I get it, I get it! You’ve come to the knowledge of Reformed Theology, your young in the faith, you have been defending the gospel with fervor and zeal, but every time you run across a Paedo-baptist you hear this: “Your not really Reformed!” So under the guise of wanting to be fully Reformed and wanting to stand in the tradition of men like Calvin, Knox, Bucer, etc…., you jump head first into the deep end of Paedo-baptism, not even understanding the theology behind infant baptism.
I too cut my teeth on Reformed Theology under a Paedo-baptist. I came to the knowledge of Reformed Theology while listening to R. C. Sproul on the radio. At the time I was in a Charismatic church which held deeply to mysticism and emotionalism. The Charismatic theology of this church did not really have that much of a hold on me. I had already begun to be skeptical of this movement and had questioned much of its main tenets. All the emotionalism and hype, but no love for scripture. No expository preaching, only picking and choosing of texts of scripture which seemed to agree with the fanatical doctrines of Benny Hinn, Kenneth Hagin, Jr., and many others. (1)
No, charismatic doctrine did not particularly have a hold on me, but the dispensationalism of these type churches sure did. I carried my cherished Scofield Bible everywhere I went. Studying the doctrines of such men as: Hal Lindsey, Scofield, Walvoord, LaHaye, Blackstone, and my all time favorite minister Jack Van Impe. Yes, dispensationalism was the doctrine to live and die for. It was my pet peeve and is something I knew the in and outs of. I could hear the daily news and was able to recite scripture from memory to show how all the terrible things going on in society and the world, had been predicted thousands of years ago, right there in Holy writ. Little did I realize that what I was doing was not Biblical exegesis, but instead was ripping scripture apart by picking and choosing what seemed to fit the morning headlines. (2)
One of the problems with both of these systems is the fact that they have Arminianism as their door keeper. Arminianism stands with all man made systems. It is the glue which holds them all together. Is this an over exaggeration? I think not. Charismatic doctrine has man at the center and it is all about what God can do for me. It possesses no doctrines which teach that God owes us nothing and that it is our duty to give to God. Yes, we are to give to God true worship. The church service is not about us or what we are to receive. This is why so many of these type churches split down the middle. The congregants are not satisfied with anything because they are always seeking a new experience. (3)
Dispensationalism on the other hand possesses no Biblical unity. God has his separate plans: One for Israel and one for the Church. God is not working out one over-arching purpose, which purpose was to save a people for his name through his Son Jesus Christ, but instead is building on two plans. Yes, both of these systems are flawed and do not seek to rightly interpret scripture with Christ at the center. (4)
But back to my story:
Upon discovering the doctrines of grace I knew that they were true. Having had a born again experience, that could only have been called supernatural, I began to read scripture with new eyes. I saw that the acronym ‘TULIP’ was truly contained within scripture. I begin to read the giants of Church History and 2 years later called a local Presbyterian Church and made an appointment with the Pastor. When I arrived for the appointment, I began to question this Pastor concerning Reformed Theology. I wanted to know if what I had been learning concerning Reformed Theology were true? He affirmed that what I had been learning was in fact the Reformed tradition and that it was a system, not forced into scripture, but derived from scripture. This man possessed the titles of a learned man, seeing that Presbyterians require some formal education in order to be an elder, but after hearing me recite from Augustine, Calvin, Knox, and many others, he admitted that I had read more of the Reformation writings than he had. As I was leaving, he handed me a copy of The WCF and told me, “Now you must choose which ecclesiology is truly found in scripture.” In other words, is Presbyterianism truly the ecclesiology of scripture or is congregationalism truly present within scripture? (5)
After meeting with this elder I vacillated between Paedo-baptism and Credo-baptism. I set my anchor on the side of the Reformed Baptists, but after many debates with Presbyterians and not truly understanding the RB position, I moved to a Presbyterian position because I truly wanted to be considered Reformed. I was extremely happy. I now stood with Calvin (whom I loved reading and thought to be one of the greatest theologians of all times), and many others of the Reformation. I could read my WCF and have a warm feeling in my gut because I knew that men had died to recover the doctrines contained therein.
