Who Are God’s People?

Olive Branch Symbol of Israel, God's PeopleGod’s people are Israelites, plain and simple. God chose the children of Israel to be His Chosen People. By the children of Israel is meant the descendants of Abraham, his son Isaac, His son Jacob and all twelve sons and progeny of Jacob, whom Yahweh God renamed “Israel.” This holds true throughout the entire canon of Scripture; in the Old and in the New Testaments.

God Chose Israel:

Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed’” (Genesis 12:1-3).

For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

God did not choose the Israelites because of their righteousness, but:

Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power” (Deuteronomy 4:37).

The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 7:7-8).

That did not change and will not change for God does not change:

God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19)

For I am the LORD, I change not” (Malachi 3:6a)

God chose the descendants of Abraham to be His people, not because of anything they did, but for the promises He made to Abraham. Since God does not change, then this still holds true even today. God saves people who have faith in Him. Abel had Faith (Heb 11:4); Enoch had Faith (Heb 11:5); Noah had faith (Heb 11:7); Abraham had faith in Him (Heb 11:8); and so have millions of others. Because of their faith, God approved of them and saved them (Heb 11:39). They were truly God’s people.

Thus it is people of faith that are God’s people. People of faith include all those mentioned above, plus millions more that had and presently have faith in Him. This includes saved Israelites and saved Gentiles:

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “through Isaac your descendants will be named.” That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.” (Romans 9:6-8).

The Apostle Paul was a well educated Pharisee, a Hebrew of Hebrews educated in Hebrew law in the Jewish school of Gamaliel, which is the equivalent of an education in a prestigious university today. He wrote that not all of the descendants of Israel, that is Jacob, are really of Israel and that just because they are Abraham’s descendants does not mean they are all the children of Israel. In other words they are not all the chosen of God. Paul goes on to explain that God’s children (God’s Chosen People) are not His children because of the physical descent, but only those of faith are included in God’s people.

Gentiles who have faith are included in the People of Israel. Not because they became proselyte Jews, but because of their faith in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ. Paul wrote:

For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God” (Romans 2:28-29).

Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live” Deuteronomy 30:6

Circumcision of the heart occurs when an individual, either Jew or Gentile has faith in God (loves Him with all their heart and soul), which in the New Covenant (Jer 31:31) means in His Son Jesus Christ as their Savior. Paul says that not all who are descendants of Israel are true Israel, but there is a remnant of Israel that are saved by the blood of Christ and that they are true Israel, the true children of God (Rom 11:5). Paul also wrote that those who have faith in Jesus Christ as Savior are counted as Abraham’s seed and are also included in the promises of God to Abraham (Gal 3:29). That includes both Gentiles and Jews.

But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you” (Romans 11:13-18).

Paul compared Israel to a cultivated olive tree. He said that Israelites that were not saved by their faith in Christ are like branches that were broken off the cultivated tree. He further stated that saved Gentiles are like branches cut off of a wild olive tree that are grafted in to the cultivated olive tree which is Israel. So unsaved Jews are removed from the tree meaning that they are not of true Israel, leaving only saved Jews as a remnant of true Israel and saved Gentiles are also of true Israel having been grafted in to the root stock of true Israel. But he also stated that the branches that were cut off could be grafted back in to the root stock of Israel by faith in Christ as Savior (Rom 11:23).

Like we stated at the beginning, God’s people are Israelites, plain and simple. Saved Jews are true Israel and saved Gentiles become a part of true Israel by being grafted or adopted into true Israel. The true church of those saved by the blood of Christ is a part of true Israel. The Gentile Church has definitely not replaced Israel; they are a part of Israel and thus have become a part of God’s people.

Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior? He is going to return to the world soon. Are you ready? When He does if you do not know Him as your Savior, you will join all those who do not know Him in “Outer Darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Mat 22:13-14).

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