Sunday, August 30, 2015

Add Israel to your Church's Belief Statement, part 2

Intrinsic to adding Israel to a church’s Belief statement is strengthening its approach to scripture. The basis for most Protestant doctrinal statements comes out of the belief the Law has been done away with and the New Covenant has replaced the old covenant. This is behind the erroneous position called Replacement Theology which believes Israel is the recipient of God’s curses and the Church is the recipient of God’s blessings. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth.  

The change that is needed begins when they recognize that God keeps his promises and there are many promises that have to do with the nation of Israel and those have not changed. When God opened up the blessings to include the nations, He did so efficiently. Plan A did not fail so as to make way for Plan B. Acts 21 makes it clear when James (Jacob) told Paul, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the this (temple ritual)..[so that] all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you (that Paul teaches against the Law) but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law.”

Ephesians 2:11-12, “Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Un-circumcision by the so-called Circumcision, which is performed in the flesh by human hands – remember that you were at that time:
  • separate from Messiah, 
  • excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, 
  • strangers to the covenants of promise, and
  • having no hope and without God in the world.

If these are the good things that Gentiles did not have, then does the Church believe that Believing Gentiles:
  • are now close to Israel’s Messiah, 
  • are now part of the commonwealth of Israel, 
  • are now partakers of the covenants of promise, and
  • now have hope because they know God, through faith.

Or does the Church’s present day stance encourage the opposite approach? 
  • The church is the only one who has the Messiah now, 
  • We criticize the commonwealth of Israel, for the ideal is spiritual 
  • We alone have the covenants of promise, and these promises are spiritual
  • We are the only ones who have hope and know God in the world.

“But now in Jesus the Messiah, you who formerly were far off (i.e., Gentiles) have been brought near by the blood of Messiah. For He Himself is our peace who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of Commandments contained in ordinances.” Ephesians 2: 13-14

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Messiah Jesus being the corner stone…” Ephesians 2:19-20

In other posts I have commented on verse 14 to show that ”which is” and “contained” were added to the text (which is why they are italicized). It purports to say the Law has been abolished. This would be a contradiction of Jesus Himself, who said in Matthew that He DID NOT COME TO ABOLISH the Torah but to fulfill the Torah. Later Paul says: “what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.” 1 Corinthians 7:17

You might say, ‘The context of Corinthians 7 is whether or not a Gentile believer who is not circumcised should become circumcised.’ After all, it says, ”Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called.” Circumcision is a code word that essentially means to go through the process of becoming a proselyte – to convert to being a Jew. Am I advocating that a Gentile believer should become a Jew? Absolutely not! But there is a big difference between ignoring, criticizing, shunning, and denigrating something to understanding it. It’s all in the attitude. One of the groups that I support is FFOZ (First Fruits of Zion). They have long held that Gentiles are under no compulsion to obey ALL of the commandments. But, if our “ignoring, criticizing, shunning, and denigrating” keeps us from seeing the wisdom of something, then we are the losers. If we don’t stop and say, “What has Jesus said and done?” on a particular subject, then we are likely to make a bad decision. 

1 comment:

  1. Love it Dad! You're right on the money with this one!