Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Good News For Jews

A Christian friend asked, “When God made the new covenant, what did the Jewish people lose as far as their standing with God as well as land promised to them?” 

Below is my response. 

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I don't think the Jewish people “lost” anything as a result of Christ and the New Covenant. (The Gospel is good news for Jews too!) 

As far as their “standing with God,” no Jew was ever saved by being Jewish. All people are and have been saved by grace through faith. Old Testament saints looked by faith toward Christ (the Messiah) and New Testament saints look by faith back to Him. This is the clear import of Paul's insistence that folks are truly Abraham's seed by faith, not biology.  

 . . . they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed (Romans 9:6-8). 

Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham (Gal. 3:7). 

The truth of which Paul speaks is not new to the New Testament. That is, no one is or ever was saved by DNA. 

In regards to the land, God kept His promise. This is made abundantly clear in the book of Joshua.  

So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass (21:43-45). 

Again Joshua says,  

Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed (23:14). 

That being said, the "land promises" point to ultimate realities in Christ and His church both now and in the new heavens and earth. In other words, Christ did not come to delay or postpone God’s promises; rather He is the ultimate fulfillment of those promises. 

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us (2Corinthians 1:20). 

Thus my concern for Jews is that they come to Christ. They need Jesus more than they need real estate.

5 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Seems to me the Jews didn't really lose anything. The offer of salvation was opened up to the entire world, and perhaps thats how it had to be. God hardened the hearts of the jews so they would not receive him. Or was it that Satan had blinded their eyes.. either way, spiritual warfare.

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    1. Thanks for reading and thinking, Justin.

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  3. The Messiah, as I've found out, was specifically to be a Jewish man (not God), sent by God for the tribes of Israel, sent specifically for the liberation of the occupied and oppressed Jews, and once they were free from the yolk of occupation, God would bring knowledge of Himself to the world through Israel. The Messiah would usher in this Godly age. Jews (and Jesus being a Jew) did not care to convert anyone, as living by the 7 Noahide laws, a Gentile is righteous in the eyes of God. No matter what apologistic theological gymnastics I have read, Jesus did not fulfil the criteria of the Jewish messiah, nor did He usher in any new age of peace. Which brings me to a curious point about the above article.... Why aren't there any quotes from Jesus Himself about His stated ministry and to whom He intended the ministry for? I read the Bible, and these verses guide me, (Mark 7:27) (Matt 10:5-6, 23) (Matt 15:24) (John 4:22). According to these Gospel accounts, Jesus wasn't interested in the Gentiles, labelling them 'dogs' and declaring that His ministry was for the Jews and that salvation (for the world) was to come from Jews (as per the messiah's role in establishing God's kingdom on earth) and thus from the God of Israel. The OT is dripping with the whole 'redemption for Israel from its enemies'. I also find it curious that the above article mainly quotes St Paul, and not Jesus. It's as though Pauline theology is above that of God's revealed Son and the theology presented by God through the actual apostles... except that the actual apostles didn't write anything... strange that. They could speak in all manner of tongues, but couldn't write about Jesus directly. As for St Paul, is it not he who constantly failed in his prophecy of Jesus' return? Many times over? Isn't this quoting a false prophet? I hold God's word on the subject of false prophets as authoritative regarding Paul (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).

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    1. Your comment exemplifies the truth of the Apostle Paul's words:

      "But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away" (2 Cor. 3:14-16).

      Your mind is veiled. And according to Christ, you don't believe Moses. Jesus is quite clear concerning your disbelief in Moses' writings.

      "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. . . . Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:39, 45-47).

      You do not believe Moses and Abraham isn't your father.

      "If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father” (John 8:39-41).

      You also misunderstand New Testament prophecies concerning the "coming of Christ" (a common mistake). Most of Paul's and Jesus' eschatology (e.g. the Olivet Discourse) have to do with the "judgment coming" of Christ which occurred with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD--just as Christ predicted. (An excellent book which could instruct you in this is "Before Jerusalem Fell," by Ken Gentry. But...first things first. One must learn to add and subtract before one tackles calculus.)

      As for your tired claims that the apostles wrote nothing...these are more than sufficiently dealt with in a myriad of books, both new and old.

      Thank you for reading and thinking. I leave you with the sobering words of the Apostle John.

      "Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also" (1 John 2:22-23).

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