13. Wasn't the Old Testament written especially to the Jews, so that it doesn't apply in the same way to Christians?
The Old Testament was written particularly to the Jews, whom God called out from
all the nations to be his special people (e.g. Deuteronomy 7:6); and so, Paul
speaks of the privilege of the Jews as being very great, and consisting most
especially in this, that they were given the oracles of God (Romans 3:1-2).
Elsewhere, Paul consistently speaks of the Jews as having a definite temporal
priority in God's redemptive design (just as Christ had taught before him, cf.
Matthew 15:24), declaring that the gospel was for the Jew first, and only
afterwards for the Gentile (Romans 1:16-17).
However, the Jews ought to have recognized and embraced Christ, because they had been instructed of him in the scriptures; and indeed, their forefathers, to whom the gospel first came, looked ahead to Christ in true faith and rejoiced (e.g. John 8:56; Hebrews 11:13-16); but as a whole, they rejected him instead, and so all those who disbelieved were cast off. But even this rejection and casting-off of the majority of the Jews was not without a purpose; for Paul teaches that, according to God's plan, the Gentiles would be brought in to know God's mercy through the stumbling of the Jews. Thus, many Jews would be broken off from God's people, but his nation would then be expanded, as many Gentiles were grafted into Israel by faith (see Romans 11).
This means that true Israel, and the true Jewish people, are not simply those ethnically descended from Abraham, but they are rather the remnant of ethnic Jews who believe, together with those Gentiles who have been made a part of true Israel through faith. Thus, the New Testament often speaks of Christians, whether Jew or Gentile, as the true Jews (e.g. Romans 2:28-29; 4:11-17; 9:6-8; Galatians 3:6-9, 26-29; 4:21-31; 6:16; Ephesians 2:11-22; 3:6; Phil. 3:3; 1 Pet. 2:9-10; Rev. 2:9). This means that all the promises and teachings of the Old Testament scriptures, which were written for the Jews, belong to us who are in Christ, the one true Seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16), for we are now Abraham's children through faith, and thus heirs of the promises made to Abraham and his offspring (Gal. 3:26-29).
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