I received Tim Hegg’s news letter this morning and at the end of the news letter he included the article titled “The Hope of the Gospel” (Some thoughts from the director). While reading this article, all I can say is “PRAISE THE LORD!” How refreshing it was to read this article that speaks of the truth of all of Scripture an Salvation. In the Torah movement communities today, the message of the gospel that is revealed to us in the pages of scripture is under attack. Torah observance is being taught out of balance and scripture is taken out of context to support this out of balance doctrine that is being taught. Tim’s article falls right in line on how I understand the Torah and the role/place of Torah in our lives today. I wrote a few comments discussing Matthew 7:21-23 in a previous blog post, Tim’s comments saying “the word “know” in the phrase “I never knew you” has covenant in mind, the sovereign work of God by which He draws us to Himself and forms a covenant relationship with us” is absolutely correct. Tim goes on to say and I quote:
The life of righteousness which characterizes those of true saving faith is not the means of being accepted by the Father. Rather, the life of righteousness lived out by faith is the fruit which results from the divine initiative to bring to life the soul that was dead in sin, to infuse that soul with a heart that yearns for a close, covenant relationship with God, and lives to please Him by sanctifying His Name in the world. Simply put, we “know” Him because He first “knew” us. And it is His “knowing us” that empowers us to “do the will of the Father.”
Saving faith involves having a love for God and being lead in love that is based in the covenant relationship with the Lord. It is in God knowing us that empowers us to “do the will of the Father” as Tim writes; the questions I ask is “do you know God” in the way that He wants you to know Him? Judgement over salvation of those who do not observe all of Torah has led many people to hold murderous thoughts in their hearts towards our Christian brethren. Hating our brothers and sisters in Christ is the same as regarding iniquity in our hearts (Tehilim / Psalms 66:18) and becomes the very thing that Matthew 7:21-23 is speaking of being a “worker of lawlessness.” How is a person conformed unto the likeness of Yeshua if one keeps murder close to ones heart? With this in mind, it is easy to understand the most important phrase Yeshua says is “I never knew you” because this is certainly not how we are to remain in Him. Can we say that we are really “in Him” (Yeshua) and be so angry with people? Tim writes the truth saying: “The “hope of the Gospel” is the assurance that what God has said is true, that the Good News is this: He has drawn us to Himself, forgiven our sins through the saving work of His Son, Yeshua, gifted us with faith to lay hold of that redemption, and promised that He would conform us to be like His Son.” Praise the Lord for such a wonderful salvation and thank You Lord for making salvation available to us in Your Son, Yeshua the Messiah!