Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, February 28, 2023

By Faith And Through Faith – Romans, part 36

Romans 3:29 Is God the God of the Jewish people only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also. 30 Since God is One, He will set right the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then nullify the Torah through faithfulness? May it never be! On the contrary, we uphold the Torah.

Rabbi Trail:  Spoiler alert – this is a very complex topic, to the point that I almost threw it away instead of publishing it.  No doubt there are plenty of ways to find fault with my assessment, and all comments are welcome.  Just remember, this is a short RR intended to be a devotional that explains something about the subject scriptures and not an exhaustive theological treatise.  The bad news is that I plan to continue writing on this tomorrow. Let’s all bless the Lord for the good news. End RT.

Today, we finish chapter 3.  “By faith”, “Through faith”, what does it really mean?  Several Bible commentators assess their meaning as the difference between ways and means.  Paul is describing two paths to the same objective.  Both paths to being “set right” are paved with faith.  Jewish people are set right by way of the path of faith, and non-Jewish people are set right through the means of the path of faith.

“Ways and means” are what has to be done and how it is to be done.  Jewish people start with the way, the commandments, and then must come to faith through the Holy Spirit.  Non-Jewish people start with the means, the Holy Spirit and then must learn the way of walking in the commandments.  The end result is one people serving one God.

Let’s allow the text itself to inform us further.  First, we learn that God is “Lord of all.”  Isaiah prophesied that Yeshua will be a “light to the nations.”  Isaiah 42:6 “I, Adonai, called You in righteousness, I will take hold of Your hand, I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations.

Yeshua’s own words instruct us do likewise… Matthew 28:19a Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.  This part is easy.  But how does it work practically?  What are we to teach these disciples from all nations?  Yeshua, Himself, answers the question.  Matthew 28:20a …teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. 

Yeshua taught Torah observance, but not according to the letter, instead, according to the Spirit.  Think about it… Yeshua never sinned at any point.  1 Peter 1:18a You know that you were redeemed…19… with precious blood like that of a lamb without defect or spot, the blood of Messiah.  Yeshua is our example.  God gives us instructions.  We call them commandments.

Why does God give us commandments?  Listen to the words of Moses… Deuteronomy 4:40 “You must keep His statutes and His mitzvot, which I am commanding you today, so that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and so that you may prolong your days in the land that Adonai your God is giving you for all time.”  Furthermore; Exodus 15:26 He said, “If you diligently listen to the voice of Adonai your God, do what is right in His eyes, pay attention to His mitzvot, and keep all His decrees, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians. For I am Adonai who heals you.”

The point I’m coming to is that we must let the Holy Spirit guide us in both faith and observance.  John 16:13a But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth.  But that will have to wait until tomorrow when we will deal with verse 31.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Tue 28 Feb-2023 7th of Adar, 5783
Ex 28:31-43 2 Ki 24 Ps 148 Jn 20 (Heb 5)