The name “Israel” not only referred to Jacob, but also to his descendants—who became Israel. The same principle is seen in the New Testament.
For example, the Lord told the ancient Israelites, “And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). In the New Testament, Peter applies these exact words to the church: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9).
Likewise, immediately after Paul’s statement in Galatians 3 about Jesus being “the seed,” he then tells his Gentile (a non-Jew) converts, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29). Thus in the New Testament, the name Israel not only applies to Jesus Christ, but also to those who are born in Christ—His Church! In other words, all true Christians are now God’s spiritual Israel.
The church is called the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). From the very beginning, the church has understood Israel to mean a spiritual body of Christ.
According to the New Testament, there are now two Israels. One group is composed of literal Israelites “according to the flesh” (Romans 9:3, 4). The other is “spiritual Israel,” composed of Jews and Gentiles who believe in Jesus Christ.
Paul writes, “They are not all Israel, which are of Israel” (Romans 9:6). How’s that for proof! That is, not all are part of God’s spiritual Israel who are of the literal nation of Israel. Paul continues: “That is, they which are the children of the flesh [physical descendants of Abraham], these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed” (v. 8). The children of the flesh are only natural descendants of Abraham, but the children of the promise are counted as the true seed.
Today, any person—Jew or Gentile—can become part of this spiritual nation of Israel through faith in Jesus Christ.
Israel has always been God's people. In the Old Covenant, it was the nation of Israel. In the New Covenant, it is "Spiritual Israel", the Church. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).
Jews are saved like everyone else, by grace, thru faith in the Savior.
There is no replacement theology, there is only continuation theology.
Natural Israel still matters, as all people matter. However, the nation of Israel today is 40% practicing Jews, 40% secular Jews. and 20% other, mostly Muslim.
As Paul said in Rom.11:14 "if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them".
Paul was talking about his Jewish brothers and sisters in the flesh that he wanted to provoke to jealousy because of the freedom he had from the requirements of the law in Christ.
Then Paul says in Rom. 11:26, 27 "And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written":
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”
Paul was talking about Jesus as the deliverer and all Israel as being "Spiritual Israel", those that have excepted Christ. There is only one way to the Father, and that is by accepting Jesus as Messiah & Savior, . . . . for Jew and Gentile.
There aren't two different peoples in the Kingdom, only one in Christ, the “holy nation”.
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