Monday, 17 July 2017

A Beautiful Story

The Apostles told the story of the Church as the story of Israel in wondrous, beautiful, glorious fulfilment.
The story of Israel became the story of the Church - naturally, in a single unbroken line.
The story of the Church and the story of Israel are not two separate stories/lines.
The story of the Church isn't just some other story being told only while Israel's story is put on hold, waiting to be resumed in future.
Neither is Israel's story a story where the identity of Israel got changed into something else, something less substantial.
No, our unified story is the story that Israel's God has faithfully fulfilled His promises to Israel (without postponing it to the future) - in and for Israel first (without altering the identity of 'Israel') - and then afterwards Gentiles also graciously came to belong.
And all of that fulfilled still another story, which began even earlier - the story of a once-childless man named Abram, to whom God promised:
" thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed..."
The promise was given before Israel was even born, before the Law was given.
Seed singular, it says - not seeds plural - which was Christ.
The promise would be for "all nations" it says, assuming no distinction between nationalities, such as was later made by Moses' Law.
The descendants of Abraham's grandson Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel) later became the custodians of that promise. Their privilege was to be the first to receive the promised Seed when He came, and the first to make Him known.
But the promise always was that all nations (that means, without ethnic distinction) would be blessed (that means, justified, sanctified, glorified, accepted, saved) in Abraham's seed (that is, Christ; and that means, without needing to become 'Jews', proselytes to Judaism).
So the story of Abraham, and the story of Israel, and the story of the Church are a unified story, in one unbroken historical line, without postponement, and without alteration of identities being needed in the process, as follows:
Abraham's promise → Israel became custodians → captivity → restored from captivity → He sent them their Messiah, in Israel, and for Israel (those who received Him, the 'Church', was at first was all-Jewish) → then afterwards Gentiles also came to belong ('in Him', to the Church), as one new man, the body of the Messiah, in one hope of His calling.
A unified story of wondrous, beautiful, glorious fulfilment!
And it's all about JESUS!

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