Christian Author and Pastor Ron Craig

God’s covenant with Abraham started with Abraham, not Moses. Thus, the Old Testament Mosaic law was not the basis of that covenant. Paul himself said  that, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing. But the keeping of the commandments of God [is what it is all about] (1 Corinthians 7:19).” “For in Jesus Christ, neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision; but, faith which works by love (Galatians 5:6).” And once again, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anythingnor uncircumcision, but [the primary issue is one becoming] a new creature [in Christ] (Galatians 6:15).” 

Then Paul said something which has caused many a theologian to speculate that the church has replaced Israel [as God’s chosen people]. “As many as walk according to this rule [which Paul pointed out in the previous verse], peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God(Galatians 6:16).” And, from this one vague verse they build an entire theological system. They have speculated that the Israel of God must be the church. Without comparing this comment by Paul with all of his other statements on the subject, they make a conclusion which clashes with all the passages we have already covered, plus those we will be covering. God’s covenant with Israel was the very same as His covenant with Abraham, because AbrahamIsaacJacob [who was renamed Israel] and all of their following generations made up the family line of the Messiah—Jesus Christ. Remember that Paul also wrote that just being the physical offspring of Abraham did not make one the “seed” of Abraham (Romans 9:8, Galatians 3:7). So the Israel of God referred to those who were true Jews in spirit as well as in flesh. Paul was not referring to the church in Galatians 6:16. “They who are of faith [Jew and Greek], the same are the children of Abraham (Galatians 3:7).”

What passed away was the Mosaic law, not the nation of Israel. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross (Colossians 2:14).” “For, if the first covenant had been faultless, then would no place have been sought for a second. For finding fault with them, He says, ‘Behold, the days come when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and Judah (Hebrews 8:7-8).’”
“In that Deity says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first old. THAT WHICH DECAYS AND BECOMES OLD IS READY TO VANISH AWAY (Hebrews 8:13).” What had become old? Paul had to be referring to the Old Covenant law, for he said that the new took the place of the old, and what was new was a covenant. Remember that Paul said that, “in the New Covenant, “there is neither Greek nor Jewcircumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: But Christ is all, and in all [in the New Covenant] (Colossians 3:10).” The church did not replace Israel. We will all reign together in the New Earth.
(Ron Craig is pastor, teacher and author of Christian books; and these articles. You may view all the books by logging onto www.livingwayfellowshiponline.org. While logged on the website you can even listen to audio Bible-lesson podcasts. You may also send your questions or comments to ronwritercraig@gmail.com.)

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