Rabbi Schneider - What Gets Us Into Heaven?
I am concluding today this expositional series on The Covenants of Scripture. You all that have been with me these last five weeks now, I know that you've got this now; the relationship between the Abrahamic, Mosaic and New Covenants. We're gonna head right today into the home stretch of the series. We're going to the Book of Galatians because in the Book of Galatians, chapter number 3, Paul synchronizes for us how the Abrahamic, Mosaic and New Covenants relate together and how we relate to each one of those covenants as believers today.
So let's turn our attention to the Word of God. If you've got your Bible out, let's go there together. I'm beginning today, Galatians, chapter 3. I'm gonna pick up where I left off last week, verse number 5, of Galatians, 3. Hear the Word of God. Paul says this: So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? So what are the works of the Law? The works of the Law, listen to me, are the Mosaic Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant is where the law comes from. So what Paul is saying to these believers in Galatia is they did not receive the Spirit. They did not experience miracles through the law. It wasn't through doing the works of the law that they saw these things, but rather it was by the Spirit, listen now, that they received through faith. They didn't receive the Spirit by performing the works of the law, did they? They receive the Spirit when they very simply put their faith in Jesus.
So Paul now is coming against this doctrine that was circulating in the church of Galatia that believing in Jesus was good, but we needed to add to it, they were teaching, the works of the law. Paul is saying no, you don't add the works of the law to your faith in Jesus. It's Jesus only, and it's Jesus alone. The law has its place. The law is holy, spiritual, righteous and good. And Paul said, it's good when used rightly, when it's used profitably. The law can enlighten us against of spiritual realities, not against the law enlightens us about spiritual realities. And when we relate to it in the Spirit, looking for prophetic application, the law helps us as believers. But to relate to the law in terms of trying to obey it to earn favor with God is a total wrong approach and it will end up bringing a curse upon us.
So let's continue. Verse number 6: Even so, so now Paul is, is comparing Abraham with the Mosaic Law. Again, Abraham entered into a covenant with the Lord apart from the Mosaic Law because the Mosaic Law hadn't been given yet. The Mosaic Law came after Abraham died. So listen what Paul says going back to Abraham: Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteous. So here Paul is quoting from the Book of Genesis, chapter 15. Abraham entered into this relationship with God apart from the works of the law. The law hadn't been given. He entered into it by faith. Now I've been making the point that real faith translates into action. James said this: faith without works is dead. But the action is not the works of the law. It's just obeying the Spirit. It's obeying the Word. It's obeying what God is saying.
Let's continue on. God wants us to hear and obey. That's what the Hebrew word Shema is. Many of you have heard the Hebrew word Shema. "Shema Israel, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad". Hear, oh Israel, it's translated, the Lord is God. The Lord is one. Notice that here Shema, in, in, in the Jewish mind that word Shema, that Hebrew word Shema implies a hearing that translates into doing. So we're not talking about faith apart from action, we're talking about a living faith that moves us to obey and to follow him.
Let's continue in verse number 7: Therefore, be sure it is by those who are of faith who are the sons of Abraham. Remember, not the ones that are keeping the law. I remember ministering in a Messianic congregation years ago and they had a Gentile pastor, you know, this guy that had become so romanced by Judaism that, you know, he completely lost his way in the faith. And what he was teaching this congregation was that when Jesus said learn of me, remember Jesus said this in the gospels. Jesus said, learn of me for my yoke is easy, Jesus said, and my burden is light. Take of me and you'll find rest for your souls.
And what this Gentile pastor that was in love with Judaism was teaching these Christians, he was teaching them that the yoke that Jesus was referring to was the yoke of the Mosaic Law, which was absolutely heretical theology. And yet it exists in the church today. And those of you that are learning about the Jewish roots of your faith, I just wanted to warn you about this so that if you go on-line and start researching the Jewish roots of your faith and Messianic ministries, when you come into contact with teaching like this, you'll know how to reject it because it doesn't line up with the Word of God. This same truth is illustrated in Romans, chapter 7. Paul illustrates the relationship to the law. He's speaking to Israel. He says it's like a woman that is married to a man, and as long as she's married to that man, she's bound to that man. But if that man dies, if her husband dies, she's free to marry another. Paul said that's what it was like to you. You were married to the law until Jesus came. But now that Jesus came and set us free from the law, we're not married to the law anymore, we're married to Jesus.
