Did the Church Replace Israel?


I received the following question from one of our visitors and want to share his important question and my answer.
Does the Church Replace Israel
On 11/4/2013 12:00 PM, Richard wrote:

<Hi,  Don  !                                                         Nov. 4,  2013

After  reading  Romans 2:28 – 29,  and  Romans 9:6 – 8,  and Phil. 3:3,  and  Gal.  6:16,  can  I  conclude  that  The  Church 

has  replaced  Israel ?

 Grateful  for  your  response.


Here is my answer:

Richard, I am not fond of the word “replace” but, prefer fulfillment.Biblically, it was always a righteous remnant that comprised the true Israel.
The OT promises of the kingdom had to do with the remnant receiving that kingdom– never the entire nation.
The nation as a whole never accepted Christ as king– the remnant did.
As a result, Paul could say “Israel has not obtained that for which she sought, but, the remnant (elect) has obtained”  (Romans 11:7). Incidentally, I did a 3 Lesson CD series on this text and it is very powerful stuff as it relates to your question. It is available from me.
What the righteous were inheriting was, therefore, the realization of Israel’s promises– rightly understood, as fulfilled spiritually in Christ.Israel was always- and this is critical– always— supposed to be covenantally transformed into the spiritual body of Christ. This is something my Dispensational friends simply do not grasp, but, it is foundational to understanding eschatology– and soteriology.
Old Covenant Israel was a type and shadow of Christ and his church / body. So, as the reality of the body (replaces) the shadow, one can say that the church “replaced” Israel, but not in the sense that something went wrong with Israel and therefore, God removed her and gave her promises to someone else. Again, it was always God’s purpose to “replace” the shadows with the body, and that body is Christ.In my book, Like Father Like Son, On Clouds of Glory, I have an extensive discussion of Israel being a type and shadow of what was to come in Christ. I think it would be helpful, and you can find it here.Also, be sure to check out my series of articles on Hebrews 13:15 since they have a direct bearing on your question. That series begins here #1. Here is #2

Hope this helps!

Don K