Monday, January 30, 2012
This Christian Nation
In Exodus, chapter 19, God tells Moses that He wants to make a covenant with the people of Israel. He says,
“This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel…if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” (Exodus 19:3-6)
Notice that this covenant has a condition: “If you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then…”
SPOILER ALERT: They didn’t keep their end of the bargain. So, Jesus came and fulfilled it for them, saying,
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Matthew 5:16-18)
A friend once described Christ’s fulfillment of the Old Covenant by pointing out that a child is a promise of an adult. When that child grows up and becomes an adult, the promise within that child is fulfilled. In this way, Jesus came and did what no one else could do – He fulfilled the law, obeyed God fully and kept the Old Covenant. But notice something; the fulfillment of the Old Covenant unlocked a promise. What was it?
“…you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:6)
After Jesus did what no Israelite could do (kept the Covenant), He made it possible for us to become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. This is why Peter says,
“you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5)
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation…” (1 Peter 2:9)
Who is he talking to? To the Church! We are the Israelites who are now called “a holy priesthood” and “a holy nation”. Not just Jews, but anyone who is in Christ! As it says in Revelation 5:9-10:
“And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
And also the Apostle Paul tells us,
“If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29)
"Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all." (Colossians 3:11)
Again, as Peter affirms,
“Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:10)
To be clear, there is only one Christian Nation on the face of this Earth and it is the Church that is in Christ. Not any specific geographic land. Not any political system. Not any race or religious hierarchy. Only the one, world-wide Church – the Bride of Christ Jesus – is a Holy, Christian Nation on this Earth.
My allegiance is to that Holy Nation alone, and not any other kingdom or power of this world.