The Great Pause. One More Time

Q. I understand your view on replacement theology and how we have not displaced Israel as God’s people. Through your post on “The Great Pause” I’ve seen how God has only paused His time line for Israel. In accordance with Romans 11:17, my church teaches that we are grafted into Israel. What exactly does that mean? To what extent? Are God’s promises for Israel for us too? Should we be observing Jewish feast days or is the church totally separate from Israel?

A. This “grafting in” as Paul called it takes place through the Lord Jesus. He explained this in Galatians 3:26-29, and Ephesians 2 :11-22.

It’s not that the Church has become Israel, it’s that through the Lord, Jew and Gentile have become the Church.

Both the natural branches and the grafted in branches receive nourishment from the same root, which is Christ. The Church doesn’t need to try to be separate from Israel, the Church is by definition separate from Israel.

Paul made this clear in Romans 11:25-27 when he said Israel has been hardened in part until the full number of gentiles has come in. He was talking about the Church being raptured. After that Israel will be saved. He was saying the same thing he heard James say in Acts 15:13-18. Israel and the Church are distinct and separate entities and God deals with them as such.

Whether you observe the Jewish feast days or not is up to you, as long as you understand you’re not required to do so.

In Colossians 2:16 Paul said not to let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration, or a Sabbath day.

And in Romans 14:5 he said, “One man considers one day more sacred than another, another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”

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