This Passover: God’s Limitless Love for the Gentiles by Sandra Teplinsky

In a world that is almost unimaginably anti-Semitic, and on the heels of Iran’s aerial assault a few days ago, we cannot overstate how grateful we are for our praying, extended family in the nations. As we thank God for His gracious protection of Israel, we know Christian intercession is making an eternal difference. So despite the compelling news of the day, we want to take time to bless you, our dear Gentile brothers and sisters in Messiah, with a Passover related insight about God’s impassioned love for you, personally.

We want you equipped to rightly navigate this period of history, with all its temptations to despise the tiny nation God chose for His own, sovereign purposes. We want you equipped for limitless love.

Passover begins this year on April 22. That evening, Jews around the world will revisit the ancient account of our enemies’ first attempted extermination of God’s covenant people. The Passover-Exodus story begins when God used a young Jewish man named Joseph to spare Egypt from impending destruction. In return, the Egyptians welcomed Joseph’s whole family into their country. Over time and under God’s blessing, that family grew and prospered. (Genesis 41:39-41; 47:5-6, Exodus 1:1-7)

Before long, however, the favor Egypt displayed toward Joseph’s family, the Israelites, faded. Younger generations did not know, and presumably did not care to remember, Joseph. (The biblical account mentions only a younger pharaoh who did not know Joseph, but we can assume his unfamiliarity or ignorance was at least somewhat typical of his generation.) Without knowledge or understanding of their history, younger Egyptians fell prey to deception. And so, simply because the Israelites were blessed by God, they were feared.

Egypt’s fear reflected a psychological and spiritual insecurity which turned quickly to offense and hate. Hate took the form of enslavement and attempted genocide through infanticide. (Exodus 1:8-22) Eventually and thankfully, God redeemed Israel out of Egypt, an event we celebrate every year at Passover.

But there is more. In the Passover story we revisit an anti-Jewish, anti-God narrative that He knew would recur through history. This is the pattern: When God blesses the Jewish people, Gentiles are often tempted with satanically driven fear, jealousy, anger or hate. The cycle repeats in the books of Esther and Nehemiah; in the New Testament before Yeshua’s birth; and in millennia of Jewish exile through Roman, Spanish, British, Russian, Ukrainian, German and other anti-Jewish persecutions, mostly by self-described Christian nations.

Today, however, can and must be different. Amid feverishly escalating hate toward Israel and us Jews, the true Church can and will respond in a different spirit.

For many years we have exposed and taught about the errors of so-called replacement and supersessionist theologies. These longstanding doctrines wrongly teach that Israel has been replaced in God’s heart and plans by the Church. We have shared in detail about the truths expressed in Romans 9 through 11, the Bible’s most concise and complete teaching to Gentile believers about Israel. These chapters affirm God’s ongoing love, covenant purposes and future fulfillment of His promises to Israel. They also caution Gentile believers not to be “ignorant” or “arrogant” about Israel, but to lovingly minister God’s goodness to the Jews.

So this Passover it is appropriate to again ask why, through the millennia, has only a small minority of Jesus’ followers leaned into the plain truths of Scripture about Israel? Why have most professing Christians wrongly concluded, for nearly 2,000 years, that God will not, should not or can not keep His promises to His first born, chosen nation? And most importantly, how can believers today avoid succumbing to strange or repackaged but virulent error about Israel and the Jews?

Could there be some universal human weakness, or psycho-spiritual need, that satanic forces repeatedly latch onto, from which the toxin of anti-Semitism is easily injected into the hearts of some Bible believing Christians? I believe there is.

I submit that our innate need for God’s love, and insecurity regarding His love, too often gives way to that universal weakness. This is because God created us out of love, to be loved, and to love. God Himself is love. (1 John 4:8,16) You and I were created in His image to steward the earth in loving, intimate communion with Him and others. For human beings, love is a fundamental, most basic need.

Lovelessness or love insecurity can easily give way to pride, fear, jealousy anger, hate and/or rebellion. We could even say love insecurity led, at least indirectly, to the Fall of humankind.

Insecurity in the Christian heart about God’s love provides fertile ground for seeds to be sown of replacement theology and disdain toward the Jews. Therefore, it is not random happenstance that immediately before God reaffirms His covenant love and plans for Israel in Romans 9-11, He details and affirms His covenant love and plans for the Gentiles in Romans chapter 8.

Before believers in Rome could embrace the revelation and reality of God’s ongoing love for Israel in chapters 9-11, they would first need to embrace the revelation and reality of His ongoing love for them expressed in chapter 8. (Bear in mind there were no chapter breaks in Paul’s original letter to the Roman church, which was almost entirely Gentile.)

The sequence of topics addressed in Paul’s letter was strategic by the Spirit. Assurance of God’s love for His covenant people who are not Jewish had to precede assurance of His love for His covenant people who are Jewish. Roman Christians secure in God’s love and blessing for them personally and experientially–not just as an abstract theology or truth–would find no reason to fret because He also loves and still blesses Israel. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) They would understand He has more than enough mercy and grace, flowing from limitless love, for us all. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Romans 9:21) They would, or at least could and should, respond rightly to Paul’s teaching about the Jewish people.

What does Romans 8 say to us today about God’s love? The chapter is considered a masterpiece of Scripture, informing us who we are in Messiah and who He is in us. To the extent believers today (Gentile or Jewish) personally embrace and experientially live in the realities of Romans 8, they will likely not stumble over the truths of Romans 9-11. Temptation toward prideful jealousy or offense at God’s election, conscious or unconscious, would–or at least could and should–dissipate in personal, intimate love communion with the Lord because of who He is and what He has done for us. (The same is true about Jewish believers’ attitudes toward Gentile believers.)

