Beware of Replacement Theology

Replacement theology (supersessionism) is a very common teaching in Christian churches today. Maybe your church even teaches this idea without you even knowing!

It suggests that the Christian Church has replaced Israel as the new chosen people of God, rendering the promises made to Israel null and void. According to the theology, the Jewish people are no longer God's chosen people, and He has no future plans for Israel. Instead, the Church has actually become Spiritual Israel and receives their promises instead!

It's frustrating to argue against replacement theology because to me, Romans 11 makes it theologically impossible

Let's look at Romans 11 to understand why replacement theology falls short and why continuity between Israel and the Church is vital.




The Olive Tree Analogy

Romans 11 opens with the powerful imagery of an olive tree. The author, Paul, compares Israel to the original branches of the tree, which have been broken off due to unbelief, while wild olive shoots (representing Gentile believers) are grafted in. 

However, Paul warns against boasting over the broken branches (Israel), emphasizing that God can graft the natural branches back in if they do not persist in unbelief. This analogy beautifully illustrates the continuity between Israel and the Church. Rather than replacing Israel, Gentile believers are grafted into the same covenantal promises, affirming the ongoing significance of Israel in God's redemptive plan.

We actually come alongside Israel in the promises of God, but we don't cast them aside or render them obsolete!

I also think about the idea of grafting in. If we could be grafted in as wild branches of no relation to the original olive tree, how much easier could the branches that had been removed be re-grafted in as well?

God's Faithfulness to Israel

Throughout Romans 11, Paul emphasizes God's unwavering faithfulness to Israel despite their disobedience. He passionately rejects the idea that God has forgotten His people, citing himself as proof of God's continued faithfulness. 

Paul references the story of Elijah, where God preserved a remnant of faithful Israelites even in times of spiritual barrenness. This is the same preservation that is happening today. God's covenantal promises to Israel remain intact, which go against any idea of replacement.

The Future Salvation of Israel

One of the most striking aspects of Romans 11 is Paul's revelation of a "mystery": where a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. Then, "all Israel will be saved." 

This does not imply universal salvation for every individual Israelite but rather a national restoration to God's covenantal favour. Paul writes that God's gifts and calling are irrevocable, and so is His commitment to fulfill His promises to Israel! The future salvation of Israel serves as a testament to God's faithfulness and His unchanging nature.

All Have Fallen Short

Earlier in the book of Romans, chapter 3:23 states that "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". If we've all sinned and failed God in our own flesh, then why would He turn His back on Israel and not the rest of us? Why would He break His covenant with one group of people, and extend it to another instead?

We are all equally sinful, and all equally in need of the grace that faith in Yeshua offers.

This is an Amazing Explanation of Replacement Theology and its Infiltration of the Christian Faith!



Conclusion

Read Romans 11 for yourself, and dwell in the Spirit. It should become evident that replacement theology is incompatible with the biblical narrative. Instead, we are called to embrace the continuity between Israel and the Church. We have a shared heritage and are a part of the amazing ongoing fulfillment of God's promises. 

The olive tree analogy reminds us of our interconnectedness. God's faithfulness to Israel and the promise of their future salvation affirm the everlasting covenant with His chosen people. Let us approach this topic with humility and reverence, rejoicing in God's faithfulness and eagerly anticipating the fulfillment of His promises to both Israel and the Church.

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