God’s People – Israel 8-4

church, body of christ, holy spirit, pentecost, jesus, bride of christ, empower, be the church

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Please remember that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not be exactly what was preached.

Because of God’s love for the world, for humanity, He sent His one and only Son into this World so that Jesus Could save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). Whose people did Jesus come to save?

For centuries the prophets of Israel had foretold the coming of a Messiah. From Adam to Malachi, the prophets told the people of the day when the God of Israel would come to earth, take upon flesh, and become their savior and Redeemer. The Jews were looking for a Savior that was to come from the line of David. Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies. And yet, “He came to His own and His own people did not receive Him” (John 1:11).

Jesus is the King of Israel, He is the king in the Kingdom of God… When the disciples asked about the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel, Jesus said, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Jesus is the Subject, but Jesus’ subject was the Kingdom….

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. – Revelation 1:4-5  

Because of God’s Love, Jesus was sent into this world. At the Cross of Christ something new was born into this World and it was empowered at Pentecost with the coming of the Spirit! I am, of course, talking about The Church, God’s people. At Pentecost, Peter, a Jew, got up and preached to other Jews from all over the World and for 3 years that is basically who they preached to and whom became the Church, citizens of the Kingdom of Israel. Remember, the Lord added to their number those that were being saved (Acts 2).

Who are God’s people? The Saved, the born again, the blood bought Christ follower. Not because of lineage, not because of works, but by Faith in the risen Christ!

The calling of the Jew, as the calling of the Gentile, is to repent and believe in Jesus Christ and, in so doing, join the One True Church that is made up of Jew and Gentile, male and female, slave and free, young and old, rich and poor, where there are no differences in those who are of the Kingdom and true to the Gospel. We all entered the Kingdom, the Church, and became a part of it by faith working through Love (See Galatians 5:6).

The Israel of God is the true Israel, it is the Spiritual Israel. Not the Israel of the flesh; those who put their faith or trust for salvation in works of the flesh. There must be a turning to Repentance, to Grace, to Christ Jesus who said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Physical Israel is a country in the Middle East, it is not God’s Kingdom…

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” – Revelation 21:5

Works of the flesh count for nothing. Paul was a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee, (Acts 23:6). He told us at the beginning of this letter that he was advancing in Judaism beyond many his own age, so extremely zealous for the traditions of his fathers. But he was called by grace to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, to us, to those not of Jewish decent.

The Holy Spirit inspires Paul to give us a record of his fleshly works, “circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. He goes on: But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith” (Philippians 3:5-9). In Christ, Paul, along with every other Blood bought believer, Christ follower, Christian, is a new creation. The works of the flesh count for nothing, they are rubbish to be left behind that we may be found in Christ.

Jesus said to the Jews, “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit” (Matthew 21:43). The Kingdom is made up of those who follow their King, those who walk according to the Gospel. It is not by works of the flesh that anyone is saved, no matter their lineage or ancestry, there is neither Jew nor Gentile, we are one in the body of Christ. His Church. The Israel of God.

…in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith (Galatians 3:26). Our faith comes from understanding, comprehending, becoming aware of God’s love for us, “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Galatians also tells us, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. In the Church, the Body of Christ, we are to be one…And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (3:26-29). Did you get that, “If you are Christ’s”if you believe, if you call on the name of the Lord then you will be saved!

The “rule” we are to walk by is Justification by faith and not by works of the flesh, that is the whole reason for this letter to the Church. If we are to boast, let it be in the Cross of Christ and the gospel of Jesus Christ from whom we receive New life and become a New Creation, the Church – family – Israel of God, One people united under one King! Have you truly crucified the flesh with its passions and desires?

Digging Deeper

  • Who is the Israel of God?
  • Today God’s people are ________________.
  • Have you crucified the flesh?
  • Are you walking as a “New Creation”?

Further Reading: Romans 10, Romans 11, Romans 12, Colossians 3, Ephesians 2:1-3:6, Matthew 3:9, John 1:9-13, Romans 4:13, Romans 8:17, Romans 9:8, Ephesians 3:6, 1 Peter 2:1-12

 

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