The Bible has much to say about salvation. The Bible is divided into different economies. For more than 1500 years, from the day that Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the ten commandments from the Lord, until the day that the Lord Jesus died on the cross of Calvary, God kept His people under the reign of law. During that Divine economy God’s people were “kept under the law, shut unto the faith which should afterward be revealed.” Galatians 3:23.
After centuries of waiting, the Lord Jesus came from heaven to live for some years with the Jews who were under the law. Galatians 4:4. Then the Lord Jesus, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man. Hebrews 2:9. “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Romans 10:4. By His death on the cross the Lord Jesus abolished the Old Covenant. That has been done away. II Corinthians 3:12 to 16.
Concerning the Lord’s visit to earth, where He lived among His people, we read:
“THOUGH HE WERE A SON, YET LEARNED HE OBEDIENCE BY THE THINGS WHICH HE SUFFERED; AND BEING MADE PERFECT, HE BECAME THE AUTHOR OF ETERNAL SALVATION UNTO ALL THEM THAT OBEY HIM.” Hebrews 5:8 and 9.
Beautiful expression! Wonderful truth! Blessed good news! Jesus Christ the Son of God became the Author of eternal salvation! Note how this glorious truth is stated in I Peter 3:18 and Hebrews 9:12:
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
The Lord Jesus Christ was both God and man. He was altogether perfect. He accomplished a perfect redemption. He provided perfect salvation for lost human beings, sinners. We are living in the day of grace, under God’s economy of grace. We are made saints by faith in Christ and His once-for-all sacrifice. Hebrews 10:10 and 14.
Note the “grace” good news.
“FOR THE LAW WAS GIVEN BY MOSES, BUT GRACE AND TRUTH CAME BY JESUS CHRIST.” John 1:17.
“Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded GRACE DID MUCH MORE ABOUND: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might GRACE REIGN THROUGH RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO ETERNAL LIFE BY JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.” Romans 5:20 and 21.
NOT BY WORKS – BUT UNTO GOOD WORKS
“For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8 to 10.
What part does sinful man play in his salvation? He is the recipient of God’s grace. Hear the cry of a poor condemned sinner, “What must I do to be saved ?” And the reply, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31.
By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves:
“IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD.”
“NOT OF WORKS.”
Note how the wonderful “grace” message is stated in II Timothy 1:9 and 10:
“Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His, own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
Then note the future:
“That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches, of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:7.
From “before the foundation of the world” to “the ages to come, “GRACE.” Salvation is God’s gift to the believing, receiving sinner.
“The free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23.
Because most human beings are incurably religious they cannot be persuaded that Paul’s statement, in Romans 7:18, is generally true. Note his statement and with it Romans 8:8:
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” Romans 7:18.
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:8.
Some of the self-sufficient and self-righteous religious sinners repudiate and reject the Holy Spirit’s message by Paul in Romans 4:4 and 5. Others say such a message of salvation is too good to be true. It is good and it is true. Hear it. Believe it. Claim it. Appropriate it. Experience it. Thank God for it. Here it is:
“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:4 and 5.
Hear it in different language
“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour: That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” Titus 3:3 to 8.
Here then is God’s order, God’s message, God’s way of salvation. Note the human material that God has to work with, how He works, and what He really does with sinners who will let Him do the work of salvation. Keep in mind the word “let.” “Let” God save you. Ac- knowledge that you by nature are not fit for God’s presence and God’s heaven. You can be made fit by God’s grace and Christ’s redemptive work.
Not by your unrighteous works, which you may consider works of righteousness, but by God’s mercy and grace and Divine power, in, through, and by His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Note Ephesians 2:3 to 5:
“Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved). Ephesians 2:3 to 5.
Out of dead sinners God makes living saints, “by grace.”
Hear again this good news:
“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.” I Timothy 2:4 to 7.
God will have all men to be saved. Do you really want to be saved? Then let God save you. Note the Divine process in II Thessalonians 2:13:
“BUT WE ARE BOUND TO GIVE THANKS ALWAY TO GOD FOR YOU, BRETHREN BELOVED OF THE LORD, BECAUSE GOD HATH FROM THE BEGINNING CHOSEN YOU TO SALVATION THROUGH SANCTIFICATION OF THE SPIRIT AND BELIEF OF THE TRUTH.”
Yes, salvation is of the Lord. God does the work. God is a great Giver. Man is a poor receiver. God has chosen us unto salvation. How? By sanctification of the Spirit. Belief of the truth.
