Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Abraham was Saved as a Gentile

I once heard: "The first Jew [Abraham] was a gentile, and the first gentile [Jesus] was a Jew". A simplistic yet profound statement of God's grace - salvation! What must we do to be saved? It's a question which Christians and Jews (from the beginning of the church - read Acts 15) have been interpreting differently.

Abraham, the father of the Hebrew race, was saved (Gen. 15) 40 years before God instituted circumcision, which was a sign of the covenant He made with Abraham in Gen. 17. Abraham was made righteous (saved) before he was circumcised. He was not under the law, which was not given until much later. Thus, he could not be saved by keeping the law. However, in Gen. 15:6 we read "Then [Abraham] believed in the Lord; and He reckoned to him as righteousness"

In Acts 15, a council of the church of Jerusalem came together to discuss a big issue, as some believers (remember, these are Jews), even "some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed" (Acts 15:1 & 5), were teaching that "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses (a gentile become a Jewish convert first), you cannot be saved" (v. 1). Some in the early Jewish church thought one must be a Jew before he could become a Christian.........yet, Abraham was not circumcised until 40 years after his salvation.

The question "what must I do to be saved" has always been made more complicated by man than intended by God. The Bible simply says there is only one simply thing we must do to be saved (have eternal life):

1 John 3:23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.

I am always thankful for the example of the thief on the cross (Luke 23:40-43), crucified to Jesus' right hand. He believed, and Jesus told him he would be in paradise with Him that same day. The thief did not have to come down and be baptized, join a congregation, give money to the church, etc.

I pray that you, dear brother or sister.............reader have faith in Jesus alone. That is ALL it takes to save your soul.

God bless you!

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