God’s Chosen People
You might have heard the term “God’s Chosen People”. Ever wondered who “God’s Chosen People” are? Some say “God’s Chosen People” are the Jews. But who are the Jews? Is God a respecter of persons? Does God favor one ethnic group over another? Does the Bible teach that there is unconditional salvation based on someone’s race? These are all questions that I’d like to explore in this article. Let’s see what the scriptures reveal on this important subject.
Romans 9:6-7 (KJV) “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.”
Here in Romans chapter 9, Paul, the Apostle contrasts and compares the identity of Old Israel with the true Israel of God. In the New Testament, Paul contrasts two different women, two sons, two covenants, two mountains, two cities and two Israel’s. These comparisons are designed to show how the Old Testament promises had been fulfilled by the New Testament.
The scriptures reveal how Old Jerusalem has been replaced by the New Jerusalem. It contrasts how the natural Jews (Jews by birth/flesh) have been replaced by “Spiritual Jews”. Spiritual Israel includes all natural born Jews who have accepted the Messiah, as well as non-Jewish Gentile believers. Spiritual Israel includes all nations, kindred, and tongues. All who have been born again of the Water and the Spirit.
Two Women, Two Sons
Galatians 4:22-26 (KJV) “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”
Here in Galatians Paul contrasts the differences between the two sons of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael. Isaac was born as the son of promise. Ishmael was born of unbelief. The product of faith is always at odds with the product of unbelief. The two cannot exist together for any length of time. This resulted in Agar (Hagar) the bondwoman and her son, Ishmael being cast out.
Galatians 4:30 (KJV) – “Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”
Matthew 3:9-10 (KJV) – “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”
In Matthew chapter 3 the unbelieving Jews bragged that they were blood descendants of Abraham. They were essentially saying that because they had Abraham as their natural father that their salvation was secure. However, their rejection of the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ, would cause them to lose out in the Kingdom of God. The “good fruit” that they were not producing was their acceptance of the Jesus Christ as their Messiah. The Kingdom of God would be taken from them (unbelieving Jews) and given to others, both “Jew” and Gentile, who accepted Jesus as Messiah.
Matthew 21:43 (KJV) – “Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”
Old Covenant Israel Cut Off
Let’s look at Romans chapter 11. Here we find that Old Covenant Israel is being cut off from the commonwealth of Israel because of one major characteristic: UNBELIEF!
Romans 11:1-7 (KJV) – “ I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.”
Romans 11:19 (KJV) “Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: “
Now, the unbelieving and unsaved are cut-off branches, and in this condition they are not the elect or chosen people of God. They have excluded themselves by choice. Peter said of the Jews and the Gentiles in the church as the Israel of God, that they were the chosen generation or chosen people (1Pet. 2:9).
Now that we have established that Old Covenant Israel is no longer God’s chosen people. But who then are now God’s “chosen people”? Who has the promise, the inheritance, the Glory, the Covenants, the giving of the Law, and the service of God? We will see that those who enter into God’s New Covenant will indeed become the inherent people of God.
Old Covenant to the New
The Old Covenant must give way to the New Covenant, a Spiritual Covenant. The Old was carnal ordinances, whereas the New is spiritual ordinances. Those people under the Old were mandated to continue into the New, yet they would reject the New Covenant and the author of redemption. Most Jews of that day would reject the Messiah, Jesus Christ. This would cause them be removed from the Covenant altogether, placing them as outsiders. Romans 3:22 (KJV) – “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:”
Romans 10:12 (KJV) – “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.”
Galatians 3:27-29 (KJV) – “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
This compares the mother of Ishmael to Mount Sinai in Arabia and the natural Jews to children in bondage. Remember the importance of Sinai in the Old Testament. God first gave the Old Covenant, the law of Moses, to Israel from atop this Mountain. This law made nothing perfect (Heb. 7:19). The natural Jew, trusting in the Law of Moses, instead of being freed from sin, is in hopeless bondage and, therefore, alienated from God.
Allegory – Ishmael and Isaac
An allegory is a story in which people, things and happenings have a hidden or symbolic meaning. We see this concept in the story of Ishmael and Isaac. The earthly Jerusalem, like Hagar, brings forth nothing, but a flesh seed gendered by unbelief. This seed is the natural Jew, bound by the law, and separated from Christ. The Jerusalem that is above, or the heavenly Jerusalem, like Sarah, brings forth the Spiritual faith seed of Abraham, which is the Church.
Romans 2:25 – 29 (KJV) – “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore, if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Matthew 21:43 (KJV) – “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”
The Church of Jesus Christ – Jew and Gentile
The Church of Jesus Christ is comprised of both Jewish and Gentile members. The separating wall of partition has been removed by the death of their common Savior. Thus a new nation is formed, a new nation, a new Israel. This new Israel in not based upon fleshly distinctions, but upon Spiritual power through faith in the crucified Savior.
Ephesians 2:14 (KJV) – “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:”
Luke 13:34-35 (KJV) – “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
In order to enter the sheepfold all must welcome the gospel of the kingdom. All must use the same door, Old Israel as well as the Gentiles.
When I was in New York city many years ago I was approached by an orthodox “Jew” and asked if I was a “Jew”. I said “no” then. But today if I was asked I would say “yes”! I am a spiritual Jew, which if the only kind of Jew there is today. The spiritual definition of a “Jew” in the New Testament can be applied to all born-again believers, regardless of their race, national origin or ethnic heritage. Those who the world generally regards as Jewish by virtue of natural birth are now considered Gentiles by this same scriptural definition.