Today was the first day of the “Crossroads” series. The message topic was “The Jewish Faith.”
The praise band did great today. It is such an honor to be led by worship by those guys and gal. Their exaltation of Jesus being the only way led to my message in such a simple way. The message got across before the sermon today – that is the goal of our worship services, and they did great!
You can listen to the message from today right here. It was a tough task with this message today. There is so much information that needs to be covered in a little amount of time. Hopefully, people walked away today seeing that the Old Testament chronicles the Jewish people and the story of God reaching out to them. But the Old Testament was pointing to the coming Messiah whom I believe to be found in the person of Jesus Christ.
A couple of good questions from after services today:
- Do we still have to keep the Law? Jesus stated that he did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. But the Old Testament law was given after Israel was known as God’s people. Those commands were given as a result of their relationship with God, not as a prerequisite for a relationship with God. When Jesus came, he met the requirements of the Law. He also simplified the Law by stating that all the rules could be kept by loving God and loving others (if you love people, you will not murder them; if you love God, you will not follow another god, etc.).
- If Jews were doing their “religious duty,” were they biblically right in crucifying Jesus? If Jesus claimed to be God and was not, the Jews had an Old Testament command allowing them to kill that person. If he is God, then his claims at being God are not blasphemous – they are true and therefore, they had no right to turn him over for crucifixion. Unfortunately, they missed that Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophecies they had been awaiting.
- When was the Jewish faith no longer sufficient for salvation? This one is a tough one. I believe that when Jesus died on the cross, he made the way for salvation through him at that point. But all of the other people before this time that actually obtained salvation came through him even if they didn’t know it was through him. Confused? Take a look at Hebrews 11 for some clarity:
8By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
11By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he[a]considered him faithful who had made the promise.12And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
13All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
Hope to see you next week!
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.