Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Seed of Abraham

Does God save all of His children, you might ask? Aren't every one of us the children of God? Well... it depends on how you look at it. There are actually two parts to this question.

One, we must differentiate between the natural/physical children and spiritual children. It is the spiritual children of God who are to be saved. As the Apostle Paul put it quite clearly in Romans 9:6-8,
"For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, 'It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.' In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring."
Therefore, when viewed in a Biblical sense, God does save all of His children, that is His spiritual children.

Two, we do not know why some of us are elected to be God's spiritual children while others are not. The Bible does not tell us the reasons, and we should not speculate any further as we might create the wrong doctrines.

If the Apostle Paul ended his epistle at Romans 9:6-8, we might think that the children of the promise are only found within physical Israel. However, he did not do so. The Apostle Paul later elaborated
in Romans 11 on exactly who are the children of the promise.

In verse 13, the Apostle Paul identified who he was writing to, "I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles..." In verses 17 and 18, the Apostle Paul used a grafting branches analogy:
"If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you."
The "broken branches" that the Apostle Paul wrote about refers to the unelected physical children of Israel. The "wild olive shoot" refers to the elected Gentiles. The "olive root" is a reference to Abraham. And note the word "grafted." It means that the elected Gentiles are adopted into the line of Abraham, making them Abraham's spiritual children.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 3:6-9,
Even as Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. Therefore know that those of faith, these are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations through faith, preached the gospel before to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all nations be blessed." So then those of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
Why are all the nations blessed? Initially, God's covenant of grace only applied to the physical children of Israel. By "grafting" the elected Gentiles into the "olive root" that is Abraham, God has extended His covenant of grace to all nations. God's spiritual children are no longer restricted to physical Israel, but can be found among the Gentiles. Because the elected Gentiles are now considered sons of Abraham, the divine promise "
In you shall all nations be blessed" is fulfilled.

4 Comments:

Blogger Daniel Ho said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. anyway this is a good article, but also considering these

a) The role of Israel in God's plan for the End Times. Tho there is a unique separation of the spiritual children and the elected nation of God, i believe as Jacob Praasch believed, there is a role Israel will have to play as the elected nation. I believe Israel is God's and her role is significant as we approached the end days.

b) The seed of Abraham could be fulfilled as a prophecy instead of a direct inference on the christians today. It is through the Seed of Abraham, the coming of Jesus is prophecized, through Christ's death on the Cross, He brought Salvation to us. First to the Jews, and then to the gentiles. This was spoken by Paul, whom he became the apostle to the gentiles (parallel to Peter's interaction with the Gentiles).

17/8/05 10:04 AM  
Blogger beowulf said...

I googled for "Jacob Prasch" and it appears that he is a dispensationalist. However, my approach to the Bible is different from yours. I see Covenant Theology as the logical way to interpret the Bible. Therefore, from my viewpoint, I see one people of God, not two distinct people of God where He have separate plans for them.

From reading your blog, it seems that you are a fan of John Piper. Piper has written something that concerns this subject in the article, "Do Jews Have a Divine Right in the Promised Land?" that I agree with. There is another article titled "What does John Piper believe about dispensationalism, covenant theology, and new covenant theology?" that states his position.

17/8/05 5:13 PM  
Blogger Daniel Ho said...

Is there a logical way to look at it? Let's have the scripture (OT and NT) as the basis of my faith - I believe Israel is the chosen, as well as the Church today (Not the catholics), nevertheless i am not a dispensationalist nor am i a pure covenant theology. Guess i do disagree and agree with both of them on certain issues.

17/8/05 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Danial Ho,

Reformed Theologians like Charles Hodges and many others, who hold to post-mill believed that many physical Israel will turn to christ thus "all Israel will be saved" in the last day.

But there believed in one "Olive tree". I recommend you to read Keil Matthison book, "Wrongly divides the people of God"

Follow the link to an aritcle by Pastor of Pilgrim Covenant (Singapore)
http://pilgrimcovenant.com/publication/main_articles/2000/wklyArt_000730.htm

28/10/06 10:58 PM  

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