The past few weeks I have been studying the book of Galatians and this little book is a treasure trove of doctrine and theology. Also, this little book has reinforced a conclusion that I came to last year; that the theological system I formerly identified with – Dispensationalism- is entirely untenable. One of the major linchpins of Dispensationalism is the distinction between “Israel” and “the church” (or churches if you disbelieve in a universal church), meaning that God has two distinct “people” that have two distinct plans and two distinct eternal destinies. According to Dispensationalism, the church will receive an eternal inheritance in Heaven, while national Israel will inherit the Earth during and after the Millennial reign of Christ as a fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. However, a careful, exegetical study of Galatians proves this position is entirely contrary to what Paul believed and taught: Gal 3:7 KJV - …they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. Gal 3:29 KJV - And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Gal 4:28 KJV - Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. Gal 5:6 KJV - For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Gal 6:15 KJV - For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. Paul systematically lays out that the Gentiles and the Jews have been all brought together in Christ, and that all who are in Christ are counted as the seed of Abraham because of their relationship with the true Seed of Abraham, Christ. Therefore there cannot be two "peoples" of God, but one unified group centered and grounded in their relationship to Jesus! As if all that wasn’t enough to show that there is now no distinction between Jew and Gentile or “Israel” and “church” Paul makes an even greater claim in Galatians 6:16: Gal 6:16 KJV - And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. The “rule” here is the rule of the “new creature” that Paul also talks about in 2 Corinthians 5:17. Clearly Paul is saying that being circumcised (in accordance with Mosaic Law) or uncircumcised (as identification with paganism) doesn’t matter any longer, the only thing that matters is the “new creature” which is consisted with what Jesus said in John 3:3-7. Those who have this new birth, the “new creature”, Paul wishes peace and mercy upon them. Then Paul goes a step further and calls them the “Israel of God.” Some will try to say that because the text says “and upon the Israel of God” Paul has a different group in mind at the end of the verse, not the group associated with the new birth. However this makes no sense for two reasons. First; Paul just finished explaining in verse 15 (indeed, in the entire book!) that circumcision (and by extension the Mosaic Law) doesn’t matter, nor does uncircumcision (being a Gentile) but only the new birth in Christ matters. Why would Paul then immediately contradict himself and now say that there is a distinction between the circumcised –Israel – and those who are in Christ? He wouldn’t. Second; the word “and” (kai) does not necessarily show a change in focus. For example, Eph 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Clearly Paul intends the reader to understand that there is One who is both God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the same way Paul clearly intends to show that those who walk according to the rule of the new creation are the Israel of God and he wishes peace and mercy upon his fellow Christians.