“What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of
Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed
the oracles of God.”
“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the
same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
We often tend to shy away from what appear to us as Bible contradictions. Though we assume that there is a reconciliation we tend to move on to other less difficult passages. But it is in these surface contradictions that we very often have important truth brought to focus.
Consider these two passages in Romans. In the first being a Jew is deemed an “advantage”. In the second there seems to be no advantage. How are these two to be reconciled? The answer, as always in these cases, is to look more closely at the text. The chief advantage for the Jew in Romans 3 is that they had the “oracles of God”. This is, of course, the Old Testament, the inspired writings that pointed Jews to, and prepared Jews for, the long-promised Messiah. This advantage ended when the purpose ended.
In the second passage we see that there is no difference between Jew or non-Jew (here, “Greek”, standing for all the rest of the Gentiles). The passage goes on to say that God will respond to those in both groups who call upon Him.
Have you noticed a key difference in both of these passages? One looks to the past,
“unto them were committed (past tense) the oracles of God.”
The other looks to the future,
“For whosoever shall call (future tense) upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (future).”
Of course, the future here is not, strictly speaking, our future; the calling [on the name of Jesus] – and the saving – of verse 13 were already happening in the time of the New Testament.
Here is a strange development: Much of Futurism does not follow this Scriptural principle. Instead many of them view Jewishness as a future (and present) advantage. They see this advantage eventually crystallizing into, among other things, reenactments of Temple sacrifices and rituals, reimposing of Levitical separations. By contrast, this same group, downplays or neglects the Jews’ historical advantage, the Oracles of God.
If they would have truly appreciated the first they would not have falsely construed the second. Not understanding properly the Old Testament, seeing its relation to the New, they do not recognize the divine deprecation of an instrument that, however blessed in it’s time, no longer has specific purpose. Both Gentiles and Jews, the Israel of God, have gone on to the better, prepared place their mutual Messiah had promised.
This is not anti-Semitism. It is realized Semitism!