A year rocked on and though I was happy my conscience bothered me. All I kept hearing is, “Did you arrive at paedo-baptism through scripture?” Yes, I was happy, but why this nagging conscience? I have always, no matter what I believed at the moment, tried to derive my views from scripture. I constantly pointed charismatics to scripture, not emotionalism and not hype, but scripture. After a year, I stopped and asked myself, “Did you arrive at paedo-baptism because you wanted to be associated with certain men of the Reformation or because you actually studied scripture and found paedo-baptism contained therein?” I had to admit that the former was true. I did not derive my views of paedo-baptism from scripture, but instead held to this view because I wanted to be associated with Calvin. I wanted to be in that group which goes around hollering, “We are truly Reformed!” (6)
So a journey began. I put away paedo-baptism and told myself that I was not going to believe anything concerning baptism, unless I could find it contained within the Word of God itself. The more I studied, the more I became convinced that paedo-baptism is a man-made system. It is not in scripture. The entire system, like dispensationalism, is built on Old Testament principles. In order to hold to this system, the exegete must have a presuppositional bias before ever examining a text.
This past weekend I spent several hours debating with a teacher of a PCA church. One of my friends on Facebook announced that he had switched from a Reformed Baptists position to Presbyterianism. So I began to challenge him to think about the differences in the covenant theology of the two. He could not answer any of my objections and never made an attempt to do so. So another guy I am friends with, who is also a teacher in a PCA Church, stepped in and stated that he had this for him. This friend who had been a teacher of a PCA Church for more than 20 years, did not even realize that the WCF holds to a one substance under two administrations view of the covenants. I was told that I was misrepresenting PCA covenant theology, but as we neared the end of the debate and me showing him what the WCF teaches, he admitted that that is what he held to, even though he was arguing against it before I pulled his confession into the discussion. He finally tagged someone else to come in and try to help him debate me on this matter. Go figure! (7)
So what about my friend who switched to Presbyterianism? He still stands with Presbyterianism, even though he sat back and watched his learned teacher fail at explaining the system of paedo-baptist covenant theology. My objection from the get go was, “Why do you have to step in and help this fellow who switched views?” “Seems to me that he should not switch positions, unless he can articulate for himself, why Reformed Baptist Covenant Theology is wrong.” This is the crux of the matter, if a man does not know how to defend the position he has switched to, then maybe he should not hold said position.
The more I study Reformed Baptist Covenant Theology the more I am convinced that my position is true. It is still sad to see someone switch to paedo-baptism, without even knowing why.
So another friend dives into the deep end of paedo-baptism. I just hope he knows how to swim.
(1) I was also an elder of this church and began teaching against the fanatical doctrines of the head elder. I pointed this congregation to scripture and not experience.
(2) I stated that Jack Van Impe was my all time favorite teacher, but that was at that time. I have since gained a few other all time favorite teachers. Also a course in hermeneutics made me see the errors present within dispensationalism.
(3) I stated that Arminianism was one of the problems with Charismatic doctrines and Dispensationalism. I did not say that it was the only problem. I understand that there are some who call themselves Dispensational Calvinists, but the fact is, is that Reformed Theology and Dispensationalism are two opposing systems. One can only hold to both at their own peril.
(4) Not to mention that Dispensationalists also do the same thing that Charismatics do and that is they pick out certain scriptures which they believe teach their doctrines. They ignore the rest of the Bible.
(5) I stated that I had had a born again experience that was supernatural in character. So upon studying Reformed Theology and examining ‘Unconditional Election,’ I knew that Reformed Theology was true because I knew that God had intervened in my life and saved me. I was not seeking to be saved. So when I was quickened it was as if scales fell off my eyes and I began seeking Christ. But after I came to the knowledge of Reformed Theology, is was as if I had been born again, again. Some call this ‘Cage Stage Calvinism.’
