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Sunday, December 24, 2006

'Replacement' Theology?

Hey y'all,

I've been thinking about this popular ( in Reformed, Calvinistic circles ) 'theology'. I was talking to my ( wife's ) pastor today about it, and told him that I don't subscribe to it; as he was about to agree with me, I said; 'yeh, I don't believe that the Church replaced Israel as God's 'special people, I believe that the Church has always BEEN God's 'special people'!

I said that kinda 'tongue in cheek', but isn't that true? For one thing, doesn't the Bible tell us that 'He changes not'?

I believe that national, 'racial' Israel was NEVER God's 'special people', per se; but was merely a 'picture', or 'type' of the Church invisible, or, the 'Israel of God', and I'll tell you why!

Now, with that said; I'm not trying to say that the OT 'story' is JUST that, a 'story'; I believe that it's ALL true, that God delivered a certain people out of Egypt to be His 'special people', and that 'some' of those that He delivered out of Egypt WERE His 'special people', as Moses records, "but with some of them, He was not well pleased", and those perished in the wilderness, and as God told Elijah, later on; "yet have I reserved 7,000 men for Myself.............."!

Paul says, in Romans 2:28, 29 that, "he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that 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, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God."

This is almost as confusing, at first glance, as Romans 9:6-8!

What does Paul mean by saying that he is NOT a Jew who IS one?! I think that Paul is here 'differentiating' between the true Jews, those in Christ; and those that John speaks of in Revelation 2, 'that say they are Jews, and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan'.

Paul told the church in Rome, who apparently were having some 'trouble' with the teaching of 'replacement theology', in Romans 9:6, "But it is NOT that the Word of God has taken no effect, for they are not all Israel ( Jews ) who are of Israel ( Jews )." In my understanding, Paul is saying that not all those who are of Israel 'after the flesh' are true Israel ( ites ). The obverse, or 'other side of the coin', IMHO, would be that 'some' of those who are NOT Israel ( ites ) 'after the flesh' , ARE the true 'Israel of God'!

But I digress.................

Paul tells the church in Galatia, that "those who are of faith are sons of Abraham", implying that those who are NOT of faith are NOT sons of Abraham; in fact, Jesus told the Pharisees of His day, that they were sons of the devil!

So, having said all that, coupled with the 'knowledge' that God has a Plan for His Church, which He implemented on day one, is the main reason that I believe that Israel 'after the flesh' was never meant, as a whole, to be God's 'special people', and that the Church is not Plan B!

In Christ,
Charles Shank

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