Saturday, June 13, 2009
Christianity and Judaism
It is often inferred that Christianity is an outgrowrh, or product of Judaism. In reality these two systems are as independent of each other as the two opposing principles of law and grace. Being thus so widely different in their essential elements, they are, like the princoples which they embody, as far removed from the other as heaven is higher than the earth. One is of the earth, the old creation, and the flesh; the other is of heaven, of the new creation, and the Spirit. As there are elements and threads of truth which run throughout the entire Bible, so certain features which belong to Judaism reappear in Christianity; but this obvious fact should not be made the basis of a supposition that these systems are the same, or that one was merged into the other. God, holiness, Satan, man, sin, redemption, and the issues of eternity, are not only relevant facts of both Judaism and Christianity, but they are essential facts of all time, from its beginning to its end. It is true that the same God is the God of the Gentile as well as of the Jew, and that the Jew anticipated the value of Christ's death by sacrifices, as we realize the value of His death through faith; but it does not therefore follow that God's purposes and ways are the same with Israel as with the Church. When these 2 systems are confused, it is because the differentiating essentials which constitute the Jewish religion and Christianity are ignored. FIRST, CONSIDERING THEM AS RULES OF LIFE. The Old Testament system of law is absolutely supersede by the new system under grace. Christians are not under law either for justification or for sanctification. When Christ said, ''I came not to destroy, butnto fulfil,'' and that nothing should pass from the law until all was fulfilled [Mt. 5;17-18], He was dealing with Israel while Judaism was still in force, and anticipating the MESSIANIC KINGDOM, which will be purely llegal in its character. SECOND, CONSIDERING THEM UNDER THEIR RESPECTIVE ASPECTS. In the matter of service, there is nothing but contrast betweem Judaism and Christianity. Israel, under Judaism, went to perform a sacrifice; we go out to proclaim a sacrifice. Judaism had its ritual, its forms, and its ceremonies which are typical. Christianity could incorporate none of these since it provides a living union to Christ who is Substance and Antitype of all that Judaism prefigured. THIRD, CONSIDERING THEM IN RESPECT TO PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP TO GOD. Under Judaism, the nation was related to Him by the covenant of Sinai, the Abrahamic covenant being temporarily set aside until Christ should come [Galatians 3;19], and individual Israelites were spiritually renewed through their personal faith, though the exact character of their salvation is not revealed. But, under grace, all the positions and possessions of the believer in relation to God transcend the earthly promises of Israel. The message of Ephesians 2;18 TO 3;10 does not teach that the Church is being built on the prophets of the Old Testament; reference is only to the prophets and apostles of the New Testament [4;11]. In like manner, The ''MYSTERY''[3;6]is the formation of a new humanity--the Church-- out of both Jews and Gentiles, and not a combining of Old Testament saints with New Testament saints. The true church began at PENTECOST, and was made possible through the new outflow of grace in Christ Jesus, -- by His death, resurrection, and ascension,-- and the descent of the Holy Spirit. Similarly, Gentile branches are not grafted into Judaism, but into Christ [Romans 11;17]. HE IS THE VINE.