(6) Paedo-baptists have a warped view of what truly Reformed means. They associate being truly Reformed with infant baptism, as if infant baptism is the ‘sine qua non’ of Reformed Theology. A Reformed Baptist is truly reformed. Matter of fact, he holds to semper reformanda or ‘always reforming,’ more than paedo-baptists do. I know many will object to the last statement, but they still hold to a view of baptism, which rejects the RPW and is not backed by scripture.
(7) Actually this teacher of a PCA Church was trying to show me a position on covenant theology similar to Reformed Baptist Covenant Theology. All I can do is shake my head at this. Holding to the WCF, but don’t even know what it confesses.
By Brandon Adams
Roger Williams led the 17th century charge for religious liberty (“liberty of conscience”). He wrote to parliament and the Westminster Assembly urging for tolerance and he wrote two books interacting with New England Congregationalist John Cotton’s arguments for intolerance.
One of the arguments Williams appealed to was that Israel was a type of the Church. Therefore we cannot simply take penal sanctions from the Old Covenant and apply them to modern nations today. Of course the Presbyterians disagreed and argued that Israel was itself the church so the penal sanctions do apply today in the same way (because there was a separation between church and state in Israel, so the church is structured after Israel’s ecclesiastical hierarchy and the modern state after Israel’s civil laws).
Williams wrote The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution and the follow-up The Bloudy Tenent Yet More Bloudy in the form of a dialogue between Peace and Truth. I modernized the spelling.
Read the entire article here.
4 Charts showing the difference between 1689 Federalism vs. WCF, New Covenant Theology, 20th Century RB,and Dispensationalism
It is easy to bring an accusation against others, claiming that they have taught something or do teach something which is contrary to scripture. Misrepresenting someones position concerning what they believe and teach seems quite common in our society today. This is nothing new however, and will continue till Christ comes. Nevertheless, it is one thing to accuse someone of something, but is quite another thing to prove that accusation. In this article I want to show that the charge brought against what I have written is a false charge and lacks any proof backing it up.
Therefore, I am writing this response against the charge of ‘Replacement Theology’ brought against me by a blogger who blogs over at ‘The Return of Benjamin.’ The blogger uses the term ‘Supersessionism’ against me and then turns around and equates everything under that term to what I have written.
First, let us begin by stating that the Bible is the only infallible, inerrant, authoritative source of divine revelation. In other words, all questions concerning doctrine should be drawn out of scripture alone. Therefore, I stand upon the hermeneutical principle of ‘sola Scriptura’. I also stand upon the hermeneutical principle known as analogia fide or the analogy of faith. This hermeneutical principle simply stated means that scripture interprets scripture. Also when I stated that all questions concerning doctrine should be drawn out of scripture, I mean that we are to exegete the text. Exegesis means to draw out of the text of scripture what it states. The opposite of this is eisegesis or the reading into the text what is not there. Finally, no doctrine should be developed on any one single scripture, but our doctrines are to be developed while considering the entire scope of Divine revelation. (1)
Secondly, let us also begin by defining the term Supersessionism. Seeing that the word is not defined in many older theological dictionaries, shows that the term must be of recent origin. So I turned to Theopedia.com to define it.
“1.Supersessionism is the traditional Christian belief that Christianity is the fulfillment of Biblical Judaism and therefore Jews who deny that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah fall short of their calling as God’s Chosen people.
2.Supersessionism, in its more radical form, maintains that the Jews are no longer considered to be God’s Chosen people in any sense. This understanding is generally termed ‘replacement theology.’”
If the first definition is correct, then certainly the Bible itself teaches this view. Jesus himself taught this view, Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. Also Paul stated that the things written in the Old Testament were for us, Rom 4:23-24 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead… Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.1 Co 9:9-10 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: 1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
And Peter proclaims that the things that the Old Testament Israelites ministered, they ministered unto us 1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
These things were types and shadows, until Christ should come, of whom is the realty of what the entire Old Testament pointed. I shall later show that the modern day Rabbis use the same hermeneutical principle that I use.
