Monday, March 30, 2015

Jews and Gentiles in the Church

Each New Testament (NT) book of the bible was addressed to a specific audience and to specific realities within that audience.  While there is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile regarding salvation in Christ Jesus, there is a difference in the reality of each.  The reality Jews faced was quite different from the reality Gentiles faced and the same holds true to this day.  What is the reality of each?  To the Gentiles, God showed them His goodness.  To the Jews, God showed them His severity (see Romans 11:13-24 KJV, particularly verse 22). This creates two problems in the church.  One, the believing Gentiles attitude towards the Jews in general is that of disdain because they feel that the Jews are no longer God's people due to their disobedience to God's commands.  Two, when believing Gentiles see believing Jews obeying God's commands over and above them, they say the believing Jews are doing "works of the law" (see Romans 3:27 and 9:32, Galatians 2:15-3:14).  

But, the Jews spent four hundred years in captivity (Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade) for their disobedience, it teaches them a severe lesson in being obedient to the commands of God.  Which is why believing Jews will not only have faith in Christ but will be obedient as well.  This has caused a conflict within the church so I would like to propose a plan.  To avoid conflict, we should look at which NT books are addressed to Jews and which are addressed to Gentiles.  That way, the Jews and Gentiles could follow the NT books specific to each and follow all NT books in general without judgment.  The following are a list of NT books specific to the Jews, Gentiles, or both:

To the Jews:

1 Peter
1 John
2 John
3 John

To the Gentiles:

1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy
2 Timothy
2 Peter

To Both Jews and Gentiles: