The Power of Grace Ministries

February 14

Even when we were completely separated from God; He is the one who set in motion the ability to bring us to Him so that He can bless us with the same blessings He promised to the children of Israel. How can anyone who understands this concept believe the lie that God is mad at us today? He is the One who gave His only begotten Son to die in our place because of His love for all mankind.

Ephesians 2:11-13
, 11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh--who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands-- 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

 

These three verses comprise the factual history regarding the separation between Israel, God’s chosen people, and the rest of mankind. Amazing in that many people who read the bible and go to church have not truly grasped the spiritual significance of verse 13. Even more amazing is when I hear a self-professed Christian, who even has enough scripture in memory to understand salvation, make disparaging remarks about Israel. Many of these same people have no idea, and are often upset, at why the US spends so much time, money, and military power defending and supporting Israel. This study is going to be more of a history lesson and I encourage you to not overlook it as possibly boring. Understanding this segment of biblical history will change the life and walk of a Christian and help a non-believer understand why they need to make their own confession to salvation. Interesting point in that the word uncircumcision does not show up as a correctly spelled word in Word Perfect, and it is used as more than just describing the physical state of a male man; it identifies the majority of people both male and female on earth.

Scientists have proven that all mankind can be traced through our DNA back to a single female mother which is proof enough for me that we all are descendants of Adam and Eve. But this family tree quickly has multiple branches and depending on where you fit in the tree is where you are in relationship to God. A very important note: regardless of where you fall in the natural on this tree of life, we all have the ability to be grafted, or adopted, into the true family of God. Even if you are of Jewish heritage you are not automatically a child of God even though you are one of God’s chosen people.(Romans 11:17-24) Who are God’s chosen people and how did they get chosen? What did they do to deserve the title of God’s chosen people? They did not do anything to become chosen, they were simply born into it.

In Genesis 14 we read where God had earlier brought Abram and his wife Sarai out of the land of Ur. In chapter 15 we read that Abram believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. This is the first place where we find that it is faith that God is looking for in people, not in what we do. God promised Abram, at the age of 86 that he would have a child, until then he and his wife Sarai were childless. God made a covenant with Abram at that time telling him of the blessings that would come to him and all his descendants. Here is where Abram and Sarai get in the way of God’s plan trying to make something happen before God’s timing. Instead of waiting for Sarai to have the promised child, she offers her maidservant Hagar to Abram so that Abram could father the promise child through her. Ishmael was born, but they quickly found out that this was not God’s plan because strife erupted almost immediately. How often do we, in our haste, try to work out our blessings ahead of God’s timing and create our own Ishmael? Ishmael was not the child of promise and in chapter 21 we read where God had Abraham send Hagar and her child Ishmael away so as to no longer be raised by Abraham. When you hear of a person or country claiming to be heirs of their father Abraham and they are not descendants of the Jewish people, than they can only be descendants from Ishmael who was not the child of promise. Chapter 17 starts off with God telling Abram that he will still father the proclaimed promise child and it will be through Sarai. God also changed both of their names to Abraham “father of many nations” and Sarah “mother of nations”. When Abraham was 100 years old Sarah bore Isaac. In chapter 17 we find the initial command from God for all of the male children in Abraham’s household, both born and his servants to be circumcised. This was the result of the covenant between God and Abraham where God promised to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations and would inherit many lands and great wealth. Hence forth both Ishmael and Isaac were a part of the Abrahamic wealth covenant.

Chapter 22 of Genesis, God tested Abraham and found him to be faithful to the point of willingness to sacrifice his only true son, born of Sarah; Isaac. God provided a lamb for the actual sacrifice instead, and in verse 16 we read “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son-- 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."  Notice the wording in verse 18. God uses the word seed not seeds, indicating only one child and this child is referenced to by God in verse16 as the child of promise. God further goes on to proclaim that “all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” through this “seed”. Until now Abraham has been told by God that he would be the father of many nations, and now through his seed the entire world has adoption rights. The Law of Moses did not come to the children if Israel until several hundred years later. When we study the lineage of Mary, the mother of Jesus, we find that she is from the House of David who is from the tribe of Judah, who was one of the twelve sons born to Israel. Israel was born and named Jacob before God changed his name when he was a younger man. Jacob was one of the two children born to Isaac, the true son of promise, born to Abraham. This makes Jesus “the Seed” spoken of by God in His promise to Abraham where “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed”. Until Jesus’ death and resurrection where all people that believe and confess Jesus as their Lord and savior are made to be children of God, only those with a natural birth line to Abraham were able to receive the Abrahamic blessings. The children of Israel were the original and only chosen people of God until Jesus. Everyone else was referred to as Gentiles. The only reason Israel was chosen is because of his birth and the promise made to Abraham by God. And the only reason God chose Abraham over anyone else is the fact of Abraham’s faith in God. He believed God, and that was accounted to him as righteous. When you see the whole picture there is only one thing that God is looking for and that is for us to believe in Him and what He did for us through His Son Jesus on the cross. We who now believe are also children of the Abrahamic promise, not the children of the Mosaic Promise where every action is judged and must be done correctly in order to receive the blessing from God. Faith, not works, is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Christians must remember that we were once Gentiles, not circumcised in the flesh, without Christ which means messiah or deliverer, aliens from the promise of commonwealth, strangers from the covenant of promise; we had no hope and were without God in this world. There is no other way to say it, we were completely without hope.  “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ”. Galatians 4:6 says, “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!"  That is awesome, we can go from nothing and absent from the presence of God to becoming one of His children with just our faith and spoken word. Make the decision if you have not yet done so. If you have, remember where you came from and what God did for you; give Him all of the glory.