Israel of God

By Evan Knies

In Galatians 6:16, Paul uses the phrase “Israel of God”. He calls the Galatians the “Israel of God” to show that there is one People united in the Son. The Israel of God is the blood bought, elect, bride of Christ. In Him and because of Him, “Israel” receives her promises. In Him, the True Israel receives the blessings and promises bestowed on them because of the work of the Son.

In the New Covenant, those who belong to the Christ are a part of the True Israel. Those who trust in Him receive Israel’s blessings. There will be a remnant of ethnic Israel that repents (Romans 11). Some term this replacement theology, but it is not a “replacement”, it is fulfillment. Christ fulfilled the Law, Temple, and stood in the place of the people of Israel. In Him, His people receive the promised blessings. Paul throughout the letter to the Galatians has argued that God has intended Abraham to have one family, and He has done that in Jesus Christ. Paul ends this letter by arguing that all of those following Christ are the “Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16).

Thomas Schreiner notes, “All believers in Christ are part of the true Israel, part of God’s Israel. This fits with what Paul says elsewhere when he says believers are the true circumcision (Phil. 3:3). Since believers in Christ are the true family of Abraham and the true circumcision, they are also part of the true Israel”.[1]

[1] Thomas R. Schreiner, Galatians, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary Series : New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 383.

Evan Knies is from West Monroe, LA. He is married to Lauren. He serves as Minister of Students at Bullitt Lick Baptist Church in Shepherdsville, KY. He also serves as the Executive Assistant of the Nelson Baptist Association. He is a graduate of Boyce College and presently an M.DIV student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in the Billy Graham School. You can follow him on Twitter @Evan_Knies

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