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What Does It Mean To Be Saved

Salvation is of the Jews?
Dr. Allen Barber
February 1, 2012

Hebrews 1:1-4  

1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, 
when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

John 4:21-24 

21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.  22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.  23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."  

(1) Galatians 1:6-9 

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. 

(2) Galatians 1:13-17 

13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 

15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. 

(3) Galatians  2:1-5

Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me.  2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain. 3 Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4 And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), 5 to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. 

(4) Galatians 2:16

16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. 

(5) Galatians  3:1-4

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 

(6) Galatians  3:26-4:1

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. 

(7) Galatians  5:1

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

When Jesus spoke those words as recorded in John 4:22 did he mean the Jewish race is the source of salvation and therefore we should all exchange our Christian faith for Judaism?  Many so-called Christians have done that and are doing it. Pat Boone is one example. 

There is a teaching today that believes Christians need to add Judaism to their faith to be "complete Christians."  A mixture of Jewish and Christian converts have established houses of worship called "congregations," which stress Torah worship, that is, they emphasize the study and teaching of the Law. I once attended one of those so-called Messianic houses of worship and discovered there was little teaching on the New Covenant, but an attempt to indoctrinate Christians into Judaism. In fact, this congregation attempted to kick out the Gentile believers which resulted in envy and strife in the fellowship. I once invited the congregation leader to my Church near Houston to give the presentation of Christ in the Passover. This was years before we moved to Dallas where his congregation is located. What struck me as bizarre and a form of idolatry is at the front of the meeting place, there was a large cabinet that contained two large scrolls, which were the books of the law - the Torah. At one point in the service, the congregation leader and other elders, removed the Scrolls and paraded up and down the aisles as the Jewish membership and some Gentiles kissed the scrolls when they passed by their row of seats. I was immediately grieved in my spirit for I knew this was not what the New Covenant is about. Later I wrote the congregation leader a letter rebuking him for stressing the law above genuine Christianity. He wrote me back and plainly told me he did not care what I thought and not to come back to his Torah House of worship. We had no plans to return. 

John 4:22 needs to be read in its full context for in the following two verses Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that the time would come when the "true worshipers" of God would be those who worship Him in Spirit and Truth for God seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and Truth.  

God no longer, and never has in the sense of permanency, dwelt in houses of stone and mortar. He is not going to dwell in some so-called physical temple in the Middle East during His millennial reign. God dwells in spiritual temples today - the living stones - the Church and the true Israel of God. Judaism is a false religion today as much as any other false religion and Christians must not attempt to join or add it to the Christian faith.  Salvation is of the Jews because God choose their physical seed to produce the Messiah - the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, salvation is in Him, the true Son and seed of Abraham; it is not in the Jewish race nor for that matter in any human race.  God's people are spiritual people - born of the Holy Spirit and are joined to God by the baptism of the Spirit (not a reference to tongues) and seek to worship Him in truth - the Word of God.  

Every true believer IN CHRIST needs to read  the book of Galatians and walk daily in its truth. Notice what Paul says in the Scriptures above from Galatians:

In the first passage, he warns about believing or being joined to another gospel, which in the context of Galatians is Judaism and today would be Torah Houses of worship whether strictly Jewish or so-called Messianic congregations. He even uses some strong language by saying let the one who preaches another gospel such as adding Judaism or Torah worship to the simplicity of the gospel of Christ Jesus, be accursed. Why is that, because as Paul said, it perverts the true gospel message. The gospel is about Jesus plus nothing.  We do not need to add anything to our faith. We are complete in Jesus. 

The second passage Paul speaks about his FORMER life as a zealot for Judaism.  Notice the word former or formerly meaning he no longer identified with Judaism. In fact, those he said should be accursed were Judaizers who were trying to teach the Galatian Christians to add the law to their faith. Paul said God called him for the purpose of revealing His Son, Jesus, in him, not a pursuit of Torah worship. 

