Replacement Theology: What We Should Know, Part 4Galatians 6:16 • Gabe Morris • May 28, 2017 • Replacement Theology: What We Should Know
Replacement Theology: What We Should Know, Part 4
5-28-17 Galatians 6:16
Good morning. Can we pray. Heavenly Father, we praise You and honor You and we worship You this morning because You are God Almighty. We ask You that You can ready our hearts and minds for what You have for us this morning concerning Your church and Israel, Your chosen people. Use me as you see fit and we bless You and give You all the glory and praise. In Jesus’ name, and God’s people said… Amen.
Could we open our Bibles to Galatians 6:16. It’s such a blessing to be with you this morning. I’d like to thank the Lord for another opportunity to teach; it’s always a challenge to fill in for Andy and happy Memorial Day tomorrow. On behalf of SLBC we want to honor those fallen heroes of our country and their families as well.
Today we will be finishing our replacement theology series so by way of review let’s briefly look back on previous lessons to catch up on what was taught so far. We are in Part Four of our series entitled Replacement Theology: What We Should Know. And the first lesson we took a bird’s eye perspective and carefully traced the history of this doctrine called Replacement Theology. And we defined Replacement Theology as simply the idea of the church, the Gentile church replacing the nation of Israel; it’s a belief by some Christian circles and Israel’s promises have been transferred to the church. And according to replacement theologians the church is now called the new Israel or the true Israel, or the true people of God, and thus Israel has no eschatological future in the plans of God, so they say.
And in some circles this doctrine is known as supersessionism, also called fulfillment theology, as the church has now fulfilled Israel’s role. We also learn that replacement ideas began to show up in the church in the mid second century of church history. And the reason for that was really because of a series of historical events, like the strange relationship between the growing Gentile church and the Jews. Another reason was an anti-Semitic bias; when they read the Bible it was dominating their hermeneutics and with those factors at work the allegorizing of Scripture became rampant. Another way of allegorizing is spiritualizing the text. And to make matters worse, Rome’s conversion to Christianity in the 4th century by Constantine paved the way for a total purging of everything that was Jewish in the new growing church. And they did it by persecution. And these four factors ultimately led to the establishment of the replacement theology within the church.
And then the second lesson we discovered the dangerous effects of replacement theology and how it affected the role and mission of the church, particularly the ecclesiastical part and the eschatological part, meaning what they believed about the role of the church and what they believed about the end times. We learned how it affected individuals throughout history to say and do perhaps the most gruesome things ever said and done to the Jewish people. We discovered when replacement theology, when left unchecked can become some the severest forms of anti-Semitism and grow from and idea of this doctrine like replacement theology.
Also left unchecked we discovered how it can become distortion, distorted forms of Christianity, like Chrislam, or like Christian Palestinianism, among others.
And then in lesson three of our series, a very important lesson, we zoomed in a little bit closer and we asked the question, does the Bible support the ideas of replacement theology? And we challenged specifically the belief that there are no distinctions between Israel and the church. Replacement theologians believe that there are no distinctions between the church and Israel. And we search the Scriptures to discover that, and the evidence… if there were any evidences of those ideas, and if you’re catching this on the tail end I strongly encourage you to go check out the previous lessons on this to get a better grasp on the issue.
So did the church replace Israel? Of course this is a major tenant and in lessons 3 we challenged the modern day Bible scholars that believe this. We engaged the writings of Kenneth Gentry who said “we believe in the unfolding plan of God in history, the Christian church is the very fruition of the redemptive purposes of God. As such the multiracial international church of Jesus Christ supersedes racial, national Israel as the focus of the kingdom of God. Indeed, we believe the church becomes the Israel of God.” And then he quotes Galatians 6:16. [Galatians 6:16, “And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.”] We engage the amillennialist, William Cox, up on the top, he said this in terms of Israel and the church: In the Bible, he believed, that the terms Israel and the church can be used interchangeably and we challenge those writings. We challenge the writings of this guy, President and Professor of the doctrinal studies at Mid America Reformed Seminary, also writer of Ligonier Ministries, Dr. Cornelius Vanema, he said this: Israel and the church are not to distinct peoples, rather, the church is the true Israel of God.
