Ryan Habbena: Getting Israel Right


November 1, 2015

Ryan-GallileeRyan Habbena is back this month, and we’re talking about Israel. There’s a wide spectrum of views on just who, or what, Israel is. Is it a people group, a geographic location, both? Who are we to understand Israel to be as a people in terms of New Testament theology? Ryan does a great job of cutting through the misunderstandings and righting our perceptions about Israel.

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Outline of the Discussion
  • Ryan teaches a cover-to-cover overview of the Bible, Genesis to Revelation. In order to properly understand the Bible as a whole, it's very important to properly understand Israel. It's also very important to understand the Jewish roots of Christianity.
  • There is a spectrum of belief on Israel that ranges from the extreme Covenantal side holding to a form of Replacement theology (the Church has replaced Israel as the people of God), to the extreme Dispensational side holding to a form of Dual-Covenant (Jews can be saved by obeying Old Testament commands and prescriptions.)
  • People talk about Israel and the Church as if it's Jew and Gentile. That is not the case in the New Testament.
  • The name ‘Israel' comes from the son of Abraham and Isaac. Jacob and his twelve sons became the nation of Israel. They became a nation at the time of the Exodus. ‘Israel' typically refers to the ethnic descendants of the ancient nation of Israel.
  • Israel also often refers to a specific piece of land that stretches from the Mediterranean to the Jordan river, and from the Euphrates to the north to ‘the brook of Egypt' to the south.
  • Covenants are very important to understand. The four big covenants are: the Abrahamic covenant, the Mosaic covenant, the Davidic covenant, and the New Covenant (through Jesus, declared by Jeremiah).
  • Does Israel have a right to the land? This is a very loaded question. The Abrahamic covenant was unconditional. The Davidic covenant was conditional. Being in the land is conditional upon faithfulness. Those conditions have never been rescinded. Ultimately, the land belongs to God, and is given to Christ as an inheritance.
  • The Lord uses the pagan nations to judge Israel, yet he still judges those very same nations for their treatment of Israel. He is sovereign through it all.
  • The rejection of God as King is what has thrust Israel into discipline since the time of the Exodus.
  • It is often said that the Jews used to have a special function in redemption history, but that has been assumed by Christ; and the land used to be a special place, but the Kingdom of God is now all of Heaven and Earth, but Ryan thinks this is far too simplistic.
  • We must look at Israel from different angles. Paul said “As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.” (Romans 11:28)
  • Ezekiel 36 lays out some key points about the future of Israel:
    1. The Lord will pour out His grace upon ethnic Israel through Christ.
    2. He will restore the now desolate land at the end of the age.
    3. The nations will see this, vindicating the name of the Lord.
  • The land of Israel is not just prominent in the Mosaic covenant, but also the Abrahamic covenant as seen in Genesis 12, 15, & 22. It is also a part of the Davidic covenant as seen in 2 Samuel 7.
Scriptures Referenced
  • Romans 9
  • Deuteronomy 28
  • Matthew 23:37/Luke 13:34
  • Ezekiel 36, 40-48
  • Romans 11
  • Hebrews 11
  • Zechariah
  • Isaiah 2
  • Genesis 12, 15, 22
  • 2 Samuel 7
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