The Land Inheritance of Israel

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Question
How is the theme of Israel's land inheritance fulfilled in Christ?
Answer
Throughout the Old Testament we have the promise of the land to Israel, and that raises the question, well, how does that apply to us as believers? But in Galatians 3:14 it says that the promise to Abraham is fulfilled among us in terms of the blessing of the Spirit, which of course Paul says elsewhere is the foretaste — in Greek, the arrab?n — the down payment, the first installment of our future inheritance. Well, what is our future inheritance? Will we participate in this promise? If you look in Revelation 21 where it describes the New Jerusalem, I mean, are we new Jerusalemites? Will not all of us who are followers of Jesus, who are spiritually children of Abraham, also participate in this inheritance? … Well, today, we may say, well, who gets the land? Does Israel get the land, or do we as spiritual heirs of Abraham get the land? It's going to be pretty big. I don't think we're going to have to worry about whether there's room for us or not. And I believe in light of Romans 11 that, yes, as Gentile believers we have been grafted into the heritage of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but my understanding — and I know not everybody agrees with this but — of Romans 11:26 is that there will be a turning of the Jewish people also in the end time and that those Jewish people who turn then will be grafted back in. And so, it looks to me like God has a way to wrap it all up together.

Answer by Dr. Craig Keener

Dr. Craig Keener teaches New Testament studies at Asbury Theological Seminary.