Is this true? We challenge that. Does the Bible teach a lack of distinction when it speaks of both Israel and the church. Does the Bible use the very technical terms the “church” and the “nation of Israel,” very technical terms, interchangeably as Mr. Cox has asserted. And has the church become Israel as Mr. Gentry asserts? And we engaged those ideas in lesson 4.
We look at three of four, among many more I might add, we looked at four glaring evidences found in the Bible that distinguishes the church from Israel and they were: the church is born at Pentecost, Acts 2. There is a glaring distinction in the Bible when it teaches that the church was born in Acts 2 while the nation of Israel was wrought from a man named Abram in Genesis 12. In Genesis 12 God says, “I will make you a great nation,” He’s speaking to Abraham. The church was not in existence in Genesis 12 nor the Old Testament for that matter. When Christ first uttered the word “church” in Matthew 16:18 it wasn’t even in existence then. [Matthew 16:18, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”]
He had to leave earth for it to be inaugurated in Acts 2 at Pentecost. That’s quite the difference, is it not, so different Lewis Sperry Chafer said these words: “So different this race as to distinctive characteristics that all other peoples are antipodal to them, completely opposite. That is, they are classified as Gentiles or the nations and as in dissimilarity to the Jewish nation. The second evidence that distinguishes the church from Israel is that certain events of Christ were essential to the establishment of the church, and that was the resurrection and the ascension. Those two things had to take place for the church to be established.
Ephesians 1:20-23 says this: “Which He” who’s God the Father, “brought about in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in heavenly places,  far above all rule and authority” did you notice “when He raised Him from the dead” resurrection, “and seated Him at His right hand in heavenly places,” that sounds like the ascension, “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.  And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,  which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
John 14:12 says this concerning the ascension, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” So in contrast what event (singular) needed to take place for the nation of Israel to be established? And that was the faith, then obedience, of one man, Abraham, Genesis 12. God said go, and then he went.
And then the third hard evidence that distinguishes the church from Israel is the mystery character of the church. The first mystery was the indwelling of Christ. First of all, what’s a mystery? A mystery is a divine truth that was hidden and not revealed in the Old Testament, later to be revealed in the New Testament. And there were four characteristics, mystery characteristics, we looked at in our previous lesson concerning the church and that was the indwelling of Christ. This is the Christ in you concept. Paul used a very technical term, “in Christ” when he wrote to the churches.
For example, in Colossians 1:24-27 it says: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.  Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God,  that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints,  to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
This “Christ in you” concept was and still is exclusive to the church alone. Unbelieving Israel as a whole never really enjoyed this rich and glorious blessing as Paul described it. What did Paul say? “…but now has been manifested to His saints,” in other words, Christ took residence in a believer’s heart at the point of faith and resides there forevermore. This was a mystery; this is a mystery.
The second mystery characteristic of the church was the bride of Christ. The Bible teaches the relationship between a husband and wife is an exact illustration as that of Christ and the church. Please jot down Ephesians 5:22-32 and you will see this great truth.
