Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • ”So what is the point?”

    So what good is being a Jew? Quite a bit, actually. Remember, God chose us to receive His commandments and be the prophets of His word. And even then, some of us did not believe. But did their skepticism make God any less real?

    Of course not, for God is true and just even if we are not. Did unrighteous Jews somehow justify a righteous God? Of course not, being a Jew is not enough to justify salvation. If it were, by what standard could God judge the rest of the world?

    Now you know I have been a righteous Jew my entire life, so how is it I am also judged a sinner. (Yes, there have been many lies told about me, that I was preaching falsely and telling people to sin, but they are lies and you know it.)

    So why are we sinners in the eyes of God? Because we are no better than the Gentiles. We are all under the law and we have all sinned. The prophets put it down in black and white: There is none righteous, not even one. There are none who understand, no one who looks to God for truth. We have all strayed away from God and are on the path to destruction. Our lives do not glorify God or reflect His goodness.

    Instead, we curse one another. We lie, we bear false witness, we shame and defy our parents, and our words cause pain and sorrow to others. We are always ready to fight and kill; we are the cause of so much death and destruction. We have no idea of how to live in peace. We have no fear or respect of God.

    We know the law, and we know all mankind is under the law. So when it comes to the time of judgment, no one will be able to claim innocence. All are guilty by the law, and no one will be justified by the law before God.

    But now, God's love for us has been revealed exactly as the prophets foretold. God has sent salvation to mankind in the form of Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah. Through Him all are saved, so there is no longer Jew or Gentile.

    For all have sinned, all have come short of the glory of God. But for those who accept the shed blood of Jesus Christ and surrender their hearts to the Holy Spirit are redeemed, for His blood is the ultimate sacrifice for sin. The sacrifice of Christ, who was the lamb of God, covers all sin since the beginning and justifies all who believe in Him.

    So what does it matter if you are a Jew? It is no longer of any value before God, because with the coming of the Messiah, the laws of Moses are now under the law of faith. To believe in Christ is all that is necessary to be saved.

    God is not the God of the Jews, but the God of all mankind. He is the one God, the creator of Jew and Gentile alike, and He will judge both the circumcised and the uncircumcised.

    So am I saying the law no longer has any meaning? Absolutely not, for our faith in God's salvation is the basis for our obeying the law.

    The Universality of Sin

    As I have mentioned in the previous two chapters, Paul's primary audience is the Jews of Rome, closely followed by the converted Christians who are in the church. So a lot of what he is dealing with is the prejudice of the Jews themselves, a prejudice that was created by the tradition of being a Jew in the first place. Obviously, it is going to be an uphill battle.

    In order to fully understand this, you have to realize their were two factions vying for power in the Jewish faith at the time. The Pharisees and Sadducee were, for the most part, controlled in part by the Romans and were telling their people to stay in line and not cause problems. The Zealots, on the other hand, were what we would call the Zionists of ancient times. These were the guerrilla fighters of Israel, radical Jews who hated the Romans and wanted them out of Israel. At first, they were members of the priesthoods, until there was an incident at the temple where the Romans killed many of the leaders and placed their own priests in place. Later, they were true guerrillas, radicals who caused so much trouble for the Romans that they finally used a military strike which all but decimated their ranks. One of the most infamous battles was at a place called Masada, where the Romans laid siege to about 200 Jewish Zealots and their families. Those zealots committed suicide rather than surrender to the Romans who were about to overrun their position. This act of defiance was so respected by the Jews that even today the Israeli Secret Service is named the Mossad in their honor.

    Paul's appeal here is to both factions. He is trying to explain that there is no need to fight military battles against an enemy who is under the same rule of God as they are. In other words, he is saying there is no need to fight a battle you have already won.

    He is pointing out that the sacrifice of Jesus was the ultimate victory for all mankind. Paul's references to the law of Moses are to remind the Jews that this is the reason they had to offer sacrifices of blood at the temple. No righteous Jew would claim to be sinless, for that would be to deny God's power over their lives. All Jews participated in the rituals of the Holy days, or they were ostracized in their community.

    His references to the prophets are to remind them that: A) all are sinners, whether they are Jewish or Gentile, and B) of God's promise to send a Messiah to bring salvation to man. Paul deliberately uses terms to indicate salvation is universal and not the exclusive gift to the Jew.

    If anything, Paul is telling the Jews who have lived righteous lives under the law of Moses that they are to be the example of belief along with their converted counterparts. The words “Believe on” mean not only to accept intellectually but to allow that acceptance to be a governing factor in your life. To “Believe on” Jesus was to accept Him as the Messiah, the Emanuel, the son of God and God in human form.

    Lots to think about here. I'll let this one sink in before continuing. Chapter four to follow soon.

    I hope you have a blessed day.

    Fred
    • Share

    Connected stories:

About

Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.