Wednesday, September 19, 2012

God Has Done A New Thing

I realize that politics and government are boring subjects to many people. We would rather just deal with what is important to us and leave the important stuff to other people to figure out. Even in the Church we only want to deal with worship and prayer, leaving other matters to the pastors and elders to deal with. But there is one subject that is important for us all to grasp and deal with. It is important for us to understand our relationship with Israel.

Wow, I actually heard a number of people switch off there. No, seriously, it is important for us to understand our relationship with Israel because there are those who believe that we have replaced the Jewish nation. They teach that the Jews have been kicked to the curb and the Church has been raised up in their place. This is wrong.

We can never forget that we have been grafted in but the Jews are natural to the vine. Although they have been allowed to exist in the darkness of their rejection of Jesus, they will not remain like this. Those who are natural to the vine will awaken to the truth and when they do it will be a beautiful thing. What is really important for us to understand is that we will be one with them. We have not replaced them. God has done a new thing, tearing down what was and creating something new, in which the natural and the unnatural have become one and the same:

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. (Ephesians 2:14-15)

That's where the Jews struggle, over the law issue. Who can blame them? The law has defined them for thousands of years and then God says, "No, I am doing a new things." Suddenly instead of leaning on the law they have to lean on Jesus. Yes, in order to be part of this new thing God is doing, both the natural and unnatural must enter through the cross, the blood of Jesus Christ:

His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. (Ephesians 2:15-16)

Now there is no longer the natural and unnatural, the Jew and the Gentile. God has done a new thing and we are one in Jesus. The Jew no longer has the advantage of the law, it is no longer what defines them. We are no longer excluded, left out in the cold, considered foreigners. We are as natural to Jerusalem as the Jews. We all have the same Father and we all have access to him by the same Spirit:

He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. (Ephesians 2:17-18)

It is why we pray for and support Israel. We have not replaced Israel but instead, together, we have become something new through Jesus Christ by the will of the Father. Many may be in the dark right now but soon they will see. In fact, many Jews have abandoned even the Law, abandoned God and have nothing to do with faith. Pray that the conviction of the Spirit and the faith of God will descend on these people so we will see our brothers and sisters rise in Jesus and take their place with us. May God receive the glory in the love we show to Israel.

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