God’s Promises to Israel
Jesus said to the Jewish leaders of His time that their rejection of Him would seal their own rejection as the sons of the covenant. “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder” (Matthew 21:43,44).
But the good news is that God’s promises to literal Israel in the Old Testament were transferred to spiritual Israel in the New Testament, which is the church, made up of all true believers in Christ (Jews and Gentiles). And the physical temple has now become the spiritual temple of the church, made up of all true believers (1 Corinthians 3:16), who are the “lively stones” of that “spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5).
All believers are brought into the family of God through submission to Christ. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26, 29).
True Israel will be characterized by circumcision of the heart and not of the flesh. “Ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ” (Colossians 2:11). Thus, all who accept Christ will inherit the promises made to Abraham.
Paul affirms this truth in Romans 9:8. “They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” And he elaborates, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart” (Romans 2:28, 29).
After the crucifixion of Christ, the door for the salvation of the Jews was left open through the preaching of the apostles until A.D. 34, the end of Daniel’s seventy-week prophecy. Also see: What’s the purpose of the seventy weeks in Daniel?
Later on, the gospel was taken to the world and true Israel consisted of all those who accept the Savior regardless of race: “by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4 also John 1:12, 13; 3:3).
God’s grace makes all believers regardless of race “sons of God” (1 John 3:1), and so “joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17), and receivers of grace and of all the family privileges (Galatians 4:6, 7).
In His service,