NEITHER JEW NOR GENTILE . . . 16.05.19
NEITHER JEW NOR GENTILE . . . 16.05.19
“There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Yeshua Messiah. And now that you belong to Messiah, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you” (Gal.3:28,29). Does that literally mean that there are no Jews, males, or females, etc.? No, of course not! Paul was teaching the combined body of Jewish/Gentile believers of the day that it made no difference to Yahweh whether those who wanted to follow Yeshua were Jews/Gentiles, slave/free, or male/female; all were, and are, welcome; and that in His eyes, all are of equal value, and will be treated in the same way, subject to all the same ordinances, expectations, blessings, etc. In other words, those who believe in Him/His Son are His children, all subject to the same “house rules,” just as in any family. As Dr. Michael Brown explains: “In Jesus, we have equal status. There is no caste system, no class system in Messiah. All of us are equally sons and daughters, equally branches of the vine . . .” (Brown, What Does “Neither Jew Nor Gentile” Mean? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkWBvwEJLy4 ). He goes on to point out that this does not mean that there are not still men and women, Jew and Gentile distinctions; that is not what is meant by this statement at all. “And when a Jew becomes a believer in Messiah he doesn’t become a Gentile,” Brown points out; and neither does a Gentile who becomes saved become a Jew. As far as salvation and redemption is concerned there is no distinction; but, yes, the reality of male/female, Jew/Gentile, etc. still exists.”We each have unique and distinctive calls Let us celebrate our unity by acknowledging our diversity” (Brown, What Does “Neither Jew Nor Gentile” Mean? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkWBvwEJLy4).
That also means He can dispense giftings and assignments, dispatching whomever He pleases, for whatever is needed, as He sees fit. All those in Messiah share access to a level playing field.
“Here there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, savage, slave and free; but Messiah is all, and in all” (Col.3:11). Now, when he says “all of us,” be cognizant of the fact that he is addressing a community of believers, and these statements do not pertain to the unbelieving community. “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Messiah we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering” (Rom.8:15-17). Once having made a commitment to Yeshua, however, He is to be the focus of our lives, so nothing else should matter to His followers, not even if it includes suffering for His sake. Not even if it means forsaking husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, or even children: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Lk.14:26; see also: Matt.10:37;Matt.19:29).
“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Messiah. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit” (1 Cor.12:12,13). It was never God’s intention for there to be multiple sects/denominations of believers. In God’s eyes, all who believe and trust in Him should be united: “Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are . . . . I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in Us” (John 17:11,21). This concept of Oneness was obviously a priority both to Yeshua, and to the Father.
“So she turned to Abraham and demanded, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son. He is not going to share the inheritance with my son, Isaac. I won’t have it!”(Gen.21:10). This occurrence definitely created a rift, out of which came another ethnic group, who chose to pursue a different set of beliefs, a different God, which became Islam, and the Arab nations. Still, those who turn to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who acknowledge Yeshua, the Son of God, will not only be welcomed, but to them will be given the same status (heirs/joint heirs with Christ) as to all other believers, whether Jewish or Gentile.
“For Messiah himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people . . . . . broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. . . . . creating in himself one new people from the two groups. Together as one body, Messiah Yeshua reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death” (Eph.2:14-16). This is the finished work of the Cross; but after that, it became the responsibility of believers to take up their cross, deny self daily, and follow Him (Lk.9:23). Paul’s ongoing instructions to: (a) work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Phil.2:12); and to (b) walk in it, meaning now do/live out/apply what you have been taught (Eph.4:17; Col.2:6). John, also, says: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked (1 John 2:6). Where His work ended, ours begins: “He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Messiah has done for us” (Eph.2:17,18). Take up your cross and follow Him.
Almighty God, Adonai, Yahweh wants a people who will love Him, believe in Him, live for Him and follow His Son; after all, Yeshua said:”I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2,3). He really doesn’t care about gender, nationality, colour/ethnicity, or any other category; but He does require that we follow His ways/commandments: “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me . . . . “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him . . .” (John 14:21,23). .. . . “he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). There are requirements, stipulations, and conditions, that is certain; however, they are not based on ethnicity, social status or gender.
Dr. Michael Brown, What Does “Neither Jew Nor Gentile” Mean?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkWBvwEJLy4
© 2017, revised 2018, 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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