About Jesus Steve Sweetman
It's my thinking that as Moses was to Israel, so Paul is to Christians. Both
men were well educated in all aspects of society, religion, and
especially the things of God. Both
men set forth God's will for His people.
When it comes to Paul, I've always said, "if he was wrong in
what he taught, then we as Christians have a major problem".
Paul, more than any other New Testament personality, including
Jesus, systematically set forth the doctrines of Christ.
Paul's letter to the Romans makes that clear.
Therefore, when it comes to the politics of God and the Bible,
one must take Paul's writings seriously.
The apostle Paul was well educated in Jewish social
and religious tradition. You
could not have asked for a more dedicated man to the cause. Philippians
3 shows that to be true. Paul paid a high price to follow Jesus.
Although he forsook Jewish tradition, he did not forsake Yahweh
and the truths of the Old Testament.
In light of Paul's association with Jesus, I ask, "what did
he believe concerning the future of Israel"?
At the risk of raising more questions, I'll try to
make this simple. For a
detailed explanation of Israel
in prophetic history, including Paul's teaching, you can read my
somewhat lengthy article on the Abrahamic Covenant found on my web site
If you read every passage in Genesis concerning the
promises God spoke to Abraham, which we call the Abrahamic Covenant, you
will notice that there are three recipients of these promises.
They are, Abraham, his descendents, and his seed.
This crucial fact is missed by many, resulting in a
With this in mind we turn to Galatians 3:15 to 18,
the most debated passage concerning
Based on Paul's assertion that Jesus is the
"seed" of Abraham, a theology called "Replacement
Theology" has emerged among many theologians.
They say the promises spoken to Abraham have been completely
fulfilled in the one seed, or, the one descendent, Jesus.
Because of this they conclude that all the promises spoken
to Abraham, including promises of land and Israeli nationhood, are now
spiritualized and given to the church through Jesus.
In short, the church has replaced
Galatians 3 states there are two recipients of the
Abrahamic Covenant, Abraham and his seed.
The Genesis account states there are three recipients, Abraham,
his descendents, and his seed. This
appears to be a discrepancy, but it's not.
Replacement Theology builds its case on the two recipient
scenario. They ignore the
three recipient scenario, or don't realize it exists.
Because of this error,
Another important thing to note is that the word
"seed" is singular, while the word "descendents" is
plural. This is another
overlooked point. Because
"seed" is singular and "descendents" is plural,
these two recipients can't be synonymous as Replacement Theology
suggests. The seed is Jesus.
The descendents are
Paul addresses just one issue in Galatians 3.
He says salvation comes through trusting Jesus, not through the
Law of Moses. That's it.
It was never his intention to address the prophetic and historic
Those holding to Replacement Theology misunderstand
Galatians 3, so when they read Romans 9 through 11, they build their
theology on this misunderstanding, resulting in even more
misunderstanding. There is
no need to interpret Romans 9 through 11.
We should simply accept what Paul says at face value.
Paul had a deep concern for
Paul points out in Romans 9, as he did in Galatians
3, that it had always been God's will to provide salvation to both
Israelis and Gentiles through faith in Jesus. In
Romans 10:4 he goes as far to say that "Christ is the end of the
Law". Jesus has
replaced the Law of Moses for the purpose of salvation and
righteousness. I wish more
Evangelicals understood the implications of this.
In Romans 11:1 Paul asked the crucial question.
"Did God reject His people (
There are three recipients of the Abrahamic Covenant.
They are Abraham, his seed Jesus, and his descendents
For a detailed explanation on Romans 9 through 11 you
can read my commentary on the book of Romans.