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Report from Last Night and Theology Thursday is Back!




Guess what!? It’s the Theology Thursday. 

We haven’t been back in our rhythm for a while. October 7 turned our world upside down. We had to pivot and focus our ministry effort on raising funds and helping our people. It’s been four months since the brutal Hamas attack on Israel.

A few weeks into the war, I wondered when I would ever get back to simply teaching and ministering through our emails and blog. While the war is far from over, and the world is clearly against us, I want to try and get back into our rhythm somewhat. Today, I want to share with you two things. A short blog I wrote this morning about Galatians 5 and give you a report of last night’s gathering with Battalion 630.


A Sad Celebration

About two weeks into the war, I met a young man named Ran. He shared his story of waking up on October 7, hearing the news, grabbing his gun, and going to help. He is not in the regular army but a reserved soldier, like most of the army. He did not have a uniform but risked his life for others. What he saw that day scarred him, but the next morning, he got called up. In other words, before he had any time even to process the horrific scenes that he encountered, he had to don his uniform and report for duty.



As we sat around his mother’s dining room table for lunch that Friday afternoon, he shared that his unit was in desperate need of bulletproof vests and helmets. You know the rest of the story. You stepped up, and we were able to help them. We continued to help them over the months. But now they’re going home. As I write this, they are probably back in their street clothes with their families.

We gathered last night at an army base for a special presentation and dinner. They awarded outstanding soldiers for their bravery in battle and then called up the widow of Lieutenant Colonel Netanel “Nati” Alkoury. The 500 gathered Soldiers gave her a standing ovation and a long, thundering clap. Just ten days ago she lost her husband as he fell in battle. Two other recent widows were also there, whose husbands were with Nati on that fateful day.







The commander who replaced Nati as the head of the battalion was invited to address his soldiers. He could barely get his words out through his tears. This is not how he wanted to be promoted. Reserve soldiers can remain with their unit for decades. Often, they become close friends. When they lose someone in battle, it’s rarely someone they just met but a dear friend.

Who knows how many lives were saved because of the equipment you provided. 

When they called up Yevgeny, one of the commanders, I noticed his arm in a sling. Another commander who was giving out awards could barely walk because of his injury. On the way out, I spoke to another young man with his arm and sling. As I’ve told you, I have never been this close to war. We finished the evening by singing HaTikva (The Hope), our national anthem.

Please continue to pray for all of our soldiers. Pray that all of the more than 100 hostages are returned home safely. Pray for Hamas to be completely defeated. 


 

Freedom in Yeshua: Galatians 5 Galatians 5 is a powerful chapter that can be summed up in 4 points: 

1. No amount of good works can achieve salvation. We are called to freedom. (v. 1) 

2. But this freedom God has given us is not a license to live an immoral life. (v. 13) 

3. A true believer has the Holy Spirit and is sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and while they are not saved through their good works, they walk in increasing Holy Spirit character, expressed in love, humility, and self-control (vv. 22-23). 

4. Those who abuse this freedom through habitual sin (see v. 21) "will not inherit the kingdom of God." 

One note. Paul says that if they (the Gentiles) get circumcised, Messiah is of no value to them (v. 2). He is not saying circumcision is wrong—he himself circumcised Timothy (Acts 16). Plus, many in the Galatian church had already been circumcised (because of the Judaizers). Was Messiah now no value to them?

Looking at v. 4, we see what Paul is saying in context: "You are severed from Messiah, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace." It is not the act of circumcision that would cut one off from Messiah, but the idea that circumcision (or any other work) is a salvific act (meaning you would achieve salvation from circumcision). That is what is so bothersome to Paul—not circumcision. 

Salvation is through Yeshua's righteousness. But God has not done away with the outward identity markers for the Jewish people. How do we know that? Look at Romans chapter 3. 

"Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God." (Rom 3:1–2) 

To be clear, he doesn't mean advantage over Gentiles—we are equal in Messiah—but advantage with God … as in favor. And he says for the Jewish people, there is value in circumcision, as it connects the Jewish people with God's covenant with Abraham (Gen 17). As a means of salvation, it is worthless. That is the message of Galatians: We cannot achieve salvation through our obedience to ritual, only through Yeshua. But this freedom is not a license to sin.

If you want to read more about how God can be faithful to the Abraham covenant and the new covenant at the same time, check out my book, When Kingdoms Collide.


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Shalom from Israel! I am Ron Cantor and this is my blog. I serve as the President of Shelanu TV.

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