I believe Jews are God’s chosen people, and in this post I’d like to explain why I believe this. Jews are described very well in Peter’s first epistle:
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (I Peter 2:9-10).
Indeed, Jews are called out, chosen, made holy, have received God’s mercy, and are walking as light in the midst of darkness. Here are a couple more passages which mention and describe God’s chosen people:
“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being chosen according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:11-12).
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Colossians 3:12-13).
Would you agree that each of the above passages describe Jews? Why not? After all, the apostle Paul, an ethnic Jew, says that true Jews are those whose hearts have been circumcised:
“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 of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God” (Romans 2:28-29).
Statements abound on the internet, made by Christians, claiming that all Jews are God’s chosen people, and by this they mean ethnic Jews. This flies in the face of what Paul wrote: “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly.” On the other hand, Paul affirms who really is a Jew: “…but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is of the heart, in the Spirit.”
Only those who are circumcised in heart, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can live out the callings of God’s chosen people described in I Peter 2, Ephesians 1, and Colossians 3. Are some ethnic Jews part of this chosen people, and living out these callings? Yes. Is this true of all ethnic Jews, or even a majority of them? No. Are some non-Jews (ethnically speaking) part of this chosen people, and living out these callings? Yes.
Notice the verses immediately preceding Colossians 3:12 where Paul speaks of God’s chosen (or elect) people. He says that God’s people “have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:10-11). He then goes on to say, “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved…” God’s chosen ones are simply those who are in Christ, and ethnicity is not a factor at all.
Circumcision of the flesh (a major identifying trait of ethnic Jews) is meaningless under the new covenant, and meaningless when it comes to the role and identity of God’s chosen people:
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love… For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God” (Galatians 5:6, 6:15-16).
Remember that true Jews, Paul says, are those who are circumcised in their hearts. And Paul says elsewhere, “For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh…” (Philippians 3:3).
Ultimately, why is it that God’s chosen people are chosen today? It’s because we are in Jesus, and Jesus is the chosen One!
“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles” (Isaiah 42:1).
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased‘” (Matthew 3:16-17).
The following passages further demonstrate why all ethnic Jews are not God’s chosen people, but why all who are in Christ are God’s chosen people:
“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, ‘Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father.” For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire‘” (Matthew 3:7-10).
“And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:11-12).
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13).
“Jesus answered, ‘You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.’ …They answered and said to Him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.’ …You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do” (John 8:19, 39, 44).
“For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people’” (Acts 3:22-23).
How can those who are in outer darkness, who don’t receive Jesus (God’s chosen One), whose father is the devil, and who are “utterly destroyed from among the people” — how can they be God’s chosen people? And how is it that thousands of Christians are ready to roll out the accusation of “replacement theology” as soon as someone says that Christians are God’s chosen people? It’s a phenomenon of our time.
1. God’s chosen people are a holy nation, called out of darkness into God’s light, proclaim God’s praises, have obtained mercy, have an inheritance, and are called and empowered to obey Christ’s commands.
2. Ethnic Jews, who are only outwardly Jews or circumcised in the flesh, are not Jews in the eyes of God. Those who are circumcised in their hearts are Jews inwardly, and are Jews in the eyes of God.
3. Among God’s chosen people, there “is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised,” and all that matters is being made a new creation in Christ.
4. The circumcised in heart, who Paul says are Jews in the eyes of God, are those who worship God in the Spirit and rejoice in Jesus Christ.
5. All ethnic Jews (and others) who reject Jesus are children of the devil and not Abraham, are in outer darkness, do not know the Father, and are utterly cut off from God’s people.
17 thoughts on “Why I Believe Jews Are God’s Chosen People”
Hello Adam, I read your post regularly and I have to say that this last post is a very concise and to the point teaching, I would love to see it in a leaflet or small book form. I am amazed at the anger of those who would say you are anti-Semitic in your teaching. I too felt that way a couple of years ago, but God opened my eyes to see the truth as you present in your blog. Keep up the good work, I use your blog as a reference when teaching others about this subject or other relevant topics. Bless you brother…Jack Harper
Thank you for your feedback and your note of encouragement. I had no idea you were using this site as a reference tool for others – it’s a blessing to hear that.
