Saved by the law?

19 March 2021

Speaker: Apostle Ernie

In Romans 8:15, we read, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”


How do we become sons and daughters of God and receive the Spirit of sonship?


In John 1:12, we read, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”


John says if we receive Jesus and believe in His name, we will receive the Spirit of sonship and become children of Yehovah. What exactly does it mean to receive and believe in Jesus?


In 1:12, John says in Greek, to all who lambanon him, to those who pisteous in his onoma, he gave the right to become children of Yehovah. Lambanon is a Greek verb indicating something we do, pisteous is a Greek word indicating something we do, onoma is a Greek word meaning someone’s character and personality. Lambanon means to take hold of, and pisteous means to trust in someone or something in a way that your trust can be seen in how you live your life. So what John is trying to tell us here is this: If we take hold of the personality and character of Jesus because we trust in His personality and character, we have the right to become children of Yehovah.


How do we take hold of someone’s personality and character?


John answers this question for us in 1. John 2:6 and Paul in 1.Cor 11:1, we imitate their lives and their character. So if you have taken hold of and trusted in the character and personality of Jesus, you will have chosen to live your life the way He did. If you have made this choice, you will have become one with Him, a child of God, and received the Spirit of sonship.


Because our minds are so used to thinking of sons and daughters as their parents’ biological offspring, all of the above can be difficult for some of you to comprehend. But if you keep in mind the cultural differences between the world Jesus was born into and our culture, it becomes easy to understand what John says in 1:12.


In our western cultures, a son or a daughter is always the biological offspring of their parents. So when we read John 3:16 and 1:12 with our western mindset, we end up assuming Jesus is somehow the biological son of God. To explain how this is possible, we make up many confusing, weird unbiblical doctrines such as the trinity doctrine or worship of Mary.


In the Hebraic middle eastern culture, Jesus was born into, a son can be a biological son, or he can be a student of someone in higher authority. This is why rabbinical students are often referred to as sons of the rabbi, or Abraham is said to have had many sons when he rescued Lot. This is not referring to Abraham’s biological sons or the biological sons of a rabbi; instead, it refers to students of a rabbi or Abraham. We also see this in Israel’s history when every King is referred to as a son of Yehovah. At no point does it imply these Kings are biological sons of Yehovah, but because they have governed Israel on behalf of Yehovah, they are sons, and as a son, they have no free will. They are only to do what Yehovah tells them to do and to imitate Yehovah in everything they say and do.


So Jesus is a son not because He is a biological son of Yehovah but because He imitates Yehovah in how He lives His life. Because He imitates Yehovah, the Bible says in the Gospels He can not do anything of His own will, and His Father is greater than He. If we want to become children of Yehovah, we are to do what Yeshua did and imitate the life of Yeshua.


So how did Yeshua live His life? As a Christian, you know the answer to this question, He kept the law of Moses to be able to atone for our sins. So if the Bible says in 1. John 2:6, 1.Cor 11:1, John 1:12, 3:16 we have to imitate His life to become sons and daughters of Yehovah, then we have to keep the law of Moses as He did.  This is what Yeshua taught us to do in Matthew 23:2-4, and this is why He rejects those who call Him Lord but have chosen to reject the Mosaic law (Matt 7:21-23). This is also why James 2 says faith without works is dead and can not save you.


Let’s assume you have returned to Moses and started obeying the law again, and as a part of obeying the law, you have become reconciled to Yehovah by faith in the cross. If this is you, the Bible says you have become a child of Yehovah and received the spirit of sonship. How then are we to live our lives as sons and daughters of Yehovah, especially in trying and difficult times?


In Romans 8:15, we read, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”


Being a child of God does not exempt you from fear or worrying. You will still have ample reason to be afraid, stressed, and worried at times. Sometimes you will not even know what to do, and it will seem as if there is no hope. How are we as children of Yehovah to respond in situations like these? Paul says in Romans 8:15, we are not to respond with legalism. What is legalism, according to Paul?


In Romans, Paul says legalism is slavery but keeping the law of Moses is freedom.  In Galatians, Paul says legalism is man’s attempt to reach Yehovah by his own rules and regulations. Jesus and Isaiah say it is futile to worship Yehovah and have a relationship with Him based on our rules and laws. So, according to Paul, when we reject the Mosaic law in favor of our traditions, rules, and laws we are legalistic.


How do you usually respond to something that scares you or makes you afraid? We tend to respond with legalism, thinking we can work our own way out of our problem.


When Abraham and Sara came to Egypt, Abraham believed the Egyptians would try to kill him and take Sara from him if they knew she was his wife. So because of fear, Abraham told Sara to lie and say she was his sister. Fear has a way of doing this to us; we come up with irrational, illogical, and often sinful solutions to get out of a bad situation. According to Paul and John, this is legalism.


So how should we respond to fear?


Yeshua says in Matthew 6:25-34 if we are sons and daughters of Yehovah, we are guaranteed His help and provision whatever it might be. What makes us sons and daughters of Yehovah? Our obedience to the Mosaic law. So your obedience to the law of Moses guarantees Yehovahs help. If we have the key to unlock Yehovah’s help, we should respond to situations and circumstances, making us afraid using this key.


This is how we should respond to fear; instead of resorting to legalism, we should remind ourselves that because we keep the law, Yehovah will heal us, save us, meet our needs. We might not know how He will do it when He will do it, but we know that as long as we keep the law, He will do it.


So the next time something scares you makes you worried, fearful, and afraid. Remember that if you are a son or a daughter of Yehovah, you can say, “because I keep the law, Yehovah My Father will rescue me from this situation. I might not know how, when, but I know He will because I keep the law of Moses.”

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