In the ancient world, each nation had its own god, or, more usually, several gods. In conversation, it was usual to refer to the god of a particular nation. People believed that their nationís god supported their nation in various ways, for example in agriculture or in war.
Only one nation, called the Jews or Israel, accepted the real God as the God of their nation. It was God himself who established that relationship with them. He gave them his law, and he made wonderful promises to their nation (9:4-5).
God is therefore the God of the Jews (John 4:22), but he is not only the God of their nation. He is the God who created heaven, and earth and everything (Genesis chapter 1). All people receive their life from him (Acts 17:24-25). Therefore, all people belong to him, whether they know him or not. There is no other real God; he is the only true God (Deuteronomy 6:4).
In other religions, people establish a relationship with their god by the things that they do. For example, they offer gifts to their god, or they carry out certain ceremonies. However, the real God wants us to receive our relationship with him by faith; that is, by trust in him.
We may ask, therefore, why God gave his law. Romans 3:20 says that our efforts to obey Godís law cannot give us a right relationship with God. Only by faith in Christís death can we receive such a relationship. The explanation is that Godís law appears in the first 5 books of the Bible. Those books clearly teach that people must come to God in faith (4:1-5). Therefore, our message about faith does not make Godís law weaker. Rather, that message proves the importance of Godís law.
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© 2017, Keith Simons.