Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What do you mean I’m Jewish?

Charles Haddon Spurgeon was one of the most famous preachers in England. He was a pastor in London from 1854 until he died in 1892. Spurgeon was the pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, a church some call the first modern “megachurch.” Not only did he preach several sermons per week, he also was a prolific writer. In 1865, he began editing a magazine called The Sword and the Trowel. The title of the magazine refers to the way Nehemiah instructed the people of Israel to both stand guard and work to rebuild the walls in Jerusalem. I often wondered why they chose that title, until I realized that believers are Jewish.

“Funny,” you might say, “I don’t remember being Jewish.” Well, if you are a believer you are. Romans 2:28-29 tells us, “For no one is a Jew who is merely 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, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.” So, believers in Christ are born again into his family, the true Israel.

“Ok, so I’m Jewish. What’s the point?” Well, like Abraham, God rescued us from idolatry (Genesis 11:27-31; Abram was Chaldean, a people known to worship a moon goddess named Sin) and made a covenant with us so that we would be his people and he would be our God. And the sign of this new covenant was circumcision of the heart instead of physical circumcision. The point of all this is that the Jewish people in the Old Testament weren’t the people of God; they were a foreshadowing of what God would do through Jesus Christ. And we have a much better covenant than the first Israel.

So now we can read the Old Testament in a new light!

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