We Christians tend to say things like “it is not a religion, it is a relationship with Jesus the Son of God” when we intend to describe our faith to an unbeliever. Telling someone they can have a relationship with the Son of God sounds good, but is it biblical?
The divinity of Yeshua is never in question in the Bible. It says in John 1, 8:58 He is the Son of God, and He is God. At the same time, in John 3:16, the emphasis is not on His love; the focus is on how much God loves the world that He gave His Son Yeshua. In John 14:6 Yeshua even says nobody comes to the Father but by Me. So even though Yeshua’s divinity is never in question, His message tells us not to focus on Him but instead focus on the one who gave us Yeshua. Here we already see that the Bible does not tell us to have a relationship with Yeshua; it says we are to have a relationship with the Father. But we can only enter into such a relationship if we go through Yeshua. Yeshua’s divinity is never in question; neither is the importance of the cross.
Why then do we keep telling unbelievers, “it is not a religion, it is a relationship with Jesus”? We already see how the Bible says we are called to have a relationship with Yeshua’s Father, not with Yeshua, but we have to go through Yeshua to get to the Father. And what does that mean “nobody can come to the Father except by Me.”?
When our forefathers left Egypt, they had lived in Egypt as slaves for generations. They did nothing to deserve their salvation; God saved them because of the promise He had made to Abraham. How did they get to share in this salvation? Every Israelite had to choose to trust Moses and follow him, so everyone who got saved got saved because of trust in Moses, and they acted on that trust when they decided to follow and obey what he told them.
After they had left Egypt, God took them to Mount Sinai and gave them the Torah in writing. Abraham had the Torah, according to Gen 26:5, but this was the first time it had been written down. Because God had saved them from Egypt, the Israelites trusted God and chose to respond to their salvation by obeying the Torah.
Who saved them from Egypt? The answer is, of course, God, but as we know, God is not a name; it is a title. In Ex 6:6, God gives Moses HIs name, and it is Yehovah. So it was Yehovah who saved Israel from Egypt, and it was purely an act of grace. Israel did nothing to earn their salvation, but as a result of their salvation, they chose to obey Yehovah’s Torah.
In John 3:16, it says for so has God loved the world that He gave His one and only Son Yeshua. In John 14:6 Yeshua says nobody comes to the Father but by Me. Who is the God who gave us Yeshua, and who is Yeshua’s Father? The answer is in Ex 6:6; He is Yehovah.
It was Yehovah who loves us so much that He gave us His Son Yeshua to die for our sins on a cross. It is Yehovah Yeshua is referring to when He says nobody comes to Him but by Me. So the Bible says Yehovah has given us Yeshua, we did nothing to deserve this gift. Just as when Yehovah saved our forefathers from Israel, they did nothing to deserve Moses. Moses was a gift to them, just as Yeshua is a gift to us. Anyone who believed what Moses said, and obeyed him got saved out of Egypt. The Bible says Yeshua is like Moses; anyone who believes what He said and obeys Him will be saved. The Bible also says in Mal 3:6 Yehovah never changes, He is the same yesterday, today and always.
Mal 3:6 becomes very important to us because if He never changes, we know He saves today just as He did back then when He saved our forefathers from Egypt. They did nothing to earn their salvation, but to share in their salvation, they had to believe in what Moses told them and act on it. You did nothing to deserve the cross, but to share in the cross, you had to believe in what you were told and act on it by accepting the cross.
After Yehovah had saved them out of Egypt, He brought them to Mount Sinai and gave them the Torah. He wanted them to obey the Torah as evidence of their salvation, showing everyone they belonged to Him. Because Yehovah never changes, He still wants you to obey the Torah as evidence of your salvation, showing everyone you belong to Him.
Because of Mal 3:6, it becomes impossible to believe Yeshua could have done away with the Torah. It also becomes impossible to believe Yeshua could have given a different revelation to Paul. Mal 3:6 shows us that Yehovah is the same today, yesterday and always. If Yeshua is His Son and He is Yehovah, and John 1 and 8:58 is correct, then He has to share His Fathers view on the Torah.
