Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Refined not Redefined

Two of the proof texts favoured by the promoters of replacement theology are:

Rom 2: 28-29 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit

Rom 9: 6-8 For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring.

But to use those texts as support for their theology, the replacement promoters need to totally ignore the clear context of their proof texts.

Regarding Romans 2:28.

Go back several verses and you will read in verse 17:
“ Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God…”

It is specifically addressed to Jews who were trusting in their blood heritage and their relationship to the law. Paul was saying their heritage was not enough. It was not addressing gentiles and saying they have been made Jews through "circumcision of the heart". It was addressing Jews, saying that MORE than heredity and law observance were needed to be part of God’s people. An inward change worked by the Spirit is necessary.

Regarding Romans 9.

When Paul writes “not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.” He is referring to a faithful remnant of the descendants of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.

The statement is excluding SOME of those descended from Israel - it is NOT a statement intended to include others who are not descended from Israel.

It is not a statement that redefines what Israel means. It is a statement that refines what Israel means.

It does not shift the identity of Israel from one group to another - it narrows down the identity of Israel from a wider inclusive ethnic group to a smaller specific section of that wider group.

It pinpoints the faithful remnant AMONG the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not transferring attention outside of those descendants.

It's like saying that not all born into a Christian family are Christian - only those who have their own faith in Jesus.


Anonymous said...

You may well have hoodwinked a few of the more gullible folks on Revival School with this , but once again you have allowed your dispensational bias to determine your understanding of this passage.
Yes , Paul may well have addressed this to Jews, there were both natural Jews and Gentiles present in the church in Rome, but in your haste to explain away verse 28, you have convieniently overlooked the verses preceeding v 28, in fact, by the time Paul arrives at v 28, he has said nothing that hasn't been said in vs 25, 26 and 27.

vs 25
circumcision profits those who keep the law,lawbreakers are considered uncircumcised.

vs 26
therefore, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the law, his uncircumcision is counted as circumcision

vs 28
those who are uncircumcised , but obey the law, will judge those who are circumcised and have the law, but disobey it.

Unfortunately, your take on this leaves a lot to be desired, Paul is addressing obedience, circumcision has very little to do with the physical aspect, but everything to do with the spiritual application, ie , obedience.

And as for you your take on Romans 9,this passage actually comes with its own interpretation , so thanks , but no thanks for your woeful exposition .

vs 8
That is , they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God, BUT the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Galatians 3:22
But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Onesimus said...

I wrote nothing of this on Revival School so they had no chance of responding to it in anyway - gullibly or other wise.

During the lifetime of RS I was probably leaning more to replacement theology. Those leanings were based solely on my own political opinions and supported by a few individual misapplied “texts”.

My views changed significantly when I read the OT prophets and took what they said at face value instead of reinterpreting them to fit what I thought I should believe.

And as I said earlier, there is nothing of “dispensationalism” in my beliefs. Before you accuse someone of holding to a certain belief system I advise you to find out what that belief system entails.

While dispensationalism does give Israel a future in God’s plans, they see that future as being separate from the church. I strongly disagree with that idea.
They see the church as being removed in a pre-trib rapture after which Israel regains God’s attention. I strongly reject THAT idea.
The church and Israel remain together with them ultimately joining as one when Israel finally recognise that Jesus is their Messiah.
Individual Jews are already coming to faith in Him but a full national recognition will come after a time of great tribulation, the time of Jacob’s trouble, which will affect followers of Jesus as well as Israel. Regarding Israel this time is described in Amos 9:

9 I will shake the house of Israel
among all the nations
as grain is shaken in a sieve,
and not a pebble will reach the ground.
10 All the sinners among my people
will die by the sword,

The survivors of this time will be the all Israel who will be saved – they will be saved through finally recognising and trusting in Jesus as their Messiah.

And no I have NOT conveniently overlooked the verses preceding vs 28. I have placed those verses in their context where Paul specifically addresses the Jewish part of the church in Rome, as stated in my original post. It is not enough to look at verses 25,26 and 27 without seeing who he is addressing – as I pointed out above this is shown in verse 17.

17 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law…

Yes there were both Jews and gentiles in the church of Rome, and this letter was written largely to address the friction between the two that was caused when Jewish believers returned to Rome after earlier being exiled by Claudius (see Acts 18). They returned to a church that had become a totally gentile church and the gentiles had come to believe that God had rejected the Jews.

Throughout Romans we can see alternating passages addressing Jewish believers and then gentile believers.

However, I suspect I am wasting my time with this answer. The reality is clearly shown in scripture itself to those who are willing to receive what God has revealed. It is sad that man prefers to “interpret” scripture rather than just accept what it says.

Anonymous said...

Some common beliefs that identify dispensationalism are as follows

-There are two distinct purposes, one earthly (Israel), one heavenly (church).

-The church is the spiritual people of God, distinct from Israel, the physical people of God.

-Old testament prophecy refers to ethnic Israel

-Premillennial, usually pretribulational.

-Literal, earthly 1000-year reign after Second Coming.

So yes , I would say you are dispensational.

