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rogerg

Why Savior Part II (Christ and Israel)

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rogerg

Disclaimer 

In a prior write-up, I implied that I do not consider myself a biblical teacher of any kind nor my write-ups as an attempt to “teach” – far from it, I am very much trying to learn, so please do not misunderstand this write-up. I am only someone who reads and trusts in the Bible implicitly who is trying to fathom what God has written. I continue this effort because, well, because it seems that I am unable to stop myself from doing so.

However, in rationalizing and reconciling what I’ve read in the Bible regarding Christ, as opposed to commonly held, man formulated, biblical doctrines, it is becoming clear to me that logical schisms and inconsistencies may exist between the Bible and those doctrines. Therefore, to the degree that I was able to, and based upon whatever limited reasoning skills I possess, I attempted to locate applicable verses regarding the details of Christ’s offering, gathering them into a topical whole (as the Bible so instructs), analyzing and developing them into biblical doctrines that hopefully, more closely and precisely reflects the intent of that which was written.

I look forward to any reader’s assessment of these vis-à-vis the spiritual doctrines they hold true and the rationale they’ve employed to come to that faith.

 

The following discussion represents the doctrines that I’ve compiled, but without the detailed rationale included (due to the volume of writing that would be required.) However, should anyone have an interest in pursuing a more in-depth review, I will do my best, within a reasonable effort, to provide it to them.

Also, I would be pleased to entertain any suggestions, corrections, or criticisms, based upon the Bible, that may be appropriate.

 

Due to my lack of writing skills, I reserve the right to edit/modify what is posted. 

The Savior and Israel

Within the Bible, the term Savior is used in numerous instances and for different roles. Depending upon the context it is used within, it can apply to the Savior of the nation of Israel(Israel after the flesh) who was God Himself, led it, forgave its temporal sins, was its earthly husband, with the Jews as its earthly citizens. He gave it victory over its geopolitical enemies, all in accordance with His promises to them. However, Savior can and does apply to Jesus Christ, who is the Savior of “new” Israel -- a spiritual Israel, not Israel after the flesh-- from spiritual destruction by its spiritual enemies with Himself as its spiritual head and husband, and to place within it, as spiritual citizens, the spiritual Jews:  those whom He had chosen explicitly from among mankind throughout time. One of the primary responsibilities and purposes God had for Israel after the flesh, was to be an allegory and “ensamples” to us in many respects regarding the existence of the new Israel with His gospel- with each Israel as wholly different and separate entities, but, with the new Israel of overriding spiritual importance, and it, not Israel after the flesh, the eternal, ultimate Israel. Yet, Israel(after the flesh)eventually proved itself an unfaithful wife by not following God’s direct commandments not to worship other gods, thereby failing Him. God’s gospel had been preached and demonstrated unto Israel (after the flesh) in the Old Testament, as it would be in the New Testament. They ate of the same spiritual bread (Christ) in the Old Testament as would be eaten in the New Testament: they were without excuse.

 Israel’s worshipping of other gods manifested itself in several ways:

1) the Jews placed their trust for eternal salvation in their physical lineage beginning with the patriarch Abraham, and also in the efficacy of their works vis-à-vis ceremonies and sacrifices, such as in the offering of animal sacrifices, for the forgiveness of sin spiritual (as opposed to sins temporal). God intended these sacrifices only as “examples and shadows” of the heavenly, the substance of which was the sacrifice of Christ as Lamb of God. Their trust should have been in Christ and His sacrifice (that was yet to come) as the sacrificial substance and the one true, worthy offering that would remove God the Father’s wrath, not the animal sacrifices. The trust of image over substance, is, at its core, the worshipping of a false god: a god who demands obedience, subservience, and the earning of salvation, by which, they failed the one true God;

2) they eventually abandoned even their faithfulness to the ceremonies which God had enjoined them to conduct, but instead, openly chased after other “gods,” worshipping them and conducting their rituals, but not God’s.

Israel thus incurred His wrath by playing the harlot, so, after having forgiven Israel’s transgressions numerous times, God finally gave it a certificate of divorce for infidelity, turning away from it. But to be clear, all of their worshipping (to include not worshipping,) that had not been based upon Christ alone, was, and is, deemed by God the worship of a false god. Christ’s sacrifice alone is the only one by which God is pleased and satisfied.

