"HE IS NOT A JEW--OUTWARDLY"
"He is not a Jew who is one outwardly,...but he is a Jew
who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart."
THOSE who argue that the Church is under the New Covenant, instead of under the Abrahamic Covenant, symbolized by Sarah, as the Apostle says, are perplexed with the plain prophecy of Jeremiah 31:31-33. It distinctly declares that New Covenant provision to be for the house of Israel and the house of Judah--the ten tribes and the two tribes of the Jewish nation. Perplexed, they answer that they are Jews; that all Christians are Jews, and that the New Covenant prophecy, therefore, applies to them and proves that it has already been established and that they are enjoying its provisions.
In reply, we ask them first of all to read the context from verse 27to the close of the chapter. It seems difficult to imagine a mind so twisted and blinded that it would be unable to see that the entire passage is for the Jew--natural Israel. There is not the slightest reference to Spiritual Israel or any spiritual experiences.
In desperation they quote the text at the head of this article in proof that they are Jews and therefore in New Covenant relationship with God. But, alas for them, they thus go from one misinterpretation to another! If they will look up the context of the above text they will find that it applies not to spiritual but to natural Israel. It is a portion of St. Paul's argument showing that the Jew was not justified by being under the Law Covenant; and that he could be justified only by accepting Christ as his Redeemer from the sentence of the Law Covenant incurred by his inherited imperfection. Note the argument --verses 17-24.
The culmination of the Apostle's argument is found in the next chapter (3:9,10) in the words: "What then? are we [Jews] better than they [Gentiles]? In no wise; for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin [condemnation]. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." See the further argument of verses 19-29.
St. Paul's constant argument was that it was not necessary for Gentiles to become Jews in order to become Christians, but that the Jew must become dead to the Law and the Gentile become dead to sin in order that both might become one in Christ Jesus--Christians.
NOTE FURTHER MISINTERPRETATION
Let us ask these bewildered brethren a few simple questions, that they and we may know just where they do stand on the question of their being Spiritual Jews.
Is it as "new creatures in Christ" that this claim to being Jews is put forth? Yes, they answer. We reply with the Apostle's words, "There is neither Jew nor Greek" in Christ. Besides, the New Covenant proposes restitution and applies to those whose stony hearts are to be changed to hearts of flesh. Where is there a spiritual promise to the Jew? And the New [Law] Covenant would condemn every imperfect person, as did the Old one. "Ye are not under the Law [Covenant], but under Grace."-- Rom. 6:14.
"Ah, yes," they answer, "We erred in stating that we are Jews and under the New Covenant as 'new creatures.' We will change that answer and say rather, that as Jews we were justified under the New Covenant and then became 'new creatures' and members of Christ under the Abrahamic Covenant."
You are making a bad argument worse, by a further confusing of the Scriptures. The natural Jew could get free from the condemnation of the Old Law Covenant only by renouncing it--dying to it and becoming alive toward God as a member of The Christ. What advantage would accrue to a Gentile, to get under another Law Covenant, new or old? None, surely!
Christ is the Mediator of the New [Law] Covenant to bring as many as possible of Adam's race back into full harmony with God. During the Gospel Age he is laying the foundation for his great work by first making satisfaction for their sins. Soon the antitypical Atonement Day will end and satisfaction for the sins of the world will be made. Forthwith the world will be turned over to him, and his mediatorial reign will begin.
His mediation will not be for each person individually, but for the world collectively. He will reign or mediate for a thousand years, and not until its close will he deliver over to the Father--Justice--those whom he will succeed in uplifting out of sin and death conditions. During all the time he mediates the world will have no direct dealing with the Father, but only with the Mediator of the New Covenant.
On the contrary, the Church of this age is justified and accepted by faith, as was Abraham, and is backed by "the blood of Christ." Then, upon consecration to be "dead with him," they at once come into relationship with God as "members of the Body of Christ." Thank God for our portion of blessing under the Abrahamic Covenant and our glorious Redeemer-Advocate! And praise God for the world's coming blessing under a Redeemer-Mediator!