Yeshua cautioned that toward the end of this age, the love of many would grow cold. (Matthew 24:12) The Greek word translated “many” can also be translated “most.” So this year, as Passover and the season of deliverance approaches, we urge you to intimately engage anew with your Bridegroom-King in the depth and breadth of Romans chapter 8. Take time to absorb into your spirit the truths listed below. Each is heaven and earth shattering, as well as life altering. Then revisit chapters 9-11 about the Jews. And please, share this letter with Christians you know who may not yet understand why God still cares very much about Israel—and why they should, too.

About God’s limitless love for you in Jesus/Yeshua

  1. Because of God’s love for you personally, your sins are forgiven–entirely! You (like me and everyone else) deserve eternal separation from God for rebelling against Him. Instead, He has lavished on you mercy and grace. As you surrender to His love, you are pure and guiltless before Him. “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”Romans 8:1
  1. Because of God’s love for you personally, you have been delivered in your own, personal Passover-like experience! By law of the Spirit, you are liberated from the bondage of sin and death. You are free to live righteously, to be blessed and to bless the heart of God. You could never have gained this freedom for yourself; He has done it all for you, undeserving as you (and I) are.“The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death … He condemned sin in the flesh so that the requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us … according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:2-4
  1. Because of God’s love for you personally, you can now and forever enjoy supernatural peace! In an era where peace is rarely seen on earth, you can access and abide in the saturating shalom of heaven. You are kept in the gift of His perfect peace as your mind is set on Him, all because you trust in Him. (Isaiah 26:3) “The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6
  1. Because of God’s love for you personally, He has privileged and positioned you in the Holy Spirit of God Himself! While you are in the Holy Spirit, He is also in you. As you surrender to Love, your life is directed by the One who formed you, who best knows you, who always desires your best, who is all-powerful, always good to you, and who never forsakes you.“You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.” Romans 8:9
  1. Because of God’s love for you personally, you have the gracious gift and certain hope of eternal life, with a future resurrected body, vibrant and free of pain or disease.“He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal body.” Romans 8:11
  1. Because of God’s love for you personally, you are no longer obliged to sin. Instead you are obliged to thrive in the goodness of His will and His ways by dying to your own sinful will and ways. (This means you are obliged to surrender in love to His will and His ways pertaining to Israel, described just a few paragraphs later.) “So then, brethren, we are under obligation … by the Spirit … to put to death the deeds of the flesh.” (Romans 8:12-13)
  1. Because of God’s love for you personally, you are His highly cherished, adopted son or daughter! He is your ever caring, affectionate, protective, providing and guiding Father. Adoption means you are treated the same as children born naturally, never as second class. You are His forever family. “You have not received a spirit of slavery leading you to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as children by which we cry out, ‘Abba Father’!” Romans 8:15
  1. Because of God’s love for you personally, you are co-heir with Yeshua of His riches in glory! This deserves a “selah” moment. The inheritance of Yeshua is also yours. As a child of the King, you are royalty! You have been stewarded kingly authority. For you who identify with the sufferings of Messiah, identification with His resurrection glory follows. “We are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” Romans 8:16-17
  1. Because of God’s love for you personally, magnificent splendor awaits you, glory upon glory, billows of joy upon joy, far outweighing the temporary suffering of this life! “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18
  1. Because of God’s love for you personally, He delights to help you in your time of need. He intercedes perfectly and effectively for you. Not only is He your holy Helper, but day by day He faithfully empowers you. “The Spirit also helps our weakness … He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”Romans 8:26-27, 34
  1. Because of God’s love for you personally, everything in your life results in good as you trust in Him. The most devilishly cruel assault against you can be turned into blessing. Therefore, despite the trials of this life, you can’t not ultimately be victorious.“God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
  1. Because of God’s love for you personally, He will be faithful to complete His work in you as you trust in Him. You need not worry or fret over your innate weakness; God Himself takes responsibility for your spiritual growth as you surrender to Love. “Whom God foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son … and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” Romans 8:29-30
  1. Because of God’s love for you personally, He defends and fights for you. Again, you can’t not be victorious through the trials of this life as you surrender to Love. “If God is for us, who can [successfully] be against us? … Who will [successfully] bring any charge against God’s elect?” Romans 8:31, 33
  1. Because of God’s love for you personally, you lack nothing. He promises to give you everything you truly need as you trust in Him. No cause for jealousy; you have been given all that is required for an abundant life—as He defines it. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”Romans 8:31-32
  1. Because of God’s love for you personally, nothing can separate you from the eternal passion of His heart for you! Nothing, but nothing, in this universe has power to ever diminish or distance His wraparound love for you. Who [or what] shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … No … I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39

To sum up, God has granted you personally full pardon from your sins, freedom to follow Him, supernatural peace, life in the Holy Spirit, adoption as His children, royal standing forever, full rights of inheritance, present and future glory, help in your weakness, certain victory and eternal reward, along with His infinite, ineffable love. For all this, however, you do have an obligation. You are obliged to surrender to His Spirit and put to death the deeds of your flesh. Such deeds include jealousy, offense and resentment toward His other covenant children, those whom He also loves: Israel and the Jews.

And even that, dear friends, is for your own blessing. (Genesis 12:3)

This year, the Feast of Passover begins the evening of April 22, followed by Unleavened Bread, together with the biblical dates of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. At this special season, may we purpose to stand firm in the love and truth of Messiah as one new man, a warrior bride making herself ready for the King.