May 25, 2009
The Omega and the Alpha (more thoughts)
Adding to the previous post, I think there is an overarching principle to take away from this teaching on the Church. We should understand the Church to be the 'culmination' of God's work in Israel. Too often we understand the Church to be a totally separate 'thing' from Israel. As if the Lord had to go with plan B. The common thinking goes something like this: "God used to have a people called Israel, but now He has a people called the Church".
This common thinking creates a false dichotomy between God's people of the Old Covenant (OC), and God's people of the New Covenant (NC). The fact is that God's people are God's people. Name any OC saint and know that they are as much a part of the Body of Christ as you or me. God's people are God's people. Our groom has always had and will always have only one bride. God's people are God's people throughout all of time.
The teaching of the NC scriptures are clear; we, the Church, have been engrafted into the tree (Kingdom) which already was. We who were "separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope without God in the world ..... have been brought near by the blood of Christ" (Eph. 2). Near to what? -- Near to that which already was. God did not plant a brand new tree. He matured the tree which He had already planted!
In Christ God has kept His Promises to His people. He has planted, He has watered, He has caused the tree (Kingdom) to grow and mature. This continues even to our day and will continue until our groom comes back for His bride. Then, and only then will we fully realize who we are. May we be granted eyes to see and ears to hear.