Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Our Kinsman Redeemer Is Risen Indeed

This is the best summary of our true position and relation to Christ, our Redeemer.
The writer of this excellent summation has been gracious to let me copy and post this. Stop by his blog and read some wonderful thoughts, insights and just plain good reading.


Our Kinsman Redeemer Is Risen Indeed

Our Lord used some very unambiguous language in Matthew 15:24: "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Whenever a professing Christian twists the Scriptures to apply the gospel call to include all races, he does violence to those Scriptures, and makes Christ's own words of none effect.

Or perhaps Christ Jesus was simply mistaken about exactly who His people are and the purpose for which He came to pitch His tent among us?

Perhaps the eternal Word is in error in places where we're told that God changes not?

The epistle to the Hebrews was written years after Christ's death and after Pentecost. When we look at Chapter 8 of that epistle, we cannot miss the plain fact that the new covenant is a contract, a legal arrangement, between the Ever-Living and the house of Israel, just as the old covenant had been.

So how is such plain language as that of the covenant so easily and so regularly misunderstood, even by the true descendants of Israel?

The word "gentile" is enormously problematic. There is no such word in the original languages of the Bible. The words usually translated "gentile" actually mean "nation" or "tribe" or "ethnicity." If you doubt this, pull out your Strong's Concordance, do a little fact-checking, and ask yourself this question: Was Rebekah a promiscuous adulteress with two "gentiles" in her womb? (Genesis 25:23ff) Of course not. She had two "nations" in her womb...and the word correctly translated "nations" in this passage is - yes, that's correct - the same word mistranslated as "gentiles" in other passages.

Here's an exercise: try going through the New Testament with your concordance and picking out all the examples of the use of the word "gentiles." But before you do this, write Matthew 15:24 on a piece of paper in large letters: "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." While you're doing your word search for "gentiles," keep glancing back at Matthew 15:24 and keep those words of our Lord in mind. When you've found several examples of the word "gentile" in the NT, look up those passages and read them carefully, still remembering to look often at the verse from Matthew you've written at the top of your paper. If you do this exercise sincerely, it may very well be that you will hear the "click" of scales falling from your eyes and landing on the table in front of you.

A careful reading of Scripture through the lens of the new covenant will clearly show that Christ did not intend evangelical outreach to any people except Israel, nor did His apostles and disciples go to any except the dispersed Israelites. It seems that Paul agonized because he was sent to the Israelites scattered among the nations instead of to his own house of Judah. He knew the gentiles (ethnos - §θvoς) to be the northern tribes of Israel in Greece, but he likely held the southern kingdom's deep animosity against those diasporan northern kingdom Israelites. Finally, though, he reconciled himself to his calling and admitted "there is no difference between Judean and Greek" (Romans 10:12). Both the southern and northern kingdoms comprise the tribes of Israel, God's elect race. Paul never went to any non-Israelites.

It is very clear that the Old and New Covenants apply only to this one racial lineage from Israel. Only Israelites were brought into the Old Covenant, the Law. And here's a thought: no other people can be charged with violating that law which was not given to them.

Why would the Lord Jesus to come to redeem other races from a guilt which is not theirs, according to the plain teachings of His Word? Christ Jesus settled Israel's breach-of-contract and then acted as Israel's agent to secure a new contract, which is again limited to the specific descendants of Israel (refer back to the eighth chapter of Hebrews). So, it would again be time-wasting foolishness for missionaries to carry Israel's Good News to other races, to people for whom Christ did not come.

Christ the Lord is our Kinsman.
He is our Redeemer.
He is our Kinsman Redeemer (Ruth, chapter four).

And He is risen indeed.

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