“For all the promises of God in Him (the Son of God, Jesus Christ – v19) are Yes, and in Him Amen…” 2 Cor 1:20.
The Bible is full of promises from a God who cannot lie and who is able and willing to keep every promise He makes perfectly. In fact He is bound by who He is to keep every promise perfectly.
This verse shows that every promise of God has its perfect fulfilment in and through the Lord Jesus Christ alone.
Therefore every promise made to Christians is relevant to me, and I am to rest in Christ for the full provision of the promise.
But is EVERY promise in the Bible a promise that Christians today should see as exclusively and only applying to ourselves? This is an important question, because many Christian teachers say that Old Testament promises – clearly ones originally made directly to Israel – no longer apply to Israel but apply spiritually to the church instead.
The Bible makes it clear, confirmed by prophetic messages from Jesus Himself, from the Book of Acts (eg 1:3+6-7 and 3:21); from the epistles of Paul (especially Romans 9-11) and Revelation that God has ongoing purposes for Israel, for the nations and for the earth – as well as the very special promises for the Church that include within their scope every true Christian believer who trusts Christ alone for forgiveness and eternal life.
All the promises in each of these other areas of Israel, the nations and the earth itself are brought to full fruition through Christ alone, as well as the directly New Testament Christian ones. This understanding of the Bible is the only fully Christological one that gives the Son of God the glory due to Him as expressed in Scripture.
The Old Testament promises to Israel may have had their partial fulfilments through history, but so far they have not yet had there “yes” and “amen” fulfilments in Christ. These are promised in the New Testament as well as the Old to be fulfilled in the coming kingdom when Christ will rule over the earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, thereby a) reversing the Genesis curse over nature, for which time the creation itself is groaning (Rom 8:19-22) and b) blessing all nations across the world for 1,000 years as promised through c) restoring the nation of Israel to something far greater than has ever yet been seen in the world. The “yes” and “amen” fulfilments in Christ will be established here on the earth, to the nations and through Israel by Christ alone exactly as promised to them directly. The Lord Jesus will be rightly vindicated and glorified in every sphere that He was rejected at His first coming.
Meanwhile we as Church believers rejoice in the exceedingly great and precious promises God has made in and through Christ to the Church, the bride of Christ. Christ and His bride are not to dwell in a vacuum for eternity, but in their appointed place in the purposes God has revealed for the heavens and the earth, the church and Israel and the nations. Christ will be at the centre of every fulfilment for the glory of His God and Father. Only He can bring the promises into full fruition, and only consequent upon His death and resurrection, and bringing each part into its proper place.
Even in the new heavens and new earth there are indications of distinction between church, Israel and nations.
The church being taken to glory will be the next step in the unfolding of these great universal multi-dimensional purposes of God. Applying everything exclusively to the Church robs Israel and the nations and the earth of their portion, and most importantly of all, robs the Lord Jesus of glory due to Him and promised to Him, also blurring the special place of the Church in these purposes.
Beware of one-dimensional theological systems of man, and take the Bible at its Word and as its own interpreter.