[Ephesians 5:22-32, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.  But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,  so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,  that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.  So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;  for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,  because we are members of His body. [31 FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.  This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”]
In fact, in Revelation 1:7-9 confirms a future event called the marriage of the Lamb, the “Lamb” being Christ Himself of course, and He will wed His bride, the church. [Revelation 1:7-9, “BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.  ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’  I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”]
In distinction to the church the Bible teaches that Israel is married to Jehovah God. The Bible illustrates that Israel is the wife of Jehovah. Did you know that the book of Deuteronomy was not only treated as an ancient treaty but also a marriage contract? God came into a binding covenant with the nation of Israel on Mount Sinai and subsequently Israel’s prophets always viewed the covenant relationship as a marriage, as a marriage contract. How do we know that? For example, God speaks of His jealousy for Israel in Deuteronomy 6 and warns of her committing adultery. In Jeremiah the prophet describes Israel’s great adultery, describing her as a harlot. He also records this marriage covenant broken because of Israel’s adultery. Isaiah speaks of a hundred years separation. Jeremiah describes God giving Israel a bill of divorcement on the grounds of adultery. And to cause her, to cause Israel to stop sinning, not for a revengeful act but to show her absolute dependence on God and not her dependence on her false lovers.
Despite all that hope is not lost; there will still be a restoration and a remarriage described in Jeremiah 31:31-34, which this remarriage required a new covenant. [Jeremiah 31:31-34, “Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,  not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.  But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”]
My point is the Bible clearly distinguishes Israel from the church, period. One of my favorite scholars, Arnold Fruchtenbaum, he said this, “In the Bible Israel is represented as the wife of Jehovah whereas the church is represented as the bride of Christ, the Messiah. A failure to maintain that distinction will only result in a misinterpretation of what Scriptures teach.”
We also learn that the rapture was another defining mystery characteristic of the church. Please jot down 1 Corinthians 15:51-55. [1 Corinthians 15:51-55, “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.  But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.  O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?”]
Here Paul reveals the rapture of the church as a mystery, something that was hidden in times past, so hidden in fact Daniel, in his prophecies couldn’t even see this foreordained entity. And I’m so glad Andy went into this in his last week’s sermon, that was an awesome sermon, the church was a mystery and her rapture was a mystery and Daniel could not see this entity, called the church, in his visions. So that said, why do many scholars like [can’t understand word, sounds Venema] , like Sproul, like Stott, John Stott, like Kenneth Gentry, believe that Israel and the church are not two distinct peoples.
And lastly, we talked about the mystic characteristic of the concept of the body of Christ. This becomes very important because Paul breaks down this mystery called the body of Christ, made up of both believing Jews and believing Gentiles. He goes into great lengths to maintain this distinction between them. Why is this? Because Paul is dealing with hard-headed and arrogant Jews. Jim talked about that, how they believed that because they were Jewish, because of their lineage, because of their physical lineage to Abraham, their connection to Abraham, they were in right standing with God. We’ll touch on that a little later.
In the last lesson I made this visual to show you what Paul was talking about. Paul, in the book of Ephesians, distinguishes two groups, in Ephesians 2:11. In fact, can we hold our place in Galatians and go to Ephesians 2:11, I want you guys to see this. Paul says this, we’re talking about the body of Christ concept, he says, “Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘Uncircumcision’” there he mentions two groups, the Gentiles which are represented in the Greek and Israel, in yellow, and because of this work on the cross of Christ, namely His death, His blood, His burial, His resurrection and all that good stuff, that’s the cross represented here, because of that he restored the relationship between God and man so all that exercise faith in Him, in Jesus Christ, whether from the group of Israel or the Gentile group, they are now considered a new group. They enter into this thing called the body of Christ.
Notice Ephesians 2:12, “remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel,” he’s speaking generally to Gentiles, “and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups” notice “both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall.” So back to our chart, from those two groups Christ establishes a new group. Do you all see that?
Now why is this important to point out? Because Paul, notice, he is maintaining distinctions between three groups now: unbelieving Israel, unbelieving Gentiles and then believing Israel and believing Gentiles, now called the body of Christ. He maintains these distinctions in his letters.
All that said, we pick up where we left off in our lesson today entitled Replacement Theology, What We Should Know, Part 4. And so this brings us to our fourth and final evidence of the distinction between Israel and the church and that is Galatians 6:16. And to remind you all Galatians 6:16, this is the main verse that replacement theologians use to support their argument that the church has replaced Israel or has become the new spiritual Israel. One replacement theologian labeled Galatians 6:16 as the chief verse.
