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When you follow Gods order, you stand in the fullness of His Blessing
Paul has just used that wonderful word “everyone” in Romans 1:16, “The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes.” We usually stop here in this verse because we rejoice that nothing will keep us from salvation, not family, background, education, language, race, culture, or moral track record. But then Paul follows up that statement with to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” How does he mean, “to the Jew first”? What kind of priority, what kind of “firstness” do they have? And why does he say this? What effect does he want this to have on us?
In this week’s sermon, we illustrate why we should have a heart for God’s original kids first.
Psalms 122:6 NKJV
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.”
Romans 1:16 NKJV
The Just Live by Faith
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel [a]of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
- Establishes a Biblical Pattern – God has a reason for everything He does and asks you to do!
Read Exodus 25:9-1. What if Moses had said, “you know we are in the wilderness, and gold is somewhat difficult to come by, so let’s use bronze for this project. Would God have been OK with that? To answer that read Hebrews 8:4-5. His instructions were to “make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” This tells us that God was specific with His design; it wasn’t up for interpretation.
How can we apply this to The Jews First? It doesn’t mean the Jews are more important or special than another person. God wants ALL TO COME TO SALVATION. God has a plan, and it’s essential for us to follow the Pattern of His plan even if we don’t know the totality of that plan!
The Jews were the first to have a “Covenant” relationship with God. They were the first to know His Love, His Character, His Nature, and His Plan. They were singled out as someone who would by faith “stand apart”, alone from others who laughed at and scoffed at them. The Scriptures or Messiah could not have come through a “Pagan lineage.” Simply because, how can you describe and crusade for something you know nothing about?
Q: Have you ever put together a piece of furniture (or some other project) without following the instructions? How did that go? What would you differently next time?
- To the Jew first follows the Biblical pattern of the Tithe
Why is a percentage of money different than any other percentage? Because God said so. Read Lev. 27:30, 1 Tim 5:8, and Hebrews 7. The Jewish people are special to God in the same way the Tithe is. God asks for the First Fruits of everything, not the leftovers or afterthoughts. He doesn’t want a token tip of appreciation. If we do it God’s way, then the scripture says then everything else then we have is blessed!
If our heart is for the Nation of Israel and its people, then everything we do then carries God’s blessing, favor, and seal of approval. This is simply because we did it His Way and made what was important to Him important to us!
Q: Do you tithe on your income? Why or why not?
- Jesus Himself followed this pattern – to the Jew first then to the Gentile
Read John 1:11. If Jesus came to His own first, then shouldn’t we? The emphasis is on true love, not their rejection of Him. He came to them first regardless of their acceptance.
In Matthew 15:22-28, you read the story of Jesus and the Canaanite woman. It is important to notice that this woman was not a Jew. In the Old Testament times, the Jews were commanded to kill all the Canaanites because their practices were rubbing off on the Jews. But it was not this strife that causes Jesus to respond to her the way He did. It was uncharacteristic of Him not to heal or minister to people regardless of nationality. He wanted to heal her and show her unconditional love, but also make a point. Jesus wanted to make a point that while He was on earth, He was first called to the lost sheep of Israel. Then second, He was called to everyone else.
He poured His life into the 12 (All Jews) so that “SO THAT” they would, in turn, share it first with their brothers, sisters, and then everyone else (Gentiles).
Q: Who is God calling you to minister to?
- The Apostles followed the same pattern
When Jesus sent out the twelve (Matthew 10:5-6), He gave them the priority to go to “the lost sheep of Israel.” Then later they made sure that Jesus was available to everyone. An example of this is in Peter’s vision in Acts 10:15. In this vision, God was illustrating that Peter was to take the Gospel to the Gentiles. God showed him that he should not call the Gentiles unclean because God calls them clean. Even Paul, who’s calling was to the Gentile, followed the pattern (Acts 13:14-16 and Acts 13:42-46).
Q: Why did Paul and Barnabas go to the Synagogue on the Sabbath day in Antioch?
- It is God’s Blueprint for Revival among the nations
Read Romans 11:11-15. It’s not that the Jews are so much better or above. The Gospel teaches us that every person is equally important and holds the same value. We are given the instruction that we must reach all with the Gospel of Christ. God’s passion is for every single person in the world. He will get to the world through (The Tithe) the Nation, the People of Israel.
If you say that you have a heart for people …. then it needs to start with a heart that goes to The Jew first.
Q: What is one thing that you can do to show love and support for the people of Israel?