Changes Regarding the Land

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Changes Regarding the Land


 Abraham and the Promise of Land....

"Beginning in Genesis 12, God enacts a long term plan to restore humanity to himself. He does this by choosing and calling Abram (Abraham) and giving him a far reaching promise which has land as a key component:

Now the LORD said to Abram, 'Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.'"

(Gen. 12:1-3 ESV)....   

(M. A. Erickson, p. 33-34)



……On the Land:

"A change in divine strategy is seen in the major shift from one nation in the OT to freely gathered communities of faith in Christ in the NT. In the Torah, the OT nation was tied to a land; the NT communities of faith are not tied to one specific land. Since NT communities were freely gathered and were composed of Jews and Gentiles based on faith in Christ, they would not be founded on promises of land (as was the nation of Israel). NT communities would be formed in many nations. There is a major shift in that land possession (as a community) is not a religious requirement for the NT people of God. NT communities were not founded on possession of a promised land in the current age. Instead, the vision of land is transformed to encompass Christ as the inheritor of all things and the ultimate inheritance that Christ’s followers worldwide will share with him in the new heavens and new earth (Heb 1:1–2; Rev 11:15; 21:1–5)……." (M. A. Erickson, p. 53-54).

"Looking forward to the additional themes to be traced in this study, the land change from OT to NT is also linked to other major areas that undergo transformation in the NT. In the OT the use of the sword is given divine authorization to obtain and protect the nation’s land, while there is no divine authorization for the NT disciples to use the sword to obtain land in the NT. In the OT, the temple is linked to the land as well. The physical temple is the focal point of God’s presence among God’s people in the nation. In the NT, the temple emphasis is transformed and over time becomes a symbol for Christ as well as the community of believers (John 2:17–22; 1 Cor 3:16; 2 Cor 6:16–18)."

"The promise of land is also linked to the ethnic composition of the nation of Israel in the OT. The promise of land goes back to Abraham, and the people established on that land are to be his particular descendants through Isaac and Jacob which means that the cultural and ethnic distinctions of the people of God in the OT are linked to the issue of land as well. When Gentiles are welcomed as followers of Christ, ethnic barriers are removed, and the blessing of the nations promised through Abraham is seen as being fulfilled in the message of Christ and the reception of the Holy Spirit. The ways that these discontinuities between the OT and NT take place will be explored in the following chapters. If the focus of this study is correct, then the move from one nation in the OT to the NT communities of faith in Christ will explain many of the discontinuities between the OT and NT…" (p. 54).

Excerpts from:

Freely Gathered Communities of Faith and the Changes between the Testaments by M. A. Erickson (Wipf & Stock 2019). The book is available in print or Kindle formats at:

 Freely Gathered Communities of Faith and the Changes Between the Testaments at







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