GAL 6:16 “AND AS MANY AS WALK ACCORDING TO THIS RULE, PEACE [BE] ON THEM, AND MERCY, AND UPON THE ISRAEL OF GOD.”
Ray May 28, 2010 ETPW
“What I have come to understand here is that the faithful who have been justified through Christ have JOINED with those who were faithful under the law , and collectively we are all one in Christ.
There is only one olive tree into which those in Christ have been grafted.
The crux of this debate is found in a couple of verses in Romans .
- Romans 2:26
For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical.But a Jew is one inwardly and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter , His praise is not from man but from God.
- Romans 9:6
But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but through Isaac shall your offspring be named.
This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.
Paul makes it absolutely clear that Israel is no longer defined in terms of the flesh, that is , by circumcision and ethnic lineage, BUT that Israel is now characterised as a spiritual entity, circumcision of the heart and children of the promise [Christ].
The nature of Israel are those who were faithful under the old covenant and have been joined as one with those who display faithfulness under the new covenant.
Hebrews 11 chronicles the faith and obedience that the fathers and leaders displayed before God and their unbelieving nation , but finishes with this verse;
And all these , though commended through their faith , did not receive what was promised , since God has provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
James , what I see here is that through the types and shadows as well as the new covenant replacing the old, there is a replacement process that has taken place, but , Israel are those who have been , and continue to be faithful.”
Ray May 28, 2010 ETPW
Sometimes someone comes along and just places his finger on an aspect which needs to be emphasised. How the old and New Testament believers are joined. Not because they were born into a particular race, but because they were faithful to the covenant. So let us look at this issue of faithfulness. As Christians we often poke our noises up at the Israelites because of their unfaithfulness to the covenant. Then proudly acclaim we are not like those people. But the simple truth is many are just like the Israelites.
HOW FAITHFULL ARE WE TO THE COVENENT.
What were the Jewish excuses: God will keep his covenant with us. We will still get in even thought we are unfaithful. God said “NO CHANCE.”
God will forgive us even though we continue to sin and go our own way. God said “NO CHANCE”
But do we as Christians sometimes find ourselves using these same lame excuses.
That is what the Apostle Paul was telling the Romans.
- Rom 6:1 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”
The answer was obvious NO CHANCE.
The Jews speak about the OT covenant, but how many will use the term grace and the New Testament Covenant. The Jews made excuses, but don’t we do the same at times. Where is our obedience? How many seek to walk according to the New Testament rules.
Gal 6:16 “As many as walk according to this rule” What rule? Lawlessness, disobedience, the worship of other Gods, WHAT WAS THIS RULE? Was it for Jews only or were gentiles also included in this commission. I mean Rome was predominantly gentile. So was Paul speaking only about a Jewish faction?
Then we would have the whole debate that would rage around the issue. Was the jews alone disobedient and had to be reminded, and the gentiles were all obedient. NO Chance. Both had to be reminded to walk according to the covenant. Paul was not the advocate of a body divided on racial grounds. If we are one then what Paul stated was for all who were in the New Covenant.
Just because we are under grace does not mean we wander off and please ourselves, then run back and plead forgiveness. God has called into a New Covenant. Now in the Old Covenant you were in simply because you were born into a particular race. In the New Covenant people are also required to be born onto that race. But this time it is a spiritual birth. You have to be born again. Now the predominate character and nature of this birth means that all who are truly born are by nature faithful In spirit and truth.
Now a lot of what is blogged on the sites like ETPW is that people recognise the simple fact that people are not obedient to the covenant. They want to develop something new, attractive to persuade people with. People recognise that these are people who do not walk according to the rule Paul speaks about. They don’t care if what they present is another gospel.
The blessing of God lies with the true Israel of God, those whose desire is to walk according the precepts which God has laid down. They love Gods Law and seek to keep it. They become offended and grieved when they fail to keep it. This is how we can know between those who do walk according to the rule Paul speaks about. They are faithful to keep Gods word alive in their hearts and minds. Even as Christians we have to be reminded at times in the slog of everyday life to be faithful. But the overwhelming principle in our lives is for obedience.