Tuesday, 11 January 2022
Most of the world experiences tension between Law and Grace that is not Scriptural. Works and Grace have tension, but not so with Law and Grace. Works is the idea that you can perform your way into God's good graces. Works is a wrong minded approach to the Law, but not the Law itself.
Law is not Works although many want to confuse and mix the two. Law is God's righteous standard for happy, healthy and prosperous living. The idea that you (or anyone else) could perform it perfectly enough to achieve an eternal inheritance in the presence of God is not Scriptural at all.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not from yourselves - it is the gift of God. It is not based on deeds, so that no one may boast.
Many other verses attest to the fact that we cannot earn a gift. People earn wages, gifts are given. But I want to deal with the following verse in Ephesians 2. Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship - created in Messiah Yeshua for good deeds, which God prepared beforehand so we might walk in them. Yes, I have to ask, "What 'good deeds' has God prepared in beforehand," so we might walk in them?
Yes, you are correct. The good deeds God prepared beforehand are His commandments. All of them, not just the "love your neighbor and love God" ones. Yeshua said this ... John 14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments."
But wait Rabbi, clearly the Scriptures address the change made through Yeshua's sacrifice. Through Him, there is a better way. Hebrews 8:6 But now Yeshua has obtained a more excellent ministry, insofar as He is the mediator of a better covenant which has been enacted on better promises. Did I read that correctly, "More excellent, better covenant, AND better promises?" What is better? Grace is better. Yeshua's sacrifice is better than animal sacrifices. Eternal life is more excellent than a short-term fix.
The priesthood (both the Aaronic priesthood and the Melchizedek priesthood) is how we relate to God by faith. God provided His Son as our new and more excellent priesthood. Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He (Yeshua) is also able to save completely those who draw near to God through Him, always living to make intercession for them.
Trust is a word that has been missing from our discussion up until now. To live by faith is to trust. Faith in what? Faith in God's desire and ability to keep His promises. We trust that God will keep His promises, so we live by faith in that expectation.
It's the difference between being required to perform at a certain level and delighting to do the will of our Father in Heaven. Psalm 40:8-9 Then I said: "Here I am, I have come - in the scroll of a book it is written about me. I delight to do Your will, O my God. Yes, Your Torah is within my being."
That's enough for today. As Annie says, "Tomorrow is another day."
Rabbi Michael Weiner,