The Messiah and Salvation
James Scott Trimm
Salvation comes by faith through grace alone and is not earned by Torah observance. Paul writes in Romans:
What then are we saying concerning Avraham
the patriarch that he obtained [righteousness]
by the flesh?
For if Avraham by works was justified, he had
boasting, but not toward Eloah.
For what does the scripture say? Avraham trusted
Eloah and it was reckoned to him for righteousness.
Now to him who labors, his reward is not reckoned
to him as of favor, but as that which is owed to him.
But to him who does not labor, but believes only
in him who justifies sinners, his trust is reckoned
to him for righteousness.
(Rom. 4:1-5 HRV)
Paul’s proof text here is Genesis 15:6. The Targum to this verse reads:
And Avraham trusted in the Word of YHWH,
and He counted it to him as righteousness.
(Gen. 15:6 – Targum Onkelos)
Paul also writes:
For the wages of sin is death and the gift of Eloah
is life eternal by our Adon Yeshua the Messiah.
(Rom. 6:23 HRV)
This entire section of Romans (Romans 1-6) is an example of the sixth rule of Hillel. Understanding this rule andf how Paul uses it here will help us understand Romans 1-6:
The Sixth Rule of Hillel is Kayotze bo mimekom akhar (analogy made from another passage) This rule means that two passages may seem to conflict until a third resolves the apparant conflict.
In Romans 1-6 Paul shows that the following Tanak passages SEEM to conflict:
The just shall live by faith
Rom. 1:17 = Hab. 2:4)
There is none righteous, no, not one...
(Rom. 3:10 = Ps. 14:1-3= Ps. 53:1-3; Eccl. 7:20)
[Elohim] will render to each one according to his deeds.
(Rom. 2:6 = Ps. 62:12; Prov. 24:12)
Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered;
Blessed is the man whom YHWH
shall not impute sin.
(Rom. 4:7-8 = Ps. 32:1-2)
Paul resolves the apparant conflict by citing Gen. 15:6 (in Rom. 4:3, 22):
Abraham believed Elohim,
and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
Thus Paul resloves the apparant conflict by showing that under certain circumstances, belief/faith/trust (same word in Hebrew) can act as a substitute for righteousness/being just (same word in Hebrew).
In Ephesians Paul writes:
For by his favor we were saved by faith,
and this was not of yourselves, but is the gift of Eloah,
not of works, lest a man should boast.
For we are his own creation, who was created in
Yeshua the Messiah for good works, those,
which beforehand Eloah had prepared that we
should walk in them.
(Eph. 2:8-10 HRV)
And in Romans 10:4-13 Paul writes:
For the Messiah is the goal of the Torah,
for righteousness to all who believe.
For Moses thus wrote of the righteousness
that is by the Torah that he who does these
will live by them. And the righteousness
that is by trust, [he] thus says: Do not say
in your heart: who has ascended to heaven
and brought down the Messiah?
And who has descended to the depth of She'ol
and brought up the Messiah from among the dead?
But what does it say? The answer is near to you,
to your mouth and to your heart, which is the
word of trust that we proclaim. And if you
confess with your mouth our Adon Yeshua,
and you believe in your heart that Eloah
raised him from the dead, you will have life.
For the heart that believes in him is made
righteousness, and the mouth that confesses
him has life. For the scripture has said that
anyone who believes in him will not be humiliated.
And in this it does not discriminate, either against
Jews or against Aramaeans, for YHWH of all
of them is one who is rich with all who call on him.
For all who will call on the name of YHWH have life.
(Rom. 10:4-13 HRV)
In his writings Paul treats the subject of inheritance in detail, Paul had been commissioned to teach on the topic of inheritance (Acts 26:12-18).
Paul's topic in Hebrews is the Blood Covenant and Inheritance. He shows that the Messiah was "made heir of all things" (1:2, 4) and the "firstborn" (1:6;12:23) (an inheritance term, see note to 12:23). He shows that the oath which made Abraham's seed the chosen people was a covenant (6:13-14), and that the oath which makes the Messiah a priest after the order of Melchizadek (7:20-22) is the New Covenant (Heb. 7:22; 8:6-13). He also shows that this is a blood covenant sealed with the Messiah's blood (Heb. 8 & 9). Paul argues that because of this covenant relationship, we have an inheritance (9:11-22). Since we are blood covenants with the Messiah who is heir of all things (i.e. the Kingdom (1:13; 2:5-9) we inherit with him (1:14; 2:10-18; 9:11-22; 12:23). To Paul this inheritance is the "rest" of Ps. 95:7-11 (Heb. 4:9). A rest which has not yet been entered (4:9-10), an inheritance covenant promise like that of the Abrahamic Covenant (6:13-20) but with its promise yet to be received (11:39-40).
how much more by that which our Messiah
who offered himself to Elohim through the
Ruach HaKodesh without any blame, purify
our persons from dead works to life.
And because of this word he is made mediator
of a renewed covenant between Him and us,
which is not another, made through blood with
the redemption of the servants which are under
the first covenant which might receive the promise
which is of eternal inheritance.
(Heb. 9:14-15 HRV)
Paul's subject is inheritance (9:15). He does not here refer to the Hellenistic idea of a "last will and testament" as it is commonly misunderstood to be. By Jewish law, the firstborn so inherits a double portion and the other sons inherit otherwise equal portions. This occurs regardless of what one writes in a "last will and testament." The idea of a "will" in this sense is completely foreign to Jewish law. However Paul's topic is that of a blood covenant by which one becomes an heir. When the covenantor dies his covenantor inherits because covenantors have heir-ship rights. For this reason David was the legitimate heir to Saul's throne, by way of his covenant with Jonathan (1Sam. chapters 18-20). When the son of the King died, David had an inheritance.
(To be Continued)
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