By Michael Horton, Crosswalk.com
The following is a transcribed Video Q&A, so the text may not read like an edited article would. Scroll to the bottom to view this video in its entirety.
It is important to see that in Genesis 15, for example, where the promise is made of a temporal people and temporal nation and temporal land, you also have the promise of a far greater reality that transcends it. Not just that God will bring the physical descendants of Abraham back to that land on which he is lying 400 years later (which he did). But that even something greater would happen down the road; namely, that through him and his seed/heir all the families of the earth would be blessed. So you have two promises there in Genesis 15.
That two-fold promise goes all he way through the OT until you do get to the New Testament. In Jeremiah 31 God says that the new covenant will not be like that covenant that Israel swore at Mt. Sinai when it pledged to be God’s holy nation. When the new covenant is inaugurated, it will be the blessing, the greater blessing, that all the families of the earth through Abraham’s greater son. And Jesus Christ is that greater Son.
This is why the apostle Paul, for example, says there is neither Jew or Gentile. He calls the church the Israel of God. Peter applies terms that were only used of the nation of Israel in the OT to the NT church—calling it a holy nation, a royal priesthood, a people for God’s own possession. It is not that God has rejected the physical descendants of Abraham it is that the way into that everlasting promised land was never on the basis of physical-ethnic-heritage or obedience to the Law. It was always through faith in Jesus Christ.
Now that Christ has come that wall between Jew and Gentile has been broken down. If that wall has been broken down then that means as Hebrews 8 tells us, that old covenant is now obsolete. The nation of Israel broke those national promises which were only temporary and conditioned on Israel’s obedience. God cast Israel out of the land, and the only way into the everlasting land beyond that sliver of real estate in the Middle East (the whole earth that belongs to the Lord in the age to come) is through faith in Jesus Christ.
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