Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Federal Headship and the Israel/Church Distinction

What follows is exploratory writing as I try to put into words some of my studies of dispensational and covenantal theology.


Rom 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

The idea of federal headship can be seen in Scripture when Paul speaks of the two Adams. The first Adam was told to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and he failed in his obedience to God. Because of this, death is passed to all mankind. The Last Adam (Christ) lived perfectly yet was put to death and bore our sins. In Him we are made alive.

In short you are under one of the two Adams as your representative head. When we come into this world all men are under the first Adam receiving his guilt and death. But by the grace of God through faith man can be placed under the representative head of Christ receiving his righteousness and life. All who have been or will be saved must find it under the headship of Christ. This is seen in Hebrews 10 when it tells us that it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin, and then we are told…

Heb 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Christ sanctifies all who will be saved, even those in the Old Testament, because the sacrifices they offered could not really remove the guilt of sin. This means that even the true believers in the Old Testament, if they are to be saved, must find it under the headship of Christ.

What does this have to do with the Israel/Church distinction that is debated in covenantal and dispensational theology? Simply that there can be no distinction spiritually between Israel and the Church when it comes to salvation. All of God’s elect people from the entirety of the Scriptures find their Salvation in Christ.

Ethnically we can keep some type of distinction as we know the Church is made up of Jews and Gentiles, but spiritually it seems that it is hard to keep that distinction, since Israel finds it’s salvation in Christ. Paul tells us that we have been grafted in to the tree. What have we been grafted into? Since the tree represents Israel, we have become part of Israel. This is not replacement theology as some decry. The Church has not replaced Israel. Spiritually it is Israel, as it constitutes one tree. A tree that finds it’s salvation under the headship of Christ. It is true that Paul seems to go on and state that in the end many people from the Jewish line will be saved and be part of the tree, but there will only ever be one people that will find it’s salvation in Christ their eternal King who is seated on the Davidic throne forever.

-Doug-

6 Comments:

At Wednesday, April 12, 2006 3:39:00 AM, Blogger T A Blankenship said...

I believe you have explained this quite well. I certainly agree with it.

 
At Wednesday, April 12, 2006 4:25:00 AM, Blogger bluecollar said...

Doug,

You say,"What does this have to do with the Israel/Church distinction that is debated in covenantal and dispensational theology? Simply that there can be no distinction spiritually between Israel and the Church when it comes to salvation. All of God’s elect people from the entirety of the Scriptures find their Salvation in Christ."

AMEN!!!

Grudem comes to this same conclussion, and I do too. However, I am New Cov. Theology.

 
At Wednesday, April 12, 2006 5:25:00 AM, Blogger BugBlaster said...

Hi Doug,
Doesn't Romans 11 say/imply that there is a spiritual difference between Gentile Christians and Jewish Christians? Not a difference of status, but some sort of difference...

It says that we are wild branches grafted in, whereas verse 24 says that if it works for us, then it will work much easier for the original branches (Jews) that are regrafted in. They will be a much more natural fit.

That is a difference between Jew and Gentile.

Just musing. What do you think?

 
At Wednesday, April 12, 2006 7:44:00 AM, Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Good thoughts, Doug.

As far as natural branches vs. grafted branches, they all become part of the same tree.

 
At Wednesday, April 12, 2006 7:53:00 AM, Blogger Doug E. said...

Bugblaster,

There is a distinction physically. The church is made up a Jews and Gentiles, but spiritually we are one body. Romans 11 says that blindness has come in part to Israel until the fulness of gentiles has come in. The question is what are they coming in to? It seems from the previous verses they are coming into Israel (the true Israel, those circumcised of heart). But all of Israel (physically) is not really Israel Paul tells us earlier in Romans.

I agree with your distinction between the two physically, and there seems that there is going to be a revival in physical Israel in the end times. When many from physical Israel will be grafted into the true tree. But I've not fully worked out how that distinction plays into it completely.

In short I agree with your distinction.

Doug

 
At Tuesday, November 06, 2007 9:17:00 AM, Blogger jennifer said...

Thanks your definition of federal headship helped me answer a question on my college Romans and Galatians class homework.

 

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