One of the errors that the writer at ‘The Return of Benjamin’ made was to accuse me of the more radical form of the word, as defined above, even though I wrote against that radical definition. The radical form of Supersessionism is the term ‘Replacement Theology.’
Before I begin showing what the scriptures teach concerning ‘Who is Israel’, I will deal with a couple of ‘The Return of Benjamin’s’ statements:
Okay, this got my interest. I’ve debated subjects with those of a Covenant Theology persuasion before, but this is the first time that I’ve heard someone claim that Supersessionism (their preferred term) isn’t what they believe in. So what does the author believe?
As I have shown above, the author at ‘The Return of Benjamin’ uses the radical definition of the term Supersessionism to read my article. He takes everything under that term and equates it with everything that I have had to say on this subject. He also uses the term Dispensationalism, over and against Supersessionism and equates everything under that heading with a single term. This is erroneous. He acts as if he can use either term, in the singular, and grasp every concept under that single term. This shows that he hasn’t understood either position. Just as the term Supersessionism has been modified and many branches have come off it, even so the term Dispensationalism has been modified and many branches have come off of it. If he would do his research, then he would find that the term Dispensationalism has undergone radical changes, so that today we have what is called the Progressive Dispensationalists. These ‘Progressives’ have moved toward covenant theology.
Secondly, he states that Supersessionism is (their preferred term). By stating “their preferred term,” he means that it is our or my preferred term. However, you would think that someone who is writing a book would have at least given a few names of scholars and theologians who prefer this term. I have within my own library over 20,000 books, essays, and articles from a Covenantal Reformed perspective and none of these books, essays, or articles contain that word. I also have within my own personal library over 20,000 mp3’s from Covenantal Reformed Seminaries, Churches, and Conferences around the world. I carry four mp3 players with me everyday and listen to these mp3’s all day long and none of these speakers use this term.
So whose preferred term is it anyway? I would say that it is the preferred term of the author at ‘The Return of Benjamin’ who understands neither Supersessionism, nor Dispensationalism.
Finally, the author at the blog ‘The Return of Benjamin’ stated: this is the first time that I’ve heard someone claim that Supersessionism (their preferred term) isn’t what they believe in. Yet I didn’t even use that word in my entire original post that he was writing against. I was writing against the radical form of the word Supersessionism. So his accusation falls short because he can’t prove his accusation, seeing that the term Supersessionism was never used in my article.
At first I found this interesting, since it bore some resemblance to my own Adoption Theology. Since part of my purpose in developing Adoption Theology was the hope of providing some middle ground between the extremes of Supersessionism and Dispensationalism, finding a similar theological thread in the Reform tradition would be exciting.
The author of the post at ‘The Return of Benjamin’ hopes to find some middle ground between Supersessionism and Dispensationalism and this is why I state that the author doesn’t know either position. Little unbeknownst to him Dispensationalism has created that middle ground already. Today’s dispensationalists have moved towards the Reformed covenantal approach to scripture. The progressive dispensationalists have left some of what classical dispensationalism taught.
Secondly, the author at ‘The Return of Benjamin’ states plainly that he has developed a new theological system known as Adoption Theology. He has searched, hoping to find a similar theological thread in the Reform tradition. I will correct this error by quoting from R. C. Sproul:
“Although tradition does not rule our interpretation, it does guide it. If upon reading a particular passage you have come up with an interpretation that has escaped the notice of every other Christian for two-thousand years, or has been championed by universally recognized heretics, chances are pretty good that you had better abandon your interpretation.”
In other words, if the author of ‘The Return of Benjamin’ has developed a new theology and can’t find anyone throughout church history who has touched on it, then maybe it is because that theological interpretation of scripture, doesn’t exist in scripture. This is one reason why Dispensationalism is erroneous. No one until Darby ever came to the conclusion, by reading scripture, that God had a separate plan for Israel and the Church. Of course, I can disprove Dispensationalism without ever appealing to this argument.