We see this described in 1. John 2:6, James 2:10-26, Matt 23:2, Matt 6:25-34. Yeshua teaches that His Father Yehovah saves us in the cross, and we did nothing to deserve it. But to accept the gift of the cross, we have to believe and act on our faith. And when we believe, and we act on our faith, Yehovah still expects us to obey His Torah just as He did on Mount Sinai when He saved us from Egypt.
Let me now ask you this question, are you saved now that you know how the Bible describes salvation?
If you claim to have a relationship with Jesus and you believe the Torah has been done away with at the cross / is a burden / sinful and awakens the sin nature / we are under grace, not law/ we are in the dispensation of grace, the answer to my question would be no.
First of all, because we know Yeshua in the Bible is God and God’s Son. For Him to be God and God’s Son, He has to be in unity with the Father. Nowhere does the Father say His Torah is a burden, instead we time and time again see how the Father says it is easy to obey the Torah, and He expects His saved children to do so.
The Jesus you believe in who told you the Torah does not apply to you does not exist, and he is not God’s Son. Why? If he is against the Torah or tells his followers not to obey his father’s Torah, then he is not the Son of Yehovah.
Second of all, the Torah says, “I am Yehovah, I brought you out of Egypt, you shall have no other Gods but Me.” The Torah forbids us to worship any other God but Yehovah. So even though Yeshua is God, He taught His disciples and us to worship His Father Yehovah and not Him. So if you obey Jesus telling you it is ok to worship Him and the Torah does not apply to you, it is not the Yeshua of the Bible. Yeshua in the Bible, told us to obey only His Father and worship only His Father and have a relationship only with His Father. Yeshua even says this Himself in John 12:44 belief in Yeshua is belief in Yehovah.
But what then does it mean “nobody can come to the Father except by Me”?
John 3:16 says, “for so has Yehovah loved the world that He gave His one and only Son Yeshua so everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.”
The Torah says you can only be reconciled to Yehovah by blood. (Lev 17:11). We all know we have at one time in our lives broken the law of Yehovah, Yehovah’s Torah. When we did this the first time, Yehovah divorced Himself from us. (Jer 3:38). If we want to come back to Yehovah and be reconciled to Him, it has to be done with a blood sacrifice because there is atonement in the Blood. Rom 7 also says the Torah forbids us to come back to Him because it is an abomination for Yehovah to accept us. Yehovah can not accept someone who has been unfaithful to Him and sinned. So someone has to die a physical death for us to come back.
If we died a physical death without the cross, we would end up in hell. So because Yehovah loves us, He gave us His Son Yeshua. When Yeshua died on the cross, His Blood became available to all who believes to use it as atonement for their sins. If they also believe He died for them, was buried for them, and resurrected to a new life, they will be dead with Him buried with HIm and resurrected to a new life with Him. Someone dead from the demands of the Torah in Numbers 5 is now free in the new resurrected life to come back to a reconciled relationship with Yehovah.
This is salvation according to the Bible, we believe Yeshua died for us, and His Blood atones for our sins. By faith, we die with Him; we are buried with Him and resurrected to a new, saved life with Him. But as when Yehovah saved us from Egypt, He now expects us to live saved in obedience to His Torah. When we live in obedience to His Torah after salvation, our faith in the cross becomes alive (James 2:10-26), we become united with Yeshua (1.John 2:6), and we become His children having a relationship with our Father Yehovah (John 3:16, Matt 6:25-34).
This is why Yeshua says nobody comes to the Father but by Me. And this is why we need both the Torah AND the cross.
So let me ask you this question again, are you saved according to the Bible?
Do you have a relationship with Yehovah, your Father in heaven, who saved you by His grace?
How you answer these questions determines where you will end up when you die.