Why the New Covenant is So Great

I will post here the beginning of a sermon. For the rest, there will be a link at the end. I don’t usually put my sermons here and I didn’t decide to include this one because I thought it was one of my best. Rather, I thought the subject matter here would be of interest to Messianic Musings readers. So, let me know what you think (derekblogger@gmail.com).

When you read a lot of blogs and especially if you follow threads of comments on blogs, you have to resist getting caught up in a lot of arguments. And in certain types of blogs you will find a lot of people with an axe to grind against Christianity. Really they have a problem with the particular experiences they have had in churches and Christian groups.

Just this week, I found that a friend had quoted me at length on their blog and opened it up for comments. I don’t take comments on my blog anymore, and for good reason. But I thought it would be interesting to see what comments this quote from my blog would draw.

The first woman who quoted wrote a thoughtful piece. She supported both Christianity and Israel and had some good questions about how the two relate. At the end she asked about certain scriptures which make it seem as though Torah is obsolete.

Then came the really disturbing comment, by a man who wanted to answer her question. He advised her to question everything she had ever been taught and to read the New Testament from scratch with an eye for Jewish issues.

So far so good.

But then he said, that by the time you get to the end of the NT you will realize something.
The only person who doesn’t fit in with the theology of the rest of the NT is . . . Paul.

That is, the NT reads just fine on Jewish issues if you are just willing to take Paul out of it.

I’ve seen before that some people feel the best thing is to get rid of Paul. I see people who feel they owe an allegiance to the Israel/Jewish/Torah side of the Bible and they struggle with how to accurately interpret the grace/universal/in Christ side of the Bible.

Many people fail to see that the two are in perfect harmony. There has been so much bad teaching on all sides and in all denominations over the centuries, it’s no wonder people can get confused.

But I have believed something since the early days when I started following Yeshua and I have found it to be true ever since. When read properly, the Bible will be internally consistent.

It really shouldn’t be hard to believe that. God’s chain of revelation went, essentially, from Abraham to Moses. There should be no disagreement between Abraham and Moses.

Then from Moses God passed the chain of revelation on the Sages and Prophets. They based their work on Moses. So we should be surprised if we were to find contradictions and problems.

Then Yeshua came as a man of the Bible. He quoted it to Satan, to enemies, and to disciples.
He sought the deeper meaning of it. He taught the true message of Moses and the prophets and psalms.

And so the disciples who taught in his name carried on the tradition. They did not intend to overturn Moses, the prophets, and Yeshua. They intended to uphold these and apply them to their readers in their new situation.

So why should we worry at all that the Bible is internally inconsistent? It ought to be a collection that agrees internally, building its ideas in a progression from beginning to end. And it is.

You don’t have to abandon the centrality of Israel to believe in grace or be skeptical about the Paul’s understanding of grace to believe in Israel and Torah.



About Derek Leman

IT guy working in the associations industry. Formerly a congregational rabbi. Dad of 8. Nerd.
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