Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Galatians 3:16

In Galatians, Paul spends a lot of time explaining specifically how that promise to Abraham was fulfilled in the Church, not in the physical descendants of those of the ethnic nation.

Paul says, "The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ." (Gal. 3:16)

Here, Paul is specifically referring to the OT promise made to Abraham in Genesis 12:7 - "And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land."

Then Paul concludes chapter 3 of Galatians by saying this:

"And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise." (Gal. 3:28)

So, clearly, Paul makes the case that this promise made to Abraham was made to Jesus, not to every single Jewish person alive. Therefore, only those who are "in Christ" are the "offspring of Abraham and heirs according to the promise."

Secondly, the specific promise is also from Genesis 12, and in the same way, Paul's teaching clarifies to whom this promise is valid. It is not valid for those Jews who claim Abraham as their Father but do not do the works of Abraham (have faith in God and obey).

The nation of Israel was judged for rejecting Christ. Just as Christ prophesied it would be in the Olivet Discourse (see Mark 13, Matthew 24, Luke 21).

For thousands of years God continued to give the Jews opportunities to keep the conditional Covenant he made with them. Their final opportunity came when He sent His son and as Jesus warned them, their punishment for killing the Son would be that God would take the Kingdom from them and give it to others. (See Mt. 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-9; Luke 20:9-19)

When Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70, that was the final straw for every Jew who rejected God and His Messiah. This was also in fulfillment of the 70 Weeks prophecy in Daniel. Jesus, the Prince, was cut off in the middle of the week (His ministry was 3 and a half years long) and when Christ was crucified "he put an end to the daily sacrifice".

When the city of Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70, this was the end of their Temple, their Priesthood and their Daily Sacrifice. All 3 of these are now realized in the Church of Jesus. (We are the living Temple of the Holy Spirit, the Priesthood of Believers and the daily living sacrifice to God).

The secular Jewish nation that we have now in the Middle East is a godless one. They are not religious Jews. There is no difference between a secular Jewish nation that persecutes Christians in Palestine and rejects Jesus as Messiah and the Pharisees of Jesus' day who rejected Christ and persecuted Christians in Palestine. No difference.

So, as far as I can see, there is no reason to "Bless Israel" unless you're understanding that "Israel" is actually everyone who is found in Christ, because the Christian community is now the "true circumcision" (Phil. 3:3)

As Paul clearly teaches:

"For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “through Isaac your descendants will be named.” That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants." (Romans 9:6-7)


"Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham." (Gal. 3:7)


"...the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel." (Eph. 3:4-6)

So, there's one Body - the Church - which is made up of "all the nations of the earth" who are blessed by the Seed of Abraham (that is Christ) by faith in Him alone.

If you're curious, the teaching that we should bless Israel, etc. is relatively new and came through a guy named John Nelson Darby in 1830. When he introduced his teachings (which became Dispensationalism) he admitted that this was "new revelation" and that the Church did not ever believe or teach these things (which is confirmed by reading Church History).

So, you are free, of course, to continue to believe that God still has a special plan for the ethnic Jews of the Earth that currently reject Christ, but I believe the NT is clear that the only hope for the Jews (and the rest of the planet) is to receive Jesus as Messiah and follow Him. God does not have any other special plan for the Jewish people apart from His Son.



the alternative1 said...

I hear what your saying-I have allways considered myself a dispensational person but only in regards of the fact that today we are sealed by gods spirit being as proof of his children whereas before there was no sealing by gods spirit being-but in all times it boils down to who you depend upon to live life.

Linda said...

You say at the end of your post that there is no plan God would have for the Jews apart from his Son.
I agree that salvation and eternal life only come to the people of the world through faith in the sacrificial death and ressurection of Jesus Christ. However, Romans 11:16-25 speaks a bit to God's plan for the Jews.

I don't think that all may be over and done for the Jews yet. If they come to faith in Jesus Christ they're God's. God is well able to graft the natural branches in again Roman's says.

Also, there seems to be some kind of mystery about the fullness of the Gentiles coming in first, in this passage of scripture in Romans 11.

Is anything too difficult for God? This is what the scriptures say. I agree that if the Jews remain in unbelief and opposition to Jesus Christ they will then perish apart from Christ.

The world received mercy and salvation when the Jews stumbled over Christ, but scripture says in Romans that the bringing of the Jews in will mean.
Romans 11:15 "For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead"?

Perhaps the Jews will not obtain faith... but God can still use them to encourage the saints, and to be an instrument for Him. God used the Babylonians for judgement upon the nation of Isreal in the OT, He used the Assirians, etc. The Jews can still be a part of God's plan so to speak.

But I am convinced that there is no salvation, no regeneration, no new creation outside of Jesus Christ that is taught in the scriptures.

Keith Giles said...

Linda: Romans 11 does not promise that the Jews will be grafted in again apart from accepting Christ. If they continue to reject Christ then they can never be grafted back in.

Neale and Jenn said...

I'd even throw in some John the Baptist: Matt 3:9 and Luke 3:8. Physical decent is meaningless it is our spiritual heritage that matters.