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What the Bible says about Jew, Spiritual
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 49:10

The patriarch Jacob had twelve sons, and God had to choose from which tribe His Son would descend. He proclaims His choice through Jacob's prophecy in Genesis 49:10: "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people." Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew, as many scriptures record (Matthew 1:2; Luke 3:33; Hebrews 7:14, etc.).

This fact also has spiritual implications for us. Jesus says to the woman at the well, "For salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22). Paul explains what this means:

For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God. (Romans 2:28-29)

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Born of a Woman

Romans 3:1-2

Paul extends the meaning of oracles here in two ways—in content and audience:

The content of the message includes the entire Law. Since the general context is circumcision (see chapter 2), we can conclude that the oracles given to the fathers included the covenants and hence the promises that attended them. The context does not limit the oracles to the revelation of God in the Pentateuch, but can include the Writings and Prophets as well.

The audience of the message includes those outside national Israel. Just before he writes of the oracles being committed to the Jews, Paul informs us that "he is not a Jew, who is one outwardly; . . . but he is a Jew, who is one inwardly" (Romans 2:28-29). Paul is speaking of the "Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16). In this regard, Peter makes an instructive statement in his conversation with the gentile Cornelius:

The word [logos] which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John [the Baptist] preached. (Acts 10:36-37)

Peter came to recognize that the oracles of God are for all men, God showing "no partiality" (verse 34).

Charles Whitaker
The Oracles of God

1 Thessalonians 2:13-14

That the Colossians "became imitators of the churches of God which in are Judea" is the evidence Paul gives to show that the Word of God was working in them.

To whom is he writing? To a Gentile church of which he had been the instrument of raising—and they were doing the same things that the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem were doing! Why? They believed the same Scriptures. They had faith in the same laws and the same way of life that the Jews did. They did not do it because the Jews were doing it but because they had faith in God, just as the Jewish converts in Palestine did.

Thus, they became imitators. The word here is the same as the one in I Corinthians 11:1, where Paul says, "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." Here was a Gentile church in Thessalonica imitating the Jewish Christian churches in Judea—and Paul commends them for it!

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 20)


 




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