The Christian Faith and the Day of Atonement

I heard someone on TV saying yesterday that God promises seven blessings to people who will remember to give a Day of Atonement money-offering to his Christian organization.

If someone’s faith and conscience requires that of them, then so be it.

But my understanding of God’s Word is that:

1. The obligation to observe the Day of Atonement has passed away;

2. The possibility of observing it exactly as required has also passed away;

3. The permission to observe it any other way doesn’t exist and has never existed.

4. Its symbolism was fulfilled by Christ.

Therefore the blessings are sufficiently ours by grace simply through faith!

In the early Church some Christians had weaker faith and consciences, with regard to this freedom which was really theirs through the Gospel. Towards such weaker Christians the attitude which Paul encouraged was to live and let live.

But at the same time Paul was adamant not to let Gospel-truth be nullified.

He taught that the cross was necessary because the blessings could not be obtained through the Law.

That’s why the Council at Jerusalem decreed that it wasn’t necessary for Gentile believers to start keeping the Law. In fact the New Testament taught that the cross made it unnecessary even for Jews to keep the Law. This doctrine was asserted prior to AD70 while it was still possible for those who wanted to to keep the Law (because the required hardware, such as the altar – and the required systems, such as the Levitical priesthood and the genealogies which authenticated it, still existed).

But nowadays not only is it unnecessary, but it’s also impossible to keep the Law (because the required hardware no longer exists) – and not only is it impossible, but doing so in the way that is now done would also have been considered illegal according to the terms of the very Law which they purport to keep.

So the issue of whether or not Christians are obligated to keep the Law, which had been a paramount issue during the early Church, hasn’t even been a valid question since AD70. Prior to AD70, the Apostles and elders had to answer the question: but AD70 forever eliminated the very question itself.

Of course paying our dues is still a moral duty which the grace of Christ teaches us to fulfil; and giving is also something we are graced to do – and there are promises attached to both.

But as for special dates, the atonement, and being blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places, you can confidently say:

“…Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling…”

because:

“…ye are complete in Him…”

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