Romans 2:28
What is the point of your interpreting scripture contextually when you continually overlook what the passage says . I pointed out to you that in vs 26

So if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision.

Paul could have addressed this to a bunch of Russians , Kiwis or Tongans for all i care, and in no way would it alter the truth of what he is saying
ie if a gentile keeps the law, then he will be counted as if he is part of the covenant.[ OLD]

So when Paul in Vs 28 says
For no one is a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical , but a Jew is one inwardly and circumcision is a matter of the heart , by the Spirit.
he is saying exactly the same thing as he says in vs 26, but translating it to the new covenant.
The Holy Spirit , not Paul , is redefining what it means to be a Jew, and that is anyone who is obedient to Christ.

Onesimus said...

Anonymous says:

Some common beliefs that identify dispensationalism are as follows

-There are two distinct purposes, one earthly (Israel), one heavenly (church).


My reply:
I do not separate between “heavenly” and “earthly”. The future of both saved Israel and the church is EARTHLY.
Firstly during the prophesied millennial reign of Jesus on earth.
Secondly on a new earth.
Neither have a “heavenly” destiny.

Anonymous continues with the list of dispensationalist beliefs:
-The church is the spiritual people of God, distinct from Israel, the physical people of God.

My reply:
I totally disagree with this belief. The idea of separation between “spiritual” and “physical” people is based on the dualism of Greek pagan philosophy – adopted by the church through the likes of Augustine -as is the idea of “earthly” and heavenly” peoples.

Anonymous continues:
-Old testament prophecy refers to ethnic Israel

My reply:
Of course it does. If it is accepted AS WRITTEN and not reinterpreted to fit a desired (but unbiblical) theology.

-Premillennial, usually pretribulational.

My reply:
Premillenmial is biblical (when scripture is taken AS WRITTEN and not reinterpreted to fit a desired (but unbiblical) theology.
Pre tribulational is not biblical and it is a doctrine I reject.

-Literal, earthly 1000-year reign after Second Coming.

My reply:
This is biblical, if scripture is taken AS WRITTEN and not reinterpreted to fit a desired (but unbiblical) theology.

So yes , I would say you are dispensational.

My reply:
So I am a dispensationalist because you have labelled me such – NOT because I believe in your list of “common beliefs that identify dispensationalism”, most of which I DON”T believe.

But then again you will merely reinterpret and apply what I say, to fit you own purposes, to support what you want to believe about me rather than accept what I have actually said. This is exactly the same approach you take with scripture.

And why bother quoting Romans 2:28 again when you wilfully and stubbornly refuse to consider its context. Again you prefer to take an isolated verse and apply YOUR interpretation – purposely ignoring the clear context.

By quoting that verse again you merely highlight your stubborn avoidance of what is really being addressed in that whole section of scripture.

Onesimus said...

Anonymous said:
“Paul could have addressed this to a bunch of Russians , Kiwis or Tongans for all i care,”

My reply:
So you clearly confess to having no regard for context. You have no regard for the fact that Paul was addressing Jews and not "Russians, Kiwis, Tongans" or anyone else – a fact that has a very important bearing on the meaning of the passage you quote.

With such a dismissive approach to scripture there is no further room for discussion with you on this matter.

Anonymous said...

-Literal, earthly 1000-year reign after Second Coming.

My reply:
This is biblical, if scripture is taken AS WRITTEN and not reinterpreted to fit a desired (but unbiblical) theology.

Your view is hardly scriptural is it, and neither does your " if scripture is taken as "WRITTEN" make a lot of sense either.
Case in point, lets see how YOUR "if scripture is taken as WRITTEN " interpretive style deals with this passage [ and many others like it]

2 Thess 1:7
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels.
vs 8
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
[ There's no miraculous salvation of the Jews here!!!!]
vs 9
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.
vs 10
When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe [ because our testimony among you was believed] in that day.

You know, to me that passage says that when Christ returns, there will be judgement, it does NOT say there will be a thousand yrs between when He returns and then the judgement.
But of course this passage simply mirrors what other parts of scripture says, take for instance the parables in Matthew 13, verses 40 & 49. This is very similar to Peters account of Christs return in 2 Peter 3:10

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works therein shall be burned up.

2 Thess 2:8
And then shall that wicked be revealed , whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall estroy with the brightness of His coming.

Revelation 11:18
And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be JUDGED, JUDGED ,JUDGED,and that thou shouldest give reward reward unto thy servants the prophets , and to the saints, and them that fear thy name....

Onesimus said...

I really wish you'd take my advice about context and stop concentrating a few verses as if they contained the WHOLE truth within themselves.

You really need to address what the WHOLE bible reveals.

The reality of the earthly rule of Jesus is spread throughout old and new testaments.

The OT prophets write a lot about it and in Revelation John reveals WHEN this will happen (it will begin at Jesus' return) and how long it will be for (1000 years).

It really is not hard to grasp once you've been freed from the traditional viewpoint that man has taught, and when you recognise that ALL of scripture needs to be taken into account to see the overall picture of God's revelation.