Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"The Israel of God"

The following is an excerpt from and article by Brian J. Vickers, "Who is the 'Israel of God' (Galatians 6:16)?" Eusebeia (2006): 8-9. In the article, Vickers argues that-in the context of the epistle-"Israel of God" in Galatians 6:16 refers to all believers in Christ: both Jewish and Gentile. The following  paragraph situates the Apostle's use of this term in Galatians with other NT language for believers.

Though the phrase "Israel of God" only appears in Galatians 6:16, there are texts in which language
Brian J. Vickers
reserved in the Old Testament for Israel alone is applied without hesitation to all who believe in Jesus: whether Jew or Gentile. For example, Peter, quoting Exodus 19:5-6, calls his readers (who undoubtedly included Gentiles, see 1 Peter 4:3) "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people (1 Peter 2:9; cf. 2:5)." Here Peter unreservedly uses covenant language once reserved for Israel alone and applies it to all who believe in Jesus. References to God's election of believers (e.g. Ephesians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:10) are reminiscent of Old Testament texts that speak of God's election of Israel (e.g. Deuteronomy 7:6-7; 14:2). Finally, the all-inclusive designation of believers as the "children of God" (e.g. Romans 8:14; 1 John) finds counterpart in Hosea 11:1, "out of Egypt I called my son," a clear metaphor for the relationship between God and Israel (as well as a clear Messianic text).

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