Rabbi Schneider - What Does Faith Require?
We're continuing today, a series that I'm calling, How Jesus, How Yeshua Completes Biblical Judaism. This is now season 3, the first episode in season 3. At the end of last season, at the end of season 2, I was focusing on the plan of salvation and I talked about, beloved ones, how the Israelites were saved in the same manner that New Testament believers are saved today. In other words, how those who were under the Mosaic Law, that often times is referred to as the Old Covenant, were saved and how does their salvation relate to how people are saved today. And what I'm discussing is that the means by which God saved Israel through the Old Covenant, is identical to how He saves believers today under the New Covenant.
In the last session of this, in season number 2, I really focused on the fact that salvation begins with election. It's rooted in God's sovereignty. God supernaturally chose Israel out of all the peoples of the earth, not because they were better, not because they kept the law, but simply because He loved them and He was keeping the oath that He swore to Abraham their forefather. I very much focused on the fact that if you know Jesus today, if you have a relationship with God the Father, it's not because you chose Him, but it's because He chose you. Jesus said flat out, point blank, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you". I'm not gonna take time to go into that now, because I spent four episodes covering this fundamental, solid rock bottom, foundation of our faith.
Listen, if we don't get this part right, if we don't understand that our salvation is rooted in God's sovereign choice of us, that we were chosen through election according to the scriptures, that it's not that we chose Him, but that He first chose us; if we don't have that foundation rooted in our lives, the rest of our theology is gonna get messed up. So if you didn't listen to season 2, I encourage you to go back and listen to all those episodes. I'm continuing today now, beloved, about the next flow of salvation. In other words, the plan of salvation, it's identical in the Tanakh or the Old Testament as it is in the New Testament. It begins with God's sovereign choice, but then it continues to flow, beloved, with what we're calling faith. In other words, when God chooses somebody, He causes faith to erupt in their lives. Faith is the gift of God. Everybody doesn't have faith.
You see Abraham in the Tanakh is called the father of believers, right? Abraham is the founder of the Jewish people and the New Testament refers to him as the forefather of us all. Why is Avraham, why is Abraham called the father of all believers? Why is he the father of all that believe? It's because, beloved ones, Abraham entered in to a relationship with God, listen now, through faith. God chose Abraham, because God chose Abraham, God spoke to him and appeared to him. And you know what? When God shows up, if God speaks to you, if you experience His power in an unusual way, automatically the result of that, the fruit of that will be faith. The scripture says, "In the day of God's power man is made willing". The point is, is that when the Lord reveals Himself to you in a powerful way, you will automatically believe. Just like in heaven, there's no one in heaven that won't be involuntarily praising God with their whole heart. Why? Because they're in the atmosphere of heaven.
When the Lord speaks, when the Lord shows up, when the Lord reveals Himself to us by His Spirit, automatically faith is a result of that. Let's explore this going back to the Torah in the life of Avraham, Abraham the father of us all. Then we'll continue to take this, this concept and we'll bring it into the Brit Chadashah, the New Testament. I'm gonna go first of all to the book of Bereshit, the book of Genesis. I'm gonna read now chapter number 15, verses number 5 and 6. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but beloved, the Word of the Lord abides forever. Hear the Word of God. The Lord is speaking to Abraham. "And He took him outside and said, 'Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your descendants be.' Then he," speaking of Abraham, "Then he believed in the Lord; and He," meaning God, "reckoned it to him as righteousness".
So let's think about this again. The Lord speaks to Avraham. The Lord speaks to Abraham. Abraham's response to the Lord speaking to him, Abraham believed. When the power of God hits us, when we hear the voice of God and we know we're hearing the voice of God, which was what was happening right here with Abraham, our response will be faith, because God's power, the source of life that hits our heart and penetrates our life through the spirit, instills faith. So Abraham's response to God speaking to him was that he believed God and listen very carefully beloved church, the scripture says, "When he believed the Lord it was counted to him as righteousness". Notice now Abraham's faith, which was actually a gift from God; God gave Abraham the faith, because God appeared to him and spoke to him. And then when Abraham believed, because of the faith that God gave him, it was then counted to him as righteousness.