Note the truth of Romans 10:9 and 13:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Believe the truth. Believe it not only in your head; but believe with all your heart. Believe that you are ungodly and that Christ died for the ungodly. Receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your own individual personal Saviour. Believe unto the saving of your soul.
Accept at full face value this glorious truth recorded in Titus 2:11 to 13:
“FOR THE GRACE OF GOD THAT BRINGETH SALVATION HATH APPEARED TO ALL MEN. TEACHING US THAT DENYING UNGODLINESS AND WORLDLY LUSTS, WE SHOULD LIVE SOBERLY, RIGHTEOUSLY AND GODLY, IN THIS PRESENT WORLD; LOOKING FOR THAT BLESSED HOPE, AND THE GLORIOUS APPEARING OF THE GREAT GOD AND OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.”
What has appeared? The grace of God. To whom has it appeared? To all men. What has the grace of God brought? Salvation. And then that grace of God teaches the believer “that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. “
THE KNOWLEDGE AND JOY OF SALVATION
The real joy of salvation is experienced by those who “live” and “look”, in obedience to Titus 2:12 and 13.
The Lord Jesus Christ said to His disciples, “rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits, are subject unto you; But rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20.
The Holy Spirit directed John to write an Epistle to saints. In that Epistle he wrote
“AND THESE THINGS WRITE WE UNTO YOU, THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL.” I John 1:4. “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.” I John 5:13.
What does the Holy Spirit desire concerning those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ? “That they may know that they have eternal life.” “That their joy may be full.” The Holy Spirit wants those who are saved by grace to have a “know-so,” salvation and a joyous fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Note what the Holy Spirit said by the pen of Paul:
“NOW THE GOD OF HOPE FILL YOU WITH ALL JOY AND PEACE IN BELIEVING, THAT YE MAY ABOUND IN HOPE, THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST.” Romans 15:13.
So we learn that the Lord desires that His redeemed ones should live righteously, soberly and justly in this present evil age, that they should know that they are saved, that they should rejoice because their names are written in heaven, that they should be joyous, filled with joy and peace, and be full of hope.
MEMBERS OF GOD’S HOUSEHOLD
Let us note carefully II Timothy 2:19 to 21:
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are His. And let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge Himself from these, he shall be A VESSEL UNTO HONOUR, sanctified and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”
And II Timothy 2:15:
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, A WORKMAN THAT NEEDETH NOT TO BE ASHAMED, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”
Here we learn that God knoweth them that are His. We also learn “them that are His” should be “vessels of honour” in God’s great House, and they should be workmen that need not to be ashamed. We learn that “them that are His”, “who name the name of Christ,” are to “depart from iniquity.”
Unless God’s children do depart from iniquity and do rightly divide the Word of truth, they cannot be vessels of honour sanctified and meet for the Master’s use. Here then is the secret of the joy of salvation.
God’s children cannot lose their salvation, but the majority of God’s children know, by their own personal experience, very little about the real joy of salvation.
We all love the parable of the Vine and the branches. Hear the words of the Lord Jesus in John 15:8:
“Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.”
There are two ways of bearing fruit; one is, manifesting the fruit of the Spirit “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22 and 23.
The other is leading other sinners to the Lord Jesus Christ. Next to the joy of receiving Christ for salvation is the joy of leading some one else to receive Jesus Christ for salvation. There is also joy in heaven: “Likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” Luke 15:7.
The Holy Spirit has presented a very high plane of spiritual living for members of the Body of Christ in the different Epistles written to them. In Colossians 1:9 to 11, the Lord’s desire for His saints, is thus expressed
“THAT YE MIGHT BE FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL IN ALL WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING. THAT YE MIGHT WALK WORTHY OF THE LORD UNTO ALL PLEASING, BEING FRUITFUL IN EVERY GOOD WORK, AND INCREASING IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD; STRENGTHENED WITH ALL MIGHT, ACCORDING TO HIS GLORIOUS POWER, UNTO ALL PATIENCE AND LONGSUFFERING WITH JOYFULNESS.” Colossians 1:9 to 11.
Here then is the secret of enjoying salvation, a spiritual walk, and a fruitful life, patient and longsuffering with joyfulness.
Note again carefully II Timothy 2:21 and 15:
“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. “
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. “
If the believer departs from iniquity and rightly divides the Word of Truth he will be an unashamed workman and a vessel meet for the Master’s use.
“HOW TO ENJOY THE SCRIPTURES.”
In II Timothy 3:16 and 17 we read:
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
Note Romans 15:4 and I Corinthians 10:11.