So let’s turn back to Galatians 6:16 if you will, Paul again is referring to two groups. Now as you read this let’s try to read this in a normal and plain way, okay. Notice Galatians 6:16, “And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.”] Please notice the two groups, “And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them believing Gentiles “and” that’s an important conjunction, what word and, “upon the Israel of God.” Believing Jews.
To Paul he deemed it necessary to distinguish these two groups. He not only does that here he does that throughout the book. He does it in Glorification 2:7, Galatians 2:12-13, Galatians 3:8, Galatians 3:14, Galatians 3:23, 24 and 25, Galatians 4:5, and here in Galatians 6:16.
So if he does that in all those places and he does it in his other letters, would it be possible that he’s doing it here? The answer is yes. The replacement theologian says no, and I’d like to challenge that today. I want to break down Galatians 6:16 and build up the case to show you a handful of reasons why Galatians 6:16 does not support replacement theology.
The first and obvious reason is how Paul uses this term, this technical term “Israel.” When Paul says “Israel” what he really means is Israel. He uses the term “Israel” in his letters a total of 17 times. This does not include places where he describes Israel, including himself, meaning us, or we. He does that in Galatians as well; he includes himself as if he was talking to a Jew. If we counted those instances the 17 number would quadruple.
So let’s go beyond that. How many times do other New Testament writers use the technical term “Israel?” And the answer is 56 other times. So the total is 73times in the New Testament he used the word “Israel.” Now let’s ask a bonus question: how many times does the Old Testament use the word, the technical term, Israel? You ready for this: 2,570 times the Old Testament uses that term. What we’re doing here is we’re doing a word study and guess what? In every single case the technical word “Israel” is used every single time it means the ethic national people of Israel. It literally means the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, without fail, every time!
It could mean Israel in belief; it could mean Israel in unbelief, but every time it means the ethnic national people of Israel. It never means anything other than Israel in the Bible. It doesn’t refer to the church, it doesn’t refer to the Gentiles, it never refers to another group of people, it means Israel! How is it then the replacement theologian can say Galatians 6:16 is the one verse where it does not mean Israel? That doesn’t make sense.
A second reason why Galatians 6;16 does not support replacement theology is because Israel was never really referred to as the church until the church father, Justin Martyr showed up. Many of you know Justin Martyr, he wrote a famous piece called the Dialogue With Trypho and in that writing he said that Christians are the true Israel. He said the true Israelitic race… and so when did he write this? In A.D. 160. This brings us back to our first lesson where replacement ideas never really showed up until the mid-second century. When did Paul write the book of Galatians? Somewhere between A.D. 49 and if we do the math that’s 111 years removed from Paul’s letters.
Let’s look back at Galatians 6:16; let’s look at the next two reasons: Galatians 6:16 says, “And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.” Please notice the conjunction “and,” this Greek word kai, and believe it or not, the covenant theologian camp and our camp, the dispensational camp are in battle because of this little conjunction, and. Can you believe that? We believe, both camps believe that this word kai can be translated in two ways; the covenant camp believes the word kai should be rendered even in the appositional sense, meaning that is, or namely, so if I was to read this, “And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, namely” okay. So it heightens the meaning of the previous element.
In fact, if you have a NIV translation it reads as follows. “Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.” They like to use this version. If this version is correct then Paul is saying all who follow this rule of the new creation, back in Galatians 6:15, are the Israel of God. They are, thus favoring replacement theology.
On the other hand, our camp, the dispensational camp believes that this Greek conjunction, kai, should be rendered in the continuative sense and should be translated “and.” The continuative sense connects an additional element to a series. For example, Matthew 23:2 says, “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves….” The Greek word kai is being used in a continuative sense. So if this version is correct Paul is referring to two groups, right, namely believing Gentiles and believing Jews. Do you see that? This rendition would favor the dispensational camp. And so the two reasons, the next two reasons why this does not, Galatians 6:16 does not support replacement theology is that the continuative sense of kai is the most common New Testament usage (which is the fourth reason) while the appositional sense of kai translated “even” is the rarest, one of the rarest New Testament usages. Okay.
