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The Cross and the Israel of God

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posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 06:02 PM
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“Far be it from me to glory except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world” (Galatians ch6 v14).

Paul’s purpose in writing the letter to the Galatians is to convince them not to be persuaded into accepting circumcision or any of the other regulations of the Law of Moses.
Just before the words quoted above, he was criticising the motives of those who wanted them to be circumcised. He claims that these people are only interested in the prestige and “glory” they would get out of enlisting the Galatians to their own party.

Whereas he himself is not interested in personal glory.
The only thing that matters is knowing the crucifixion of Christ.
The point is that he has been included in the event.
He has been “crucified together with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (ch2 v20).
Therefore he is “dead to” everything that belongs to the old life, and they no longer concern him.
He is “dead to” the Law of Moses (ch2 v19).
He is “dead to” the passions of the flesh (ch5 v24).
And he now declares that he is “dead to” the whole present world, and vice-versa.

The same applies to all those who belong to Christ.
The only thing that counts is this “new creation”, of “Christ living in me”.
Compared with this, there is no great significance in circumcision (or the absence of circumcision).

“Peace and mercy be upon all those who walk by this rule, [that is], upon the Israel of God” (v16).
In some translations, we find “AND upon the Israel of God”.
But this is misleading, because it suggests that “those who walk by this rule” and “the Israel of God” are two different parties.
In this case, the Greek KAI does not mean “and”. The basic meaning is “also”, and the word here is being used to introduce an alternative way of saying the same thing.
It is the equivalent of “and, indeed” or “that is” or “namely” or “to wit”.
If it is left out altogether, as in the RSV, that has the same effect in English usage.

Paul’s meaning is that those who walk by this rule ARE the Israel of God.

In which case we need to remind ourselves what is meant by “this rule”.
Evidently Paul is referring to the declaration of the previous verse;
“Nothing counts except the new creation”.
The Israel of God are those who base themselves upon the event of new creation in Christ.

This is in keeping with everything else he has told us in this letter.
He says that the true sons of Abraham are those who are “men of faith”, not the physical descendants (ch3 v17)
He says we are like Isaac, as “children of promise”, and our mother is “the Jerusalem above”, which is free, not “the present Jerusalem”, which remains in slavery (ch4 v26).
Elsewhere he distinguishes between Israel “according to the flesh”, the main body of the Jewish people, and Israel “according to the Spirit”. The distinction is reflected in this letter in the contrast between the births of Isaac and Ishmael, for Isaac is the one who was “born according to the Spirit” (ch4 v28).

Paul’s point is that only those who live by faith in Christ crucified are Israel “according to the Spirit”.
They are the Israel of God.




posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 06:25 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

So the marked ones, are just let go?



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 06:28 PM
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a reply to: AldarKose
I'm not sure what you mean by "the marked ones".



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 06:35 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

The ones marked in the forehead



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 06:38 PM
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a reply to: AldarKose
If you're talking about the mark in Revelation ch13, those who accept that mark have chosen to belong to "the Beast", so that is the opposite of belonging to Christ.
In this passage, Paul is focussing on those who belong to Christ. They are the ones he is calling "the Israel of God".



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 06:40 PM
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Well said, Disraeli! I recently read all the Pauline epistles, and I find that he is very upbeat, loving, and mostly non-condemnational, unlike the modern fire & brimstone preachers.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 06:42 PM
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a reply to: Lazarus Short
Yes, even in this letter he is saying that the law is fulfilled by "You shall love your neighbour as yourself" (ch5 v14).



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 06:45 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Doesnt the marked ones practice on of the creeds in the bible? While the others follow blindly.. Sure its easier to follow blindly, but, isnt the message the same in the end..?



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 06:51 PM
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a reply to: AldarKose
Are you, or are you not, talking about the ones marked in Revelation ch13? If so, the book states very clearly that these are the ones who are rejecting God and rejected by God.
But this thread is not about those people. This thread s about those who live by "this rule", that is those who live by faith in Christ alone.

You are new here, I see. You will discover that I don't allow myself to be drawn away from the topic of the thread.
If you want to talk about the mark of the Beast, I have other threads where that is the topic.
This thread is about the people whom Paul calls "the Israel of God".



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 07:09 PM
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Paul was an interesting character, but he was also a convert from the Judea religion.

He became a believer after chasing down Christians. He saw how devout they were and decided to play them. They accepted what he had to say, then made him a Saint.

And?



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 07:14 PM
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a reply to: Cobaltic1978
Again, I didn't start a thread on the character of Paul.
I started a thread on a specific aspect of New Testament teaching, viz that those who put their faith in Christ crucified are described by him as "the Israel of God". That is, they are continuing the relationship between God and Israel going back to the time of Abraham.
In other words, those making their claim on physical descent and obedience to the law of Moses are not the Israel of God. That is the real point of the passage.


edit on 24-3-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 07:21 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

No offence old friend, but I am yet to see a religious thread, that has any point.

It's all a scam!!



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 07:24 PM
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a reply to: Cobaltic1978
Nothing compels you to read them, then.
I can't work up any interest in talking about cars, so (as a logical consequence) I stay away from threads on the automobile forum.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 07:29 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

True, but as you had started the thread it stirred my interest.

Maybe I shouldn't have commented, but you have invited it.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 07:35 PM
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a reply to: Cobaltic1978
But as always, the inviting of comment relates to the topic of the thread.
Shifting the topic of a religious thread to something which better suits their interest in aggressive controversy is such a standard tactic of the trolls that one gets wary of topic shifting.
If you had wanted to discuss, for example, the implication that the modern state of Israel is not the "Israel of God", that would have been more relevant.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 07:39 PM
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I think Paul does an excellent job of expounding on the basics of this in Romans 7, and in Galatians takes it further into practical application. By pairing these, among other examples from his epistles, Paul really paints a full picture in regards to your topic. He was quite the scholar and writer, whoever he was.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 07:47 PM
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a reply to: Klassified
Even more so in the tenth and eleventh chapter of Romans, at least as relates to "israel according to the flesh". Though from the format of this series, I have limited myself from going into the other epistles.
I don't think Paul means that they can't be saved. I think he means that they have the opportunity of being saved by their faith, like everybody else.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 07:51 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Didn't my first comment satisfybyour requirements? I'm actually Ve y inte eared I b what the innovators have to offer.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 07:58 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI
Agreed, and a good exegesis on this particular topic. Simple, straightforward, and to the point.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 07:59 PM
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a reply to: Cobaltic1978
To be honest, the first comment just looked like yet another attempt to divert a topic on "what Paul taught" into "why Paul is an evil person". I have been plagued by them all the way through this Galatians series, as the Paul-haters came out of the woodwork.
If you're genuinely interested in talking about some aspect of the teaching, then that's what we can discuss.





edit on 24-3-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)




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