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Israel’s Spiritual Fall

By Justin Johnson

Most Christians understand the historical fact that Israel rejected their Messiah and did not receive political redemption over their Gentile captors.

It is lesser known how they also rejected salvation and subsequently lost their spiritual advantage over the Gentiles.

Jesus wept for Jerusalem saying, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” (Luke 19:42)

At the time Israel was under the political authority of the Romans as prophesied by Daniel (Daniel 2:30-45). Jesus prophesied that this captivity by the Gentiles would continue until “the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).

Despite Israel’s captivity, and their crucifixion of the Messiah, they retained their spiritual advantage over the Gentiles because they did it in ignorance (Acts 3:14-17).

A believing remnant continued in the covenants, the promises, the prophets, in hopes of the kingdom, as Jesus had confirmed that “salvation was of the Jews” (John 4:22).

Peter and the disciples taught the kingdom promises to the nation Israel at Pentecost and offered forgiveness if they would repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Ghost in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38-39).

Yet this salvation would be rejected as they stoned Stephen and led a rebellion against the ministry of the Holy Ghost (Acts 7:51).

Israel had joined the Gentiles in spiritual rebellion against God and would suffer like punishment.

Their salvation was not realized. Instead God took salvation from Israel and offered it to the Gentiles who were first given up by God (Romans 1:24, 26, 28).

This process began with the unprecedented salvation of the leader of the rebellion. Saul, renamed Paul, was made the apostle of the Gentiles by God’s grace (Col 1:25-27).

Through Israel’s spiritual fall God revealed the mystery of Gentile salvation apart from Israel’s covenant advantage (Romans 11:11).

By revelation of Jesus Christ Paul now taught that there is no spiritual distinction between Israel and Gentiles.

Both are counted in unbelief before God so that they could both equally be granted mercy based on the merits of Christ’s blood (Romans 11:32).

Israel has no political or spiritual standing before God today as they once had.

By God’s grace every man is offered reconciliation to God through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus.

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Published: July 7, 2008
Last Modified: April 20, 2016
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