Israel and the Church

It is easy to get confused over the identities and roles of Jews and Christians in the Kingdom of God. Here is a chart that points out from Scripture the differences and similarities between Israel and the Church.

Relationship to Abraham by: Birth, Through Isaac & Jacob

“…kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises, of whom…Christ came….Romans 9:3-5

Faith, Through Jesus

“And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29

Relationship to God by: Birth and Circumcision

“This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male child among you shall be circumcised;” Genesis 17:10

One can come to faith after circumcision.

“Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Galatians 3:24

Faith and Baptism

“He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” Mark 16:16

One may not be circumcised after coming to faith.

“…if you [Christians] become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.” Galatians 5:2

Relationship to the world: Israel was to be separate from the world.

“And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.” Leviticus 20:26

The church is to penetrate the world.

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

Mission: Israel was to lead people to God by example.

“…for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us….” Deuteronomy 4:6-7

Israel was to attract the world to Jerusalem to hear the word of God.

“Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.'” Isaiah 2:3

The church is to lead people to God by proclamation.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

“…And how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14

The church is to go out from Jerusalem, bringing the word of God to the world.

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

(Both are designed to advance the Kingdom of God.)
Destiny: Israel’s destiny is earthly.

“For I will take you from among the nations,…and bring you into your own land…l will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;” Ezekiel 36:24, 26

Israelites find their eternal destiny in the church.

The gospel of Christ “is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Romans 1:16

The church’s destiny is eternal.

“For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” I Corinthians 15:52f

The church cannot fulfill the earthly destiny of Israel.

“…if casting away…be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” Romans 11:15

(The casting away and the acceptance refer to Israel, not the church—see Romans 11:14.)

Current Status: An Elect Nation

“Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised.” I Corinthians 7:18

Natural branches, were broken off because of unbelief. If they do not continue in unbelief, God able to graft them in again. Romans 11:17-23

“Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.” Romans 11:28

A People Called Out From Every Nation

“Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised.” I Corinthians 7:18

Wild branches are grafted in by faith to provoke Israel to jealousy.

“…inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.” Romans 11:13-14


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