There is a common misconception today concerning the nation of Israel. Some claim that since the Jews were God’s chosen people in the Old Testament that even those Jews who refuse to believe on Jesus are still accepted in God’s sight if they follow the Law of Moses. This incorrect view has caused many to conclude that God is somehow still guiding the present day nation of Israel as He did with Old Testament Israel. The solution to this problem is to come to grips with the fact that the term “Israel” is used many times in the New Testament in a symbolic way, referring to the Christians, the new chosen of God! In the Old Testament the Jews were God’s people because they were the ones with whom God had made a covenant. However, in the New Testament we learn there has been a new covenant made by God with those who follow the teachings of His Son, Jesus Christ. Here is what the Hebrew writer said about Jesus and the two covenants.

Hebrews 10:9

“He takes away the first that he may establish the second.”

Under the first covenant a person was born into the nation of Israel and thus became an Israelite by his physical lineage from Abraham. But even then not all of the physical descendants of Abraham were part of “Abraham’s seed.” Abraham had another son, Ishmael, whose descendants were not a part of the nation of Israel because the promise was made only through Abraham’s son, Isaac. See Paul’s point when he says that the children of the fleshly are not the children of God.

Romans 9:6-8

“But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.”

From this text we learn that fleshly Israel—which would include present day Jews—are not the children of God. Even though they may claim to be Israelites, they are not the Israel of God. The Israel of God is made up of those people who follow Christ.

Galatians 6:15-16

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.”

In Christ, it makes no difference whether one is circumcised or not. What matters is that one is a new creation in Christ. This is for both Jew and Gentile. God makes no distinction.

Romans 10:12-13

“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

Galatians 3:26-29

“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.”

In Christ, God makes no distinction between Jews and Gentiles. The present day Jews are not God’s chosen people. Only Christians are the people of God. If you are a Christian, then you are an heir of the promise and a part of the spiritual Israel of God.

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