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St. Paul, Israel and the Nations (Gentiles), Mark Seifrid.

October 23, 2016

“As we have noted, the remnant is promissory because it marks the fulfillment of the divine word upon Israel, a word which beings judgment as well as mercy. [a must understanding also for the Church] Paul does NOT transpose the biblical order of salvation in speaking of the ‘fullness’ of the Gentiles entering in prior to Israel’s salvation. His opening affirmation that salvation is ‘for the Jew first, and also for the Greek’ remains central to his gospel (Romans 1: 16). He rather sees the fulfilment of promise in the risen Christ, the seed of Abraham and David (The ‘Israel of God to which Paul refers in Gal. 6: 15-16 is the eschatological Israel, the new creation in which neither circumcision no uncircumcision counts, which corresponds to the Israel of promise – Gal. 4: 28 ; Rom. 9:6-9). The entrance of the ‘fullness’ of the Gentiles into the people of God (embodied in Christ and the remnant) signals the presence of God in this fallen world. It is an ‘eschatological event’ in the strictest sense, as the term ‘fullness’ itself suggests. Paul’s ‘priestly service’ of the gospel among the Gentiles and the common worship of Jews and Gentiles which arises from it are a cause for hope because they signal the entrance of the eschaton into the world in Christ (Rom. 15: 7-21). Although the hour for the promise remains, the hour of fulfilment has come. . . Therefore the idea that the church has now replaced Israel as the object of promise is foreign to Paul. Indeed, Paul wants readers to know ‘the mystery’, this once-hidden truth of Scripture now revealed: a hardening in part has come upon Israel, until ‘fullness of the Gentiles’ enters in.’ ” (Mark Seifrid: Christ our Righteousness, Paul’s theology of justification, (IVP, 2000, pages 165-169). I have not quoted the whole of that here, but it is a great theological and Pauline read, and highly recommended!

*Note also 2 Corinthians chapter 3 & 4!

  1. This aspect is seen also in the best of the Progressive Dispensational structure of the Apostle Paul!

    • The Pauline Church is first Jewish, then too chosen Jews and Gentiles into a church and Body who are Judeo-Christian, and thus “both one”…In Christ! (Eph. 2:14-22) But always to “the Jew first..” (Rom. 1: 16).

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