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Chapter 17 - The Body Without the Kingdom
It was expected and hoped that all of Israel would repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. This would prepare them to trust in the name of Jesus and be born again so they could enter the body of Christ. Israel, in the kingdom, was supposed to go into the whole world and make disciples.of all nations. Since Israel proved reluctant to do so, the ‘mystery’ that gentiles would be introduced into the body of Christ was revealed by Paul.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. - Romans 8:16-17
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. - Galatians 3:28-29
It is tempting for gentile Christians to think they have replaced Israel or to imagine that they are now going to accomplish the work of the kingdom. Sadly, this sort of smugness often results from a strong faith in self and a weak faith in God.
And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. - Romans 11:17-22
As gentile believers, we become part of the body of Christ. We are grafted in. We are brought into the kingdom of God.
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: - Colossians 1:13
We are sort of citizens of a kingdom yet to be manifested. We are waiting for this kingdom which will have no war, longer life, and a less hostile natural environment. However, there are things to do while we wait.
For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? - Romans 11:15
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