Nov 8, 2023
There are many viewpoints regarding the nation of Israel and how the Lord relates to His chosen people. Questions arise, amongst both Jewish and Christian people, about the faithfulness of God, His Word and His relationship to the Jewish people.
This past Sunday, as we explored Romans 9:1-6, Pastor Arthur answered some of the common questions and showed us, from the Scripture, that God’s Word has not failed His chosen nation. God has most certainly NOT rejected His people. The church has not replaced Israel. And, God will, indeed, keep His specific Old Testament promises to Israel and He will keep his promises made in Scripture to His church.
But, one of the most pressing questions on this topic is, will all Jewish people be saved?
If we look to the infallible, inerrant, authoritative Word of God, we have to say no.
We know that the Apostle Paul is clear. He declares in Romans 1:16 that he is not ashamed of the Gospel because he know that it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, both the Jew and the Greek,
He goes on in verse 17 to say, “For in it (the Gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Scripture is clear. Being born Jewish does not make one righteous.
Only faith in Christ makes one righteous. We see why this is true as we gaze at the mystery of this glorious reality in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Christ took on our sin, at the cross, so that we may receive His righteousness. This righteousness is imputed to a believer when, by grace, we put our faith in Christ.
Although many with a Jewish heritage believe that they are saved by birth - that they have righteousness because of their heritage, they are mistaken. Salvation is only possible by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ!
If this sounds familiar, it’s because this is the only way to experience the eternal salvation that our Lord provides.
Even as far back as the book of Genesis, we learn that Abram “believed the Lord and He counted it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)
Abraham was saved by faith, just like you and I are saved by faith.
In the words of our Pastor, “God has ALWAYS saved, selected and elected the righteous through faith!”
Of course, as God’s chosen people, the descendants of Abraham did receive great privileges but these privileges did not ensure eternal salvation.
“They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.” Romans 9:4-5
All these blessings, including the ultimate gift of Jesus Christ, who came from the Jewish nation, were given by God to this persevering people. Yet, in spite of these blessings, the heritage of the Jewish people will not save them in the ultimate, eternal sense.
John McArthur says it succinctly,
“The nation was elected to privilege but only individuals are elected to salvation.”
And why is this?
Because Scripture does not teach that a beautiful heritage will save anyone.
When a Jewish persons rests in their heritage for salvation, they are relying on a misunderstood blessing of God. They are trusting in the privilege of their heritage instead of placing their trust in the One who saves according to His finished work on the cross.
And, as we consider Israel, we must also consider our own lives and the lives of those around us. We must remember that we, too, are saved by grace, through faith in Christ. We must know that our good works do not save us. Our church attendance will not save us. And, our Christian heritage cannot save us.
For those who are parents, there is a tendency to think that, if we raise our kids in the church and in a Christian home, they will be saved. But, our children’s heritage provides them no eternal security. Yes, they have been given the privilege of hearing God’s Word, of being taught His ways and, perhaps, protected from many worldly influences. But they, like each one of us, inherited a sin nature from the first Adam and they need a Savior!
And, so, we must pray!
Pray that we would be poor in Spirit, constantly reminded that we contribute nothing to earn our righteous standing before God!
Pray that we would be bold, not ashamed of the Gospel, but eager to share the good news of salvation!
Pray for our friends, our families, our children, knowing that they will stand before a Holy God one day!
And pray for Israel, that many would be open to the salvation offered to them by Yeshua. Pray that the Lord would open eyes to their great need for a Savior and open hearts to receive His great mercy!
And, all the while, let us praise God - the One, abounding in love and mercy, the One who is always faithful!
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
To listen to the sermon, "The Unbelief of Israel and God's Faithfulness" click HERE