Actually the study on this word kai and praise the Lord for Logos Bible Software , you will discover that this is the case. I don’t know if you guys can see that but that’s actually a word study, I’m using The Exegetical Guide to research the verse, Galatians 6:15. Please bear with me. The exegetical too is a very powerful tool in Logos, so what I did is I used The Exegetical Guide here, you can see that, Galatians 6:16, and I scrolled down to the word kai, that’s the kai in it and it breaks down everything you want to know about kai. And then I clicked that little circle there, that little broken up circle, and when you press that that generates a word setting. And these were the results, when I clicked that little thing; that’s the results. Okay.
First notice that we’re looking at the word kai, right there, there’s also one below it, below that red box, then notice the translation, the NASB, notice the amount of times kai is used? 8001 times kai is used in the New Testament, in all senses, even, all, but, who and so forth. Okay. The dispensationalist is concerned with this kai, the and; you see how many , it’s represented in blue, you see how much that covers of the New Testament? The most common use of the term. The replacement theologian is concerned with that kai. See the difference? One of the rarest forms in the New Testament. If you click that term “even,” you can actually click that term, it does some powerful calculating and you get this. Notice I clicked even and the orange section of the pie breaks off 133 times total New Testament it’s used…even. If you click that and which we’re concerned about it breaks off and notice, that’s the and that we’re concerned with, 7016 times. Now the next logical question would be is Galatians 6:16 in that list? See below the numbers, there’s 7016 references to that “and.” And in this slide I now searched down to Galatians and you will see there the references to “and” in Galatians 6:16, so it’s there.
You might be saying well Gabe, this doesn’t mean anything, you’re using the NASB. Of course the continuative sense of kai will show up. What about the NIV translation? And I’m glad you asked. So notice that I use the NIV translation, we’re in Galatians, narrow the search down, oh-oh, I scroll down, okay, and notice Galatians 6:16, this is the NIV version, “Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, to the Israel of God.” Notice it dropped the… there’s no “even.” Why is that? We’re looking at the continuative sense. Okay. It’s not there; the kai is not used. But in the NIV if we look up “even,” to make things interesting we look up “even,” look at the result; we’re using the NIV, two times and Galatians 6:16 is not there. The appositional sense is not there. That concludes that the appositional sense of the word kai is in error in the translation. That’s not to say that the NIV is full of them, it’s just a bad translation.
A very wise man, named David L. Cooper, he said this: When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense seek no other sense; therefore take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths indicate clearly otherwise. That’s what we did here. Many of you know Dr. Cooper was a Greek scholar.
Another Greek scholar, S. Lewis Johnson, said this of Galatians 6:16, “an extremely rare use has been made to replace the common usage, even in spite of the fact that the common and frequent usage makes good sense.” I would agree with his stand, S. Lewis Johnson, who according to [can’t understand word] I don’t see [can’t understand word same word said again] but [can’t understand word] knew him personally and this was a man who carried his Bible in the Greek text, he never had an English Bible.
On that note the fifth reason why Galatians 6:16 does not favor replacement theology is because the point of the church becoming Israel would be made much clearer if the kai, if Paul just eliminated the kai. Okay. So if Paul eliminated the kai it would read like this: “And those who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, upon the Israel of God.” Doesn’t that sound like Paul is talking about one group now? But there’s a big problem, the kai is there, the kai is not eliminated. We discovered that in Logos.