Finally, I want to touch on the subject of the fact that the author of ‘The Return of Benjamin’ is trying to develop a middle position between Supersessionism and Dispensationalism. (2)
It is possible that both Supersessionism (the first definition given) and Dispensationalism are both false. Yet it is impossible or against logic for them both to be true. So if Supersessionism is true (the first definition given), then Dispensationalism is false. If Dispensationalism is true, then Supersessionism is false. So if one is true and the other is false, then to develop a middle ground position would be an amalgamation of the two and it would also be false. Augustine and Pelagius debated concerning God’s grace and man’s ability. Augustine was right and Pelagius was wrong. However, a few years later Cassian tried to develop a middle position between the two. If Augustine was right, then both Pelagius and Cassian were wrong. Semi-Pelagianism is also erroneous. During the Reformation the Protestants held to Augustine’s position and the Roman Catholics held to Cassian’s position (some would argue that Rome held to Pelagius’ position) and so Arminius’ students sought middle ground. If Rome was wrong, then Arminianism is also wrong.
Look at that key phrase: “God has cut off natural Israel.” All of it, apparently. Not a single thought given to the Messianic Jews who still identify with national Israel, as Paul did (Rom. 11:1). And to fulfill the promise, God has replaced, superseded, or, as the author puts it “engrafted Gentiles into Israel.” Now, we have no problem with the concept of “engrafting,” but there is a difference between grafting new branches onto a tree and replacing every single branch in the tree! One will enrich the tree, giving it a longer life, while the other will certainly kill it!
The author at ‘The Return of Benjamin’ has missed the point. According to him he believes that natural Israel is going to be saved. If my opponent would use the hermeneutical principle known as analogia fide or the analogy of faith, then he would not fall into this error. Simply stated the analogy of faith means that scripture interprets scripture. If I can show several scriptures that plainly state that natural Jews, those who are non-elect will not be saved, then I have proven my point. Is there any scriptures that state this? Absolutely! Only those who have been converted are part of True Israel and those only have been and will be saved.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The natural man receives not the things of God, neither can he know them.
Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
Non-elect Israelites were blinded and have been cut off. Just as non-elect Gentiles will not inherit the kingdom.
The author of ‘The Return of Benjamin’ is more dispensational in his thinking over and against his new system of ‘Adoption Theology.’ He believes that genetic birth gives someone a right to God’s eternal kingdom. This is erroneous. The new birth is given only to those of whom God has chosen in Christ.
Joh 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Notice that Christ came to his own and they all did not receive him. Nevertheless, those who did receive him, he gave power to become the sons of God. John tells us plainly that there were some Israelites who received Christ. But notice verse 13. They did not receive him or were not born again by the Holy Spirit based upon blood (natural DNA or genetics), nor because they willed it, nor because man willed it, but because God did.
My post never stated that God would replace every branch on the tree. This is why I stated that you argue as a dispensationalists. You only quote what you want to based upon your dispensational system. I know you claim to have developed some middle ground, but that claim is spurious to say the least. Had you not held to dispensational tendencies then you would have also quoted what I said here.
A quote from my article: So Hosea is told that natural, unbelieving Israel is cut off, nevertheless the faithful in Israel will still be part of Israel according to Paul in Romans 9.
Why did you miss this? It is because your dispensational views only allowed you to see what you thought was against your system. You stated and I quote:
Not a single thought given to the Messianic Jews who still identify with national Israel, as Paul did (Rom. 11:1).
So my article, that you were writing against, did not contain one single thought that was given to the Messianic Jews who still identify with national Israel. Humbug! Poppycock! Your dispensational views only blinded you to what you wanted to see.
Those messianic Jews that have come to faith would be willing to forsake their identification with today’s Israel if they were reading their Bibles. As I shall later show, the Judaism in existence today within the nation Israel, is nothing more than Babylonian occultism. Did any Messianic Jews stand around and identify themselves with the Israel of their day when it was leveled to the ground? No! All the Christians, both Jews and Gentiles fled when Rome seized the city of Jerusalem. They all remembered the prophecy given by Christ, wherein he told them: Mt 24: 15-16 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains…..Not a Christian one was killed in this event.
