sermon: The Doctrine of Israel (Part Fifteen):The Israel of God
A Matter of Response
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Given 17-Oct-20; 67 minutes
God, responding to the failure of ancient Israel to live up to the terms of the Old Covenant, temporarily set physical Israel aside as the apple of His eye. He subsequently built His church, spiritual Israel, a relatively tiny remnant having His indwelling Spirit. That Spirit enables the people of His Church to obey His laws, to learn from the mistakes of their physical forebears and to foster an above-the-sun outlook toward God, not focusing on the past (physical Israel), but proactively zigging when God zigs, zagging when He zags. The top priority for today's Israel of God is to cooperate with God Almighty as He works with His people to develop godly character through their mortifying the old man and putting on the new man, their embracing grace as the starting point rather than the destination on the sanctifying process, and their remembering that God has called His chosen people to a lifetime of good works (Ephesians 2:10). As signatories of the New Covenant, God's people have a mandate to strive to overcome their carnal human nature. God requires the active cooperation of His people as His grace kicks off the sanctification process and His elect metaphorically change out of their filthy, carnal clothing, gradually replacing them with the same character God Himself possesses.
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