People have the confusion, wrong teaching, and doctrine of the Bible because they fail to properly make a distinction between the three key terms commonly found throughout the scriptures.
These are the Jews (or referred interchangeably as the nation of Israel), the Gentiles, and the church, as recorded in [1 Corinthians 10:31-32].
Our lesson tonight aims to provide a basic and foundational knowledge of these terms.
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
To better understand the Bible, you must pay attention to the overall context of the passages.
Sometimes, you need to have an overall understanding of the Bible to handle specific chapters or verses better.
The best way to do this is to approach the Bible just the way it is written literally.
Often, we encourage believers to read the Bible.
It is a good thing.
However, we do not teach them how to read or study the Bible properly.
It is my prayer that you can better understand the Bible and rightly divide the differences between the Jews, the Gentiles, and the church.
First of all, we will look at the Jews.
Who are they in the Bible?
They are the descendants through flesh and blood of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.
A person is a Jew only by physical birth.
What about the Gentiles?
The Gentiles are the descendants through flesh and blood of everyone else.
Again, it is through physical birth.
What about the church?
Up to this point, you should know that the church does not refer to a physical building structure where people go to worship the Lord Jesus Christ.
The church composes of the Jews and Gentiles who have had a new birth or spiritual birth.
How can a person have a new birth or spiritual birth?
The Lord Jesus Christ is the one who gives a mandatory requirement.
Let us read [John 3:4-7].
John 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Tonight, everyone can be born again.
Tonight, everyone can get saved if they believe the gospel message of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ [1 Corinthians 15:1-4].
1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1 Corinthians 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1 Corinthians 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Both born again Jews and Gentiles become members of the church.
What does unite the Jews and Gentiles together?
Obviously, it is not their physical birth.
It is the spiritual and second birth that unite these two groups together.
God called out the Jews to be His people, separate and distinct from other nations [Exodus 33:16].
Exodus 33:16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.
In the Old Testament, whenever the Jews tried to follow the patterns and traditions of the Gentiles, they ended up provoking the anger of the Lord.
The Jews are the only people who God directly gives them the laws to govern their lives.
The great advantage of the Jews over the Gentiles is that they have the word of God [Romans 3:1-2].
Romans 3:1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
Romans 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
You may remember the scene in the Book of Exodus and chapter 19 when the Lord came down upon mount Sinai to meet with Moses.
At that time, God talked directly to the nation of Israel.
He showed his magnificence to the nation of Israel, and He made a covenant with them.
The nation of Israel will get His blessing if they keep the laws and commandments.
Theoretically, the nation of Israel should live an exemplary life.
This is because they have the laws from God.
They know how to respond to certain situations.
They even have the prophets who communicate God’s message to them.
If you read the Old Testament through, you will know that the nation has failed with this.
Let us also read [Ephesians 2:11-12].
Ephesians 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
These passages compare the differences between the Jews and the Gentiles.
Concerning the physical birth, the Gentiles do not have God’s covenant.
They have no promises, no hope, and no relationship with God.
On the contrary, the Jews, as touching their physical birth, enjoy the covenants, promises, and relationship with God.
Next, we will see what the Bible says when God looks at both the Jews and Gentiles in [Romans 3:9-10].
Romans 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Both the Jews and the Gentiles are all under sin.
They both are not righteous.
They both need to be saved.
On the other hand, the church is something that is totally new.
It has never existed until the Lord Jesus Christ came to this world at His first coming.
Let us read [Matthew 16:18].
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The word church appears the first time here in your Bible.
Please pay attention to this verse that the Lord Jesus Christ said.
… I will build my church.
This is a future tense statement.
According to this verse, we can know that there was a time in history when there was no church.
Then there is a time when the church will have been built.
The church obviously is not the nation of Israel.
Next, let us look at what the Bible says regarding God’s promise to the nation of Israel and the church.
Let us look at the nation of Israel in [Deuteronomy 8:7-9].
Deuteronomy 8:7 For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;
Deuteronomy 8:8 A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;
Deuteronomy 8:9 A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.
An honest student of the Bible would read these verses and know that God promised to give a piece of land to the nation of Israel.
It is the land that is beautiful and fruitful on this earth.
It is a physical blessing carried with some conditions.
Now let us look at the church in [1 Peter 1:3-5].
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
This is a list of spiritual blessings for all born-again believers made up as the church regardless of their physical birth either Jews or Gentiles.
If you are saved, you have
…an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven.
Surely, it is much better than a piece of land here on the earth.
The content of this teaching script is referenced from
Knox, J. W. (2009). The Jew, The Gentile, and The Church. In The Law and Rightly Dividing The Word Reconsidered (pp. 79-99). United States of America.