Nuggets from An Urgent Call to the Serious Faith by Dave Hunt – "Galatian Salvation"
Paul’s epistle to the Galatians was written to correct the error of salvation partly through Christ and partly through works. In all of his epistles, Paul comes back to the theme that salvation is all of grace and nothing of works. Herein is a major difference between Israel and the church; for the former, eternal life was promised to those who kept the law (which no one could do); for the latter, eternal life comes by grace through faith.
The old covenant offered life to the righteous who kept the law: “This do and thou shalt live” (Deuteronomy:8:1; Luke:10:28). But no one could live up to that standard, for “all have sinned” (Romans:3:23). Under the new covenant (Jeremiah:31:31-34), to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans:4:5). Human pride insists upon becoming righteous on its own – an impossible task. Though the nation of Israel as a whole will not realize the benefits of the new covenant until the Second Coming, God’s grace in salvation has been available to all by faith from Adam onward.
Paul mourned the fact that his people Israel, though they had “a zeal after God” yet “they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Romans:10:3) through the new covenant. So it is with all cults. It is the error of the Pharisee who proclaimed his righteousness to God and was not heard, whereas the publican, who acknowledged his unworthiness, was justified (Luke:18:10-14).
One had to belong to Israel (with some exceptions) to be saved; but one must be saved (with no exceptions) in order to belong to the church. The church is not a vehicle of salvation. Making that claim is a major error of most cults. Each claims that salvation comes through their church. In fact, salvation is for those outside the true church, and only then can one be a part of it.
Salvation has always been and still is the same for both Jew and Gentile; but God’s plans for Israel are different from His plans for the church. Jews (like Gentiles) who believe in Christ prior to His Second Coming (when He makes Himself known to Israel in rescuing her in the midst of Armageddon and all Israel is saved) are in the church. Jews who only come to faith in Christ at Armageddon will continue into the millennial kingdom on earth and Christ will reign over them from the throne of David. Many Gentiles will be saved at that time also, but “all Israel shall be saved” (Romans:11:26).