“He declares his word to Jacob,
His statutes and rules to Israel.”
This Psalm was part of my bible plan. I think it is very interesting because it flies in the face of the common way of thinking. Let me put two verses together first then expand.
Psalm 147:19-20 He declares his word to Jacob, his statues and rules to Israel. He has not dealt this with any other nation; they do not know his rules. Praise the Lord!
This makes it evident that Israel is special. Let’s take a look at another passage.
John 4:19-26 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is not here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
So, Jesus told the lady that her religion was false, she was worshiping something she didn’t even know. However, salvation comes from the Jews. That message, the written word of God, was at that time the Law and the Prophets. In them, they pointed to salvation that comes through the Hebrew nation, through the Messiah. Jesus is that person. All other religions are false. Jesus is truth.
Let’s look at a couple more passages.
Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among me by which we must be saved.”
Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Philippians 2:5-11 Have this in mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
There are lots more like this. The point is that salvation is only through the Jews, none other. That means that all other religions are false. If they aren’t truth, then they are a lie. And if they are a lie, then who is their author? The father of lies, Satan himself (John 8:44).
That means that the Jews have been granted a special privilege, does it not? Through them is the opportunity of salvation. Here’s the hard truth, if no one has heard of the Jews, there is no chance for salvation. None. Let’s take that even further. There is more than just being Jewish.
Romans 9:6-8 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.
Who are the children of the promise? Those who have faith.
Genesis 15:6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Galatians 3:11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Hebrews 10:38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”
John 6:29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
No faith, no salvation. Where does faith come from?
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Now, I could go on for a long time in regarding faith as a gift. Read Romans 5 for today’s homework assignment. The bottom line is that salvation is possible only through the Jews through which Jesus came and through faith in him alone. And that, my friends, is a free gift of God who bestows it upon whom he pleases (see Romans 9).
There are LOTS of people who vehemently argue that I am wrong. They call me a “Calvinist” with a sneer dripping with scorn. So be it. In all fairness, none of this makes sense if you believe that there is good within a person, good that manifests itself through works, that is able to outweigh his/her bad deeds. It certainly doesn’t make sense if you reject God outright.
Who’s right? In the end, we will all find out, unless the atheists are right. In that case, no one will know. If they aren’t, then all of us will know for certain. That being the case, the bible is pretty clear about mankind’s guilt. But what it says requires people to do things they don’t want to do. People prefer their sinful behavior over repentance and worship of God through our Savior Jesus. Others feel differently.
Ephesians 1:3-14 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Father, praise be your holy name! This is hard teaching, but as Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers