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be the HEIR of the WORLD was not to Abraham or his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” Rom. iv. 13. Thus, “ THE WORLD'' is the land of promise to Abraham and his seed. But not in its present ruinous condition. For he sought "a better country, that is, an heavenly:"_The new heavens and new earth. Heb. xi. 16.
The promise of the heirship of the world is given to Christ, the seed and heir of Abraham. “ Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree; the Lord hath said unto me, THOU ART MY SON, this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” Ps, ii. 6-8.
But what will he do with the heathen, and the uttermost parts of the earth, when they are given to him? Just what God directed his people to do to the inhabitants of the land when he brought them out of Egypt to put them in possession of the land of promise-utterly destroy them--their iniquity is full. “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, and shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” “ Those mine enemies that would not that I should reign over them, bring them hither and slay them before me.” Luke xix. The land of promise is the new earth, “ the world to come." The dominion of it is promised to Christ, Ps. viii.; applied by Paul, Heb. ii. 5-8. A paradisical earth, with all its creatures, animate and inanimate. The stone which will dash in pieces the great image (Dan. ii.) will then fill the earth.
2. The heirs and subjects will be an elect people of Abraham's family.
God exercised his sovereignty, his elective franchise, in the selection of Abraham from all other families, to be the holy family, and progenitor of the Messiah, in whom all the families of the earth were to be blessed. This election was made when-as yet Abraham “had no child,” and before circumcision, " that the promise might be sure to all the seed.” Of the two sons of
Abraham, Ishmael was rejected and Isaac elected ; and the promise renewed to him and his seed, before he had any child. Of his two sons, Jacob was elected and Esau rejected. Thus God reserved to himself the right of election, even in the holy family. Did he lose that right when the twelve sons of Jacob were born? Not at all. He had the same right to make another election in the family of Jacob, that he had in Abraham and Isaac. He has made another and final election, and that “ elect" " in whom his soul is well pleased,” is Christ. He is the seed promised to Abraham, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed. And he is the heir of all the promises. The election is still in the original family, the house of Abraham.
Who, then, is heir to the land of promise ? THE JEW? In no wise. Let us listen to the apostle Paul while he argues the case. First, he lays down a principle of law :-that a covenant once made and confirmed, cannot be changed, “though it be but a man's covenant." How much less God's covenant! To whom, then, does the original deed or covenant convey the land of promise? He answers, "Now to Abraham and his SEED were the promises made ;-he saith not, and to SEEDS, as of many, but as of one; and to the SEED, which is Christ."
But the Jew comes up again, and claims it on the ground of the law—that under the law of Moses, God gave it to his fathers. Paul answers, “ This I say that the law which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise : but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” That is, a law 430 years later than the promise to Christ, cannot take the inheritance from Christ and give it to the Jews. Who then owns the land ? Christ.
But says the Jew, “Wherefore serveth the law?" If it does not entitle us to the inheritance, why did God make it, and under it bring in our fathers and put them in possession of the inheritance ? Paul replies, “ It was
added because of transgression, until the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” “Wherefore, the law was our schoolmaster that it might bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female, but ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are Ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to promise.”Gal. iii. 15—22.
“Baptized into Christ,” by the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the body of the Christian is as literally a temple of the Holy Ghost, the seed and principle of eternal life, as our natural bodies are temples of the blood of Adamthe principle of our mortal life. We shall be filled with, and quickened by that spirit in the resurrection, as we are now filled with and quickened by the blood of Adam. God has made of one blood all nations of men that now dwell on the face of the earth. He will then make of one spirit all who dwell on the new earth. 6. The first Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam, a quickening spirit.” “As we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall bear the image of the heavenly.” “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” It must be our mortal BODY, QUICKENED by the spirit which raised up Christ from the dead. A spiritual but not ethereal body. Spiritual, because quickened by spirit and not blood; and because spiritual, incorruptible, immortal and glorious. Thus, all who have that spirit by which Christ was quickened from the dead, have put on Christ, are members of his body-are Abraham's seed, and heirs to the inheritance, "according to promise."
Then not the Jews, all Abraham's seed through Jacob_but Christians--all Abraham's seed through faith in Christ, the seed of Jacob, are heirs.
The FALL AND RECOVERY OF THE JEWS. I have a few words to say on this subject. What is the fall of the Jews? From what and how did they fall?
This subject is fully discussed by Paul in the 11th of Romans, verse 12. « Now if THE FALL of them be the riches of the world, and the dimINISHING of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness."
The figure Paul has chosen to illustrate the subject, is an olive tree. We may as well follow it. The Jews are its natural branches; the believing Gentiles its engrafted branches ; Christ is the good olive tree. He is so because he is the promised seed of Abraham, in whom the world was to be blessed. That blessing is salvation-eternal life. The Jews were the legal heirs and representatives of Abraham, through Isaac and Jacob, to Christ, when the final election from Abraham's family took effect. They were of the same blood of Abraham with Christ, and were by that tie one common body; the same as the church is by the spirit of Christ. That was the only relation the Jews sustained to him by their natural birth-a blood relation. Now let us suppose a case. Suppose Christ to be of the blood of Abraham, and to have no other principle of life than that blood. He lives forever by it, and is the source of life eternal to all who are to be saved. He gives them life. Can they inherit more than he possesses ? that is, the blood or life of Abraham. Then in the resurrection he must quicken into life those who are saved, by that blood; and none but those who are its partakers could live by it. He would call forth the natural branches and quicken them,-but he could not impart the blood of Abraham to the Gentile, and quicken him by it, and thus engraft him into the good olive tree, the Abrahamic family.
But Christ shed his blood and dissolved his natural relation to the Jews. The SHEDDING OF CHRIST'S BLOOD-his death-WAS THE FALL OF THE JEWS. Christ was no more their brother in his death, than he was of the Hottentot. He was brother by natural ties to neither the one nor the other. He was. dead, and if he ever lived again it must be by some other principle of vitality than blood. That principle was the quickening Spirit of God. Abraham is dead, and if he ever lives again, it will be by the same Spirit, and in Christ. He can never benefit the natural seed by his natural life. Abraham, the father of the faithful, and Christ the promised seed, are both dependent on the Spirit of God for eternal life. The death of Christ being the fall of the Jews, they can never be restored to that from which they fell until Christ lives again by the blood of Abraham.
The DEATH OF Christ was both the riches of the world, and the fall of the Jews. Let the reader pause here, and settle this question. If This was not "the fall of them," what was? What else but the shedding of Christ's blood enriched the world? If nothing else did enrich the world, that death must be the Jewish fall!!
“ The DIMINISHING OF THEM the riches of the Gentiles.” The Jews all fell from their natural relation to Christ, but all did not fall from their spiritual relation, and cease to be branches :-for some Jews were in Christ when he died, and remained in him in his resurrection. Thus the natural branches of Christ were diminished, and the diminishing was the riches of the Gentiles ; that is, the Gentiles were brought on the same ground with the Jews :-they could be branches of the good olive tree on the condition of faith.
If, by the diminishing of the Jews, or if the Gentiles are enriched when only a few Jews are brought in, how much more rich the church and the world would be if they had all remained as spiritual branches ! It was necessary to the salvation of the world, Jews as well as Gentiles, that the Jews should fall from their natural relation, by the death of Christ : but not that they should fall from their spiritual relation. The Gentiles would be just as rich had they remained.
Again : “If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be but (except] life from the dead."