What is a family?
What is the difference between Christians and Jews?
Let's look at a few of God's promises to the Jewish people:
God promises them a life of purpose and destiny.
"For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession." (Deuteronomy 7:6)
God assures them of His love.
"The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt." (Deuteronomy 7:7-8)
"I have loved you with an everlasting love." (Jeremiah 31:3)
God promises them a living relationship with Himself.
"If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands that I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God." (Deuteronomy 28:1-2)
God promises them national survival beyond all natural expectations.
"This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar - the LORD Almighty is his name: 'Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,' declares the LORD, 'will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.'" (Jeremiah 31:35-36)
This is an interesting list, particularly so for a Christian, because we can see many similarities between God's package of benefits for the Jewish people and those He offers to individual Christians (both Jew and Gentile). To illustrate this, I will repeat the list, but will change the reference verses.
God promises Christians a life of purpose and destiny.
" ... and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father - to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen!" (Revelation 1:5-6)
God assures Christians of His love.
"I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17:23)
God promises Christians a living relationship with Him.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
God promises Christians survival beyond all natural expectations (i.e. eternal life).
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
Now this is just an observation, not doctrine. No doubt a theologian could tear it to pieces on closer scrutiny. But this is not the point; it is just an illustration. The real point I am making is this: God's relationship with the Jewish people is a covenant with the nation as a whole, not with individual Jews. His only deep relationship with individuals is with those people - whether Jew or Gentile - who have entered a covenant with Him as Christians.
(This is an abridged extract from Steve's book Outcast Nation)
A Lib Dem candidate who was due to stand in the upcoming election...