Like you, there was also a time when I bought the idea that the teachings I now embrace were “anti-Semitic.” What’s funny is that I sat under an Adult Sunday School teacher who blasted away at the Palestinian people like there was no tomorrow. Nearly every lesson centered around Israel. Not only did Palestinian Christians get into her firing line, but her rants met the definition of anti-Semitism because the Palestinian Arabs are a Semitic people.
As far as leaflets and small books go, that would be fun. I don’t know much about producing leaflets, but I know e-books are now within reach of the average person. I’ve had it in the back of my mind for a while now to publish an e-book from the material I have on the Olivet Discourse.
THE ELECTED! BY STEVE FINNELL
Can those elected by God resist that calling?
ELECT-ELECTED-ELECTION: Defined (Adjective, signifies picked out, chosen.) (Noun, denotes a picking out, selection, then, that which is chosen).
Elected means chosen. There is a view held by many that when God elects or chooses people that they cannot resist God’s calling. Israel was God’s elect or chosen people. God did not just select certain Jews to be saved and other Jews to be lost. Salvation was offered to the whole nation of Israel.
Deuteronomy 7:6 For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the people who are on the face of the earth.
The Jews were God’s elect. Did any of them ever reject that election? Yes they did; because they had free-will.
1 Samuel 8:7 The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.
They rejected God as king.
Numbers 14:11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?
These people were the elect of God, but they would not believe in Him. Even though they were God’s elect He did not force them to believe and obey Him. THEY HAD FREE-WILL.
Acts 7:51 “You men who are stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.
Israel was God’s chosen people; they were His elect, however, they always resisted the Holy Spirit. Most of them rejected Jesus as the Christ. THEY HAD FREE-WILL.
Does God arbitrarily condemn some men to hell and elect a chosen few for salvation? NO, HE DOES NOT!
WHO ARE THE ELECT OF GOD TODAY?
Acts 10:34-43 Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, 35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. 36……Jesus Christ….43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness from sins.
WHO ARE THE ELECT OF GOD TODAY? All who believe in Jesus Christ. Yes, everyone has the chance to become the elect, the chosen of God.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
WHO ARE GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE? WHO ARE GOD’S ELECT? EVERY JEW AND EVERY GREEK WHO MEETS GOD’S TERMS FOR PARDON UNDER THE NEW COVENANT ARE THE ELECT OF GOD. THEY ARE ALL GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE.
GOD HAS OFFERED SALVATION TO ALL WHO BELIEVE IN JESUS THE CHRIST.
YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http//:steve-finnell.blogspot.com
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Hi Steve. Thanks for sharing your writing on the subject of who God’s chosen (elect) people are, and I’m glad to see that you believe it’s only those who are in Jesus who are the chosen people of God.
That last comment of yours gives me some insight as to why you can’t hear what I am saying. Possibly, you have placed me in the same ‘box’ with your old Sunday School teacher. The current political state of Israel is not the ‘chosen people.’ The only way one gets to God is through His son, Jesus Christ. The individuals who make up the church do get in on the blessings of the new covenant. When Jesus redeems the entire nation of Israel it will be in a day, in an act of choosing pre-figured by the way that He arrested Saul on the road to Damascus. There is yet to come a time of Jacob’s trouble that will sift the Jew through the nations, and the church will have the opportunity to love and protect them at the cost of their own lives. (As demonstrated by the TenBoom family during WWII.) When they look upon Him whom they have pierced, a nation will be born in a day. None of this takes place as the result of any effort of man. It is all a result of the extravagant, offensive, love and grace displayed in the early chapters of Hosea. That is where we find the lengths God is willing to go to, to redeem His Gomer. It is a love story and there is no divorce in it. There is a “putting aside” in order to bring about even more mercy, to exalt the God of Grace even more, but this is without a doubt, temporary, and leads to a full fulfillment of all the promises of God regarding the land and the people which were never, never, never, conditional upon their actions, but upon His grace and His choosing. Lastly Romans 9-11 is where this is all clearly addressed in the New Testament and the conclusion of those chapters is an ecstatic song of praise to the sovereign God who can graft us into the promises made to a nation, and will later restore that nation. The amazing thing in reading those chapters is, in both chapters 9 and 10 and maybe even the early part of 11, many scriptures can be pulled out that would make a person think God is done with Israel, failed experiment, time for a divorce, time to move on, but for those who persevere to the conclusion of the ‘teaching’ such a conclusion is proved false. I would encourage everyone to take the 30 minutes necessary to read that entire section as a whole.
