Archive for March, 2010

Replacement Theology

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

It is somehow believed by some Christians that we are replacements for the Israelite family because of the rejection of Christ by some Israelites.  This is called Replacement Theology and has been in the church since early church decades.  Why Christians feel a need to replace Israel will have to be the subject of another study, but here is some material if you are interested:

http://www.therefinersfire.org/replacement_theology.htm

In Romans 11 Paul points out to the Romans that we are branches that have been grafted into the tree.  Replacement theology would tell us that we are grafted in place of the Israelites.

Rom 11:17  But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree,

Does it say anything about “in place of” ?  Paul says “some”, not “all”, were broken off.  We don’t get a picture of the entire top of the tree being sawn off and God starting over, as He threatened to do with Moses (Exodus 32:10).  No, God is not finished with Israel yet, or ever, for Revelations says:

Rev 21:10  And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
Rev 21:11  having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper.
Rev 21:12  It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.

If God is finished with Israel, why will we spend eternity in a city built with the names of the tribes of Israel on its gates?  No, God will punish Israel for their unbelief, but He has promised them:

 Deu 4:30  “When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice.

See what Ephesians 3:6 says about our status alongside believing Jews:

Eph 3:6  to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,

Let’s look at the Greek words used here.  We find some interesting information about the three words describing our standing alongside Israel:

We are fellow heirs:

G4789
συγκληρονόμος
sugklēronomos
soong-klay-ron-om’-os
From G4862 and G2818; a co-heir, that is, (by analogy) participant in common: - fellow (joint) -heir, heir together, heir with.

We are FELLOW heirs, not THE heirs.  We should be thankful we have been invited into an inheritance along with Israel.

We are fellow members of the body:

G4954
σύσσωμος
sussōmos
soos’-so-mos
From G4862 and G4983; of a joint body, that is, (figuratively) a fellow member of the Christian community: - of the same body.

We and believing Jews are of the same body, as Paul says in Romans:

Rom 10:12  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;
Rom 10:13  for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

We are fellow partakers

G4830
συμμέτοχος
summetochos
soom-met’-okh-os
From G4862 and G3353; a co-participant: - partaker.

So we are joint heirs or co-heirs, of the same body, and co-partakers.  What a difference from replacing Israel: we are brothers to the Israelites, receiving the same inheritance from the Father as they.  Praise God.

Thanks to Pastor Melissa Scott for her introduction to this verse.