THIRD RESPONSE TO LEGALISM
THIRD RESPONSE TO LEGALISM
We begin again with the common understanding of what legalism is, doing works of the Torah, or law, to gain salvation, as defined by the bone of contention around the First Church Council: Acts 15:1, 15 (NKJV) “And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” . . . 15But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.””
So we come to our Scripture for this response: Romans 11:5-7 (NKJV) “Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6And if by grace, then it [salvation] is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it [salvation] is of works, it [salvation] is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. 7What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks [salvation by works of the Torah]; but the elect have obtained it [salvation by grace through faith in Yahshua], and the rest were blinded.”
Why does Paul write the pronoun it instead of the noun salvation? because chapter 11 is just a continuation of chapter 10, his discussion of the salvation of his brethren, Hebrew Israelites. Let’s take a look at some of chapter 10: Romans 10:3-10 (NKJV) “For they being ignorant of Yahweh’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of Yahweh. 4For Messiah is the end of the law [Torah] for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law [Torah], “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ “ (that is, to bring Messiah down from above) 7or, ” ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ “ (that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead). 8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9that if you confess with your mouth the Master Yahshua and believe in your heart that Yahweh has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Notice there are two aspects of righteousness. There is a righteousness of the Law, or Torah. That is works righteousness. There is no faith involved in works righteousness, therefore it cannot bring us to life, or salvation in Yahshua. Yahshua is the only Person in all of human history to fulfill all the righteousness of the Law. We have no chance of making it into the Kingdom of Yahweh by works righteousness. We can’t do it because of our sin nature, we are weak spiritually. Trying to work your way into the Kingdom of Heaven is futile legalism.
Then we see the righteousness of faith. We believe in Yahshua and confess Him before men, then we obtain salvation by grace through faith in Him alone. Abraham believed Yahweh, he was declared, or reckoned, righteous on Yahweh’s ledger. The same applies to us. We believe Yahweh, we believe in Yahshua, and what He has already done for us, we are declared, or reckoned, righteous before the judgment seat of Yahweh. We receive Yahshua’s righteousness. When Yahweh sees us, He sees the blood righteousness of His Son, Yahshua. Yahshua is our Robe of Righteousness. Without that robe of righteousness, we will not enter, or remain , in the marriage supper of the Lamb. We cannot stand before Yahweh in our own righteousness, our righteousness is as filthy menstrual rags before Yahweh.
Ok, so look at Romans 10:4 again. This is a fascinating verse. Yahshua is the termination of the Torah IN REGARDS TO RIGHTEOUSNESS, for believers. But there is much more depth to that Greek word for “end”. We already learned from John 1:1-2 that Yahshua is the Word, which means He is the Torah. Yahweh is His Word, the Torah is Yahweh. Yahshua is the living Torah. Romans 10:4 also says Yahshua is the eternal Torah. Yahshua is the aim, the goal, the target of, the purpose of Torah! The whole point of the Torah is Yahshua! Torah teaches us about Who our Savior is, how He lives, by what principles He lives and runs His universe. Yahweh and Yahshua live by their own Word, the Torah. It is a family Kingdom that lives by the family rules of life. By learning Torah, we learn how to treat Yahweh and each other. These basic family life principles will not change throughout all eternity.
The beauty of Romans 11 is that Paul shows us how we can enter into that family of Yah. We get grafted into the natural olive tree, the root of which is Yahweh Himself. The grafting in principle is another way of stating we are adopted into Yahweh’s family by what Yahshua has done for us. We must be grafted into the correct, or Hebrew, family tree. This is the calling and election that Paul says we must make sure of. Are you grafted, or adopted, into the right natural Hebrew tree? The Yah family is a Hebrew family. It is not a Greek family. It is not a Roman family. It is not a European family. It is not an American family. It is not a Muslim, Hindu, Catholic, Protestant, or Baptist famly. The family of Yah is a Hebrew family, and Yahweh wants to adopt every human ever born on earth.
Romans 11 blows away the heresy of once saved always saved:
Romans 11:19-32 (NKJV) “You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21For if Yahweh did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22Therefore consider the goodness and severity of Yahweh: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for Yahweh is able to graft them in again. 24For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 25For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26And so [The Greek means: in like manner as you are saved, by grace through faith in Yahshua] all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” 28Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29For the gifts and the calling of Yahweh are irrevocable. 30For as you were once disobedient to Yahweh, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32For Yahweh has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.”
For further study on the grafting of our wild olive branch into the natural olive tree, may I refer you to Pastor Ralph Messer, of www.torah.tv, or Simcha Torah, in Denver, Colorado. Search around for his teaching on the two olive branches.
Gene Benjamin II
February 15, 2013 CE