I don’t put you in “the same box” as the Sunday School teacher I mentioned. You don’t communicate the way she did, regarding Palestinians, for example. I agree with you when you say, “The current political state of Israel is not the ‘chosen people.’ The only way one gets to God is through His son, Jesus Christ.” I don’t agree with several other things you said, but I don’t plan to hash it all out here.
One thing I’ll ask you, though, is on what basis you say the “time of Jacob’s trouble” is yet future? Also where is that in Romans 9-11, since you said that “Romans 9-11 is where this is all clearly addressed in the New Testament”? Jeremiah 30:7 is where we read of “Jacob’s Trouble,” and parallels are found in Daniel 12:1-7, Matthew 24:21, and Luke 21:22-23. Luke is clear that this time of distress would fall upon “that people” and “that land” at the time when the obedient ones would flee Judea and Jerusalem when it was surrounded by armies. This happened and remarkable testimonies about those events can be read by Josephus, Roman historians, and early church fathers. Jesus did say it would happen before His generation passed away and before the temple would fall. At least 1.1 million Jews were killed at that time and tens of thousands more were sold into slavery. It happened as a result of the judgment Jesus promised would come upon that generation for being full of the blood of the martyrs and prophets. That time of trouble doesn’t need to happen again, and I’m glad that the Jewish people don’t need to experience any such thing in our future.
P.S. I’ve added this in a bit later after first posting this reply: In Part 3 of my Olivet Discourse series, I discuss Matthew 24:21 and Luke 21:22-23 (the “great tribulation” and the “time of great distress” spoken of by Jesus). This discussion can be found about halfway into the following post, and includes a chart comparing the language in these two texts and in Jeremiah 30:7 and Daniel 12:1-7. Here’s the link to that post:
Romans 11:31 speaks of the Jew receiving mercy as a result of the mercy that God has shown to the church, again, pre-figured by the way the TenBoom family cared for and hid Jews during the Nazi time.
Reading the rest of Jeremiah 30 makes it clear this prophecy has never been fulfilled, so we yet away the “day” when it will.
Daniel 12:2 speaks of a massive resurrection, this has never happened and so is yet to be fulfilled.
Matthew 24:30,31 have never happened and so it is yet to be fulfilled.
The horrifying events of AD 70 did not end in a massive resurrection or an amazing restoration involving an entire nation turning to the Lord with a new heart. The events of AD 70 only serve as a partial fulfillment, not the final, ultimate one.
We do not differ even slightly on what it takes to become a Christian, but I believe God will do that exact same thing that Grace accomplished in our hearts in the heart of an entire nation one day, when they “come to the end of their power” (Daniel 12:7)the same as you and I did.
Just a comment from a passerby. I wound up here because of your excellent breakdown of Revelations. It’s a potent and meaningful collection of poems that was no doubt electrifying and enjoyed by the people of the time, with its symbology that people would have understood and no doubt shared and discussed excitedly.
I was then surprised to find post like this, why you believe these ancient texts show your religion to be God’s chosen people. Just as Revelations was relevant to the Apocalypticists, so it seems to me that the entire collection of books makes sense in the context of works by and for sheepherders and the descendants of sheepherders.
