This post today is simply a reminder of why I study the Bible the way I do - this is Jewish Roots 101. In Christianity today, we have over 30,000 denominations, each with their own twist. Why is that?
The first believers were all Jewish. Jesus and His family were Jewish. He is the prophesied Jewish Messiah. Ever since the Jewish roots of our faith were severed (mostly beginning in the fourth century under Constantine and Rome), there has been so much confusion!
Much of the confusion is due to Replacement Theology. This is the idea that the church replaced Israel - for good. Many churches still teach this today.
God deals with His people in terms of covenants. The Abrahamic covenant was permanent, unconditional, and irrevocable. The covenant made with the Israelites through Moses at Mt. Sinai was conditional and temporary. All covenants beginning with Abraham were made with the Jewish people, including the new covenant.
This is foundational! Don't build your theology on sand. I have heard preachers say, the old covenant is for the Jews; the new covenant is for the Christians. This is simply wrong, and easy to demonstrate through scripture.
Jeremiah 31:31 says this: Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt (emphasis mine). Jeremiah is letting us know that a new covenant is coming to replace the one given after leaving Egypt - which was the covenant God made at Sinai with Moses and the Israelites.
Fast forward to Ephesians 2:12-13 (Paul is speaking to the Gentiles here): that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Romans 11 gives us a wonderful picture that demonstrates this truth. Paul is speaking of the Jews in verses 11 and 12: I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!
Speaking to the Gentiles, Paul says, "And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you."
Finally, Paul reiterates God's promise to His people Israel in verses 25 and 26: blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
When I take away their sins.”