In Joshua 1:7, we read, “Only be strong! Be very courageous! So you would observe to do according to the whole Torah, which Moses My servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left! So you can succeed wherever you go.”
In John 3:16, we read, “For Yehovah so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him would not die but have eternal life.”
In Deut 32:30, we read, “And Yehovah said, I shall hide My face from them, I shall see what their end will be, for they are a very rebellious generation, children in whom there is no faith.”
In Hebr 4:2, we read, “For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed”
In John 3:16, it says that whoever believes in Jesus will not die but have eternal life. In John 3:14-15, it says that just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life. From these three verses, we Christians automatically assume saving faith in Jesus = faith in the cross and what He did for us. But what if we are wrong?
Last time we learned how the sentence in verse 14, which says “so also the Son of Man must be lifted up,” was added to the Bible. This sentence does not exist in the earliest manuscripts. If we choose to disregard this, and we assume Jesus did say “so the Son of Man must be lifted up,” we need to read this sentence in its original language, which is Greek. The Greek word used for lifted up is translated from the Hebrew word Shema. As we learned the last time, Shema means to hear and obey. So what the sentence says in Greek is this, “so we must hear and obey the Son of Man.”
Disregarding the fact that someone added this sentence to the Bible, let’s read John 3:14-16 in Greek. Most of you do not know Greek, so I will translate it for you: “And just as the people heard and obeyed Moses when he lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so also it is necessary to hear and obey the Son of Man so that everyone who hears and obeys the Son of Man will have eternal life. For Yehovah so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who hears and obeys Him will not die but have eternal life.”
Even if we disregard the fact that someone altered John 3:14, the text’s full meaning from verses 14-16 still does not say: If you believe Jesus died for your sins, you will be saved.
We see this again in Deut 32:30, where it clearly says, faith is obedience. If we believe in someone, we will hear and obey them. But because the Israelites in the desert heard but did not obey, they were never saved (Hebr 4:2) And this is why in James 2 and 1.John two it says that if we do not hear and follow the teachings of Jesus, we are not saved.
Are you saved?
The Bible does not say you are saved if you believe Jesus died for you. The Bible says you are saved if you hear what Jesus said and you choose to obey Him.
What did Jesus teach us to do?
Matthew 23:2-4, Jesus told us to obey Moses. Matt 5, Jesus told us to follow Moses. Matt 7:21-23, Jesus told us to obey Moses. So if you are saved, you will hear and obey Jesus when He tells us to follow Moses.
This is why Joshua 1:7 says we will succeed in everything we do, as long as we obey Moses. Notice what Joshua 1:7 says; it tells us to be strong and courageous so we will be able to follow Moses. This is what Jesus says in Luke 14:25-33 and Matt 16:24-26. This is also found in Phil 2:12 and 2.Chor 13:5. Being saved is not easy; it is a choice we have to make every day to love the Torah (the law of Moses) more than we love ourselves and what we want. But if we do make this choice, then Joshua 1:7, Matt 6:25-34, Deut 28:1-14 says we will succeed in everything we do because Yehovah will bless us.
Ok, so we have now established how salvation according to the Bible can only be found if we repent and follow Moses. But what about the cross?
Moses’ law could only atone for our unintentional sins; it could never atone for intentional sins. If we committed deliberate sins, we would be cut off and cursed by the law (Deut 15:-68) forever. John 1:29 says that when Jesus came, this all changed. His Blood could atone for both intentional and unintentional sins. This is why Paul says, in Gal 3:13, He (Jesus) has freed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. Paul is not saying Moses’s law is a curse; he is saying the death of Christ atoned for all who are under the curse of the law because they sinned intentionally.
So if you repent from your sins, start obeying Moses believing Jesus died for you, you will be saved and reconciled to Yehovah.
This is why the cross is essential to us because we can never be reconciled to Yehovah without it. At the same time, we need to heed Pauls’s warning in Hebrews and John in 1. John where they say that anyone who is reconciled to Yehovah and then chooses to sin has blasphemed the Holy Spirit. There is no forgiveness for those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit.
This is why the cross is essential to us, but when you have accepted it, the law of Moses is crucial for your continued life as a child of Yehovah. If you reject the law but accept the cross, you will be reconciled but not saved. If you reject the cross but accept the law, you will be saved but not reconciled. You need both to live under grace and the blessings of the law in this life and end up in heaven when you die.
So make sure you have the kind of faith that makes you a saved, reconciled Christian. Make sure you hear and obey what Jesus said, and believe He died for you.