Fulfillment of Israel's Land

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How is the theme of Israel's land inheritance fulfilled in Christ?
The prominent feature of the land in Joshua can make the reader wonder what happens to that prominent feature when we come to the New Testament. And the simple answer is that all that the land represents in the Old Testament, which is God's inheritance to his people, is God himself in the new covenant in Christ. Ephesians 1, for instance, uses that very language, that we have been given an inheritance through our elder brother, Jesus Christ, we have been adopted as sons, and so that all is his is ours by right of divine grant from God the Father. And that is then effected through the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is described by Paul as a down payment. But of course, the gift of the Spirit means the gift of God himself, so that in Christ today we have all that the land represented potentially because we have God himself as our own — him dwelling in us and we dwelling in him through Christ. Now, at Christ's second coming you see the outward manifestation of all that is ours now in the heavenly places in Christ so that the earth becomes full of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea; the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ. And so, in the end, in the consummation of all things, you see a new heavens and earth where the whole earth is God's kingdom, or his reign, or his dominion physically present with his people, bringing to full expression our inheritance that is ours in God's plan in Jesus Christ.

Answer by Rev. Michael J. Glodo

Rev. Michael J. Glodo is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL.