any ‘ mainstream denominational doctrine’ may claim. Paul himself observed and kept the Law of God given through Moses for his entire life. The Holy Spirit inspired James confirmed this about Paul, in ‘Acts of the Apostles’.

What does the text say?

Acts 21:24b Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself (Paul) also live in observance of the law.

Please read “Paul’s Day in Court” & “You Yourself Also Live in Observance of the Law

Final thought: Heaven and Earth are still here and there’s still much prophecy to be fulfilled. The ‘heaven and earth’ right outside your window do not pass away until Revelation Chapter 21 and the last thing to be ‘accomplished’ in Scripture is after that.

This study can now be seen on YouTube @ Paul Commands Us to Uphold the Law‘.

  • For further study of Paul’s teachings, as well as the original Greek, please see the ‘Page Links’ at the top of this page or blog posts at the bottom. Be a Berean, and test Paul’s doctrines to the “Scriptures”. Please ‘share’ this studyThank you for your time!

(Thus he declared all foods clean) Part 3 | 1 Timothy 4:4

1 Timothy 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it be received with thanksgiving:

This is one of the verses that’s quoted by mainstream theology as ‘proof text’ that the Law of God given through Moses, and more specifically the ‘food Laws’, are no longer valid for God’s covenant people.

What the majority of Christianity is not taught regarding this dogma, is that verse 4 above is actually only half of a sentence.

If you pluck out only part of a sentence or verse, and don’t read the context of the verses before and after it, you’re practicing very poor hermeneutics.

Context, Context, Context.

Context is king; if you ‘cherry-pick’ only a few words out of the Bible, you can make it “say” anything you want.

Taken out of context, King David claims that “there is no God”! |Psalm 14:1

So, let’s be like ‘the Bereans’, and investigate exactly what Paul told Timothy, ‘in context’, as well as, testing it to the Scriptures.

What does the text say?

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,

Paul warned Timothy, that some will depart from the faith by ‘devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons’.

What are these “teachings” that Timothy is to be wary of? Paul tells us in the next two verses ~

1 Timothy 4:2-3 2through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

Paul told Timothy to beware of liars who ‘forbid marriage’ andrequire abstinence from foods’ that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who know the ‘truth’.

Mainstream theology would have us believe that, according to these two verses, all you have to do now is, “just give thanks and you can eat whatever you want”. But, did Paul actually say that?  ‘Just thank God and then, anything you can shove into our mouth is now accepted as clean‘?.?.?; those words are NOT in the text!

The words that are in the text of verse 3, are as follows: ‘foods’ that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who know thetruth”.

Words mean things…

Paul did NOT just add the word Truth to wax lyrical; he said it for a reason, a very GOOD reason. For a complete understanding of what Paul means by ‘knowing the truth’, I highly recommend you read the following link, ‘What is Truth?’.

The Greek word for ‘truth’ in this verse is Strong’s G225 ἀλήθειαν/alētheian, a noun which Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states as: what is true in things pertaining to God and the duties of man.

In the Septuagint (the Hebrew Scriptures translated into Greek), the word alētheia/truth, is always translated from the noun אֱמֶת/emeth, Strong’s H571 or the noun אֱמוּנָה/emunah, Strong’s H530.

Brown-Driver-Briggs states “emunah” to mean: firmness, steadfastness, fidelity;

  1. “faithfulness and trust” when used of human conduct.
  2. an attribute of God.

Brown-Driver-Briggs states “emeth” to mean: firmness, faithful, truth:

a.) as spoken, to speak truth, the thing is certainly true; b.) of testimony and judgement; c.) of divine instruction; d.) truth as a body of knowledge

Everything that God has spoken is אֱמֶת/emeth/truth, always.

**It is not possible for anything that the Almighty has ever spoken, to become ‘not-truth’.**

Everything that the LORD speaks is truth (emeth~

Nehemiah 9:13 You came down on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven and gave them right rules and true (emeth) laws, good statutes and commandments,

Psalm 19:9 the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true (emeth), and righteous altogether.

Psalm 25:4-5 4Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. 5Lead me in your truth (emeth) and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth (emeth); unite my heart to fear your name.

Psalm 119:142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth (emeth).

