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The Bible and Israel (8)

“Through their fall (literally, “their transgression”) salvation is come unto the Gentiles” (11:11). The “transgression” here is Israel’s great sin in rejecting and crucifying the Messiah—only a hardened Israel could have committed such a gross transgression, which transgression was necessary for our salvation. The result of this transgression is: “the fall of them” (11:12); “the diminishing of them” (11:12); “the casting away of them” (11:15); and their “blindness in part” (11:25). This is God’s awful, but just judgment on the nation of Israel and on most Israelites.

Nevertheless, the judgment of the Jews brings salvation to elect, believing Gentiles (and to elect, believing Jews, too), namely: “the riches of the world” (11:12); “the riches of the Gentiles” (11:12); and “the reconciling of the world” (11:15), which Paul calls the “fullness of the Gentiles” (11:25). In addition, God purposes by the casting away of the Jewish people to provoke some of the unbelieving Jews to jealousy so that they believe in Jesus Christ: “to provoke them to jealousy” (11:11); “if by any means I may provoke to emulation (or, jealousy) them which are my flesh, and might save some of them” (11:14). In this way, the reprobation and hardening of Israel serves the salvation of elect Jews and Gentiles in the New Testament age!

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The Bible and Israel (7)

Our last blog post on this subject was May 25, 2018. We have proven from scripture that the New Testament church is the fulfillment of—not the replacement for—Israel. One final chapter requires out attention: it is the greatest chapter in the New Testament dealing with God’s purposes with Israel in the New Testament age, Romans 11. Since Romans 9–11 constitute a unit in the epistle, we summarize the contents of those three chapters of God’s word to demonstrate yet again that the Bible promises salvation only to those who believe in Jesus Christ.

Chapters 9–11 then begin a new section of the epistle in which Paul focuses on God’s sovereign purposes with the Jews and Gentiles.

In Romans 9:1–3 Paul expresses his sorrow at the perishing of so many of his countrymen who are his “kinsmen according to the flesh” (9:3). He lists their many advantages (adoption, glory, covenants, law, service, promises, etc.), chief among which is that Christ was born of them, who is God blessed, forever (9:5).

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The Bible and Israel (6)

Recently, the modern nation of Israel celebrated seventy years since it was established. Moreover, the United States has just moved its embassy to Jerusalem in order to recognize it as Israel’s capital city. But do such political moves have anything to do with the Bible? Are they the fulfilment of prophecy? Many Christians of a premillennial dispensational persuasion believe that they do. In addition, many in the premillennial dispensational camp argue that it is the Christian’s duty to support the nation...

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The Bible and Israel (5)

Having proven that the church is the same entity as Israel, the main difference being the spiritual maturity (or majority) of the former and the spiritual immaturity (or minority) of the latter (Gal. 3-4), the apostle Paul addresses the issue of motherhood—who is the spiritual mother of the believer, whether Jew or Gentile; and who is the spiritual mother of the unbelieving, carnal Jew? Paul uses an allegory to illustrate this spiritual truth in Galatians 4, in which allegory there are...

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The Bible and Israel (4)

The purpose of these blog posts is to identify the true, chosen people of God—are the people of God the modern nation of Israel, or is it the church? We have seen already that believers in Christ, and therefore not unbelieving ethnic Jews, are the true children of Abraham. Next we turn to the epistle to the Galatians. In Galatians 3, having proved that Abraham was justified through faith in exactly the same way as believers in all ages, Paul declares,...

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The Bible and Israel (3)

Having identified the significance of the nation of Israel and having explained the meaning of Jew in the Bible, we move on to another important question—who are the children of Abraham? Abraham is the father of the faithful, that is, the spiritual father of those who believe. Obviously, the Jews, as they call themselves, claim Abraham as their father: they boast physical and religious descent from him. This was so in the days of John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ,...

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The Bible and Israel (2)

In our first blog post, we demonstrated the status of Israel as a nation is not a political but a theological and exegetical matter. Whatever your political views concerning the Middle Eastern “peace process,” the Bible clearly defines who or what Israel is. We also demonstrated that, while many Christians, mostly of premillennial dispensational persuasion, view the “land promise” to Abraham as yet to be fulfilled, Abraham himself understood it very differently, although he never possessed the land, “no, not so...

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The Bible and Israel (1)

The belief that Israel is a nation before God forever is one held almost fanatically by many professing Christians, especially Christians of a premillennial dispensational persuasion. In fact, to deny that the modern “State of Israel” (as she is called) located in the Middle East is the people of God is heresy in some circles. Reformed Christianity teaches unashamedly that the church (made up of Jews and Gentiles who believe in Jesus Christ) is God’s chosen people. In some circles, that...

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