Let’s dig deeper. Let’s do some actual unique textual studies. This is very fascinating. This is a page from what’s called Papyrus 46 and as you can see it’s in great condition. Papyrus 46 is a collection of various New Testament books and is one of the oldest of the New Testament manuscripts in Greek. It’s probable date is around 175 A.D. to 225 A.D., scholars estimate. And this single page of leaf, as they call it, or page, is taken from the Book of Galatians. And we’re concerned with that red mark there. If we zoom into that, that’s what it says. Do I have any volunteers…. It says kai [he reads the Greek] Jim, did I do that correctly? Word for word literally it means this: “and as many as in [can’t understand word] this will walk, peace upon them and mercy AND the Israel of God.” Do you see that? There is our kai in question.
Did you know that every single word, every jot and tittle in the Bible, including Galatians 6:16, was breathed out by God Himself. This is called the doctrine of inspiration. In 1 Peter 1:20-21, Peter said, “The Holy Spirit carried men to write the words of God,” prophecy. [1 Peter 1:20-21, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.  For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”]
And we’re learning that in Daniel as well. Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped to every good work.”
A sixth reason why Galatians 6:16 does not support replacement theology is this double preposition, epi, or upon. Let’s look at Galatians 6:16 again. “And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon” epi, “upon them and upon” epi, “the Israel of God. There’s a double preposition here. Why is this significant? If Paul is trying to single out one group wouldn’t the second epi be redundant? Now Paul was by no means a sloppy scholar, right? He wrote most of our New Testament. He was a scholar among scholars, well-learned. So why are there two prepositions? Because Paul is talking about two groups. It’s very simple.
The seventh reason why Galatians 6:16 does not support replacement theology, notice what Galatians 6:16 is, where it’s located. It’s at the very end, at the conclusion of Paul’s letter. Paul is concluding his thoughts here. We would call this a benediction and this is a very brief one at that. The structure of Galatians is rather interesting. If you follow along you will notice Paul’s introduction, in the beginning, the first five verses he states the problem. The next five verses, the rest of chapters 1 and chapter 2 are autobiographical, he’s really defending himself and his ministry that God has called him to. And he’s doing that because of the Judaizers; they were teaching false doctrines to the church, doubting and questioning his apostleship and Paul defended it.
In chapters 3 and 4 are the doctrinal issues. He’s establishing how you should think, Galatians. He says in the beginning, “you foolish Galatians,” he said in chapter 3, verse 1. This was considered a very severe corrective letter. In chapters 5 and 6 and in typical Pauline fashion he follows his doctrinal section with an applicational section, an orthopraxy section; orthodoxy followed by orthopraxy. Correct thinking, then correct practice.
And then finally, most view chapter 6, verses 11-18 as Paul’s conclusion. We see that as a conclusion. Why would an extraordinary theologian like Paul end this letter with incredible doctrine? Nation altering doctrine, why? And not even give an explanation. I would think that the entire nation of Israel being instantly supplanted, instantly forsaken, Paul would give an explanation for that, would he not. But Paul never did that. You see how this doesn’t fit replacement theology.
The next reason, the eighth reason why Galatians 6:16 does not support replacement theology is because Paul is referring to two groups. Throughout the book, as we said earlier, he refers to two groups, and in his other letters it’s very obvious. In particular he will make routine distinctions between believing Jews and believing Gentiles. He does this all the time. Do you remember in Romans 1:6, Paul says this, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew and to the Greek.” It sounds like two groups. In 1 Corinthians 1:23 Paul said, “But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,  but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” There it sounds like four groups, unbelieving Jews and Gentiles, and believing Jews and Gentiles. Do you see that?
Let’s look at the Book of Galatians, 1:7-9, Paul distinguishes between believing Jews and Gentiles, again calling them circumcised and uncircumcised. [Galatians 1:7-9, “which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!  As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”]
Here’s a dead ringer, look at Galatians 3:23, it says, “But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law,” who was “kept in custody under the law”? The Jews, only the Jews were bound by the law; Israelites only. He even used the word “we” including himself.
