Judaism or Christ
practise the observances of Judaism while rejecting Christ
is to be left with only the letter of the law, without the
spirit (cf. ROM 7:6; 2 Cor 3:6); but the letter of the law
in separation from the Spirit is the law - so to speak -
denatured, for the law of God is by nature 'spiritual'
(7:14). The literal observance of circumcision and other
ceremonies of the law was valuable and significant as a
'shadow of the things to come', a pointer forward to Christ;
but to regard these things as possessed of an independent
value in themselves quite apart from Him is to be left with
a mere empty 'shadow' in isolation from the 'the body' which
gives it meaning "cf. Col 2:16f)."
reference to the early church he says,
know that the goal of the law is Christ is to know that now
that He, to whom the ceremonies pointed, has come, their
literal observance cannot any longer be obligatory...and
with regard to the legalism of contemporary Judaism Paul
even seems to go so far as to put it on the same level as,
or, at the least, to suggest that it has much in common
Cranfield, "A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the
Epistle to the Romans" the International Critical
Commentary (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark Limited, 1957) p.