Let's continue on. Verse number 8: The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Gospel beforehand to Abraham... Notice that I said the New Covenant is built upon the Abrahamic Covenant. You see it here again. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Gospel beforehand to Abraham saying, All the nations will be blessed in you. So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. Amen. Notice that it's all about faith here, real faith not passive faith, real living faith. You believe in God. You love God. You believe that he is and that he's a rewarder of those that seek him. And so you're pursuing him passionately. This is a real relationship with God; not the Mosaic Law, this passionate pursuit of God. And then when we read the whole Word of God including the Mosaic Law, we're able to understand what place all the principles and teachings of God have in our life. But none of them become the conditions by which we gain God's favor by.
Let's continue on. Verse 10: For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; as it is written, Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law to perform them. Once again, because the only way you could be blessed by the law, the Mosaic Law, is you, if you kept all the commandments and all the statutes. So Paul says, if you try to approach God on the basis of the law or if you're trying to mix the Mosaic Law with your faith in Christ, you're gonna be cursed because you can't keep the Mosaic Law. You're gonna get what the Mosaic Law says will come upon you if you don't keep it, and that's a curse. Continuing on, verse number 11: Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; he says on the other hand listen now, The righteous man shall live by faith. He's saying no, your, the Mosaic Law's not gonna work. Keep your eye on Jesus. Keep your eye on faith.
Christ, in verse 13, redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us. In verse number 14: in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Once again, many of you are watching my show because you love the Jewish roots of your faith. Be careful of teaching that tries to lure you back into keeping the law. You can learn from the law. It can become a prophetic teacher so that you're looking to the law and saying how does this help me today as I'm being led by the Spirit? Very quick example, one of the principles in the law was God told the children of Israel to build a precipice or a fence around the roof of their home. So someone that wanted to live by all the statutes and all the commandments of the Mosaic Law today, they would have to build a fence or a precipice around the roof of their home. But that is absolutely not the intent. The intent was that in the days that the Old Testament was written, roofs were, homes rather were built with flat roofs.
And people would literally be up playing on the roof of the home. The kids would be playing up there. There would be entertainment going on up there. The families would be getting together up there. And because God is such a personal God and cares so deeply about us and is so involved in our families, he instructed them to build a fence around the roof of their home so that someone wouldn't fall off the roof and get hurt. That's the point. Today, the way to view that principle is wow, God really wants me to safeguard my property. So if you live in a climate where, you know, it's icy outside in the winter and you've got people that are walking up your driveway or your front steps, you would apply the principle of the law, not the letter of it, but the principle of it by putting salt down on your driveway or your steps. So we look for the prophetic principles of the law. We look for the spiritual application, but we don't live by the letter of it and we don't use it as a way to try to stand before God righteously. I hope everyone's getting my point.
Let's continue on in verse number 15: Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man's covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. Now, verse 16, the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, And to seeds, as referring to many, but rather to one, And to your seed, that is, Christ. What Paul's referring to here is that the Lord said to Abraham in Genesis, chapter number 22, Abraham, in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. The point, beloved one, that Paul's making here is that God didn't say to Abraham, in your seeds all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. But he said, in your seed, singular, and the seed Paul was speaking of here is Jesus.
Let's continue on. Verse number 17: What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, after Abraham, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. The promise is that God said, I'm gonna bless all the nations of the earth through Abraham's seed, through Jesus. Paul was making the distinction here that the Mosaic Law never was supposed to superseded the Abrahamic Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant never was supposed to supersede the Abrahamic Covenant. The Abrahamic Covenant is the primary covenant. Now Paul goes on to tell us then if the Mosaic Covenant wasn't given to supersede the Abrahamic Covenant, Paul answers the question, then why was the Mosaic Covenant given.
Let's continue on. Verse number 19: Why the Law then? It was added, Paul said, because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, listen now, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. So once again, Paul said the law was given because of sin. The law was given to hold Israel in place until the fulfillment of the Mosaic Covenant... Let me say that again. The law was given to hold the Abrahamic Covenant in place until the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant, who is Jesus, came. So the law, Paul is saying, was a temporary, administrative covenant to hold the Abrahamic Covenant in place until Jesus could come. Let me read that one more time. I know I'm going fast. That's why you can get the whole series and really study it out. Listen again: Why the Law then? Verse 19, It was added because of transgressions. And then he says, continues on here, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.