Let’s look at Galatians 6:15, Paul distinguishes again two groups; it says, “For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision,” two groups “but a new creation.” Why… you guys might be thinking this is crazy; why is this important? Because Paul [can’t understand word] distinguishes between two believing groups. I’m just trying to build a case; he makes distinctions because that’s the way it’s always been. The ancient world before the church, before the church came into being, there were only two peoples, Jews and Gentiles, no other ethnic people group had the privilege of being bound covenantally to God, not even the U.S.A.
So it’s not surprising that Paul would make distinctions. And you know what’s unfortunate? That many will try and challenge you and say what are you talking about, the Bible says that there are no distinctions between Jews and Gentiles, we are all one in Christ. What about those verses? I’m glad you asked. Hold your place here in Galatians 6:16, now turn to Galatians 3:28. Paul said, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in” the church… oh, you got me, wait, wait, does it say that? “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” … Christ Jesus!
To understand this we must remember why Paul is writing this letter; context is everything. Paul is combating false teaching; the Judaizers were teaching that salvation is earned by the adherence to the Law, to the Mosaic Law. Paul says NO, ALL people, whether Jew or Gentile are all justified by faith. Paul is referring to a spiritual standing in Christ Jesus, not an ethnic standing, Jew nor Greek. Not a biological standard, male or female, neither a social standard, slave or free. Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” both Jew and Gentile. And since “All have sinned” then “all” can only be justified by God by faith alone in His Son, regardless of distinctions.
I mean, if you think about this for a second, if all distinctions were lost then by that logic I can call myself a Jew, right? R. C. Sproul says you can, R. C. Sproul, Jr. In 1998 in a December issue of Tabletalk Magazine entitled What About the Jews, he said, “We believe that the church is essentially Israel; we believe that the answer to what about the Jews is here we are.” Because of the way he understands Galatians 6:16, because of the way he understands Romans 3:28 he is claiming the ethnic racial national designation for Israel for himself, and apparently for his partners. I will not agree with his statement. According to this logic then you are saying biological distinctions, right, between man and woman are irrelevant, right? Well, we definitely know some politicians who wish that were the case. And so by that logic you’re saying social distinctions of employer and employee are done away with too, right? I tell you what; you go to work next week with that kind of mindset and let’s see how far you get.
A ninth reason why Galatians 6:16 does not support replacement theology is because Paul is distinguishing believing Jews for special recognition. Okay. Paul will not only distinguish between two groups, he will single out one group of the two for special recognition, namely the nation of Israel. And why would he do that? One reason is because only one nation had the unique privilege of entering into a covenant with Almighty God. A second reason is because if you read carefully these letters and his other letters Paul does this as well; again Paul’s audience are all believers in Galatians but notice he primarily focuses on the Jewish group, as we’ve seen that in Galatians 3:24. [Galatians 3:24, “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.”]
He will use the word “we” including himself. He does so in Romans 2:28. Romans 2:28-29 says, “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.  But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart,” see the spiritual standing there, “ by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.”
Paul here is delineating the distance between unsaved Jews, the one who is a Jew outwardly, and recognizing the saved Jews, the Jew who is one inwardly. In other words, just being a Jew doesn’t save you, that’s what Paul is saying. Being a Jew in faith saves you. To Paul there was such thing as a Jew and then a true Jew, a believing Jew.
Romans 9:6 he does this as well, “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;” he’s doing the same thing here, he is specially recognizing a true believing Jew from an unbelieving Jews. He does this in Romans 11:1 and 5, uniquely recognizing the Jewish believer. [Romans 11:1, “I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” Romans 11:5, “In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.”] In fact, he calls them “a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.” That sounds like a special recognition. Romans 11:5 is a dead ringer.
And also to understand this ninth point we must first understand why Paul wrote this book. Again he’s combating Judaizers that say salvation comes from adherence to the Mosaic Law, keeping the old Mosaic Law, and Judaizers were demanding even the Gentiles to this custom, this circumcision, physical circumcision. Judaizers actually means to live according to Jewish custom and Paul has dealt with that in Acts 15 and here in the Book of Galatians he strongly condemns it.