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
Let us consider these statements together with I Corinthians 10:32:
“Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God.”
Redeemed sinners during this present Divine economy are members of Christ’s Body. They belong to the Church of God which He purchased with His own blood, the House of God, the pillar and ground of the truth. Acts 20:28. Some of the Scriptures are addressed directly and specifically to these Church-members.
Note the wonderful truth addressed to and concerning members of Christ’s Body in Ephesians.
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD.” “In Whom ye also are builded together for an HABITATION OF GOD through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19 and 22.
“But if I tarry long that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in THE HOUSE OF GOD, which is THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery.” I Timothy 3:15 and 16.
“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a Perfect Man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:12 and 13.
In rightly dividing the Word of Truth, it behooves God’s workmen to know definitely that God is building a House, that He is building up the Body of Christ, which He called “the House of God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
The Holy Spirit declares that God is not the author of confusion. God is not responsible for all the different Sectarian groups into which the Church of Christ is divided. God recognizes but one true Bible Church during this present economy of grace, and that Church is not primarily an organization, but an organism. It is not Israel.
THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND THE BODY OF CHRIST
No one rightly divides the Word of truth, or can truly enjoy or understand the Scriptures, who confuses “the House of Israel” with “the House of God” described in Paul’s Epistles to Timothy and to the Ephesians.
“The House of Israel” has fallen. It is going to be rebuilt or re-established during a future Divine economy. If you want a real vivid picture and guarantee of this, read the thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel and Isaiah 62:1 to 5.
The Scriptures which were written to and concerning “the House of Israel” are to be diligently and faithfully studied by members of the Body of Christ. They are for admonition, and they are profitable for instruction in righteousness. They are not written to members of Christ’s Body.
Note in Genesis 35:10 and 11 and 15 how Jacob’s name was changed to “Israel.”
“And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and He called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.”
When God met Jacob, Jacob said, “this is none other than “the House of God.” Genesis 28:17. That desert lonely place was to Jacob “the House of God.”
Jacob’s name was changed to “Israel” about 1732 B.C. The first time the expression “the House of Israel” is found in the Scriptures is Exodus 40:38. That was about 1495 B.C.
Now let us read Exodus 1:1 and 5, and learn that about 1710 B.C. seventy Israelites went down into Egypt. Then note about 1495 B. C.; Exodus 12:41.
“And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out from the land of Egypt; this is that night of the Lord to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.”
“And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, besides children.” Exodus 12:37.
Out of “the house of bondage” went “the House of Israel” about 430 years after God called Abram to leave his home and loved ones. Genesis 12:1 to 4—Galatians 3:8.
Israel was forty years in the wilderness, journeying from Sinai to Canaan. Then they went to Canaan to become “the Commonwealth of Israel.” They reached Canaan about 1455 B. C. Now read Acts 13:17 to 23:
“The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought He them out of it. And about the time of forty years suffered He their manners in the wilderness. And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He divided their land to them by lot. And after that He gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they desired a king; and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years, And when He had removed him, He raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also He gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all My will. Of this man’s seed hath God according to His promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus.”
As God gave “the House of Israel” judges about the space of 450 years, He gave kings to reign over Israel and Judah about 500 years.
Then about 606 B. C. Nebuchadnezzar came from Babylon to Jerusalem. He besieged and destroyed the city, took the vessels out of the temple and took many of the Jews to Babylon. This was the beginning of “the times of the Gentiles.” Luke 21:24. Read the last two chapters of II Kings and Jeremiah.
THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL IN THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES
In Isaiah 43:7 God declared that Israel was created for His glory. In Romans 11:25 and 26 we read that a blindness in part is happened to Israel until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Now read the judgment of the Lord Jesus upon that people and city.
“There shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Luke 21:23 and 24.
What are we to understand from these statements? God is not, by any means, through with the House of Israel.
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest.” Hebrews 8:10 and 11.
The Israelites are today where Christ said they would be, in Luke 21:24. So also is the city of Jerusalem. The future redemption of the House of Israel is recorded in Luke 21:27 and 28 and 31.
“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads for your redemption draweth nigh.” “So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” Luke 21:27, 28 and 31.
So we should realize how very important and imperative it is to know when God created Israel and when God set “the House of Israel” aside temporarily, if we are to enjoy and understand the Bible.
Before God created Israel, from Adam to Jacob, God had some faithful servants, Abel, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Shem, Eber and Abram. None of these belonged to “the House of Israel.” Abram belonged to “the House of Shem” to “the House of Eber”, to “the House of Terah.” Terah, Abraham’s father, was an idolatrous Gentile. Joshua 24:2.
