Ephesians 1:3-6, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
Galatians 6:16, “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
Some believe in replacement theology. The church is the new Israel and is now the recipient of all the promises made to Israel. They seem to reject the promises made to the Old Testament prophets and the very teaching of Jesus and the teachings in the New Testament.
(See Isa. 11:10-11; Zech. 8:1; Micah 4; Jer. 31:35-36; Acts 1:6-9; Rom. 9-11:25, 28; Rev. 20:4-6).
Israel of God means all Jewish believers in Christ who are both physical and spiritual descendants of Abraham.
(See Galatians 3:7, 18; Romans 2:28-29; 9:6-7).
While some believe that “Israel of God” is the church, the evidence does not support such a conclusion. First, the repetition of the preposition (“upon” or “to”) indicates two groups are in view. Second, all the 65 other occurrences of the term “Israel” in the New Testament refer to Jews. It would thus be strange for Paul to use “Israel” here to mean Gentile Christians. Third, Paul elsewhere referred to two kinds of Israelites - believing Jews and unbelieving Jews (cf. Romans 9:6). Lest it be thought that Paul is anti-Semitic, he demonstrated by means of this benediction his deep love and concern for true Israel, that is, Jews who had come to Christ. Fourth, the Israel of God refers to those Jews by natural births who receive the Lord Jesus as Messiah. There was neither peace nor mercy for those who walked under the law, but both are the portion of those in the new creation.
God has a plan for the church and for Israel with two distinct programs but both come to Jesus by grace through faith.
1 John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Turn to 1 John 1:5-10
Turn to Rom. 7:15-20
Summary: We are saved sinners who still sin because of that sin that remains in our flesh. We will not be freed from the presence of sin till our glorification at the resurrection or death.
2. Saints (position)
“Sanctify” is used 31 times in the NT and means “set apart,” or the state of being set apart. It speaks of position or relationship yet it is progressive as well.
“Holy” is used 12 times of believers in the NT and refers to the state of being set apart or being separated.
“Sanctify” does not mean:
1. Sinless perfection. The believers at Corinth were referred to as being saints yet they were carnal and fleshly.
1 Corinthians 1:2, “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
2. Finality. We are called to higher degrees of holiness (Positional and progressive holiness).
Sainthood is not subject to progression. Every believer is a saint at the moment of salvation. He is as much a saint the moment he is saved as he will ever be in time or eternity (Acts 20:32; 1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11; Heb. 10:10, 14; Jude 1).
The whole church which is His body is called out and holy. The Spirit chose to give us the title of “saints” more than any other. We are called “brethren” 184 times, “saints” 62 times, and “Christians” but 3 times.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (24) Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”
We are saints by position and still sinners by practice till we shed these bodies of sin.