In Galatians 1:6 he said, “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;” and here in Galatians Paul is teaching justification by faith alone apart from the Law. Now Gentiles are not of the law, were they? Only the Israelites. Galatians is a magna carta of our faith as some would label this book. In Galatians 3:23, but now faith has come, we (believing Jews) are no longer under the tutor or the Law. [Galatians 3:23, “But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.”] And if I remember my Old Testament correctly the Mosaic Law was exclusively for the nation of Israel.
So it doesn’t seem strange to conclude that Paul is making special recognition of the believing Jews amongst the church. He does so routinely here in Galatians and in his other letters. And beyond this doesn’t he specially recognize the church? He does that, right. In John 14, He says I’m coming back. [John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”]
Study the rapture passages in the Bible and you’ll see that as well. Is not the church exempt from wrath, from the wrath to come? Why else would Paul recognize a smaller believing group of Jews? Because he’s saying to his audience that he is not anti-Semitic. If you think about it, he is vehemently opposing false doctrine of his own people. The people which he loved, the unbeliever Jews or Judaizers, to them he becomes a complete sellout, a deserter. Right? Completely against the Jewish custom. This false teaching was so egregious, so horrible that in Galatians 1:8-9 he says whoever promotes it is to be accursed. [Galatians 1:8, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!  As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”] That’s how bad it was. Very strong words from Paul.
A tenth reason why Galatians 6:16 does not support replacement theology, and with this we’re done, and that’s because God doesn’t lie or break His covenantal promises. In Numbers 23:19 it says, “God is not a man, that He should lie, [Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?]” Amen!
In 1 Samuel 15:29, “Also the glory of Israel,” referring to God Himself, “not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.” See, the replacement theologian says God changed His mind, the church replaced Israel.
And then in Romans 11:1 Paul says, “I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be!” Shouldn’t this verse alone seal the deal for the dispensational camp? I think so. For God cannot lie, He cannot break His covenantal promises.
So why then are we discussing replacement theology. The evidence that the Bible does not teach it is overwhelming. The Bible does NOT teach that the church has replaced Israel; the Bible does NOT teach Israel has been rejected by God, nor does it teach Israel’s covenantal blessings of land, seed and blessing have been transferred to the church. So praise the Lord for that!
We have concluded our replacement theology lesson. I hope I have thoroughly explained replacement theology and what the Christian should understand about this topic.
So now what? Armed with this information how then shall we live. We can pray; we can pray for those who believe this doctrine and for those who teach this doctrine, sitting under Andy I’ve definitely learned to challenge foreign ideas concerning doctrine and for that I’m thankful. Paul did it, why shouldn’t we? We can also continue to pray for the nation of Israel as a whole and for individual salvation. And for those sitting in the audience that may be here for the first time, those who are unsure about their relationship with God, you’ve heard here today that God does not lie, He does not break His promises. That means when you put your faith in Christ Jesus, which I strongly encourage you to do, your eternity is secured… is secured and you can bank on that!
You see, the replacement theologian says if God can change His mind or renege on His promises where does that leave me; where does that leave you? We serve a faithful God… Amen! Faithful! And by believing in His Son, Christ Jesus, and what he has done for you, that seals the deal; that’s the trigger, that process is called the gospel, it’s a one-step process—believe on what He has done for you and then on the authority of God and on His Word then you’ve just altered your destiny, you’ve altered your eternity. You are saved. Welcome to the family. And if you’re unsure you can talk to me after the service or any of these fine people here. Let’s pray.
Father, we thank You for Your Word, that You are true and faithful. We thank You that You desire us to grow in the Lord and in our faith. We thank You that You have allowed us to finish this series and Father may we be careful to give You all the glory and the praise. And we pray these things in Jesus’ name. And God’s people said… Amen.