The Inheritance of the Saints

The possession of the land of Canaan by Israel was a preliminary stage in God’s redemptive plan, one that always envisioned something larger than Israel or a relatively small plot of land in the Middle East. With the arrival of the Messiah, the covenant promises find their fulfillment in the “true seed of Abraham,” namely, Jesus, and this includes the future bodily resurrection and the new creation.

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One People in Christ

Paul is adamant. Now, “in Christ Jesus,” no longer can there be “Jew or Gentile.” He has “dismantled the middle wall of partition” that once separated Jew from Gentile, “that he might reconcile them both in one body for God through the cross.” Having voided the “law of the commands in ordinances” that separated them, he is “creating in himself ONE NEW MAN.”

Prior to his self-sacrificial death, the Gentiles, the so-called “uncircumcision,” were alienated from the citizenship of Israel, “strangers from the covenants of promise” and without hope.

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The Spirit of Life

In Galatia, “false brethren” were preaching “another gospel” that pressured Gentiles to get circumcised, and otherwise, to conform to the regulations of the Law. Paul would have none of it, and he responded with a series of arguments, including an appeal to the receipt of the Spirit by uncircumcised Gentile believers.

Since his Gentile converts received the Spirit while uncircumcised, it follows that circumcision is not a requirement for right standing before God or membership in His new covenant people – (Galatians 3:1-5).

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In Jesus, the original limited promise of territory to Abraham is transformed to encompass the entire creation.

The land of Canaan was an early stage in the greater redemptive plan of Yahweh, one that ALWAYS envisioned something beyond the nation of Israel. In the New Testament, the covenant promises find fulfillment in the “true seed of Abraham,” Jesus Christ, including the New Creation – the “new heavens and the new earth.”

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With the ascension of Jesus, the gift of the Spirit has arrived with blessings for all believers as promised to Abraham.

The “promise of the Father” is the gift of the Spirit, and Paul links it to the Abrahamic covenant. The promises of the Abrahamic covenant find their fulfillment in the new covenant inaugurated by Jesus. The bestowal of the Spirit on the church marks the commencement of the age of fulfillment, and “in Christ,” Gentile believers become full heirs of Abraham.

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