Aren't we just engrafted onto the Jews? Aren't we to keep their traditions and customs?
I came across this question recently from a friend, and I was shocked that anyone would think this way.
I can understand where this misconception came from with many of the prominent preachers telling us that we must go back to our Jewish roots, that we must wear a Tallit, a prayer shawl, when we pray.
I've heard a well-known preacher insist that without the Tallit, the woman with the issue of blood would have never been healed. It wasn't by Jesus' Tallit that the woman was healed. It was because of the compassion of Jesus.
What about the ones that tell us that God won't help us unless we give in the Jewish holy day offerings, such as Passover? Urging us give money for atonement offerings? By giving in an atonement offering, we are saying that Jesus' death, burial and resurrection wasn't enough to save us all from Hell.
Everyone needs Jesus, even those of the Jewish faith. They will not automatically go to Heaven because they are born Jewish.
God sent Jesus to fulfill the requirements of the law for us, so that we wouldn't have to because He knew we couldn't. Once we accept Jesus and that He died for the punishment for all our sins and that God raised Him from the dead, we are in Christ.
Once we are in Christ, we are no longer Jew or Greek, male or female (Galatians 3:28). We are all on equal footing. We are all kings and priests through Christ Jesus' shed blood (Revelation 1:6). We are all a part of the family of God.
People are still putting us under the Old Testament laws by telling us that we must obey every commandment in the Old and New Testaments.
We are not saved by keeping the law. We are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:5), by the shed blood of Jesus, which makes us righteous.
Guess what happens when we walk in grace? When we receive God's grace in our lives? We end up fulfilling the law with no effort, with no toil, with no pain.
Jesus died for our sins--past, present and future. Not until we sin again. No, the blood of Jesus is continually cleansing us (I John 1:7).
This is where so many people miss it. They think we are only cleansed until we sin again. No, that is like saying whenever anyone sins in the whole world, we have to find Jesus and re-crucify Him. Through Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross, once we have accepted what Jesus did for us, His blood continually cleanses us.
What if we sin? We tell God we're sorry and move on. Don't dwell on it. Many Christians today are sin-minded instead of conscious of what Jesus did for them on the cross.
Instead of being conscious of our sins, which Jesus already bore on the cross, we need to take the focus off ourselves and put it on Jesus. What He did is so much more important.
When we follow the Jewish traditions of atonement, or customs, they are all about us and what we have to do to be saved. The focus is on us doing the work.
However it is not about us. It is about Christ and His sacrifice for us. That must become the focus of our lives.
In the wilderness, snakes bite the children of Israel. God told Moses to raise a brass serpent. Whoever looked at the serpent, lived. Whoever didn't, died (Numbers 21:8-9)
Jesus is our bronze serpent. If we look upon Him, we live. If we take our eyes off Him, we will live a miserable, dead existence, like most Believers do today.
They think they are happy, attending their dead church services, working their dead-end jobs to make ends meet, doing their Christian duties, but they are focused on themselves and their sin.
They are only one step up from a sinner. They are saved. They are going to Heaven, but they are miserable all the way there. They are not tapping into all that God has provided for them and wants them to have here on Earth. The health and prosperity of their souls, minds and pocket books (III John 2).
They cannot fulfill the assignments on their lives without tapping into the resources God has made available to them.
The reason we are on this planet is to fulfill our destinies, the assignment God put on our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). It is not about performing rituals and obeying traditions. It is about doing what Jesus did on this Earth. It is about taking our abilities and doing what God called us to do.
What God calls us to do is never selfish. It always involves us presenting the Gospel to others so that they can receive the Truth of Jesus Christ.
We have a surge of athletes giving glory to God on television after games. We have actors and musicians mentioning God at television award shows. This is only going to increase as time goes on, I suspect, as more accept Christ.
We must take our eyes off of traditions and rituals and instead focus solely on Jesus, the only acceptable Sacrifice. He died so that we might have life.
Thinking we can keep the law and earn our way to Heaven is death. The more we try to keep the law, the more we fail.
Therefore we do not live under the law but under grace. Grace is the only way to fulfill the law.
We cannot do anything to please God on our own. We cannot love on our own. We cannot be kind on our own. We cannot be good on our own. We are not capable of doing anything good on our own (John 15:5).
We must have God's love and grace flowing through us in order for us to be kind, loving and considerate. We have to draw from His resources not ours.
Are we engrafted onto the Jews when we become saved? No. We are engrafted into the family of God, adopted into His family (Ephesians 1:5).
Does that mean we must follow the traditions of the Jews? No, because traditional Jews haven't come to the realization of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who is the only way to Heaven.
To follow traditions and ritual that negate the need for Jesus, that don't center around Jesus, is like saying He doesn't exist and He does. He died for us. He took our sins, sickness, poverty and pain. He rose from the dead.
Now which would you rather live under grace? Or the law?
Annagail Lynes is a published author, pharmacy technician and starting her business as a life coach. Her work has been published in 21st Century, SeaLetter, Christian Home and School, You! and many more online and offline publications.
To learn more about her, go to coachannagail.com
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