Self-Absorbed Salvation

When we become saved, are we better off? Let’s see: saved=Eternal joy; not saved=Eternal suffering.  I would say being saved is better off, wouldn’t you?

When we become saved, do we treat people better than we used to? Being saved should produce good fruit, we should be treating others as we would have them treat us, fruits of the Spirit should be growing within us …yeah, I think it’s safe to say we will be better to people when we are saved, don’t you?

But, when we are saved , does that make us better people?

There are some who treat the Jewish people as reprobate, and say they are rejected by God because they rejected His son. These are called Replacement Theologists. They think that they are the “Israel of God”, as Shaul put it at the end of Galatians (what was he thinking when he wrote that? I don’t know!) They say they are the “real” Jewish people, the true Israel.

They think they are better than real Jews because they are saved.

I don’t know what Bible they read, but it isn’t the one that God gave Moses, that has the writings of the Prophets, or the one that the Talmudim of Yeshua wrote, or the one with the  letters that Shaul sent to the Messianic Congregations he started throughout Asia. I just don’t know how they can think, for a moment, that God lied to the Jewish people when He said they are the apple of His eye, that He will never (note: N-E-V-E-R) forget or forsake them. That unless the heavens above and seas below are measured they will not stop being His people.

But, despite all that God said, these Replacement Theologists think that the Jews are rejected and that they, the Born Again Christians, are better than the Jews. And not just better on Earth, but better in God’s eyes, too.

In Romans, Shaul wrote to the Gentiles warning them against bragging about their salvation and becoming proud and arrogant. He reminded them that if God was willing to lop off a natural branch to graft them in, how much more will He be willing to lop off a branch that never belonged! And how much easier will the natural branch be able to be grafted back in, which is the plan. And when God makes a plan, He sticks to it, and it gets done.

We need to remember that we are all sinners, and no matter what particular sin you do the most, from telling lies, to murder, to adultery, to homosexuality, to stealing, to refusing to celebrate the festivals, to being unforgiving, to …well, the list goes on and on, doesn’t it? The point is that no matter whether or not you are “saved”, you are no better a person than anyone else.

Yeshua warned His Talmudim (Disciples) not to “lord it over each other, as the Gentiles do” but that whomever wants to be the greatest must be the least. If you want to know how a truly saved person should be, he or she should be humble.

Before I was saved, I was a sinner who rationalized my sins; now, I am a sinner who regrets my sins. And because I have asked God’s forgiveness, and accepted the sacrificial death of Yeshua, who I acknowledge as my/the Messiah, I am “saved” from the spiritual consequences of my sinfulness. By the way, note that I am saved from the spiritual consequences- sin still causes injury and will always have serious consequences in the natural world.

Replacement Theology is a lie from the pit of Sheol. All I can say about it is this: in the vision (revelation) given to Yochanan when he was on Patmos Yeshua warned against the Synagogue of Satan. In the Greek, synagogue doesn’t mean a Jewish place of worship. That is a modern meaning. The word refers to a gathering, or collection. You could have a synagogue of chairs, of rocks, or a synagogue of people with a common purpose. The pagan temples were synagogues. So, a “Synagogue of Satan”, in First Century terminology, meant a group of people who were of Satan. Yeshua also went on to define who these people are: they are people who say they are Jews but are not.

Gee, that sounds like the exact definition of Replacement Theologists- people claiming to be Jews who aren’t Jews.

Whether you are a Replacement Theologist or a Gentile who has been grafted in and appreciates God’s wonderful gift of Grace that He made available to you, unless your blood is Jewish blood passed down from your parents and grandparents, you are an adopted son or daughter of Abraham. You are a member of the Family of God, if you will, but an adopted one. The Jews are God’s chosen people- not chosen because they are better, but because they are no better. In fact, in some ways, they are worse. Throughout our history we have been stiff-necked, we have rejected God over and over, and the ultimate rejection is, truthfully, that congregationally (pardon the pun) we have rejected our own Messiah. And, to make it even more embarrassing, the Gentiles have welcomed Him. Doesn’t sound like anything to brag about to me.  But we are still God’s chosen- He is absolutely clear, with no chance of mistake, and repeated throughout His Word,  He reminds us that despite how stupid we have been and still are, despite how stubborn, despite how foolish, and despite how adulterous we have been over the Millennia, He will always accept us back when we do T’Shuvah and just as God always has been, is, and always will be, we (Jewish people) have been, are, and always will be God’s chosen people.

Chosen not because we are better, but chosen because of one man’s faithfulness, and the faithfulness of many others after him, and the continued faithfulness of the Messianic community within Judaism. And the faithfulness of the “mainstream” Jewish people- don’t think that not accepting Messiah Yeshua means that all Jews are faithless. Most are just ignorant of the truth because they have been taught that Yeshua is not the Messiah. They are just what Yeshua called them- lost sheep. But they have not lost their faith in God or His promise of a Messiah- they faithfully wait. They just don’t realize, yet, His true identity.

Being saved should make us better to other people, but it doesn’t make us better than other people. And it certainly doesn’t make you a “Jew” if you are saved.

Be appreciative for God’s plan of salvation, partake in it wholly and joyfully, and help others to find their way back to God through Messiah Yeshua. But never, never, never think you are better than anyone because you are saved. You, I, all of us- we are still sinners, and being saved makes us no better than anyone else in the world.

It just makes us saved.


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