Faith Brings Salvation!

Image result for why israel matters

What glorious truths are found in Romans 9-11!  It’s like a treasure hunt, and the golden nuggets are invaluable!  I hope you are enjoying this week’s study as we examine the Jewish roots of our Christian faith.  We’re headed into Romans 10 today, but if you missed the previous two posts, I recommend you back up and catch them so that you get the fullness of today’s lesson.

Paul opens Chapter 10 driving home the idea that righteousness and salvation are attained by faith alone, not by works.  Then, he cuts straight to the chase in verses 9-10:

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

That’s as plain and simple as it gets!  In fact, if you are following this study (or you simply stumbled upon this post) and you have tried to gain God’s acceptance through anything but simple faith, it is not a coincident that you are here!  He is speaking to you this very moment!  Our Lord longs for relationship with you and you can do nothing to earn it.  Salvation truly is simple: confess and believe!  (Click here for more guidance about how to be saved.)

Salvation is the same for everyone…Jews or Gentiles.  Paul goes on to explain that in verses 12-13 of Romans:

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

However, verses 14-21 allude to the difficulty of the Jewish people in understanding and trusting in faith alone.  To call upon God, they must believe.  To believe, they must they must hear.  To hear, there must be a preacher. Preachers must be sent.

Well, throughout history, God sent “preachers.”  They were called prophets in the Old Testament!  Men such as Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah and others foretold of Christ the Messiah who would come to the Jews.  The preachers came…and the Jewish people heard.  Yet, they did not simply believe by faith.  Instead, they tried to keep the law of Moses.

Verse 15 talks about the beautiful feet of those who bring good news (the Gospel).  The Gospel is all about faith and nothing more.  I want beautiful feet, how about you?  I want to share the good news with others (including Jews).  May we all yearn for beautiful feet!

Allow me to divert for a moment.  Sadly, there are very large Christian organizations (such as Christians United for Israel [John Hagee, who denies Jesus as Messiah] and International Fellowship of Christians and Jews [Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein]) who wholeheartedly love Israel and care for the Jewish people, but WILL NOT “preach the Gospel” to them.  (I’m not suggesting obnoxious “in your face” evangelism that is unnecessarily offensive, but about intentionally taking the opportunities God gives to share the love of Christ both in word and deed.)  How sad that the very key thing Paul teaches about regarding Jewish-Christian relations is not innocently overlooked, but intentionally set aside.  (You can find out about Jewish-related ministries and their sometimes veiled objectives here.)

Romans 10:19 compels us to be a nation (people group) willing to show the love of Messiah, in order to make the Jewish people jealous.  Let’s practice what God’s Word commands!

We’re headed for Romans 11 tomorrow, and it gets REALLY good at that point!  So, here’s your homework: go read that chapter, then join us here again tomorrow as we launch into that chapter!

UPDATE: Friends, I just watched a video that corresponds so closely with our study this week about Christian-Jewish relations.  Tune into an interview with Eitan Shishkoff, an American-born “hippie Jew,” who now lives and ministers in Israel.  He has incredible insight into Jewish-Christian relations.  Catch the interview at the 1:19:50 mark here:

Christ Revealed – Episode 9

(Christ Revealed is a 9-part documentary, with a single episode released each day.  This was Day 9, and I believe the video is available only until 6:00pm Pacific time today.)

Do You Believe Jesus is Coming Soon? Billy Graham Did!

Shabbat shalom, friends!

If you knew much about Billy Graham, or if you have read the stories and seen the videos flooding the media today, you know Billy Graham was absolutely certain that Jesus is coming again, and that we must be ready.

Billy Graham proclaimed Jesus as our only hope and exhorted us all to be ready.  That is so essential for us as believers, and I am so thankful that now, even in death, Billy Graham’s words still ring true.

May I encourage you to do two things this weekend?  First, watch and be inspired by the 2-minute video below.  I pray that his exhortation does not fall on deaf ears.  Secondly, be determined that you will prepare yourself for Christ’s coming.  Start today by doing one simple thing you know God wants you to do…then keep doing the next one thing!

Did Billy Graham Ever Preach in Israel?

Some have asked, so I’ll provide some info!  Though Israel is very squeamish when it comes to evangelism, Billy Graham was allowed a brief speaking tour in March 1960, where he preached to Christian and Jewish audiences in Haifa and Jaffa, and to an Arabic audience in Nazareth.

A larger meeting was originally scheduled in Tel Aviv, but organizers got cold feet and Prime Minister David Ben Gurion laid down stipulations that Mr Graham could not mention the name of Jesus or read from the Bible.  Thus, the meeting venues were narrowed to smaller audiences and many accepted the Jewish Messiah as Lord!

In those meetings, Billy Graham proclaimed the Jews to be God’s chosen people and warned, “We cannot place ourselves in opposition to Israel without detriment to ourselves.”

Read One for Israel’s account of Graham’s visit in What Happened When Billy Graham came to Town.

Billy Graham stood firmly on the truth of God’s Word regarding Israel and the Jews…and we must do likewise!

President George W Bush Pays Tribute to Billy Graham

Lunch with the Rev. Billy Graham at the White House.

Lunch with the Rev. Billy Graham at the White House. PHOTO: WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY ERIC DRAPER/COURTESY GEORGE W. BUSH PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY & MUSEUM

As many know, Billy Graham had a profound impact on many US Presidents, as well as leaders around the world.  He share the love of Christ and His salvation to the most powerful people in the world.  George W Bush, our 44th President of the United States shares a tribute to Billy Graham and you can find it here:

How Billy Graham Changed My Life

Enjoy!