The Salvation of Sinners
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 4 Lesson 11 Thursday
Read first paragraph,
“Paul’s love for his own people is clearly apparent in Romans 11:25-27. How hard it must have been for him to have some of his countrymen fight against him and against the truth of the gospel. And yet, amid it all, he still believed that many would see Jesus as the Messiah.”
Many of us have experienced this pain, from all over the world we get stories of people who have tried to share this picture of God’s character of love being told by their church family that they are not welcome.
How do we respond? What is a healthy way to understand such rejection?
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45
Read third paragraph,
“No doubt, through the centuries, had the Christian church treated the Jews better, many more might have come to their Messiah. The great falling away in the early centuries after Christ, and the extreme paganization of Christianity – including the rejection of the seventh-day Sabbath in favor of Sunday – certainly didn’t make it any easier on a Jew who might have been drawn to Jesus.”
What do you say if while witnesses about Jesus to a Jew the Jewish person says, “I have one question for you…Is Martin Luther your brother?” I was listening to Christian radio when a man said this was the exact question a Jewish professor asked him when he tried to share Jesus as Savior with him.
What would you say to that professor?
Before you answer, this is from “Luther, Martin”, JewishEncyclopedia.com; cf. Luther’s Works, American Edition, 55 vols., (St. Louis and Philadelphia: Concordia Publishing House and Fortress Press, 1955– 86) 47:267.
“What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews”
- “First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools … This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians …”
- “Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed.”
- “Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them.”
- “Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb …”
- “Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside …”
- “Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them …”
- “Seventh, I recommend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow … But if we are afraid that they might harm us or our wives, children, servants, cattle, etc., … then let us emulate the common sense of other nations such as France, Spain, Bohemia, etc., … then eject them forever from the country …”
So, what do you say if a Jew asks you as a Christian if Martin Luther was your brother?
- Do you say, “A very sick and twisted brother in need of much healing and transformation?”
- Do you say, “Martin Luther is not my Savior, the Jewish teacher Jesus Christ is!”?
- Do you say, “Martin Luther failed to represent Jesus, Jesus is the standard, Martin Luther was a sinner in need of much heart change before he could rightly represent Jesus.”
Do you realize, that the person who wrote these things is also the one who came up with Penal Substitution Theology?
Can you hear in Luther’s words regarding the Jews an authoritarian, imperial mindset that uses coercion and rejects the law of liberty?
Can you see why such a mind would create a penal/legal salvation model? Yet, it is all infected with the lie that God’s law functions like our laws and ultimately promotes a false picture of God, who would celebrate the horrors Luther encouraged Christians to perpetrate upon the Jews.
When we substitute the law of love for imposed human law we exchange worshipping the Creator God for an imperial dictator and then we become like that beastly god? Just look throughout history, what Christians have done who believe in that type of a god.
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