At no time does Paul say that the Gentiles become Israel, meaning the Jewish people, but rather that they are “citizens” of Israel the same way that he himself was a citizen of Rome. They are children of Abraham by adoption through Yeshua, yes, but Ishmael, Esau, and the children of Keturah were all children of Abraham–and yet none of them were Israel.
Again, my friend, you do not know the scriptures nor the power of God. If I can show one single verse that states that anyone who is circumcised in the heart is a Jew and show that those who have faith in Christ are Abraham’s seed, then your argument collapses. But remember, I stated that no doctrine should be developed upon any one single scripture. So I will use several.
A true Jew is not one who is circumcised in the flesh. This circumcision profits nothing. Remember Paul stated that fleshly circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God 1 Cor 7:19. (Which if one is circumcised in the heart, then they will strive to keep these commandments of God)
Rom 2:24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
Rom 2:25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
Rom 2:26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
So if a Gentile is regenerated by the Holy Spirit and keeps the righteousness of the law, then his circumcision in the heart is counted as circumcision, even though he isn’t circumcised in the flesh. He is also a True Jew. A true Jew has been brought into the kingdom by the Holy Spirit and the circumcision of the heart. This includes Israelites and Gentiles.
Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Paul told the Gentiles at Galatia that they were Abraham’s seed and they were heirs according to the promise. Natural lineage does not make someone an heir to the Abrahamic promises, but fulfilling the conditions of the covenant did.
Jesus is the True Israelite and the only heir to all the Abrahamic promises. Can I prove this? Yes I can.
Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
The promises were not made to ‘seeds’ plural, but to one ‘seed’, singular. The promises were made to Jesus Christ, the greatest of all Abraham’s descendants and the only one worthy to inherit the promises because he fulfilled all the conditional aspects of the covenant.
Therefore anyone in Christ is a co-heir of those promises.
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ
Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Secondly, I want to point out that your arguments are weak. You state: At no time does Paul say that the Gentiles become Israel, meaning the Jewish people, but rather that they are “citizens” of Israel the same way that he himself was a citizen of Rome.
I would like to state that your dispensationalism is showing again because this is a weak argument in the fact that, even though Paul was not a natural Roman by Genetics, nevertheless he was a Roman. I have a neighbor who married a woman from the Philippines. She had to obtain citizenship to come to this country. She got her green card and now she can be called an American. She didn’t have to be born here to be an American.
Thirdly, you state: They are children of Abraham by adoption through Yeshua, yes, but Ishmael, Esau, and the children of Keturah were all children of Abraham–and yet none of them were Israel.
You are correct. The promise wasn’t through any of those such as Esau, the children of Keturah or Ishmael. But the promise was through Isaac. Follow Romans 9 out where Paul is arguing that there is an Israel within Israel or a True spiritual Israel inside natural Israel and he brings his arguments to a conclusion by stating:
Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
Rom 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Rom 9:24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
Rom 9:25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
Rom 9:26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
Paul even quotes Hosea, the same passage of scripture on which my original article was based.
Finally, here are several scriptures showing that redeemed Gentiles are, not only citizens, but Israelites.
Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God
Eph 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Eph 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
Eph 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
Then Paul closes his letter to the Gentiles at Galatia by saying:
Gal 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
Paul can’t be referring to unbelieving Israel when he states that peace and mercy will be on as many as walk according to this rule and then calls them the Israel of God. Unbelieving Israel wouldn’t walking according to that rule during his life. This scripture ties back to Romans 9:
Rom 9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Rom 9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Rom 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
True Israel is contrasted with natural Israel. They are not all Israel (fleshly), which are of Israel (spiritual). Neither are they Abraham’s children just because they were of his natural seed.
You see in my article I stated that God cut off natural Israel and you accuse me of ‘Replacement Theology’. Yet Paul states that those which are the children of the flesh (natural Israel) ARE NOT THE CHILDREN OF GOD. I guess Paul held to Supersessionism also.
Stay tuned for my next article: Replacement Theology 3: Who is not Israel according to Christ and the Apostles?