Now what is righteousness? Righteousness is simply to be made right with God. So how did Abraham become made right with God? Was it because he kept the law? Absolutely not, there was no law yet, right? Was it because of his good deeds? No, it was because, listen beloved, he believed God. Listen again, Genesis 15:6, "Then he believed in the Lord; and He," God, "reckoned it to him as righteousness". We're looking at the plan of salvation. What does the New Testament teach us? "That by grace you've been saved, listen now, through faith and the faith is not of yourself". We're looking at Ephesians chapter 2 now. "It is the gift of God". The same thing happened in Abraham's life. Listen again, the book of Ephesians, why don't we go there together. I'm gonna go to the book of Ephesians chapter number 2 and we're gonna be looking there at verse number 8. The grass withers, once again, the flowers fade, but the Word of the Lord abides forever. "For by grace you've been saved through faith". How are we saved? We're saved through faith. Where does faith come from? It's given to us as a gift.
When God chooses somebody He instills faith within them, He imparts it to them. Listen again, "For by grace you've been saved through faith and that is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one should boast". Now when does faith come once again? Faith comes when God imparts it. And how does God impart faith to us? Listen church, He imparts it through what the scripture calls revelation. Think about Peter. The Lord said to Peter, "Peter who do they say that I am"? Peter said, "Some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah". And then Yeshua said to Peter, "But Peter who do you say I am"? And Peter's reply is, "You are the Christ, You're of the anointed one, You're the Messiah the Son of the living God". You know what Yeshua's response to Peter was after that? The Lord said to him, "Blessed art thou Simon son of John, for flesh and blood has not," listen, "revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven".
Peter, Cephas he's often called, entered into a living relationship with God, because he received, listen, revelation. He knew who Yeshua was. And when Peter declared, "You're the Messiah, You're the Christ, You're the Son of the living God," Yeshua's response back to him was, "You're blessed, flesh and blood didn't reveal this to you Peter. You didn't know this by your own mind. You didn't know this through your own meditation". Jesus said, "No one can come to me unless the Father draws them". The point that I'm wanting to impress upon your heart, beloved one, is how much God loves you. I want you to understand that you are who you are and you are where you are, because the Father loved you and chose you before the foundation of the world. And because He loved you and chose you, He instilled faith in your heart and that faith that has been given to you as the gift of God is what will always keep you connected to your Creator. Jesus said, "Guard your heart. Guard your faith". We need to be very careful, beloved, that we guard the faith that the Lord has given us. And we need to step out on the faith that God has given us.
Let's go back to Avraham, we began here with the life of Abraham, the father of us all, the father of all believers. The Lord spoke to him. The Lord came to him and as a result of Abraham knowing that it was the God of heaven that had appeared to him and spoke to him, what did Abraham do? He left his home, he left his relatives, to follow God, to follow Hashem to a place that he didn't even know where it was yet. In other words, his salvation was given to him as a free gift through faith, but listen, there was a great cost, because Abraham had to be obedient to God through the faith that was given. So even though our faith is given to us as a gift, because God loves us, still we are required, beloved ones, listen now, to step out on faith, to step out in faith. Faith is risk. In other words, faith involves believing God to do something that we've not yet seen.
The scripture says, "We're not believing God for what He's already done, because that's not faith. We believe God for what is not yet seen". Faith is the conviction of things not seen. We believe there's more. We believe that we can experience God's fullness and His glory in a real powerful way. We believe that we can have fullness of joy. We believe we can have peace. We believe we enter into freedom and so we keep seeking God, because He said, "If you seek Me," He said, "You'll find me when you seek for Me with all your heart". Because we have faith we continue to knock, we continue to search, we continue to obey; Not because we're trying to earn our salvation, we're already saved by His grace through faith. But we're seeking Him, beloved, because we want to experience more of Him. And in order to experience more of Him we must have faith. The Bible says, listen, the Bible says, "No man can please God without faith, because those that please God," the book of Hebrews tells us, "must believe that He is," listen now, "and that He's a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him".
So God has given us precious faith as a gift and now it's our responsibility, just like it was Abraham's responsibility, that because we have faith, because we believe there is a God, because we know that we've been created by a Creator, because we believe that God is life, that God is good, that God is love, that God is power, that in Him there is pleasures forever more, because we believe those things, because somehow God has made us know; What do we do now? We step out in faith, put Him first in our lives, make Him Lord in our lives, begin to restrict what our eyes look at. We begin to restrict what our ears listen to. We begin to restrict what type of relationships we'll be involved in, because the scripture says, "Straight and narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it".
