In the Christian world we are often taught scripture either in pieces or as one story about “believers.” What we get is either the “Us vs Them” story (Gentiles vs Jews/Israel) or we get the “We’re all the same” story and neither are true.
The first covenant with Israel was salvation and righteousness through the Law. The Holy Spirit had not been imparted to [all] those that believed in and hoped for Christ’s coming. Therefore, in order to remain righteous or to be counted as righteous, one had to trust in, rely on, and believe in God, but they also had to maintain the law and the requirements of the law.
If sin was present, a sacrifice and blood offering had to be made to atone for that sin.
This was the covenant with ISRAEL
However, even when giving Moses the law to pass down to Israel, and later to Joshua, Joshua told the people of Israel that they would not remain faithful to the Lord:
“And Joshua said to the people, You cannot serve the Lord, for He is a holy God; He is a jealous God. He will not forgive your transgressions or your sins.” –Joshua 24:19 (AMP)
God gave the law to His people in order to prove that they could not “work” hard enough to remain righteous of their own accord.
Later in Ezekiel Chapter 18 we see where God tells us that righteousness and sin are only on the individual. The sins of the father were not held against the son (if the son was righteous) and vice versa.
This would leave one to believe they could “lose their salvation”…which under the covenant of the law…was possible. However, a better way to put it (as Ezekiel does) is that the Israelites could lose their “righteousness” or right-standing with God, and thereby die in their sin.
Jesus saw this and knew that it would be impossible for His people to remain under the law and pay the debt to it. If a sacrifice was needed for every sin committed, there wouldn’t be enough earthly sacrifices to pay for anyone on earth.
So Jesus came to Israel first…to his people to offer Part 2 of His covenant. Jesus came and said, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (just like Ezekiel 18 quoted as well).
But this time the offer was different…
Jesus told His people that He didn’t come to abolish or undo the law, but to fulfill it.
What Jesus meant was that He came to pay the debt (in blood) owed to the law. He came to offer His own life, WILLINGLY, so that Israel could enter into a new promise. However, Israel rejected Jesus as the messiah and thus He turned His attention to the gentiles (the rest of the world).
WE were offered part two of the covenant and by believing in Jesus, and accepting the free gift of His Holy Spirit, we were given the chance to be with Him eternally. A sacrifice was already made for us and what was even better…is that while following the LAW is what made the people of Israel “righteous” and thus, making it easy to turn from Righteousness, JESUS is what makes us Righteous under the Second Covenant. His seal through the Holy Spirit on the Church (Gentiles) makes it so that when we accept and are joined with the Holy Spirit…even though we may wander, we will not be completely lost. He knows His sheep (we are identified by the Holy Spirit/fruits of the spirit) and will not lose one.
Because of HIS great mercy and love, He has credited to us HIS Righteousness.
Does that mean we should go into the world to save people or judge whether someone is saved…? Absolutely not.
“He replied to them, An enemy has done this. The servants said to him, Then do you want us to go and weed them out?
But he said, No, lest in gathering the wild wheat (weeds resembling wheat), you root up the [true] wheat along with it.
Let them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will say to the reapers, Gather the darnel first and bind it in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my granary.”
-Matthew 13:28-30 (AMP)
Jesus has got the “saving” part taken care of. He tells us in Matthew that the reapers are the Angels, who know who are His sheep and who are not. Our job is not, nor has it ever been, to “save” people.
Christians are to go into all the world making Disciples, baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that Christ has taught us. Salvation is in the hands of Jesus. He knows His sheep and the Angels have got the “reaping” part covered as well.
We can be secure in our own salvation but we need not worry about arguments like “once saved always saved/you can lose your salvation” because scripture is clear:
You can lose your personal “righteousness” just like Israel (all fall short, none are righteous of their own doing…according to scripture), when approaching God in legalism (under the law), but through grace and the gift/unity of the Holy Spirit…one cannot be separated from that union.
What a blessing for the gentiles! Through Israel we are blessed and through gentiles, Israel will return to God.
Therefore, the gospel is not to teach people whether they are saved, can lose salvation, can work for salvation, or were chosen like puppets to have salvation.
The gospel IS Salvation. Jesus’ name IS Salvation. The gospel is HIS story and His CHOICE to Love us and our CHOICE to respond with acceptance or rejection.
Mankind was created for Love and Love was worth the price to Jesus.
Israel and the Church are two different entities with two different promises, but they serve the same Christ.
Study the Word. Know the Word. Know the Character of Jesus and HE will reveal truth through the Holy Spirit.