Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, June 2, 2023
(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Victory Over Sin part 37 – Romans, part 98

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall again into fear; rather, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16  The Ruach Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.

You may have heard me say, “Faith and fear never exist in the same place at the same time.”  In that way, faith and fear are like light and darkness.  So let’s take a minute to examine the “spirit of slavery.”  The spirit of slavery is the works mentality.  It is the false idea that we can perform our way into God’s good graces.

Rabbi Trail:  May I explain why I believe that a works mentality can never succeed?  (Of course I can; this is my RR.)  My thinking is that if works can qualify us to spend eternity in God’s presence, then works can disqualify us too.  And that’s the problem.  If life is a scale of good verses bad, then what one thing might “tip the scale” against you?

If the scale of justice might be a teeter-totter, where the good and bad we’ve done are on opposite ends, then which ever one is “heaviest” at the end of our life, the scale tips and off we go, to heaven or hell.  What if you stole something when you were six, or did something you now regret when you were eleven?

What was that, regret?  With a works mentality, you can repent, but on what basis?  Your own sincerity?  God knows the truth.  Remember from Passover, leaven in Scripture is a symbol of sin.  1 Corinthians 5:6  Your boasting is no good. Don’t you know that a little hametz leavens the whole batch of dough?  

Philosophy 101 should be enough.  I am the problem.  I can’t solve my own problem.  I need help.  I need the savior.  1 Peter 1:20  He was chosen before the foundation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.  That’s right, for your sake, that we might be included.  Ephesians 1:4  He chose us in the Messiah before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before Him in love.  So that we might join Him in victory over sin.  End RT.

Slaves don’t own anything.  Their very existence is fully dependent on their ability to perform.  An unprofitable servant is owed nothing from his master.  That’s the basis of fear.  Do we want to stand before the judgment seat of God and answer the question, “What have you done for Me lately?”  Or would you rather hear this?  Matthew 25:23  His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful with a little, so I’ll put you in charge of much. Enter into your master’s joy!’

Remember, the contrast is between faith and fear.  1 Corinthians 4:2  In this case, moreover, what is required of stewards is to be found trustworthy (faithful).  We have a dual role.  We are servants of God, but we are also heirs of promise.  Galatians 3:29  And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham’s seed—heirs according to the promise.

We are not only Abraham’s seed, but children of God.  1 John 3:1  See how glorious a love the Father has given us, that we should be called God’s children—and so we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. 2  Loved ones, now we are God’s children; and it has not yet been revealed what we will be. But we do know that when it’s revealed, we shall be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.  Physically, we are Abraham’s seed, but spiritually, we are children of God by adoption.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Fri 2 June 2023 13th of Sivan, 5783
Nu 7:42-71 Jer 24 Dan 1 1 Co 7 (Mk 9:30-50)