The Hebraic Perspective and the Gospel, part 9.
Updated: Nov 3, 2021
Shema changed my life in 2011, once I realized its own priority and explanation. The DECLARATION of God Himself, to be…a HIMself above all other considerations OF Him. And cementing the Christological Controversy ITSELF, which entertained for me then, the possibility that Jesus was also…God. Shema has many other implications in theology, not the least of which pertains to the Gospel way of the believer. What he thinks and enacts as a Christian. And…this theme has still not relented in new ideas, things to contemplate, and yeah actions following. There was, for the orthodox Jew then…VALUE in contemplating Shema every morning when he got up, and every evening when he went to bed. And, 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Thus the Shema filters all things we do and say in general. And this stem of the leaf, or branch of the stem, or TRUNK of the TREE is exactly what the Gentile is grafted into. The unity of Spirit and Truth, the Israel of Israel. Not all Israel is Israel. But the ones DOING Shema in its new Spirit-led and empowered sense. The reader may have gotten bored already, only eight parts and a bittle bit in. What is the big deal? Why don’t you contemplate YOURSELF and publish what you find, in ten years? Yeah but. The process goes on and goes on again. I AM doing exactly that. Sorry if this is half-baked but I am not a Jew and never really wanted to be one. To THINK like a biblical Christian MEANT to think like the stem and the branch and the trunk of their epistemology. And…I am still learning. Yesterday I said that the Lutherans are not in theory antinomian, or against law. In fact the position they officially hold to says that antinomianism is HERESY. (Remember the word, ‘against law’). But…consider again their own confession of faith: Justification is by faith alone. That last word. ALONE. FAITH alone. This is because of the Pauline declaration, that even in the OT, Abraham was justified by faith. Now consider their stance on antinomianism once again, wiki: Antinomianism has been a point of doctrinal contention in the history of Christianity, especially in Protestantism, given the Protestant belief in justification through faith alone versus justification on the basis of merit or good works or works of mercy. Most Protestants consider themselves saved without having to keep the commandments of the Mosaic law as a whole; that is, their salvation does not depend upon keeping the Mosaic law. However, salvific faith is generally seen as one that produces obedience, consistent with the reformed formula, "We are justified by faith alone but not by a faith that is alone," in contrast to rejecting moral constraint. As I read this again…I realized that this is reflective of the PROTESTANT denomination in general, not necessarily the LUTHERAN position. But it turns out, Luther’s position did in fact state the same premise, justification by faith ALONE.
What were the 3 main ideas of Martin Luther?
Luther's main ideal 1. Salvation by faith alone.
Luther's main ideal 2. The bible is the only authority.
Luther's main ideal 3. The priesthood of all believers.
Salvation by faith alone. ...
The bible is the only authority.
The priesthood of all believers.
Now…what was the evolved Lutheran faith saying? Same wiki article, antinomianism: However, salvific faith is generally seen as one that produces obedience, consistent with the reformed formula, "We are justified by faith alone but not by a faith that is alone," in contrast to rejecting moral constraint. (10) Sproul, R. C. (1998). Essential Truths of the Christian Faith. p. 191. (Robert Charles Sproul was an American Reformed theologian and ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America). AGAIN, this is not something a LUTHERAN could say, since it directly contradicts what the ORIGINAL CONFESSION said. CENTERING on this word, ALONE. So then…the evolved or later Lutheran would naturally be somewhat IN-BETWEEN an antinomian and a law-abider, and not really EXPRESSING this halfway stance as…a presbyterian would. See it? Ideal statement of faith: Justification by faith ALONE. Evolved Protestant (reformed) tradition: Justification by faith NOT ALONE, but ATTENDANT. The Reformed tradition has now come full circle to…the CATHOLIC ideal, justification by faith AND WORKS. What was faith according to Luther? More importantly, what WAS the faith of Abraham which justified him? Abraham had faith he would bear a son in Isaac, the seed of a promised nation. But more importantly his GREAT faith was to prepare this same PROMISED son…for sacrifice. Now the HARD PART is revealed, that part most of us cannot do. Lutheran faith, by the originator, googled: Thus faith, for Luther, is a gift from God, and ". . .a living, bold trust in God's grace, so certain of God's favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it." This faith grasps Christ's righteousness and appropriates it for itself in the believer's heart. Faith as defined by Judaism: The love and loyalty to do…Shema, love YHWH with all of one’s heart soul and might. See the difference? Instead of DOING righteousness in a new and improved manner…we appropriate JESUS’ righteousness…to ourselves. What again was the Deut 30 promise? 6 And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
Faith then, comes by Spirit and this in turn by the “turning over unto” Jesus Christ’s person. That which he stood for and said and did. Christ IN US, is this Spirit specifically. Here…for Luther the “gift” is directly unto salvation in the final sense and maybe of Spirit, maybe not. The key here I believe is a repeat of what I’ve said before. Paul’s “free gift” was unto the START of Covenant, the ENTRANCE into this awesome relationship, now available to the other nations of Gentiles. And what Peter witnessed exemplified…Gentiles receiving the baptism of Spirit just as he and his fellow Jews did. It is not DIRECTLY propitiating us in the final sense, in other words this is not a “free pass to heaven.” It DID release us and cleanse us FOR Covenant, in the New sense. Now we DO COVENANT, and God will especially focus upon what we did. Do you see that under Luther’s paradigm, NOTHING we will do means anything since the Cross DID IT ALREADY for us? What is the Judgement Seat FOR then? A trivial formality? Please consider the underlying concept retained IN the Deut 6 Shema Command, its own context: 2 That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:
5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
That thou mightest fear thy God.
Wow, the MISSING PREMISE in Christendom! The FEAR which Jesus said TO HAVE.
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. – Mt 10:28.
What is the LUKEWARMNESS of the Mega-Churches? Lack of fear, and this of God? It is like we are all CHILDREN and need consolation and encouragement. No, we need to grow up.
What mainstream view has done is to make the fear ITSELF wrong, and possibly detrimental to our own faith “confidence.” This IS the underlying message of gospel, mainstream. That fear ITSELF (and this OF God) could possibly mitigate our own salvation! See again, Luther’s definition of faith: So confident in God’s favor of Grace that one would risk a thousand deaths trusting in it.
Abraham’s faith: So confident that the love of his God is FIRST, that he would sacrifice his own Son when commanded to.
A JEWISH version of God-love is…with a healthy DOSE OF FEAR. This is HOW we love God, and not our own mommy, sirs and madams. WHEN we grow up in the faith that is.
And, the “free gift of grace” was ENTRANCE into Covenant, which was for a Gentile, largely UNavailable even to God-fearers, until the Outpouring of Spirit came. So then...it is not by faith ALONE, but by faith ATTENDANT. And this not of WORKS firstly, but of SPIRIT SPECIFICALLY. Works, yes...as Luther's ENEMY James hath said, "Faith without works is dead." This however in Spirit, the expression Paul uses when he says "Christ IN me." Thus the works are secondary yet, important to God, that is...FAITH works.