Psalm 119:43-44 43And take not the word of truth (emeth) utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules. 44I will keep your law continually, forever and ever,

Psalm 119:151-152 151You are near, O LORD, and all Your commandments are truth (emeth). 152Concerning Your testimonies, I have known of old that You have founded them forever.

Psalm 119:160 The sum of Your word is truth (emeth), And every one of Your righteous rules endures forever.

Romans 2:8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.

Words mean things.

The Apostle Paul used the word alētheia/truth in 1 Timothy 4:3 intentionally, and he obviously expected Timothy to understand why. He expected Timothy to understand that the truth was something that you put into ‘practice’, something to be ‘obeyed.

Paul told Timothy (and us) that knowing the Truth, is knowing “the Scriptures”, the Word of God, and that’s how we can understand and know what is considered set-apart or holy, as food to eat. He verifies this for us in the very next sentence ~

What does the text say?

1 Timothy 4:4-5 4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

The “Word of God” that Paul is referring to is The Scriptures’, the Law, the Prophets and the Writings; that is what ‘sets-apart’ (makes holy) what God has created as ‘good food’. The ONLY place in the ‘Word of God‘ that discusses what He created “Holy” as food’, is Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.

Paul just told Timothy, and us, that it’s The Law that defines what is holy to eat.

Think logically, not emotionally.

Here’s another verse, where Paul made a similar statement to Timothy, regarding ‘The Scriptures’ ~

2 Timothy 3:15-17 15and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

What mainstream theology fails to comprehend (and teach), is that Paul is NOT referring to his own letters when he says All Scriptureorthe sacred writingsorthe Word of God”. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying Paul was not inspired by the Spirit of God when he wrote his letters, but think logically not emotionally; think like a 1st Century Berean. When the apostle Paul wrote these letters to Timothy, the ‘New Testament’ didn’t exist yet! Paul was referring to the “Old Testament”, the Law, the Prophets and the Writings, when he said “All Scriptures” or “the Word of God”.  Since the Law is part of “All“, the apostle Paul himself, proclaimed that the Law is ‘profitable for teaching and training in righteousness’; he didn’t say it was abolished. The apostle Paul just said the opposite of ‘abolished’, he said that All the Law is profitable! Please read ‘The Law: Fulfilled or Abolished?‘.

Again, at the time of Paul’s writing of ‘1 Timothy’, what was the Word of God? It was the Law, the Prophets and the Writings! The ‘Gospels’, the disciple’s and Paul’s individual ‘letters’, were not available as we know it; there was NO ‘New Testament’ when Paul wrote this letter to Timothy!

Logic and critical thinking; not emotion.

The Apostle Paul is unequivocally stating that God’s “Truth”, His Instructions in Righteousness, are “The Scriptures” that define for us what is “Set-Apart, Holy as ‘good’ food to eat”.

If you haven’t read the first two parts of this series already, please take the time to read them: ‘Part 1 | Mark 7:19’ and ‘Part 2: Peter’s Vision | Acts 10:13’. These studies also show how other “proof texts” that we’ve been taught by mainstream theology are actually incorrect interpretations. I challenge you to test what I’m saying.

Final Thought: If one just does a little research, it’s easily understood that the apostle Paul is referring to the teachings of ‘Gnosticism’ in 1 Timothy 4:3, which was rampant in the first century. These Gnostic doctrines taught against marriage, abstaining from all meat and touching certain things, as well as, many other unscriptural dogmas. This is what Paul was warning Timothy about.

In 1 Timothy 4:3, the apostle Paul specifically lists ‘forbidding marriage’ in the same breath as ‘requiring abstinence from foods’. Therefore, Paul cannot be referring to the Law of Moses, because God’s Law does not forbid marriage.

Besides that, Paul claims these are “teachings of demons” in 1 Timothy 4:1. Are you ready to claim that the Laws of God are ‘doctrines of demons’?

Remember, logic and critically thinking, not emotion.

  • For further study of Paul’s teachings, as well as the original Greek, please see the ‘Page Links’ at the top of this page or blog posts at the bottom. Be a Berean, and test Paul’s doctrines to the “Scriptures”. Please ‘share’ this study. Thank you for your time!