I say this with no malice or disrespect. I was just surprised to see that you seem to apply a heuristic only to what many modern Christians have come to believe the documents mean, while not applying the same to what many modern Jews believe. It seems to me all the Holy Books are works that are amazing in the context of people who lived back then, but clearly are nothing more.
Nonetheless, kudos for doing the research and laying it all out so well. This could easily be made into a well-written book.
I appreciate your comment, and I don’t take any malice or disrespect from it. Thanks for your kind words about the Revelation series here. I like the picture you gave of the original readers sharing the content of the book of Revelation with each other, discussing it excitedly.
As you may or may not have noticed in the Revelation series, I do believe the book of Revelation was fulfilled in the first century AD. However, I don’t believe its relevance ended there. Nor do I believe that there is no application for God’s people today from the book of Revelation. I see that book as covering the transition from the old covenant to the new covenant, with the old covenant age ending in 70 AD.
The new covenant age had only recently begun. The kingdom of God was just established. The followers of Jesus had been given a mandate to bring healing to the nations, as I discussed in my post on Revelation 21. There is still a need to apply that healing to nations today. Much of the book of Revelation contains prophecies of what was soon to take place (and did take place) at that time, but other parts are a blueprint for life in the kingdom beyond Israel’s downfall in 70 AD.
That’s how I view it. So, concerning God’s chosen people, that people didn’t die out in the first century. This people possessed the kingdom, and those of us who trust in Jesus are God’s chosen people, chosen to be a light, to proclaim God’s praises, to be His nation (spiritual, not political) of kings and priests, etc.
I just wrote an article on the Jews’ place in prophecy. It may provide some fodder for thinking to this discussion.
You’re welcome to post the link to your article here, and to summarize your thoughts on it. Right now, even after looking at your site, I don’t know what article you’re referring to. Do you have thoughts on the discussion here so far?
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Thanks, Adam! I didn’t want to spam your article. Here is the article that I mentioned: http://politicalconnection.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/jews_alone/
Just listening to a song written using the word of Deut. 32 and came across this. Deut. 32:25 ‘Outside the sword will bereave,
And inside terror—
Both young man and virgin,
The nursling with the man of gray hair.
26 ‘I would have said, “I will cut them to pieces,
I will remove the memory of them from men,”
27 Had I not feared the provocation by the enemy,
That their adversaries would misjudge,
That they would say, “Our hand is triumphant,
And the Lord has not done all this.”’
God said, I would have destroyed them for their disobedience but then the enemy would have misjudged the situation and said, “See we destroyed them, the LORD could not keep His promise.”
So the “logic of God” the “wisdom of God” behind His not destroying the physical Jewish people was that the enemy would take credit and call into question the Name and Word of God. What changed? Why is it suddenly okay that the physical Jewish people are rejected? My belief is that God has not changed and it is still not okay. One day (spoken of in numerous scriptures) the nation will be redeemed, born again, in a day, made to see the One whom they had pierced. The timing is the end of the time of the gentiles and the day of the Lord.
Thanks again for letting me post my opinion. I wish I had more time to give to explaining these things.
Hi Chuck. You’re welcome. As we’ve talked about numerous times before, I don’t believe that God has rejected the Jewish people. Paul, as a Jew himself, didn’t see it that way either:
God did destroy the nation of Israel in 70 AD, but He saved a remnant out of it. That Jewish remnant was only part of the church, which was made up of people from many nations. And so it is today. Jews and non-Jews make up the people of God, defined as those who belong to Jesus, with no distinction, favoritism, or higher or lower status.
Jesus is the long awaited, long predicted, Messiah King of Israel, in the line of David, so I agree we are all one chosen people, grafted into the Israel of God, gentiles, gathered into the one chosen family of God. One book, one story, one ending with the Messiah sitting on the throne of David in Jerusalem. Still praying that our eyes would be fully open to the truth of the amazing, undeserved faithfulness of God. I join with the Syro-Phonecian woman in recognizing God’s sovereign right to choose and being grateful for a mercy-filled inclusion into the family.
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Excellent. I have believed this for years! Not popular with many people though!
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