Must You Bless the Jew for God to Bless You?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

“Now the LORD had said unto Abram…And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:1,3 KJV).

Many preachers use today’s Scripture to argue that as long as the United States blesses and supports Israel, then God will bless us. If we turn our backs on Israel, it is said that we will be cursed of God. Today’s Scripture does teach that, right?

Our Apostle Paul writes that national Israel is “fallen,” “cast away,” and “[spiritually] blinded” in this the Dispensation of Grace (Romans 11:11,15,25). How could God bless us for us blessing Israel when God Himself says that national Israel does not exist today? Genesis 12:3 is true, in Israel’s program.

Currently, Jews need the same salvation in Christ Jesus that we Gentiles need (Romans 3:9-20). I love Jews because God loves them, but I do not love them to receive God’s blessing. I love Jews because God died to save them just as much as He died to save me, a Gentile!

How does God bless us today? On the basis of our efforts? No. God does not deal with us via a performance-based acceptance system like He dealt with Israel in time past. In Israel’s program, people had to perform in order to get God’s blessings—Genesis 12:3 fits in Israel’s program, not ours.

Today, Paul writes that if we have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Father “hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). We are blessed in Christ because of what He has done, not because we bless Israel.

God is not cursing anyone today because the Bible says that God has reconciled the world unto Himself through the cross work of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). The Bible says that God is not imputing trespasses unto anyone. Today, God’s attitude toward the world is grace and peace, not anger and judgment. By the way, if God were cursing those who hate Israel today, then why are many anti-Israel nations prospering?

Stiffnecked, Gainsaying, and Disobedient

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

“But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people” (Romans 10:21 KJV).

Israel was God’s chosen people in the earth but they were just as stubborn and rebellious as the pagan Gentiles described in Romans 1:18-32. In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul quotes Isaiah 65:2 (in which the LORD says): “I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;”

Verse 3 continues, “A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;…” Israel ignored the LORD and preferred the Gentiles’ pagan gods! How sad.

For 40 years Moses led the nation Israel in the wilderness wanderings. Their murmuring and rebellion against the LORD caused Moses great distress (Exodus 15:24; Exodus 16:2; Exodus 17:1-4; et al.). The Bible describes Israel as “stiffnecked” (stubborn) eight times in the Old Testament (Exodus 32:9; Exodus 33:3,5; Exodus 34:9; Deuteronomy 9:6, 13; Deuteronomy 10:16; 2 Chronicles 30:8). Miraculously, God in His longsuffering tolerated the Jews.

Unfortunately, Israel acted no better in the New Testament. She refused to listen to her Messiah Jesus and His apostles. Ultimately, she killed her Messiah in disobedience (1 Peter 2:7,8). In Acts 7:51 the prophet Stephen tells Israel’s religious leaders: “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” Did the Jews repent and obey God? No. They rebel and kill Stephen (verse 59)!

Before we condemn Israel for her wickedness, we need to understand we are just as much Adam’s physical descendants as they were. “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another” (Titus 3:3). Even as Christians, we rebel against God and His Word (see Romans chapter 7).

We too may be stiffnecked, gainsaying, and disobedient, but praise God for His longsuffering, grace, mercy, and forgiveness

God’s Abounding Grace

Friday, July 1, 2011

“Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:20,21 KJV).

When God instituted the Mosaic Law in Exodus 24, He intended to manifest Israel’s sins. The Law did not just condemn the Jews as sinners, but all the world, Jew and Gentile, was unable to live up to God’s perfect standards. God proved mankind’s “righteousness” was anything but. Everyone was declared guilty before God: “by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in [God’s] sight” (Romans 3:9-20).

The result of sin is death, eternal death (Romans 6:23a). “Sin reigned unto death,” today’s Scripture says. It also says that although sin produced death, God’s grace produces life, eternal life. “…Even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Believers in Corinth had been fornicators, homosexuals, idolaters, thieves, drunkards, extortionists, and perverts (1 Corinthians 6:9,10). Now that the saving power of God’s grace entered their lives, their lifestyles changed. Paul told them, “But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (verse 11).

Even though mankind was sinful, God’s grace could overcome and cover even the vilest offender of the Law. Do you feel you are too sinful for God’s saving grace? The Bible says that God can save anyone and everyone, regardless of what sins they have committed.

The Bible says that none of us are worthy of God’s grace, but God gives it to us freely, apart from our efforts. Jesus Christ lived the sinless life we cannot. He died and shed His sinless blood to forgive us our sins, and He buried our sins. Christ died for your sins, He was buried, and He was raised against for your justification. Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour.

I am saved forever because of God’s abounding grace. Are you?