Rabbi Schneider — The Abrahamic Covenant
God bless you, and Shalom, beloved ones. My name's Rabbi Schneider. Welcome today to Discovering the Jewish Jesus. I'm excited today. We're gonna take a journey into Scripture looking at the covenants Father God has made with his people.
I'm calling this series The Covenants of Scripture. Now this series is a little bit more intellectual and doctrinal than a lot of the things that I've brought to you before, but it will really help you to understand how the whole Bible fits together.
I think you're gonna gain information about how the Old and New Testaments fit together like a hand in a glove as we examine, beloved ones, the three primary Scriptures in the Word of God, both the Old and New Testaments.
We're gonna be looking at, listen now, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, and the New Covenant. These are the primary covenants in the Bible. Now there are other covenants, but these three, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, and the New Covenant are the primary covenants that God has built his relationship with his people upon.
We'll begin now with the Abrahamic Covenant. Now I want you to understand, the Abrahamic Covenant was made with Abraham, and came upon all believers in Jesus, get this now, as a result of Abraham coming into a relationship with God by faith before there was any law.
So let me say that again. In the Book of Galatians, we read that the blessing of Abraham has come upon all believers in Christ Jesus. And the covenant that came into Abraham's life was based on his faith. God spoke to him and he believed. And because he believed, the Bible says, we're gonna look at this, it was counted to him as righteous.
In other words, God looked at Abraham as a righteous man, a man that was right with him, that's what righteousness means, someone that's right with God, because Abraham believed God. Now when Abraham believed God, get this, church, he did it before there was any law, before there was any Torah, before there was any written or oral law.
I'm gonna explain all this a little bit later in the broadcast today. It was based only on faith. God spoke to Abraham and Abraham believed God, and God said it was counted to him as righteous.
Now listen to this. When Abraham believed God, when Abraham heard God's voice and believed, listen now, his faith translated, get this now, into action. So we read, for example, in the Book of James that real faith corresponds to action.
In other words, sometimes in the Christian faith people have a theology of faith but they think that just believing the right things is enough. But biblically speaking, real faith as is evidenced all the way back to the life of Abraham, always correlates to action. So James said, you show me your faith without your works, he said, but I'm gonna show you my faith by my works, James said, because faith without works is dead.
In other words, when we really believe God, which is the basis that we enter into a relationship with him, our belief is gonna translate into action. So let's consider this a little further.
We're talking about the same principles, but we're gonna dissect them a little bit. I said that Abraham believed God, beginning in Genesis, 15, and then we see it for the Scriptures that we're gonna look at today. Then we'll also look at Genesis, 22, and Abraham's faith then brought him into intimacy with the Lord.
Now hear what I'm saying to you. When we study most of the Torah, most of the Torah deals with Israel, listen now, after they'd received the law. In other words, God calls Israel to be his people, and then he brings them out of Egypt to Mount Sinai, where he gives them the law, the Ten Commandments, and then through most of the what we call the Torah or the Pentateuch, the first five books of our Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, what we see is the laws of God and Israel then walking in these laws and God holding them accountable to walk in the laws. But Abraham, listen now, Abraham had a relationship with God before the laws ever came.
In other words, Abraham was not with Israel when they went to Mount Sinai. Abraham was not alive during the time of Moses. There was no law when Abraham entered into right relationship with God. There was neither a written law, listen, that's the written Word of God that we find once again in the beginning to be revealed when God brings Israel to Mount Sinai in Exodus, and then it continues in Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
There was no written law. Neither was there, get this now, within Israel's history an oral law. Now I know that when I speak that term oral law that some of us don't know exactly what that means. Listen very carefully. This is fascinating.
Rabbinic Judaism today as well as the Pharisees of Jesus's day believed both in the written law of God, which once again is contained in the Old Testament, as well as, get it now, an oral law.
Now the oral law according to the Jewish people of Jesus's day and Rabbinic Judaism today was supposedly, get this now, a law that Moses received when he was on top of Mount Sinai during that same point in history where he received the Ten Commandments, which were part of the written law. But what the oral law teaches, what people that believe in the oral law believe is that Moses didn't just receive on top of Mount Sinai the written law, but he also received many more laws people believe that he didn't write down.
Rather than writing them down, they believe, Morris, Moses passed them down orally, first to the 70 elders of Israel, and then the 70 elders of Israel passed it on. And it was then passed down to each succeeding generation. Eventually Rabbinic Judaism today teaches that this oral law was written down in what is called the Mishnah, and then the commentary on it called the Talmud.
Today when Rabbis are preparing for the Rabbinate when they are at Rabbinical School, they study much of the oral law, not just the written law, but they spend a lot of time studying the oral law. Now let's take a look at Mark, chapter 7. It's gonna help you to understand a little bit further what I'm referring to when I speak of this oral law.
Again, we're speaking here of the Abrahamic Covenant and I'm just making the point that Abraham entered into this relationship with God before there was a law, either written or oral. This is fascinating stuff. I hope you enjoy it. It's a bit informative, but there is an application for your life that we're gonna get to today.