The “Israel” of God in the New Covenant
When the student of the Bible carefully studies the Scriptures s/he will find that the word “mystery” is used to describe a number of different Bible truths. One such use of “mystery” appears in the following verse.
1. Ephesians 3:3
2. What is the “mystery” that Paul writes about in the verse above? (Hint: See verse six).
3. In verse six, the word “fellowheirs” is used to indicate that the Gentiles would be inheriting something along with another group. Who do you think that “other group” was?
4. In verse six the phrase, “and of the same body” appears. What does this phrase tell you about the body of Christ?
5. Referring again to verse three, how did Paul come to this understanding of the one body of Christ?
Paul’s revelation was that God’s people would not consist of the nation of Israel alone, but would be a single, universal body made up from all the peoples of the world.
6. Revelation 7:9
7. What does the phrase, “clothed with white robes” indicate to you? (Hint: See Rev.4:4; 7:14; 19:14)
8. How is the body of Christ described in #6 above?
9. Ephesians 2:12
10. Who is the “ye” who were without Christ and were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, etc. in the verse above? (Hint: See verse eleven).
11. Ephesians 2:13
12. From the verse above, what is it that has brought both the Jew and the Gentile together as one?
13. Ephesians 2:14
14. According to the verse above, what is it that Christ did for the Jew and Gentile on the cross?
15. Ephesians 2:16
16. What does the verse above say happened for the body of Christ by the cross?
Prior to the cross, Gentiles had been aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, but after the cross we are in Christ and are no longer foreigners, but fellowcitizens with spiritual Israel. Prior to the cross, Gentiles had to become a proselyte to the Jewish religion. Under the New Covenant no such requirement nor distinctions exist because when a person believes in Christ they are placed into Christ and His church by the Spirit (See Learning Activity #8).
17. Romans 9:6
18. What does the second half of the verse above tell you about the “Israel” that Paul is writing about?
19. Galatians 3:6
20. What was it that caused Abraham to be righteous before God?
21. Galatians 3:7
22. What does the verse above tell you about anyone who believes God?
23. Galatians 3:16
24. From the verse above, to whom were the promises of Scripture made?
25. Galatians 3:29
From the verse above we can see that if Christ is the seed, and we have seen in verse sixteen that He is, then all who are in Christ are included as heirs according to the promise and are Abraham’s seed.
Therefore, Gentile believers are Jews, but not outwardly, but rather inwardly (Romans 2:29). Even those born of Jewish heritage were not Jews (spiritually) because being born of Jewish heritage is outward. Even circumcision does not make them Jews because it also is outward in the flesh (Romans 2:28). Only by faith, an inward working, does any person become a part of spiritual Israel. The only biblical Israelite is the individual, regardless of lineage, who is in Christ through belief!
This understanding is also found in Romans 4:13–17. “For the promise that he should be the heir of the world, was not made to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith…it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.” All those who are in Christ are of Abraham and therefore are of the promise of God.
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