In the third passage, Paul mentions that he did not compel Titus, a Gentile to be circumcised and pointed out the Judaizers who had joined the Galatian Church did so for one purpose - to teach them their faith was incomplete unless they obeyed the law and were circumcised.  Notice that Paul said those who submitted to the Judaizers to obey the law were placed back into bondage to the law. The result was they lost their liberty in Christ to live solely by faith. Paul also said that he did not yield to the Judaizers for even one hour, meaning he did not listen to them. For what purpose - that the Galatians could continue in the gospel of Christ. 

The fourth passage, Paul reminds the Galatians that no one, Jew or Gentile, is justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus. It is Jesus plus nothing or it is not true Christianity. 

In the fifth passage,  Paul again uses strong language with the Galatians calling them foolish twice. In the Greek, he was in essence saying what my Dad used to tell me, "Use your head for something besides a hat rack," meaning to think clearly or to understand the truth. Don't be blinded by false doctrine. The Church needs to hear that message clearly today for much false doctrine has crept into the Body of Christ. Then he kind of mocks them by asking a rhetorical question - did they receive the Holy Spirit who gives the gift of faith to believe in the cross of Jesus for forgiveness of sin by the hearing of faith (the gospel) or my works of the law?  No one is perfected in faith by the flesh or by works of the law. Again Christians do not need to join a Messianic house of worship that stresses adding the law to faith. It is heresy!

The sixth passage, Paul tells them their son-ship is through faith in Christ and Christ alone. For in Christ Jesus there is no longer a Jew or a Gentile but we are ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS. If we belong to Jesus we are Abraham's spiritual seed. I hear Jewish believers in Christ say they are concerned about losing their Jewishness if they become a Christian. Well, I hate to upset their apple cart, but that is exactly the point of Christianity - we lose our old ID as a Jew or Gentile once we come to Christ.  God is not today establishing Jewish or for that matter Gentile houses of worship. He is building His Church, the Judah Church and the One New Man. He is not restoring the State of Israel or temple worship in the land of Israel. He is building spiritual temples who are believers in Jesus by being born-again of the Holy Spirit.

In the seventh and last passage, Paul admonishes the Galatians as well as us, to stand fast in the liberty by which CHRIST has made us free.  To be entangled again in a yoke of bondage is to go back to a system of works and not living by faith alone. There are many Gentile so-called houses of worship such as mainline denominations that are nothing less than a system of works by following a liturgical religion. That includes both Protestant and Catholic religions. 

If you belong to a religion that requires you to follow man-made rules, then know that you are entangled or in bondage to works of the flesh and not free in Christ to worship with other believers by faith and faith alone.  For example, if you belong to a denomination or religion that teaches tithing as a rule, then you are obeying the law for tithing was part of  the law. Tithing is not stressed or taught in the New Covenant. It is basically a Church tax.  Our liberty in Christ teaches faith-giving meaning we give as we are led by the Holy Spirit to give according to our ability - not stingy but liberal. 

There are three primary things that distinguish the Christian faith from all others - the Lordship of Jesus; the rebirth of the Spirit; and the love of the Word of God - all of it - the complete canon of Old and New Testament truth as completed in the revelation of Jesus and His blood covenant. Anything else is nothing but a mere shadow and a copy not the real thing.    

Religion that attempts to add to or improve on the revelation of God through Jesus Christ is just that - a religion and not true Christianity. It is bogus and false and all true believers should stay away from such houses of worship.  Our command from the Lord is to maintain our faith in purity, holiness, and truth. We cannot do so if we have aligned with false religion that may have an appearance of truth, but is in reality a house of demons (II Tim. 4:1).

Before I close this article, please understand that I am not teaching the Law has no place in Christian worship. We are to study all of the Bible which includes the first five books of the Old Testament, but we are not to emphasize the law books above the other books of Scripture and certainly not that we may attain righteousness unto salvation. While the Law of itself is righteous, it does not and cannot produce righteousness in us. There is only one way to be righteous - faith in Jesus.  There is much truth in the Law which if taken as it is meant to be brings conviction sin. It is difficult to read Leviticus and not not be convicted of sin for again that is the purpose of the Law - to reveal sin as sin inherent in the human race. Aside from that, we learn about the Lord's (notice I said the Lord's not Israel's) Feast Days, which are keys to understanding Bible prophecy.


God bless.