One People, One God, One Spirit

Old and New Covenants

Under the Old Covenant God had with his people, the Jews were God’s chosen people. They were his people by physical birth. They were the children of God. Now, not all of them believed in God, though, so not all of them entered into God’s eternal rest. Many were cut off because of their unbelief, which was evidenced by their disobedience to the Lord.

We who were not Jews by birth were called Gentiles, and we, as non-Jews, were not God’s chosen people, and we were not heirs of the promise. We were separated from Christ, having no hope and without God in the world. But then Jesus came, and he died on a cross for our sins so that we Gentiles by birth could be heirs of the promise of God by the blood of Jesus Christ.

But this is not automatic. We have to put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives. And this involves us dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness, in his power and strength. We must obey the Lord, too, or we will not enter into his eternal rest, either, for God still considers disobedience as unbelief (Heb 4:1-13; 1 Jn 2:3-6).

Ephesians 2:14-22 ESV

“For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

“And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”

When Jesus came, and he died on the cross for our sins, God made both Jew and Gentile one in Christ for those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives. For, he abolished the Old Covenant with its ordinances, i.e., with its ceremonial, liturgical, purification and sacrificial laws. But he did not abolish his moral laws. They remain.

So, God’s chosen people are no longer his people by physical birth but by spiritual birth. And they are no longer just the Jews who believe in Jesus as their Messiah, but they are both Jew and Gentile who put their hope and trust in Jesus Christ. For God made us both one in Christ Jesus, so there is no longer a division between Jew and Gentile (Rom 9:4-8; Gal 3:26-29).

Through faith in Jesus Christ, both Jew and Gentile have access to God the Father in one Spirit. So, those who are Gentiles by birth and those who are Jews by birth can both be reconciled to God by faith in Jesus Christ. We are one in Christ by faith in Jesus Christ. Only through faith in Jesus Christ can Jew or Gentile now be God’s chosen people and heirs of his promise.

The Jewish nation, therefore, is no longer God’s chosen people. The covenant God had with them no longer exists. All of us, whether Jew or Gentile by birth have only one way to God and that is through faith in Jesus Christ via dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness in his power and strength (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).

All who do not believe in Jesus Christ are not God’s chosen people. They are not heirs of the promise because they do not believe in Jesus Christ. And they do not believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because God is Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. And Jesus told the Jews who did not believe in him that their father was the devil, not God (Jn 8:39-47).

Only through faith in Jesus Christ are any of us now fellow citizens with the saints of God and members of the household of God, which is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ being our cornerstone, in whom all of us, the whole body of Christ, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord Jesus.

So, if you are still believing that the Jewish nation is God’s chosen people and still heirs of the promise of God, you are not believing what the Scriptures teach. If you believe that the Jewish nation believes in the same God as the Christians, you are not believing what the Scriptures teach. We are now one in Christ through faith in Christ. There is no more division.

God now has only one chosen people, not two. And we only become God’s chosen people through faith in Jesus Christ. And that faith expresses itself in dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness. For, if we continue living in sin, we will not inherit the promise of God, but we will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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