Salvation is by grace through faith: Pt.10 Refuting Israel-Only

Israel-Only claims that the Gentiles had to be circumcised in the past but then became uncircumcised later on before Christ came. They say that a Gentile who was never circumcised in the past, was not eligible for salvation.

Therefore, they are in effect, requiring the salvation by works. They completely miss the point of what Jesus did on the cross.

In the old covenant of Israel, the Gentile was outside the covenant if they were not circumcised – this includes BOTH those who were born uncircumcised and who deconverted by being physically removing a past circumcision. All Gentiles were CUT OFF from the covenant unless they became circumcised.

Genesis 17

“9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

Some Israel-Only folks say that a person had to be physical descendant of Abraham. But later on we see pagans from Persia who joined Israel by circumcision (they became Jews)

Esther 8

“16 For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. 17 In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.”

So therefore in the old covenant, righteousness/salvation was given by those who OBEYED the WORKS of the LAW (Circumcision, etc)

Moses said that here:

Romans 10 “Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.”

But then Paul wrote to the Gentiles in Rome that Christ came to end the law so that righteousness was now given by faith to ALL who believe:

Romans 10 “

Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

This is why Paul told the Gentiles in Ephesus that salvation is BY GRACE and NOT WORKS. What was the works in question? It was circumcision. So then Paul was telling these Gentiles this: Jesus Christ died on the cross and ended the law and all it’s commandments (circumcision, etc) so that Gentiles could now become saved/righteous by GRACE without works but simply by FAITH.

Ephesians 2 “

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

 

Paul said that Abraham was made righteous before circumcision – therefore righteousness is given by faith without circumcision.

Romans 4

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

“Blessed are those
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”

Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.

18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Israel-Only says that only the descendants of Abraham are part of the covenant. But John the Apostle shows that those who are believers are NOT BASED on natural descent or ancestory or blood-line.

John 1

11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The flesh of Abraham is not the criteria for salvation but the SPIRIT. We receive the Holy Spirit by faith in Christ.

John 3

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Paul said that the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit NOT BY LAW (Circumcision) – this destroys the Israel-Only teaching.

Galatians 3

You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Israel-Only says that Gentiles had to be circumcised in the past, but Paul says that NOW in Christ, neither circumcision and uncircumcision has NO VALUE. The only thing that matters is FAITH in CHRIST.

Galatians 5

 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

MORE NOTES:

Romans 1 refers to people who knew God through creation but ignored him and worshipped idols.

Romans 1″20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

So then Paul is talking about ALL people from the time of CREATION of the WORLD – about things MADE…like the land, oceans, trees, mountains.This cannot ONLY be Israelites. Because they knew God through the LAW (Psalm 147) but Gentiles knew that God exists because of creation. This is why they worshipped the creation and idols.
The only people in the Bible who worship idols and creation are Gentiles.
There are 1 billion Hindus in India who know that God exists and yet they 
worship idols and nature (fire, cows, trees).There are idol worshippers and nature worshippers in Africa, Asia, etc….
Clearly the Gentiles are all people in the world.

Paul says here that ALL JEWS and GENTILES are under judgment.God has no favorites.


Romans 2 “9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism. 12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.”

Those under law are judged…Also all who sin outside the law are also judged. The Jew knows the written law given to them by God. The Gentile knows the law on our CONSCIENCE. The entire law is summed up in this:

Galatians 5 “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”


This law is known by people in ALL religions in EVERY nation. We know that it is good to love others and that it is bad to hate others.This is a universal law in our hearts. Every nation practices this law in their societies. They punish people for stealing or cheating or killing….this is common in all countries. This proves that Gentiles are not just from Israel but ALL nations. We all know what is right and wrong!


Romans 4: Paul calls Abraham OUR FATHER.
“Our father” – Paul is writing to Abraham’s children.

But who is he writing to ?
It is to BELIEVERS from THE NATIONS.

Romans 1 “5 through whom we received grace and apostleship for obedience of faith among all the nations for his name’s sake; 6 among whom you are also called to belong to Jesus Christ;”

These are Gentiles from ALL nations who are called to be obedient by faith in Christ.

A person is a child of Abraham ONLY because of their faith.
Galatians 3 “6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

A person is a child of Abraham BY FAITH 
Not because of blood-line or by any works of the law.John says that Jews did not accept Christ but to anyone else who believes, they became children of God.

 John 1 “11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

Romans 4 “What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? “

Paul is asking what did Abraham find out according to the flesh?
What does he mean by “flesh”. He means “deeds” or “works” done in human effort/abilities.

