Week 5 - With A Jew - TGT
April 2, 2017 Speaker: Series: Jesus Walk into a Bar
Topic: Different Religions Scripture: John 3:1–17, Ezekiel 36:25–26
While modern Judaism is marked by huge differences in many key areas of doctrine, one area of common belief is in the Jews are born righteous as a part of God’s people. This righteousness does not mean they do not sin, but rather that when they sin they get back up, repent, and try again. As long as they are seeking to follow the Torah as best they can, God accepts and loves them as His righteous ones.
(From the Jewish website Den found: “We can be good, or we can be evil. It's up to us. And if can be good, that means we can be righteous. I cannot understand how or why Christians like to say that no one can be righteous in the eyes of G-d. The Torah says otherwise. I often say to missionaries that if they choose to believe that all Gentiles are sinful, I would have to disagree, but I won't bother to argue the point. It's their own people, let them say what they want. But if they choose to say that all people, including Jews, are sinful and cannot be righteous, I have to strongly disagree, because the Torah says quite the opposite… The problem is that Christians do not understand the meaning of the concept "righteousness." They think it means that one has never sinned. Never sinning is almost impossible. The Torah says that "There is no person on earth so righteous that he does only good and never sins" (Eccl. 7:20) Rather, the definition of a righteous person is as taught in Proverbs 24:16: "The righteous fall even seven times and still get up, but the wicked stumble in evil." Being righteous does not mean that one never sins. It means that after you sin you get back up again, repent, and try again. You keep on trying. That is being righteous.)
Jesus told a parable about a Jew who believed that he was righteous and right with God because of this type of life. Sadly, according to Jesus this man was not in a right relationship with God. Another man, who threw himself on the mercies of God, found acceptance through his dependence on God and not his own behavior. This man discovered what David had before him… that God must act in our lives for us to be saved. Sinners find righteousness not in striving to do better, but in the righteousness of Christ.