Let’s talk about that age-old, never-to-be-settled argument about God and Yeshua being one and the same entity. Even if it starts as a discussion, this always becomes an argument and all it does is to cause consternation and division between Believers.
And when that happens, it doesn’t serve God, but it does work wonders for the Enemy.
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The bottom line, or at least what should be the bottom line, for any Believer is to be saved- to receive salvation, right?
Well, what the heck is salvation, anyway?
It is having our sins removed from us so that we can be resurrected and enjoy eternity peacefully and joyously in the presence of God and Messiah, Yeshua.
For the record: having your sins removed doesn’t mean you are getting away with anything. In the physical world, you and those you love will ALWAYS suffer the consequences of the sins you commit. Salvation through forgiveness of sins (by means of the sin sacrifice the Messiah made on our behalf) is only available on an eternal plane.
And how to we “rate” this salvation?
The answer to that depends on whether you were raised Jewish or Christian. For Jews, we have always expected the Messiah to come, to bring us back to The Land (Israel), to subdue our enemies, rebuild the temple and reinstitute temple worship, which then makes forgiveness of sins available to us, ruling as our king for all time. The relationship between the people, Messiah, and God is on a national basis.
Now, if you were raised Christian, your salvation will depend on “believing in Jesus” (whatever that is supposed to mean), being a good person (forget any of that Jewish stuff dealing with the Torah), and loving others as yourself. The relationship is on a personal level between you and Messiah.
My answer to how we rate salvation is that we must be “born again”, whether Jewish or Gentile, which is the result of faithfully believing that the person Yeshua (also called Jesus) who we read about in the New Covenant Gospels is the Messiah God promised to send throughout the Tanakh.
We must faithfully accept that he died as a sin sacrifice for us, and that through the blood he shed on the execution stake we can be forgiven of our sins, just the same way the blood of the innocent animal sacrificed on the altar at the temple in Jerusalem was the way we received forgiveness for sin under the sacrificial system God created in the Torah (Leviticus 1-7).
That is all there is to it. There is absolutely no salvation requirement to believe Yeshua and God are the same entity.
We need to believe that God exists (Duh!) and we need to believe that Yeshua is the messiah God promised to send, and we need to believe that after Yeshua was crucified and died, he was resurrected and now sits at God’s right hand, interceding for us.
I don’t know where or when this drek about God and Yeshua having to be the same personage began. I am sure it was part of the early attempts to separate the man-made religion called Christianity from its Jewish roots because it is an anathema to a Jew to believe God is anything but a single and totally unique entity.
The arguments that are constantly made for the unity of God and Yeshua come exclusively from the Gospel of John, which is hermeneutically and, in every other way, totally different from the other Gospels. Considering there are some 66 books in the entire Bible, but the argument for unity can only be justified (with misinterpretation) from just one book should make people wonder about the validity of the argument.
But this message is not a discussion about the validity of unity or trinity: it is about why it shouldn’t be discussed, at all, because it has nothing to do with salvation.
And if you don’t think that attaining, and even more important- maintaining- salvation is the end-all, ultimate, and only really important thing we need to always work for, then I don’t know what to tell you.
So, the next time you find yourself in the middle of a unity or trinity argument, get the heck out of Dodge! What is important is faithfully accepting Yeshua as the Messiah God promised to send, repenting of the sins you have (and will) commit, asking forgiveness by means of the shed blood of Yeshua, and trying to live your life the way God said to live it, not the way some religion tells you to live it.
One last thing I would like to point out about unity vs. trinity: whether or not God and Yeshua are the same entity, the Bible tells us they are separate entities: for any human to change that relationship and make Yeshua God is, essentially, idolatry.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think God or Yeshua would appreciate that.
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That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and (an early) Shabbat Shalom!