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The Romans 11: 17-24 passage clearly indicates the church is a continuation of God's kingdom of the O.T.. Based on it yes the OT saints are part of the Church
| 2014/11/27 21:03||Profile|
| Re: |
The term "Church" is somewhat of an unfortunate translation. The underlying Greek text when read with the Septuagint gives not hint at any separation between OT saints and NT saints.
Ekklesia is used to describe the congregation of the Lord in the OT so it was only natural that the writers of the NT would use the same word.
SI Moderator - Jeremy Hulsey
| 2014/11/27 22:10||Profile|
| Re: |
I agree that the same term is used for the people of God in the OT as the NT. But the word Ekklesia just means 'congregation' or 'assembly'. In the same way it could be used of any secular group such as a political assembly. Where the distinction comes is in what type of people group this is being applied to. In the OT it clearly means the nation of Israel, including all those who have joined themselves to Israel as embracing the God of Israel. However this OT church could comprise of true believers and also unbelievers.
In the NT it means the Church of Jesus Christ, meaning all those who have become part of the bride of Christ through the new birth, irrespective of national boundaries. But it can also refer to the 'church' as a local gathering that could also comprise of believers and unbelievers (consider the letters to the 'churches' in Revelation).
So it is hard to be absolutely dogmatic about the use of the term 'church' as applying only to a particular entity. It can mean the Church of Christ of all true believers or it could refer to the professing church, which is a mixture of true and false. I would say that the church in the OT is a different distinction to the 'church in the NT.
Now who constitutes the people of God as a whole is a different thing altogether. God has always had His people, saved by faith from Abraham through to today. And all are brought ultimately into one people in Christ, who is the Jewish Messiah, but also the messiah of all men.
| 2014/11/28 5:49||Profile|
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John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
Who is born again and whose are they?
Who is the Word of God?
John 1:1-14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
How could the Spirit of Christ be in those who could not be born again? Who are the Body of Christ the Church His bride? Who are the ones who can see the Kingdom?
No one could be born again until Jesus Paid the Price and God now could give the Son those whom He choses to give to Him.
I guess that is enough for now, there is much, much more which seems to show, there is a difference in Old Testament Moses Law Saints and New Testament Christ born again Saints.
Ephesians 2:7-10 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Walk in Whom made He and me ONE.
Ephesians 2:14-22 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
In Christ: Phillip; one new man in Christ by His being birthed in me by the incorruptible Seed of the Father.
| 2014/11/28 6:33||Profile|
Whittier CA USA
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In Eph. 2:14-22 and Eph. 3:1-12 God's Word teaches us that the mystery hidden from times past was that Jews and Gentiles would be united as one man in Christ Jesus and that there would no longer be a wall of partition between the two entities.
"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. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father."-Eph.2:11-18
So before the cross Gentiles were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise. In general there was a huge separation between the two(a wall of partition) and a real enmity between the two. Gentiles were cut off from the people of God(Israel) unless they became proselytes through circumcision and other ceremonial rituals (I know the case of Nineveh's awakening seems to have been an exception). But in general there was an enmity and wall of partition between Jew and Gentile. But under the New Covenant that is no longer the case as both have been reconciled to one another and to God through the cross and there is no longer any need for Gentiles to become part of Israel through circumcision and other ceremonial rituals.
Then notice the next verse there in Eph.2,
"19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God."
So again we're told that we(Gentiles) are no longer strangers and foreigners(as in OT times), but now "fellow citizens with the saints"(both OT saints and NT saints if we consider the context) and "members of the household of God"(together).
Then in Eph. 3:1-12 Paul expands on this same theme,
"1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles-- 2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power. 8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him."-Eph. 3:1-12
So if we consider the whole context of those passages in Eph. 2 and 3(as well as other scriptures) it seems clear to me that we are now all one together with the OT saints, "fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God." There is only one heavenly citizenship and one household of God and we are all part of it(both NT saints and OT saints). There is no favoritism in heaven of NT saints above OT saints or vice versa. In heaven we are all one under Christ Jesus.
On this earth there is the Body and Bride of Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ, and it is different from the OT congregation of Israel. But not so in heaven and throughout eternity. We are and will be one people of God as that was the ultimate plan of God for His redeemed people.
| 2014/11/28 12:25||Profile|
Whittier CA USA
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KPYee also pointed out an important passage in Romans 11 which teaches that Gentiles are grafted into the olive tree of Israel(spiritual Israel, the people of God).
| 2014/11/28 12:35||Profile|
| Re: Touched by God perfect, touched by man broken.|
I believe that God's covenant with Abraham was two-fold, that his descendants would be numerous and that all the families of the earth would be blessed through him. (Gen:18).
One eternal kingdom, one Savior, one Head for the body.
Who has God created without love that we should not welcome into the kingdom, in our own day and from any day in history?
| 2014/11/28 12:45||Profile|
Whittier CA USA
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I believe these also are important relevant passages:
(This first passage was already pointed out in the OP but I wanted to point it out to make a certain point):
"11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised. 13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations") in the presence of Him whom he believed--God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be."-Romans 4:11-18
"27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."-Gal. 3:27-29
So based on those passages we (both Jews and Gentiles) are all part of Abraham's seed spiritually through faith. Again, showing a unity between OT saints and NT saints.
| 2014/11/28 12:56||Profile|
Whittier CA USA
| Re: |
At the risk of posting too much consecutively here I do want to say that Philip does bring up a good point about a distinction between OT saints and NT saints regarding the nature of conversion. We know that in OT times saints did not have the Spirit indwelling them and now we do through the new birth. So there was definitely a distinction in power to live a godly life.
| 2014/11/28 15:07||Profile|
| Re: Abraham's experience|
6 - Then he (Abraham) believed in the Lord and He reckoned it to him mas righteousness. (Gen 15:6)
Why is that description the same to the tee of what happens to New Testament believers ttwhen they are saved? If Abraham became saved at that point then how would he not be a part of the church? How could Abraham believe what he did (Gen 15:5) without the enabling of the Spirit?
10 - As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry.
11 - seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. (I Peter 1:10-11)
If the Spirit of Christ supposedly didn't indwell Old Testament believers then the phrase "the Spirit of Christ within them" is even more intriguing.
The church was first openly revealed at Pentecost but does that mean it didn't exist before it was openly revealed? How could Abraham have the righteousness of God imparted to him without the Spirit within him? Does God impart this righteounsess from the outside?
I don't know all the answers. I'm just propsing questions for civil discussion.
| 2014/11/28 17:15||Profile|