Romans 3 “20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
Paul is asking, what did Abraham find out about attaining salvation by the deeds?So then flesh here is referring to human effort. It is not talking about physical descendants.It is talking about works/deeds.
This is why Paul then goes on to say this in the next versethat our works cannot save anyone.
Romans 4 “3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness

Those who try to attain salvation by works will not be saved.(example: Roman Catholics believe in works-based salvation.)
But sinners can receive righteousness if we BELIEVE….without trusting in works!To believe in Jesus means to trust in Him and not in our works.
Paul clearly says that Righteousness is by faith and not by works.
He says that Abraham was made righteous simply by believing
and not by doing anything.

Paul quotes David’s psalms
Romans 4 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”

Does this mean that only Israelites who know the psalms are forgiven?
What does the Bible tell us about uncircumcised Gentiles?
Ezekiel 32
17 In the twelfth year, on the fifteenth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: 18 “Son of man, wail for the hordes of Egypt and consign to the earth below both her and the daughters of mighty nations, along with those who go down to the pit. 19 Say to them, ‘Are you more favored than others? Go down and be laid among the uncircumcised.’ 20 They will fall among those killed by the sword. The sword is drawn; let her be dragged off with all her hordes. 21 From within the realm of the dead the mighty leaders will say of Egypt and her allies, ‘They have come down and they lie with the uncircumcised, with those killed by the sword.’
22 “Assyria is there with her whole army; she is surrounded by the graves of all her slain, all who have fallen by the sword. 23 Their graves are in the depths of the pit and her army lies around her grave. All who had spread terror in the land of the living are slain, fallen by the sword.
24 “Elam is there, with all her hordes around her grave. All of them are slain, fallen by the sword. All who had spread terror in the land of the living went down uncircumcised to the earth below. They bear their shame with those who go down to the pit.”

It is saying that the uncircumcised people are judged by God.
Why ? Because they did not believe.

Some teachings say that the Gentiles were circumcised in the past but were part of the covenant before through circumcision.
But there is a problem here:
Abraham was righteous BEFORE he was circumcised.
Therefore his righteousness had NOTHING to do with circumcision.
It was only based on FAITH.
Therefore it is immaterial whether a Gentile was circumcised or not in the past.
Paul says that the BLESSING is for both circumcised and uncircumcised peopleonly by FAITH.
Romans 4
Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also?For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of ALL those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.”

Paul is clearly saying that RIGHTEOUSNESS is given to ALL who believe, including all uncircumcised people.Therefore being circumcised or uncircumcised has NOTHING to do with salvation.It is only by FAITH.

Romans 4 
13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.”


Paul says that the promise is for Abraham and his seed.His “seed” is the children of Abraham.Circumcised Jews and uncircumcised Gentiles who believe!Therefore the children of Abraham are those who believe!
It can be ANYONE who BELIEVES in JESUS.It has nothing to do with the Law or whether you were circumcised in the past.The only criteria is FAITH.
Paul says that Abraham is the father of NATIONS (Gentiles)Abraham was a man from Iraq.Abraham was uncircumcised.Abraham was a GENTILE when he believed in God.We see that all people in the world were uncircumcised Gentiles at that time.Later on, ONLY Jews were circumcised.Therefore ALL Gentiles in the world can become children of Abraham by FAITH.Abraham had to struggle in faith, God told him he would have a child at the old age.He saw his situation was hopeless but he still believed.That is when God declared him righteous.So my friend, even if your situation is bad, God will declare you righteous if you believe in Jesus.I am positive that when you believe in Christ, that you are righteous by faith and not works, there will be a change in your life.
The only way to attain salvation is by FAITH.Abel believed in God and he was not a Jew.Noah was not a Jew.Enoch was not a Jew.They BELIEVED and God declared them righteous!See this below:

Hebrews 11
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
By 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.”

So as you can see, from the beginning of the world, the only way to please God is by faith.

It has nothing to do with whether you are part of Israel or not.
This is why in Romans 4, it says that we don’t have to do any works at all.If we simply believe in Jesus, we will go to heaven and live forever. We are Righteous by faith and not by our works, not by our family background, not by our national identity, not by who is our ancestors.
God called the uncircumcised Gentile Abraham. He responded by FAITH.That is when God made him righteous and blessed him.It has nothing to do with our works.
It is by PERSONAL FAITH in what Jesus did for you.He died for your sins and rose from the deadso that you will live with Him forever without any merit from you.

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