So because we have faith, we begin to bring our life into alignment, because Jesus said, "If you obey Me, I'm gonna disclose Myself to you and My Father and I will come and make Our home with you". So because we believe this is possible, that it's possible to have Jesus reveal Himself to us in ever greater ways; because we believe that we can experience the reality of God's presence indwelling our spirits and our hearts, because we believe, what do we do? We step out in faith to obey Him. We step out in faith to create time every day where we just spend time alone with God. We spend time every day talking to Him. We talk to Him like He's our best friend. Why do we do these things? Because we believe that He is and that He's a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.
So you see faith and action work together. They're not two different things. James tells us, "I'll show you my faith by my works". In other words, true godliness, true Holy Spirit inspired living, involves a life of seeking Jesus, putting Him first, yielding to His Lordship, submitting ourselves to the cross and we do this not because we're trying to earn our salvation, nobody ever earned their salvation. Israel was not saved, beloved, in the Tanakh, in the Old Testament, because they kept the law. Israel was God's people before they had a law. Because they were God's people, God gave them the law. Listen, when God delivered Israel out of Egypt, when He parted the sea, did He do that because Israel was keeping the law? Absolutely not. They didn't even have the law. God delivered Israel out of Egypt, why? Because He chose them and because He loved them.
Now listen what we read about that in scripture for example. I'm looking now at the book of Exodus, chapter 14 verse 31, showing you that when God chooses us He instills faith and because we have faith we step out in that now and as we do we begin to experience more and more of Him. We read in the Torah, in the book of Exodus chapter 14 verse 31, that after God had parted the Red Sea, brought Israel through it and then drowned all the Egyptians when the Egyptians tried to follow. This is what is recorded in the Torah. Once again, Exodus 14, verse 31. "When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses".
And so once again, this was before the law was given. What happened? God chose Israel. Israel because they were chosen, experienced God's power, His reality and when they experienced God's power and reality, they believed in Him and they continued to follow Him into the wilderness. Let me ask you today beloved child of God, do you believe that He is? Do you believe that God created you, that He is the only one that really knows who you are? And only you can know who you really are when you know Him, because if He created us we can really only know who we are when we find out what He thinks of us, right? It doesn't matter what anybody else thinks of us.
If we were created by God and for God, the only way we're gonna know who we are is to know ourselves in Him, to Him and through Him. If you believe that, then what God wants to do today is to bring that point into clarity in your heart and mind right now beloved one, so that you will begin to alter your lifestyle to shift that atmosphere around your life, that you can get into agreement with God and discover Him and discover your identity and destiny in Him in a way that you never have before. It's all possible, beloved, because He loves you and chose you. He gave you the faith to bring you to this moment right now and now He's asking you to activate yourself in that faith, by making a decision to follow Him.
Some of you today need to change some relationships in your life. You're bound to unbelievers in an intimate way. We need to love everybody, but the Bibles says that light has nothing in common with darkness. Your best friends should not be people that aren't living for Jesus. God is speaking to some of you right now. If you're in close partnership in life with people that don't believe in Him, God's calling you to shift those relationships beloved and get in alignment with the community of believers, surround yourself with God's people. When two or three are in agreement God moves. Some of you I just heard God say, need to change your lifestyle as it comes to your appetite, your diet. I just saw in my mind's eye, there's some people that really are struggling with great obesity and God is saying to you now, "I love you and the devil is destroying you through lusting after food".
And I know for some people this is a real addiction. But I want you to know, satisfaction can never be found in what we eat. All of us know that. The first bite tastes good, but if we keep eating when it's time to stop, the only thing that we're gonna have after we're done eating is a feeling of death, a feeling of ill health and then struggle with all types of health problems. If you believe that God created you, that He is really the only source of true satisfaction, you need to respond to that beloved, by putting to death the deeds of the flesh, by mastering your appetites and fasting from food. I'm not saying don't eat at all. I'm saying fasting from lusting after food, to bring your diet under control. I know it's gonna be hard, but if you wait on God you know what's gonna happen? You're gonna receive an infilling of His Spirit. He's gonna strengthen you in the Spirit.
There's others of you, teenagers today, you need to change some of the things that you're doing. I just want us to understand today beloved, if we believe, we're gonna have the faith to know, listen according to the book of Hebrews, that He's a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. As you and I step out in faith to bring our life into alignment with the truths of God's Word, leading Godly lifestyles, putting Him first, subjecting our self to His truth, our emotions, our ego, all those things and choose Him; What's gonna happen beloved, is we're gonna enter deeper and deeper into the realm of eternity. We're gonna discover Jesus in eternal life and we're gonna be divinely satisfied, set free, and happy.