WITH PRIVILEGE COMES RESPONSIBILITY
Everyone enjoys special privileges. In this article, you will discover that Israel is a privileged people. You will also discover that Christians are also a highly privileged people. When we grasp and understand these privileges, it does not make us proud. Rather, it humbles us and burdens us with a heavy responsibility to reach the lost who do not yet know Christ, for with privilege comes responsibility.
ISRAEL‘S EIGHT PRIVILEGES Note them as they are listed in Romans 9:4-5 Note also that through Israel’s privileges the whole world is blessed through Christ.
1. CHOSEN AND ADOPTED
Genesis 12:1-3 records how Abraham was chosen and called out of Ur of the Chaldees to be the father of the Jewish race to bless the world through Christ who would come through his line; so we who have put our trust in Christ have been chosen and adopted into the Family of God to be a blessing to this lost world.
In Deuteronomy 7:6-8 God reminds Israel they are a chosen, blessed people above all the nations of the earth in that God chose them to be the channel through whom Christ would come who would bless the world. He repeats this in Psalm 33:12, but makes it clear that any nation who honors Him is blessed.
Read Ezekiel 16:3-14 for a very touching story of how God found and chose and blessed Israel to be a blessing to the world. Then read the rest of that chapter to see how Israel forsook her God and brought down God’s judgment on themselves.
In this Church Age we Christians can rest and rejoice in the truth that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world and we are adopted into His family all to the glory of His grace, as taught in Ephesians 1:4-6.
2. EXPERIENCED THE GLORY OF GOD
Israel was privileged to sense the presence and glory of God as He led them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When camp was set up, the glory of God dwelt in their midst in the Tabernacle.
But all of this was but a type of the more wonderful relationship we Christians have with God through Christ, as we experience the constant presence and glory of God through His Holy Spirit residing in our bodies, as explained in I Corinthians 6:19-20 and II Corinthians 4:6-7.
3. THE COVENANTS
The story of Abram begins in Genesis 12 with God’s command to him to leave his home in Ur of the Chaldees and follow God’s leading to Canaan which God gave to him and his descendants. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and made an eternal covenant with him known as The Abrahamic Covenant.
This covenant is recorded in Genesis 15 and reconfirmed in Genesis 22 after Abraham showed his willingness to offer his son, Isaac, as an offering to God. Read the beautiful story in Genesis 22. It’s a foreshadow of God’s offering up of His Son, the Lord Jesus, on the cross for our sins.
This covenant is basically God’s promise that through Abraham’s seed would come the Saviour, the Lord Jesus.
The Davidic Covenant found in II Samuel 7:12-16 assures David, who is in Abraham’s line through Isaac and Jacob (whose name was changed by God to Israel) and Jacob’s son, Judah, that through his seed would come Jesus who would be King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The New Covenant is not limited to the Jews. Today we Jews and Gentiles who put our trust in Christ are made beneficiaries of The New Covenant, promised in Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 36:21-38 and Hebrew 8:6-13. It involves a personal relationship with God through our personal relationship with Jesus, in whom we trust for our salvation.
Instead of being in bondage to God’s Holy Law; we are freed from condemnation to allow the indwelling Holy Spirit, to live out the righteousness of the Law through our hearts in our daily conduct, as Romans 8:1-4 teaches. Legalism is foreign to this gracious work of God in our lives.
4. THE LAW
Israelites were eye-witnesses of Jesus, as well as writers and custodians of God’s Law, the written Word of God, the Bible. The entire Bible, both Old and New Testament was written by and given to the Jews. We Gentiles are blessed by the Bible which we read and internalize, allowing the indwelling Holy Spirit to live out the life of Christ through our lives. Our carnal natures which are with us until we die, keep us from living Christ’s life perfectly, even though that is our desire. This truth is taught in Romans 6-8.
5. SANCTUARY SERVICES
Sanctuary services were performed by the Jewish tribe of Levi only, we read in Exodus 25:8-9. In this Church Age our bodies, as Christians, are the temple or sanctuary of God’s Holy Spirit. So instead of going to Church, we ARE Christ’s Church or Spiritual Body and we are to gather together regularly each week, to be edified and challenged by God’s Word to live Godly lives and offer faithful service to Him, as Hebrews 10:25 commands us. As Christians, our bodies are holy property. Therefore, as we learn in I Corinthians 6:9-20 and II Corinthians 6:14- 7:1; it is our solemn responsibility as Christians to live a morally clean life, turning from sin whenever we are faced with temptation.
It’s extremely dangerous for a Christian who is part of Christ’s body, to allow sin, or sinful influences, to control his body. If you want to live dangerously, go play with electric wires or with lightening; but don’t play with sin. You may escape getting shocked by electricity, but you will NEVER escape the consequences of sin. Numbers 32:23 warns us
BE SURE YOUR SIN WILL FIND YOU OUT!!!
When you as a Christian sin, deal with it immediately by confessing it directly to God, not to some man. God will immediately forgive you without any penance on your part. Jesus paid the full price for all your sins when He shed His blood on the cross for you. For you to attempt to offer money or anything else as payment for your sins is an insult to God.
Read I John 1 to fully understand how Christians are to deal with sin in their lives. You will find I, II and III John, at the end of the Bible, just before Jude and Revelation.
6. GOD’S PROMISES
The Old Testament is filled with God’s promises to Israel. Here are only a few. Deuteronomy 28, Joshua 1:9, Jeremiah 33:3. By God’s grace, we Christians are blessed through these promises to Israel and hundreds of other promises to Israel and to the Church throughout the Bible.
I challenge you to read through the Bible, underlining every promise. As a child, we used to sing a little chorus, “Every promise in the Book is mine. Every chapter, every verse, every line. All are blessings of His love divine. Every promise in the Book is mine.” For example, read through Psalm 37 and underline the promises made to you. Memorize them and claim them in time of need, as I have repeatedly throughout my life.
7. THE FATHERS
Finally, we are given the Fathers, that is the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and on down to David, and Solomon and other through whom Jesus came. You can read the two genealogies of the man, Jesus, who was conceived in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit. Jesus was God come down in human flesh to die and shed His blood for our sins. You will read His genealogy through Joseph, His adoptive father, in Matthew 1 and His genealogy through the virgin Mary in Luke 3.
Though Israel as a nation rejected Jesus as their Messiah and Saviour, yet we are indebted to Israel for giving us Jesus and we have the responsibility at Christians to share the Gospel with them. That’s why Paul, a Jew and a Pharisee and Jewish leader, after being converted to Christ, had such a heavy burden to reach his nation with the Gospel. He shares that burden in Romans 9 and 10 as we’ve already seen.
Surely America has been blessed over the past two centuries because the founders honored God and His Word, the Bible. Christianity is woven into the fabric of our founding documents, including our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.
Being an American doesn’t save us, but it certainly is a blessing to us as we live in a nation that was founded by Godly men and women. We have more access and opportunity to hear the Gospel than almost any nation on the face of the earth. For much more on this thought, go to category, AMERICA.
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