Now let's skip down to verse number 21: Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? What was the promise of God to Abraham? Abraham, in your seed, it's a promise, all the nations of the earth are gonna be blessed. So once again, Paul was trying to help believers understand the relationship between the Mosaic Law and the Abrahamic Covenant. So Paul was saying is the Mosaic Law then contrary because it's a little confusing what you're saying because it sounds like you're putting down the law. So is it contrary? Let's hear what Paul says: Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? Then he says: May it never be! For if the law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on the law. But the Scripture, here it is, but the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those that believe. In other words, Paul's saying, no, but the law shut up everybody under sin. It convicted mankind of their inability to fully live the law out so that when the promise of the Abrahamic Covenant, who is Jesus, came people would be prepared to receive him. Did you get that?
Let's continue on: Before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Why, because they were focused on the law. But the faith was coming. Jesus was coming. The law was preparing them for Jesus.
Let's continue on: Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come we are no longer under a tutor. But we have become the sons of God through faith in Christ. And so I hope you're seeing here the relationship, how God used each specific covenant, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, and the New Covenant, and he put them into different times in history to bring us to the fulfillment of it all, which is Christ Jesus. The Bible says in the New Testament, but when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a virgin into the world to die for our sins and save us by faith through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Paul tells us in the Book of Titus, it's not by deeds of righteousness which we have done, referring back to the Mosaic Law, but according to his mercy through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit in our life.
Well, you that have been tuned in with me over these last five weeks, you know enough about this, you could hold a class on this yourself, couldn't you? Maybe you should go to your office this week and ask for a little conference room that you can use to hold a little Bible study. Gather all the people into the office and teach them about the Abrahamic, Mosaic and the New Covenants. Let's review, beloved ones, as we get ready to close here today. We began this series, again five weeks ago, talking about the Abrahamic Covenant. We said that the Abrahamic Covenant was a permanent covenant, still in place. Paul was still speaking about it here. In fact, he ends this chapter in Galatians by, by telling us that if you belong to Christ, in verse number 29, I love it, Galatians, 3:29, he said: And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to the promise, because Abraham is the father of all believers, and through his seed Jesus came.
Isn't that awesome, that you and I are like this with Abraham today, and that the blessing that God spoke to Abraham has come upon us, his church, through Jesus. So the Abrahamic Covenant was permanent. It was the foundation through which Jesus came into the world from. Number two, we said that the Abrahamic Covenant was based on faith. Genesis, 15:26, Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteous. We also talked about the fact that when Abraham went to sacrifice his son, God made a promise, Genesis, 22. God said, Abraham, by myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, that in you and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. God made a promise. It is unconditional and irrevocable, so that the Abrahamic Covenant was based on an unconditional promise of God.
Let's continue on with the Mosaic Covenant. Paul tells us once again in the Book of Galatians the Mosaic Covenant was given because of transgression. Listen, verse 19: Why the Law then? It was added because of transgression... The Mosaic Covenant, beloved ones, was designed to hold Israel as a nation in place so that they totally didn't disband from everything that God had been training them in so they could be in place when Jesus would arise from their midst. But once Jesus came, Paul tells us that the Mosaic Covenant no longer should hold the same place in our lives. It was a tutor, Paul said, to prepare us to receive Jesus. I think the thing that I want you to be encouraged about and to take home today is how important it is to simply walk with God by trusting him, by surrendering to him like Abraham did. When God showed up in Abraham's life, when Abraham perceived that God was speaking to him, Abraham surrendered. Abraham trusted. Abraham believed. And look what became of him. God blessed him. God said to him, Abraham, your reward is gonna be exceedingly great.
And it's interesting, God said to him, and I love this, he said to him, I am your exceedingly great reward. The same is true of you, beloved one. Your reward is God himself. God himself is your reward. What more could we desire? The fountain of living water, the Prince of Peace, Jesus himself is our reward; unspeakable joy, unspeakable peace, eternal life, power, the joy that comes from knowing God. Beloved, all these things are entered into, listen to me now, by faith. I want to ask you right now, if you're looking to relate to God by your own righteousness, if there are certain things that you've been doing that you think are giving you favor before God, I want to ask you, instead, beloved one, simply trust him. Believe that he loves you. When you sense him speaking to you, listen and obey. You'll be blessed. This is the way of the Abrahamic and the New Covenant. This is Rabbi Schneider saying I love you and Shalom.