(2) When they talk about the distinction between the church and Israel, people have failed to make the necessary distinction between national Israel and the remnant of Israel. Remnant Israel is a spiritual body, national Israel is not.
Gentile believers are grafted into remnant Israel, the Messiah is the sacred root. The pagan believers have taken the place of the Jews who have not believed, but non-Jews as a whole have not replaced the Jews as a whole. Only a part of Israel has become hardened (Romans 11:25). And God is able to return Jews in the remnant Israel / the church if they believe (Romans 11:23).
The correct understanding of Israel and the Church is not a replacement theology or separation theology. The Church has not replaced national Israel. National Israel was never a spiritual body of people, but only a nation of rescued and redeemed, not like other nations. God has a future program of prophecy to be fulfilled for that nation. Neither has the Church replaced the remnant of Israel. Paul considered himself a part of the remnant Israel (Romans 11:1-5), part of Christ (Romans 9:3), and part of the Church (Ephesians 5:29-30). This shows that the Church, the Body of Christ and remnant Israel are synonymous.
Therefore the Church is not independent or separate from remnant Israel. The Church is remnant Israel. By faith in Christ, pagan believers are no longer excluded from citizenship in Israel, nor from the covenants of promise (Ephesians 2:12). They are grafted into the Church, an olive tree natural to Jewish people, but unnatural for gentiles. It is for this reason that Paul exhorts his gentile readers not to be arrogant about their membership in the church (Rom. 11:20).
Read more > A Different Perspective on the Church and Israel
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