Tuesday, December 18, 2007

All Right....I'm In.

Friday Night at the BRDhouse

Curt, Tom and I are performing live at the BRDhouse again this Friday evening, December 21st. We'll get started around 8 and play till around 10. For those who have heard us in the past...well, we are getting better! The BRDhouse is on 48 just about a mile south of the Englewood Meijer. They have really yummy coffee.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

You Alone Are God

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
nor are there any works like yours.
All the nations you have made shall come
and worship before you, O Lord,
and shall glorify your name.
For you are great and do wondrous things;
you alone are God. (Ps. 86:8-10)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

No Longer Strangers and Aliens

The second chapter of Ephesians has been the source of much debate (especially between dispensationalists and covenantalists) as to the exact nature of the relationship between Israel and the Church. The specific question I’d like to address in this post is one that I’ve recently been batting around with the good Dr. Shearer; that is, as gentile believers, are we biblically warranted in considering ourselves citizens of Israel? Dr. Shearer has said that we are not; I believe that we are.

I begin with Paul’s expression in Ephesians 2:19, where he tells his gentile readers, So then you are no longer strangers and aliens… Here Paul indicates what we presently are not. We are not strangers and aliens. What he does not answer in this sentence, however, is the question, strangers and aliens from what? We are given a little help, however, in the phrase no longer. That from which we are no longer strangers and aliens must be that from which we previously were strangers and aliens. And what was that?

Here, Paul is very clear; for he has already specified in verse 12 that, before Christ, gentiles were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise. The commonwealth of Israel was that in which Israelites were counted citizens. The covenants of promise were that which defined what Israel was to inherit. Being alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, then, we gentiles were excluded from citizenship therein, and being strangers from the covenants of promise, we were excluded from inheritance thereunder.

If then, this is the sense in which gentiles were strangers and aliens at one time, it is precisely in this same sense that we are strangers and aliens no longer. Therefore, viewing verses 12 and 19 together, we must conclude that gentile believers are no longer strangers and aliens specifically with respect to the commonwealth and covenants of Israel. And here, then, is the point: if we are no longer strangers and aliens with respect to the commonwealth of Israel, how can we be other than citizens thereof? And if we are no longer strangers and aliens with respect to the covenants of Israel, how can we be other than partakers therein?