THE DOCTRINE OF SPIRITUAL ISRAEL

 

 

One aspect of the doctrine of Justification by faith has to do with the fact that the forgiveness Christ won for us not only saves us but makes us righteous in the sight of God. That is what the Bible is telling us when it says, “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us of all sin” (1John 1:7). Without that forgiveness God sees no good in us, “all of our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6), but when that forgiveness is ours God sees no fault in us because no sin is imputed to us (Psalm 32:2).

That cleansing from sin is what was accounted to Abraham “for righteousness” (Galatians 3:6,8), and is what is referred to in Scripture as circumcision of the heart (Deuteronomy 30:6). Because God sees no fault in those who have been cleansed by the blood of Christ they are God’s chosen people, the apple of His eye, and citizens of His heavenly kingdom.

 

God’s Chosen People

 

Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live.

Colossians 2:9-11 All the fullness of God dwells in Christ bodily. And you are complete in him… In whom you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands.

Galatians 3:7 Realize therefore that those who trust in Christ are the children of Abraham.

Philippians 3:3 For we who worship God in the spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and do not trust in the flesh, are those who are truly circumcised.

Romans 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew, who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Romans 9:7-8 And they are not all Abraham’s children, just because they are descended from him: on the contrary, Through Isaac shall your descendants come. That is, It is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted as the descendants.

 

[Comment: These verses tell us that those whom God sees as being circumcised, and therefore as the children of Abraham, are not those who are circumcised outwardly in the flesh but those who have been circumcised without hands through faith in Christ.]

 

 

Gal 3:28-29 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Gal 4:22-26 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a slave woman, the other by a free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born in fulfillment of a promise. Those events provide an allegory: for the women represent the two covenants. The one from mount Sinai, whose children are in bondage, is Hagar. For Hagar represents mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem as it now is, and she is in bondage with her children. But the Jerusalem which is above is free, and she is the mother of us all.

Galatians 4:28-29 Now we, brethren, like Isaac, are the children of promise.  But even as the son born after the flesh then persecuted the son who was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

Romans 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Romans 4:16 It is of faith, that it might be by grace; in order that the promise might be sure to all of Abraham’s offspring; not only those who are of the law, but also those who are of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

Romans 4:17 (As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) he [Abraham] is our father in the sight of God in whom he believed, God who gives life to the dead, and calls things that are not as though they were.

 

          [Comment: These verses tell us that God sees no difference between Jew and non-Jew, for all who trust in Christ are Abraham’s seed, and thus God’s chosen people. For the descendants promised to Abraham (whose number would be like the stars of heaven) are not those who are his descendants through the flesh, but those who are spiritually his descendants through faith in Christ.]

 

 

Matthew 6:33 Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all those things will be given to you.

Matthew 10:7 And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven advances with power, and those endued with power take hold of it.

Luke 17:20-21 Now having been asked by the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus said, The kingdom of God does not come in a way that is seen: Nor will people say, here he is! or, there he is! for, the kingdom of God is within you.

Ezekiel 47:22-23 And it will come to pass, that… the foreigners living among you, who have borne children among you: should be treated as the children of Israel born in the country; they should receive an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel… that in whatever tribe the foreigner lives, there you will give him his inheritance, says the Lord GOD.

2Thessalonians 2:13 God chose you from the beginning unto salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through faith in the truth.

 

[Comment: Since no sinner can be a citizen of God’s heavenly kingdom, we become citizens of God’s heavenly kingdom through faith in Christ alone. For that reason, God sees no difference between physical descendants of Abraham who trust in Christ, and those from other nations who trust in Christ. If God has chosen to bring them to faith in Christ then they are His chosen people.]

 

Conclusion

 

God expects His church to teach what the Bible says, not human opinion and conjecture. Therefore, when the Bible tells us that, “those who trust in Christ are the children of Abraham” (Galatians 3:7), or, “he is not a Jew, who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart” (Romans 2:28-29), then that is what God wants us to believe and teach.

 

Gary Ray Branscome