IO’s (Israel-Only) main point is that the Gentiles were never under the covenant of Israel. They say that Jesus only died for Israel based on the covenant.
But IO has a fatal flaw assuming that the nations outside the covenant were somehow blessed. Let’s see what Paul says here: the nations outside the covenant had no hope until Christ came!
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.“
Paul said that the Gentiles / Nations who were foreigners to the covenants of Israel were brought near by Jesus Christ’s death on the cross! This includes ALL nations outside Israel. (not just lost tribes).
“14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”
“19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”
Paul said that Christ had reconciled ALL creation who believe in Him including the gentiles !! Paul’s context is to the Gentiles. So then “ALL” means the entire planet!
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
“21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.”
25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.“
Now to another point.
IO says that only Abraham’s descendants are saved by faith using this:
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Ok let’s really be honest with that scripture: it says that those who have faith in Christ are the seed of Abraham.
It does NOT say that a person who is Abraham’s seed believes in Jesus!!
Paul says there is NO JEW or GENTILE in Christ.
IO says that the Gentile is the lost tribe of Israel.
But look at what Paul says…there is NO MALE or FEMALE in Christ!
So then look at the most basic division of humanity – it is MALE and FEMALE! Forget about Jew vs Gentile.
Paul is telling us it does not even matter if you are MALE or FEMALE….you can be a child of God through faith in Christ …..God demolishes the most basic division of humanity (MALE vs FEMALE) in Christ !!
So then IO collapses right here!
Abraham was NOT an Israelite and NOT circumcised when he was made righteous by faith!!
Romans 4 “9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! …….13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.”
Romans 4 “23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.“
Abraham was NOT an Israelite and NOT circumcised.
Abraham was a PAGAN living in Ur of Babylon.
Israel did NOT exist when Abraham was righteous!
Israel was not an alien race from outer space !! They were just a bunch of people who were PAGANS before they were given a covenant!
Abraham was chosen NOT because he was part of a special race! He was chosen because of FAITH.
This is why Salvation is by FAITH in Christ and not tribal/racial selection!
Circumcision did NOT exist when he was righteous by faith!
Abraham was RIGHTEOUS BEFORE God’s covenant with Israel !!
Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ will be saved and receive glorified immortal bodies in the final resurrection!
Romans 2 “12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.“
IO teaching says that only Israel was under the Law and that salvation was only for the descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel. IO teaching says that all other pagans were not saved because they had nothing to do with Israel’s law.
When I quote Romans 2 where Paul says that even those not under the law would be judged, they say that it was only for the lost tribes of Israel who were previously under the law but got uncircumcised later.
They say that the other pagans like you and me were not under any law so there’s no salvation for us.
Ok, then what about Abraham?
Abraham was from Babylon. The people in Babylon were under their own laws and not Israel’s law. Every nation has its own laws. But Babylon’s laws had nothing to do with Israel – because Israel did not even exist. There was no circumcision when Abraham was righteous by faith!
Abraham was a pagan from Babylon having nothing to do with Israel – and yet he needed faith to be made righteous!!
He is the classic example of a pagan of Romans 2 who was WITHOUT the law !!
If Abraham was justified by faith then surely ALL people from ALL nations ALSO need to be justified by faith!
This is why Paul said that EVERYONE who believes in the name of Jesus will be saved.
IO teaching says that only Israel was judged by God.
Ok then what do you do about the flood of Noah?
Why were they judged?
Genesis 6:5 “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time”
They were judged because of evil and wickedness!
But wait a minute – these are NOT Israelites and there was NO WRITTEN LAW given by God to anyone before Moses as Paul confirms here!
Romans 5:13-14 “To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.”
Both Abel and Noah were justified by FAITH even before Abraham!
Adam was NOT the father of Israel alone. He was the ancestor of Noah through whom many nations came! Abraham was called out of these nations by FAITH.
God did judge the world by the flood because the nations were guilty even without having a WRITTEN LAW like Israel!
God judged Sodom ALSO without a WRITTEN LAW !
Ezekiel 16:49-50 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”
Also add these two judgments on PAGAN nations:
- Egypt was drowned in the RED SEA but God saved Israel.
- God overthrew 7 pagan nations to give the land to Israel (Acts 13:19)
- This proves that pagans OUTSIDE the law were judged!
Therefore the Gentiles of Romans 2 who do not have the law were ALL the nations of the world outside Israel.
IO teaching will say that the Law was also given to Noah and Abraham quoting Genesis 9 and Genesis 26 respectively.
But if you look at the Bible, you will see that Noah was given the law of avoiding meat with blood AFTER he was saved from the flood. He was already made righteous before any laws came to him.
The same goes for Abraham – he was made righteous in Genesis 15:6 but given the circumcision many years later and other statutes in Genesis 26. So it is clear that Abraham was righteous before any laws came to him. And even then, those laws were not written laws like Moses received.
The Law that brought death and condemnation was given through Moses.