I used the term spiritual Israel above, but in fact, the term spiritual Israel is not found within the Bible per se; however, by way of explanation, in the book of The Revelation”, we do find the existence of “new Jerusalem” -- a spiritual Jerusalem -- but consider, that if a “new Jerusalem” exists (and Jerusalem is a city within Israel) of logical necessity, it must be understood a part of  “new Israel.” And, if a “new Israel” exists, then of logical necessity, it must be considered to be part of a new spiritual domain. And, with a new Israel, of logical necessity, must there also be new spiritual Jews to inhabit it. These new Jews are people chosen out of all earthly nations, kindred, colors, and creeds, throughout time, whom God alone, in His mercy, and according to His good pleasure, has chosen. Through the work of the Holy Spirit alone, they became born-again and manifested into true Christians and exhibit Christian characteristics (true and abiding faith in Christ and His gospel). Adam’s and Eve’s actions in the Garden of Eden gave rise to the Law of Sin and Death, which placed everything, including this complete current total creation (cosmos, universes, etc.), under its jurisdiction and sentence of death. Life eternal was removed from mankind because of it. However, Jesus Christ’s offering on the cross, as the new Adam, achieved on behalf of the Elect, included, but was not limited to, several critical elements:

  1. removed the Elect’s sin of obeying, and thereby being a party to, the Law of Sin and Death;

    2. denied the Law of Sin and Death an entrance into   

         spiritual Israel;

   3. (Christ) became life eternal itself. For

        those individuals whom He indwells, they have been 

        indwelt with eternal life. And it being eternal, can 

        never be taken or depart from them.

Christ’s achievements removed Spiritual Israel and its inhabitants from God’s wrath-- for as the Bible so states: where there is no law, there can be no transgression; otherwise, it would have been an impossibility that the new Earth could come into existence, and therefore, be populated. These new heavens and Earth (not the current heavens and Earth) are they that God “so loved” that He would willingly sacrifice the life of His only begotten Son that they should be saved. This blessing of God’s is not for this current world -- for He will destroy it --so then, how could He have given His Son to save it?  

To better understand God’s judgment, mercy, and ultimately, Jesus Christ, we need to bring into focus the laws that undergird them. 

While the Bible contains many temporal laws given from God to man, and man to man, at the highest level there are but two which govern the spiritual/eternal application of His mercy, and conversely, the assessment of guilt and wrath:

1) The Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus 

2) The Law of Sin and Death

To be guilty of the Law of Sin and Death and suffer its consequences, one needs only fall within its jurisdiction; to fall within its jurisdiction, one needs only be a citizen; to be a citizen, one needs only be born into this current Earth. This Law is both law and sin: a “law” whose instigator and progenitor was Satan, yet to God, it is sin. For those who have come to a genuine understanding and faith in/of that, it can only be because God has freed them from slavery into liberty. This Law is the law of Satan’s desire, of which, is mankind (by nature) in full accord, and by which is God’s Law -- the Law of the Spirit of Life in Jesus Christ-- violated and transgressed against -- each directly opposing the other, and each directly violating the other. Interestingly, those under each respective law, typically believe the other law to be of Satan.

 For those under the Law of Life, the doctrine of the setting aside of judgment, through the offering of Christ, is fundamental. But what did this require from Christ, the Lamb of God, to bring it to fruition? Typically, most who claim Christianity, by definition, at least superficially, and at face value, accept that Christ somehow on the cross reconciled man to God and God to man. But, to satisfy our spiritual hunger and our faith to grow, it may behoove us to gain a deeper understanding, becoming comfortable with His offering: that which has occurred both spiritually and historically. So, what did Christ do to satisfy and remove God’s anger and judgment held against those He chose to save? What was Christ’s accomplishment in terms of salvation? We can see from the Bible, that the completed salvation transaction (so to speak) was conducted solely between Christ and God the Father, which transaction, God the Father has already sanctioned and sealed. No further modification or input would be permitted. The names of all chosen to become saved throughout time were written into the Lamb’s Book of Life when Christ proclaimed that “it is finished” on the cross. From that point onwards, no other names could be added to the book. These become the true Christians, who are also referred to here as the spiritual Jews. As mentioned earlier, all who have been chosen by God to salvation, come out of all nations, all colors, all creeds, and all religions, and are forgiven, made into Christians through God’s efforts alone. All of the glory and thanks should go to God alone, and none to ourselves, as it is all of His work.

We are unable to affect this outcome because no one of themselves is deserving of salvation – only Christ was: we are/were all  prisoners of, blinded by, and trapped under, the Law of Sin and Death -- worthy of the death sentence associated with it (interestingly, however, those who were not selected, which encompasses the bulk of humanity, do not care or are concerned.)

We should be thankful to God for such a process of salvation; otherwise, left to our own means, no one would or could become saved.

 

Next: Christ’s Offering

 

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