(1) Of course, we interpret within the context of the paragraph, chapter, and book the scripture we are examining is found. But also the entire scope of special revelation has to be kept in mind while forming doctrines.
(2) I would contend that the author at “The Return of Benjamin’ doesn’t hold to some new system of theology that he has developed. But instead, holds to dispensationalism. It is prevalent within his own thinking.
Dr. Fred Malone, Justification and the New Covenant
Mitchell Jones, The Testimony of a Pardoned Sinner (Psalm 32)
Dr. Sam Waldron, The New Perspective on Paul
Jarrett Downs, Justification and the Ordo Salutis
Stephen Means, A Critique of the Federal Vision
Steve Garrick, Dispensationalism and Justification
Dr. Sam Waldron, The Ungodly Justified by Faith Alone
Todd White, Assurance and Justification
Dr. Sam Waldron, Why Is Faith Alone the Instrument of Justification
Roundtable, Question and Answer Session
In Romans 4:11-18, we have a remarkable example of apostolic reasoning from two short passages in Genesis, wherein God made promise unto Abraham that he should be a father of many nations (17:5) and that in his seed should all the nations of the earth be blessed (22:18). Since these assurances were given to the patriarch simply as a believer, before the Divine appointment of circumcision, Paul drew the logical conclusion that they pertained to Jews and Gentiles alike, providing they believed as he did and thereby had imputed to them the righteousness of Christ, that the good of those promises belonged unto all who “walk in the steps of his faith.” Therein we are plainly taught that the “seed” of blessing mentioned in those ancient prophecies was essentially of a spiritual kind (cf. Galatians 3:7-9; 14:29), including all the members of the household of faith, wherever they be found. As Stifler pertinently remarked, “Abraham is called father neither in a physical sense nor a spiritual: he is father in that he is head of the faith clan, and so the normal type.” In Romans 9:6-13, the apostle was equally express in excluding from the good of those promises the merely natural descendants of Abraham. Romans 10:5-9, supplies a striking illustration of this principle in the way that the apostle “opened” Deuteronomy 30:11-14. His design was to draw off the Jews from regarding obedience to the Law as necessary unto justification (Romans 10:2, 3). He did so by producing an argument from the writings of Moses, wherein a distinction was drawn between the righteousness of the Law and the righteousness of faith. The Jews had rejected Christ because He came not to them in the way of their carnal expectations, and therefore refused the grace tendered by Him. They considered the Messiah was far off, when in fact He was “nigh” them. There was no need, then, for them to ascend to heaven, for Christ had come down from thence; nor to descend into the deep, for He had risen from the dead. The apostle was not merely accommodating to his purpose the language of Deuteronomy 30, but showing its evangelical drift. As Manton said, “The whole of that chapter is a sermon of evangelical repentance” (see vv. 1, 2). It obviously looked forward to a time after Christ’s ascension when Israel would be dispersed among the nations, so that the words of Moses there were strictly applicable to this Gospel dispensation. The substance of verses 11-14 is that the knowledge of God’s will is freely accessible, so that none are required to do the impossible.
Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures
The right laws of interpretation may be obtained by observing the manner in which the Old Testament is cited in the New
2. The second principle which the expositor must make a most careful study of is that of scriptural quotation. Not a little help in ascertaining the right laws of interpretation may be obtained from diligently observing the manner in which and the purpose for which the Old Testament is cited in the New. There can be little room for doubt that the record which the Holy Spirit has supplied of the way in which our Lord and His apostles understood and applied the Old Testament was as much designed to throw light generally on how the Old Testament is to be used by us as it was to furnish instruction on the particular points for the sake of which passages in the Law or the prophets were more immediately appealed to. By examining closely the words quoted and the sense given to them in the New Testament, we shall not only be delivered from a slavish literalism, but be better enabled to perceive the fullness of God’s words and the varied application which may be legitimately made of them. A wide, but generally neglected, field is open for exploration, but instead of endeavoring here to make a thorough canvass of the same, we shall simply supply a few illustrations.
Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures