Q. A friend of mine describes herself as a “born again, Spirit filled, Torah observant, believer in Yeshua (Jesus).” Have you ever heard of this? I can’t help being intrigued, because I have such love and admiration for the Jewish people. Clearly my old friend believes in Jesus. But seems that anyone observing the Torah couldn’t possibly embrace grace and forgiveness through faith. I’m so confused… can you please help me unravel this?
A. It all comes down to where your friend believes her salvation comes from. If she believes she’s saved by grace through faith alone and observes the law solely to express her gratitude for the free gift of salvation that’s one thing. But if she believes her salvation is even partly earned or maintained through her observance of the law then there’s a problem. It means she really believes she is ultimately responsible for her own salvation.
Any work we do to supplement what the Lord did for us on the cross demonstrates our lack of faith in the sufficiency of His death and resurrection to save us. It violates the most basic tenet of Christianity. We are saved by grace through faith. Not by works lest any should boast (Ephes. 2:8-9).
Any work we do to maintain that which He freely gave us demonstrates our fear that faith is not enough to keep us saved. We have to contribute to the equation with our own effort. It means even if we trusted the Lord to save us, we don’t trust His promise to keep us. “And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given me, but raise them up at the last day” (John 6:39).