Monday, December 10, 2007

Excerpt from The Association of Messianic Congregations

"THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT", The Basis for Jewish Identity

The Abrahamic Covenant is the set of unconditional, unbreakable, irrevocable promises God made to Abraham, Isaac & Jacob that begins His relationship with the Jewish people. It is found in Genesis 12:1-3, 15:1-21, 17:1-21.Here's a 'trick question'; "Was Avraham Jewish or Gentile?". Answer: "Neither".You see, Abraham was the first Jewish person because God decreed that it was so. "Gentiles" are NOT a race of people, it is simply a term for those who are not Jewish. So, you only have Gentiles once you have Jews. The set of scriptures in Genesis where God speaks His eternal promises to Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, bringing into existence the Jewish people, form what we might think of as a 'legal incorporation' of the Nation of Israel. The Covenant was 'unconditional', in that no conditions of obedience were required from the Jewish people for it to continue in full force. This Covenant continues to be cited throughout the entire Bible as the basis for God's relationship with Israel. While Abraham had a number of children, the Covenant line ran through Isaac alone. In the same way, the line was through only one of Isaac's sons, Jacob, and not through Esau (Gen 28:13-15). Jacob had 12 sons, and the Biblical definition of a Jew is a person who is a biological descendant of one of those 12 sons. While the Hebrew Scriptures encouraged Gentiles to forsake paganism and turn to the God of Israel in faith, those "God-fearers" or Proselytes are not called Jews, and they did not become Jews, even though they had an honored position in the Community of Israel. In the same way today, Gentiles who place their faith in Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel, do NOT become "Spiritual Jews" (a Replacement Theology invention), instead they are "Spiritual Gentiles", (Gentiles in whom the Holy Spirit resides) and should have a co-equal place of status and function in a healthy Messianic Congregation alongside the "Spiritual Jews" (Ethnic Jews in whom the Holy Spirit resides). The Gentile believers DO become co-heirs of SPIRITUAL Blessings from the Abrahamic Covenant (Galatians 3:14, 29). The Scriptures which support all this and bear witness to the distinction are Romans 2:17 & 29, which teaches that the true Jew is the one is BOTH Jewish Physically (v. 17) and has the Circumcision of the heart (v. 29), and Galatians 3:28 which teaches that there is one way of atonement for all, Jew & Gentile, Male & Female, even though these physical distinctions remain within the Body of Messiah.

The Association of Messianic Congregations
5002 East 4th Street
Tucson, AZ 85711
tel# 520-326-2020