The Salvation of the Jews: Introduction

jewish_starSo we’ve covered Exile and Repentance in the last series, discussing how the Old Testament (or First Testament) led up to the events of Pentecost and the coming of the Kingdom. Hopefully, we gained a better sense of how the Jews of NT times reacted to the gospel and the coming of the Messiah.

Before that, in the How to Study the Bible series, we covered the covenants and how they connect with each other. From Abraham on, each covenant built on the covenant that preceded. The covenants are like Russian dolls, so that each new covenant contains the preceding covenants, but the preceding covenants re-envisioned in light of God’s new covenant. After all, each covenant is a step in God’s self-revelation to mankind. Each covenant reveals more about God and helps us to see the earlier covenants in a clearer light.

I now want to consider the nature of salvation pre-Jesus. Maybe we’ll talk about the salvation of the Jews post-Jesus as well, but as hard as that question is, their salvation from Abraham until Jesus is harder.

At first, the question might seem a bit pointless. After all, Jesus came 2,000 years ago. Why does it matter how the Jews were saved before then? Isn’t today what matters?

RussiandollsAnd, indeed, it is — but in a world of Russian-doll covenants that build on each other, how can we understand the Christian covenant if we don’t understand the covenants that went before?

My youngest son, as a teenager, had the annoying habit of joining me and his brothers to watch a TV program with only 5 minutes left in the show. He would routinely insist that we pause the program and catch him up. At least he knew that, having started with only 5 minutes to go, he needed to be caught up.

Most Christians are like the person who shows up with only 5 minutes to go only to begin explaining to those present what’s about to happen and why, without bothering to get caught up. That is, we’re opinionated about things we really don’t understand, but figure that since we weren’t there, nothing important could have happened.

We’re really quite full of ourselves — insisting that we’re “New Testament Christians” — as though this is a superior breed, above all others by virtue of our ignorance of the First Testament.

Now, I say all this to criticize myself especially. I mean, I’m 61 years old and just now catching on. So I’m a bit of a slow study. But slowly … very slowly … I’m beginning to realize how you really can’t understand the Russian doll on the outside without first understanding the Russian dolls on the inside.

PS — Some theologians have lately taken to calling the Old Testament the “First Testament,” to avoid any implication that the Old Testament is obsolete and meaningless. It seems like a good idea to me — because we really do treat the “Old” in “Old Testament” as meaning “obsolete” or “replaced.” And it’s not. I’ll sometimes use “First Testament” just to remind the readers that the Old Testament still matters. In fact, Paul was speaking of the First Testament when he wrote,

(2Ti 3:14-17 NIV)  14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,  15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

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About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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10 Responses to The Salvation of the Jews: Introduction

  1. Price says:

    Should be interesting !

  2. I like ‘First Testament’! As you said, ‘Old Testament’ makes it seem out dated, at least in our ‘throw away’ society that has little to no sense of history, ‘Hebrew Bible’ makes it sound as if it is only for the Hebrews.

    ‘First Testament’ makes it first in a series – more like First Timothy or First Corinthians. Writing it 1 Testament might even enhance that nuance, just S we write 1 Kings of 1 John. What do you think?

  3. rich constant says:

    We are to treat the Old Testament with the words used in some of the Bibles like Abolished instead of nullified and you being a lawyer should understand the meaning that is conveyed by those words.
    Ephesians 2:15 Rom5:31
    then there’s also Hebrews 5 11 through chapter 6 verse 4.
    check out the thorns along with the curse in verse 6:8 J.
    Exercising your mind in the word of righteousness to learn to discern both good from evil.
    What about that tree in the garden J.
    Pretty much all ties together for me.
    What we’re looking at in this first covenant or throughout the whole Bible are gods judgments and WHY his judgments are the way they are, but they’re all righteous, they’re all “GOOD” judgments according to what, our righteous “good” God and those are the judgments that we can make accordingly if we rightly dividing the word of truth.
    and we know the end of the story and we kinda get a little bit more about why those judgments are the way that they are we should know What God’s agenda was because it was fulfilled. and when you understand a little bit more about what his agenda is then you go Ahhh
    and the sad thing is you really hear the nails going into the flesh of Jesus on the cross.
    Our Messiah

  4. rich constant says:

    Oh and as a PS.
    Looks to me like we kind of get a do over.
    Is God’s creation worth as much to me as it was to him? and then you have to ask why not nobody likes to answer that one.
    And it’s just not an individual thing its a kingdom thing.
    And you know what I mean.
    Blessings all

  5. rich constant says:

    What did that word repent mean might have to reread all of that stuff.

  6. rich constant says:

    The sacrifices of God are a humble spirit and a repentant heart you will not reject.
    I prefer broken spirit. instead of humble spirit.
    It brings me to the cross.
    My God my God why have you forsaken me.
    I think Jesus is asking for it to be over.
    and why isn’t it.
    And then what did they do to him and what did he say right after it.
    It is finished

  7. rich constant says:

    as a PS.
    That my friends right there at that moment is when God became fully man at least to me that’s atonement. or what John Mark shows the definition of atonement is at Onement with the created.
    and becomes the merciful and High Priest knowing how we feel communicating that to the Father

  8. rich constant says:

    And of course right after that right after his spirit left the body what happened to the Inner Temple’s Curtain well we all know that now we know why.
    I don’t mean to be presumptuous that’s just what I think. Blessings

  9. rich constant says:

    The first few times that I thought about the dynamic that the curse involves.
    we look at it the Trinity separated itself from itself because the Trinity loved the creation. the Trinity also lives outside of time. you know they were eternally together One.

    At that moment outside of time just how long is that moment.
    And when we sin and we crucify this SOn again what does this bring up to the Father.
    it just brought me to tears a few times.
    And that would be tears of thankfulness tears of joy and quite honestly how meaningful the blessings are knowing the fear of the Lord.
    In the garden he didn’t even want to go there three times he asked.
    Fear not what man can do.
    Him who has the power to.
    yes that Curse takes on a deeper meaning at least to me.
    you might even say that makes the Trinity relevant. and if you take this view you betya he’s involved.
    And proactive through Jesus by the Spirit who lives in us by grace through faith how we should walk in good works that God beforehand Dada Dada Dada

  10. rich constant says:

    You know sometimes I just get in the zone.
    I just have these little conversations with myself.
    Now I’ve got voice activation it makes it easier for me to say things that I say to myself.
    When we look back at the book of Romans.

    The gospel is the power of God unto salvation for all those that believe to the Jew first and also to the Greek. for the righteousness of God is revealed in the Gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written the righteous by faith will live.

    quite honestly to me this looks simply Romans 3 :1,2,3, God gives his oracles to Faithful men Faithful men write them down For faithful men.

    go figure Mr fudge…;-)… who has a heart that’s faithful to God since the beginning of creation.
    that’s a pretty broad brush that you’ve got in your hand.

    by the way J there’s that word nullify again

    you might ask yourself the question have we been preaching the gospel.
    In a relevant way of course not only to the people that it was spoken to but also to the people that we speak to.

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