In the ongoing debate over what is required of the Gentile who converts to being a follower of Jesus or Yeshua, as his contemporaries called him, I pulled my head out of the verse-against-verse joust that generally occurs in these dialogues to take a big-picture view.
I concluded Paul was the first “seeker-friendly” evangelist! Think of it, Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles. He is introducing them to Yeshua, a Jew, as the Son of God, who died for their sins that they might be forgiven and become sons of a god about whom they have no clue! We can’t imagine the context of the debauched state of the average idol-worshipping pagan that the Apostle encountered. Would most unbelievers the Apostle met even consider they’re in sin? How do you convince them they need to hear about another god? Where do you start? Continue reading Apostle Paul’s Seeker-Friendly Ministry
I had been meditating on what it really means to be of the seed of Abraham and to be his descendant by faith. And then one day the phrase, “one new man,” from Ephesians 2:15 caught my attention. Was I missing something in what I currently knew about this new creation that was neither Jew nor Gentile? I knew Yeshua had radically re-created me more than four decades ago, and He continues to renew me: spirit, soul and body. So what was God saying to me today about this new creation? And what was its connection to the seed of Abraham?
Rather than getting a direct answer to my question, my thoughts turned toward other questions: What does it mean that all Israel will be saved? Who really is “all Israel,” referred to in Chapter 11 of Romans as the grafted-in branches of the olive tree, both wild (Gentile) and natural (Jew).
When defined in the context of One New Man? I recalled that Apostle Paul says the natural heritage is not the definition of the true Israel: “For they are not all Israel who are of Israel.” (Romans 11:26b) “All” Israel can only be construed to be those who have a heart change by coming to the Father through the Son. All Israel that will be saved is the one new man, the seed of Abraham, who was made righteous by faith. This new creation will have more than the heritage of either a Jew or a Gentile — he will be a sort of super chosen, spiritual species. I find the significance of this one new man is dawning on me in the context of the true Israel that will be saved. Continue reading The Seed of Abraham