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The genesis of the Church

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"And the Lord caused a deep sleep [תרדמה, tardemah] to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of Man'" (Genesis 2:21-23).

"What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded (hardened). Just as it is written: 'God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day'" (Romans 11:7-8).

"For the Lord has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep [תרדמה, tardemah], and has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, namely, the seers" (Isaiah 29:10).

The Hebrew word tardemah means "deep sleep, stupor"; God caused a deep sleep fall upon Adam in order that He could extract one of his ribs from him and create Eve. In the same way God caused a deep sleep to fall on Israel in order ta create the Church. As He used a part of Adam to create Eve, God also used a small remnant of Israel to create His Church ("There is a remnant according to the election by grace" - Romans 11:5).

God created the woman to be the companion of the man, that is his opposite number; in the same way God created the Church so that she might be at Israel's side, to be complementary. The purpose of God is brought together in a single people, His people and those who were not of His people (Hosea 1:10 and Hosea 2:23).

The Church, a divine plan

"This shall be written for the generation to come, and the people which shall be created [ברא, bara] shall praise the LORD" (Psalm 102:18).

"A seed shall serve Him; it shall be accounted to the Lord [Adonai] for a generation. They shall come and shall declare His righteousness unto a people that shall be born [ילד, yalad], that He has done this" (Psalm 22:30-31).

The Church is not a sort of secondary plan in the divine purpose, but in fact something anticipated from all eternity. The psalmists speak of descendants to come, of a people who will be created and who are going to be born to serve and praise the Lord. Now, since the Jewish people exist already, it's a question of a new people, created to proclaim the righteousness of God to all the nations.

"So God created [ברא, bara] man in His own image, in the image of God created He him" (Genesis 1:27).

"For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son (Jesus), that He might be the first-born among many brethren" (Romans 8:29).

If God created Adam as the first-born of humanity, He also begot Jesus the first-born of a new generation. It is in this way that Jesus has become the eldest of this new generation, the Head of the Church. And we, we are recreated (spiritually) in Jesus-Christ to be a part of this new people (generation): "For we are His workmanship, created [Greek word ktizo equivalent to Hebrew word bara] in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has beforehand ordained, that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).

It is in this way that the Church, the new people of God, have come to be added to the existing people of God, the Jewish people, to form one single people in the Messiah. And the purpose of this family is to announce to the nations the plans of God for every living person on this earth.

The shields of the land

"The princes [nadyib, prince, heart disposed] of the people have gathered together, the people of the God of Abraham, for the shields of the earth [מגנ ארצ, magen erets] belong to God; He is greatly exalted" (Psalm 47:9).

The purpose of God (Great King over all the earth) is to bring together the men (from all the nations) with hearts well disposed towards Israel and to make of them a precious help for her: magen erets, shields of the earth (to protect Erets Israel). God knows that His people will always remain few in number in the midst of the nations, and so He has foreseen the joining of the Church to her so that the latter may be a shield over the land.

"I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I am also an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom he foreknew..." (Romans 11:1-2).

Has God rejected His people? No, God has not rejected His people, He even foresaw coming to her aid through the Church, as sentinel and intercessor. So God takes care of His people, Israel, and places true Christians – those who were not His people (Hosea 1:10 and Hosea 2:23), but are now called His people through Jesus – at their side to support, encourage and comfort them (Isaiah 40).

In the service of Israel

"Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister [diakonos] of the Circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers" (Romans 15:8 KJ21).

Jesus served His brothers Jews (those of the circumcision) for the three years of His earthly ministry [diakonos]. The Church is also called to exercise this ministry [diakonos] to the Jewish people. That is why, when it recognises its Jewish roots, the Church behaves like a bride towards her husband, it is a helper of great value and it is complementary.

"And the King shall answer and say unto them, 'Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me'" (Matthew 25:40).

The Jews are Jesus' brothers; and each time we take care (give something to eat, to drink, welcome, visit, etc.), it is as if we were doing it to Jesus. This is the way in which we shall be blessed by the Heavenly Father (who is also their Father) and that we shall enter into our inheritance in the Kingdom of God prepared before the creation of the world.

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