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2021 online sermons » Rabbi K.A. Schneider » Rabbi Schneider - Is Believing Enough?

Rabbi Schneider - Is Believing Enough?

Rabbi Schneider - Is Believing Enough?
Rabbi Schneider - Is Believing Enough?
TOPICS: The Covenants of Scripture, Faith

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. Let's begin today just by inviting Father God in, that he'll use me and then prepare you to accomplish everything that he wants to do in our lives through this broadcast.

Father God, we love you today and we worship you today. And you said if we would acknowledge you in all our ways that you would direct our paths. Father, we love you. We ask you to come in now and Father, use my ministry to build your kingdom and the lives of all your precious ones that are watching today. We love you, Father, in Jesus's name.

Let's begin. 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. once again at Mark, chapter 7: The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around Him, speaking of Jesus, when they had come from Jerusalem, and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. "For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing, get this now, hear this, the tradition of the elders".

That's a key phrase, this phrase here, the tradition of the elders, in Mark, chapter 7, verse 3. This phrase, the tradition of the elders, refers back to the time of Moses when Moses brought the 70 elders of Israel together. And what Rabbinic Jews and Orthodox Jews believe today is that Moses passed on this tradition that he received from the Father on top of Mount Sinai, called the tradition, he passed it on to the elders. Now what they believe today is that this oral law, this "tradition of the elders" helps us to better understand the written law. For example, we read in the written law about the Sabbath. Thou shall keep the Sabbath holy and not work on the Sabbath. But the question becomes, well what's work? We're not supposed to work on the Sabbath.

We read about that in the written Word of God. But then those that want to be serious about keeping a day of rest and not working then ask themselves, well what's considered work. Is it considered work if I go to the lake five miles from my home with my dog and I throw a Frisbee and play with my dog? Is that work? Or is it work if I go into my garage and I start working on my, my woodwork there because I like to, to make things out of wood? And so what Orthodox Jews today believe, and this went all the way back to the time of Jesus that I just read about in Mark, 7, is that Moses passed down to the 70 elders of Israel these specifics of how to keep the written law. And these specifics are known as, get it now, the oral law, which is referred to in the New Testament as the tradition of the elders.

Now let's look at that Jesus, this is a bit of a side note, but I just want to teach you this, let's look at what Jesus taught about this supposed oral law. Is the oral law really from God? Did Moses really receive it at Mount Sinai like the Pharisees of Jesus's day believed? Like the Orthodox Jewish community today believes? Is there this oral law that came to Moses at Mount Sinai? Let's look at what Jesus taught about it. Let's continue on. Verse number 4: and when they had come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots. This is what's considered here part of the oral law. The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, Why do Your disciples not walk according, once again oral law, tradition of the elders? They believe that this was given to Moses on Mount Sinai, passed on to the 70 elders, and then it's still in force today.

Why do they not observe, they asked Jesus, the tradition of the elders, and why do they eat the bread with impure hands, which is part of this oral law or tradition of the elders. Notice what Jesus said: Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, get this now, teaching as doctrines... In other words they're teaching this as it's, as if it's a thus saith the Lord type of word, because remember the Pharisees of Jesus's day were teaching that this, this oral law which tells the Jews, you know, not to eat with impure hands, about how to wash pots and cups. Jesus said, you're teaching this as if it's a doctrine of God, as if it's a doctrine of God when Jesus said, listen, it's just the tradition of men. So Jesus says, in verse number 7: In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men, Neglecting the commandment of God, he said, you hold to the traditions of men.

And so today one of the challenges that Orthodox Jews have with Messianic Jewish believers like myself, a Jew that believes that Jesus is the Messiah, is that we don't put weight on the oral law as they do. As a Jewish believer in Jesus, I don't put a lot of weight on this oral law, this tradition of the elders. Now I do believe that there were things that Moses did pass down, but today, as you know, over generations one story gets compounded with something else, and pretty soon it just keeps on building, and building, and building, and building. And pretty soon it becomes something that it never was in its original form. Well that was just a bit of an education that in, in, in, Orthodox Judaism today, it's not just the written law, it's not just the Ten Commandments, and it's not just the other 613. Altogether Orthodox Jews believe today that there are 613 laws in the Old Testament that, that, that Jews need to bring into their lifestyle, all that they're able to. The temple's not standing. There's no longer a priesthood. And as a result there are no longer sacrifices being offered up in Jerusalem without the main temple there and without the priesthood.

So some of those laws can't be kept until the third temple is built. But there are many, many, many, many, many, many laws that are part of the Hebrew Bible, but when Abraham came into relation with God, church, get this beloved one, he wasn't keeping any of those laws because they were not given yet. This teaches you, beloved one, that even a six year old child can come to God with a heart that's humble and sincere and ask God into his life, and enter in to a perfect relationship with God right then and there, because the Bible teaches that righteousness comes through faith. Now I'm gonna be teaching you this in the weeks ahead, but I want you to get this now. I'm gonna show you that when we get to the New Testament that the Abrahamic Covenant is still in place. I'm gonna take you in a second to Genesis, chapter 15, and Genesis, chapter 22. I'm gonna show you the foundations of the Abrahamic Covenant. When we get to the New Covenant, I'm gonna show you that the Abrahamic Covenant is still in place because Jesus fulfilled it. It's a covenant, beloved one, that is built, listen now, on faith, which I've been talking about; that Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him as righteousness.

So number one, the Abrahamic Covenant, we're studying the covenants of Scripture, we're looking at the three primary covenants, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, and the New Covenant. Number one, we're seeing Genesis, 15:26, the Abrahamic Covenant was based on faith. Secondly what I want you to hear today, is that the Abrahamic Covenant is based on a promise that God made. In other words, in Genesis, 22, we're gonna see that Abraham heard God's voice. He believed God. And so he stepped forward to offer up his only son whom he loved. And when he obeyed the voice of God by faith, God said to him, listen, because you have done this thing, I have sworn, listen now, I have sworn declares the Lord. So God made a promise. It's irrevocable. God said, Abraham because you've done this, I am declaring and swearing that I'm gonna do this thing. So secondly the Abrahamic Covenant is based on promise. It's the promise that God made to Abraham, and God said to him, Abraham, get it now, in your seed, Abraham, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.

So God made a promise. Abraham, through your seed, through your lineage I'm gonna, I'm gonna bless all the nations on the face of the earth, a promise that God made. Number one, based on faith; number two, based on the promise God had made; number three, church, the Abrahamic Covenant, get this now, as opposed to the New Covenant, which we're gonna get into next week, the Abrahamic Covenant, listen is unconditional. In other words, God promised that he was gonna do it. He said, Abraham because you've done this thing, by myself I have sworn declares the Lord, I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna bless the nations of the earth through your seed. And that seed, we read in Galatians, is Jesus. It is unconditional. God said, I'm gonna do it. Nothing's gonna stop it. Get it, it's not based on conditions.

There's nothing more that anyone needs to do to see the promise that God made to Abraham fulfilled. God swore it. He said, I'm gonna do it. And we're gonna see next week, beloved ones, when I take you through the Scriptures, that to prove that it's sovereign and unconditional that God alone is the one that does it, we're gonna go to the Book of Genesis, chapter 15, where Abraham prepares a sacrifice for the Lord. He splits the sacrifice in half. He cuts it in the middle, lays the halves of the animal in half. And as he does, he falls into a trance. And as he's in this trance state, the fire of the Lord appears and moves through the halves of the animals, right down the center. Ordinarily in a covenant, both parties would have to walk through the center of the sacrifice, meaning that in order for the covenant to stand, both parties have to do their part. The covenant's only valid when both parties fulfill their obligations to the covenant. But in the covenant that God makes with Abraham, Abraham doesn't do anything. He's asleep in a trance and he sees God himself in the form of fire move through the sacrifice one direction, and another direction. God doesn't require Abraham to do anything more. God says by myself, saith the Lord, I'm gonna do it.

As I close today, I want to make sure that you join me on next week's broadcast. We're gonna get deeper into this. The benefit for you in the most simple form is for you to understand that the covenant of love, beloved child of his, that he's made with you, it's very simple. It's based on simply believing he is who he said he is, and that he did what he said he did; simply that he's a God that loves you; that he sent Jesus on the cross to die for you to prove his love for you. And if you will simply, beloved, receive him into your life and give love back to him, he is gonna do such an amazing thing with your life, your mind can't even conceive it. I love you today. This is Rabbi Schneider saying, Shalom.
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