Jews, Gentiles, Christians
It is a bit surprising that there is so much confusion when it comes to identifying, Jews, Gentiles and Christians.
First we need to remember that there is a difference between the natural (physical) and the spiritual realms. The Apostle Paul described that through faith in Yeshua, gender, ethnicity, and political differences between men, women, Jews, Gentiles, slaves and free were gone. He was referring to the spiritual realm.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (NKJV)
Although slavery is no longer a part of our culture and the differences between men and women are obviously biological the difference between Jews and Gentiles are still within the plan of God. So let’s use Biblical definitions.
We will define Jews as people who are descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the people of Israel.
We will continue to use the Biblical definition of Gentiles as ‘non-Jews” or people of all nations other than Israel.
The question of who is a Jew is constantly under discussion and often argument.
From ancient times, the line of Jacob was filled with marriages between Jews and Gentiles. However, Gentiles who chose to align themselves with Israel were considered to be proselytes not Jews.
When were the descendants of these proselytes considered Jews? That is the question being debated!
Matthew 1: 1-6
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:
Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. (NKJV)
But one thing is for sure: when a Jew becomes a Christian he does not become a Gentile any more than a Gentile becomes a Jew.
A Christian is anyone, man or woman, Jew or Gentile who has been “called out,” redeemed,” “saved” by God’s grace through faith in Yeshua’s atonement for the sin of the world. Christians are identified by specific “religious” affiliation, style of worship, age, gender, or heritage, only by their faith.
Today many people, especially within Israel, use “Christian” to mean Gentile. But this is an incorrect term which continues to widen the gap between Jewish and Gentile followers of Yeshua.
Just as there are male Christians and female Christians, American Christians and Israeli Christians, so there are Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians. But again, it is because of the years of anti-Jewish attitude of “the Church” towards the Jewish people, many Jewish followers of Yeshua don’t like to be associated with the term “Christian.”
PRAY THAT THE WALL OF DIVISION BETWEEN JEWISH AND GENTILE FOLOWERS OF YESHUA WILL BREAK DOWN.