Jesus, the true Israel, and the identity of the people of God (part 2, the Pauline letters)

I didn’t intend for this to be more than one post. However, due to technical difficulties, I had to, my phone starts to act funny. I built the foundation for this study in my last post. I’m just going to jump right into Paul. In his letter to the church in Rome, Paul is defending the gospel and building a kind of all-encompassing treatise of what it is. He begins by talking about the righteousness that comes through faith (1:16&17) which leads into the unrighteousness that comes from not believing not only on gentiles(1:18-32) but also Jews(2:1-5) he then goes on to tell us how everyone will be judged indiscriminately for what they have done(2:6-16) he then goes on to talk about the uselessness of circumcision if one does not keep the law(2:17-29) he then speaks of the benefits of being a Jew(3:1-8) only to show that the Jews, too, need rescuing from sin(3:9-20) Paul is beginning to show how Christ is the new patriarch of God’s people and, in Him, all who have faith are considered God’s people(3:21-26) which brings him full circle to circumcision and how apart from faith one cannot keep the law(3:27-31) which brings him to Abraham, for Abraham was the one who received the covenant of circumcision that originally set apart the people of God, he goes to show that Abraham and David were both justified by faith without the law(4:1-8) he then goes to show Abraham being justified before the covenant of circumcision, thus making him the father of those who have faith, rather than those who are circumcised only(4:9-24) I think it can go without saying that Paul didn’t believe that Jews who rejected Jesus were somehow still part of the people of God. From chapters 5-8 he is talking about the implications of being reconciled to God, the weakness of the law, and the power of walking in the spirit. He then gets back to the subject of physical Israel and their rejection of the Messiah. His answer to the problem says everything “not all those who are descended of Israel are Israel… On us, the ones He has called, not only from the Jews, but from the gentiles too” (a big split, lots of discourse in dots, the idea stands though) the whole point of Romans 9-11 is explaining why most of Israel rejected Jesus and justifying God’s having mercy on the gentiles. In Galatians, Paul is answering the judaizers(“Christians” who told gentiles they had to be circumcised to be accepted by God). He begins his discourse by talking about his response to Peter, who was drawing a separation between Jewish and gentile Christians(Galatians 2) something that Paul detests, for one cannot be made right with God through the law and circumcision. He then goes on to speak of Abraham’s 2 children, one of Hagar the slave, the other of Sarah his wife and how the Jews under the law are of Hagar and us, in Christ, are of Sarah(Galatians 3). One more final thought, anytime you read about the works of the law and circumcision he is talking about identity, more specifically, physical Israel apart from Christ.

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3 thoughts on “Jesus, the true Israel, and the identity of the people of God (part 2, the Pauline letters)

  1. jacobelgin

    A new way to look at this, Col.2:11. Christ now does the circumcision inside of us. The Old Covenant wrote on tablets of stone, (Ten Commandments), is now delivered in a New And Living Way, Heb.10:15-20. Ancient Israel only had God with them, not In Them, (The Tree Of Life had been sealed off to man, Gen.3:22-24). Under the New Covenant Christ Himself writes His Law into our hearts and puts it into our minds, Heb.8:10-13 & Heb.10:15-21. The Mystery of the Gospel is, Col.1:26-27. Jesus Christ Himself will not only be with us, but also will dwell IN US, Gal.2:20-21.

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