ABRAHAM – ISAAC – JACOB – NOT UNDER LAW
Abram was an Eberite, a Hebrew, a descendant of Adam, Noah, and Shem. But Abram was neither an Israelite nor a Jew. Abram did not belong to the House of Israel because there was no House of Israel at the time he died. Judah was the son of Jacob (Israel). Judah was the great grandson of Abraham. The Jews, as to race, were “Judahites”. But all Israelites became “Jews” by religion.
Abram became “Abraham” when he was 99 years old. Genesis 17:7 to 17. Abram was justified in uncircumcision. Galatians 3:8 and Romans 4:8 to 11. But when Abram was declared righteous he was not baptized into the Body of Christ, as were Jews and Gentiles 1900 years later. I Corinthians 12:13.
Abram was not under the law, or under the Mosaic Covenant that became the “Old Covenant” after Christ died on the cross. II Corinthians 3:13 to 15. Hebrews 8:11.
THE LAW WAS ADDED.
“WHEREFORE THEN SERVETH THE LAW? IT WAS ADDED BECAUSE OF TRANSGRESSIONS, TILL THE SEED SHOULD COME TO WHOM THE PROMISE WAS MADE; AND IT WAS ORDAINED BY ANGELS IN THE HAND OF A MEDIATOR.”
“MOREOVER THE LAW ENTERED, THAT THE OFFENCE MIGHT ABOUND. BUT WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE DID MUCH MORE ABOUND: THAT AS SIN HATH REIGNED UNTO DEATH, EVEN SO MIGHT GRACE REIGN THROUGH RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO ETERNAL LIFE BY JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.”
Let us carefully compare these two verses of Scripture with Romans 5:13 and 14
“UNTIL THE LAW SIN WAS IN THE WORLD: BUT SIN IS NOT IMPUTED WHEN THERE IS NO LAW. NEVERTHELESS DEATH REIGNED “FROM ADAM TO MOSES.”
‘The period “from Adam to Moses” was subdivided into other periods or dispensations. “From Adam to Noah and the flood, about 1656 years.” “From Noah to the casting away of the Gentiles and the call and circumcision of Abraham, more than 400 years.” “From the call and justification of Abram to the adding of the law, the Old Testament and Israel’s religion (Hebrews 9:10), about 430 years.”
LET US LEARN THESE IMPORTANT LESSONS
First: That from Adam to Moses, about 2500 years, Adam, Abel, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Shem, Eber, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Levi, Joseph, and other men of God were not under the law. They were not Old Testament saints. In fact Moses was 80 years old when God gave the law to Israel at Sinai. They lived “when there was no law.” So God has very definitely marked a period in the Bible, designated
FROM ADAM TO MOSES WHEN THERE IS NO LAW
Second:We learn in Galatians 3:8, Galatians 3:16, 17 and 19, that 430 years before God added the (Old) Testament at Sinai, God preached the gospel to uncircumcised Abram, and by faith Abram was declared righteous. Let us keep in mind that the covenant given to Israel at Sinai was entirely new to Israel at that time and it did not become “Old” until after Christ had died on the cross.
Abraham was circumcised at the age of 99. Genesis 17:7 to 17. With that covenant of circumcision (Acts 7:8) God cut off the Gentiles and began a new Divine movement. Romans 1:21 to 31.
God made a covenant with Abraham in which He guaranteed to Abraham’s seed (Israel) the land of Canaan. He confirmed that covenant with an oath.
Third: We learn in Galatians 3:16 to 19 that God added the law to the gospel preached to Abraham, to the covenant of promise which God gave to Abraham 430 years before Moses was on Mount Sinai. God added the “Law” Covenant to the Abrahamic Covenant. The “Law” Covenant was abolished after Christ died on the cross. But the Abrahamic Covenant has not been annulled. Because of this Covenant Israel will yet be saved. Romans 11:26 to 29.
Fourth: We learn in Matthew 1:1, that Jesus Christ was the Son of David, the Son of Abraham. In Romans 15:8, we learn that Jesus Christ was the Minister of the circumcision to confirm promises which God made to Israel. In Galatians 4:4 we learn that Jesus Christ was born under the Old Testament to redeem them that were under the Old Covenant. In Luke 2:12 to 20 we learn that Jesus Christ was circumcised. In Hebrews 9:15, we learn that Jesus Christ was the Mediator of the New Covenant. Jesus Christ was sent only to the children of Abraham (Israel), while on earth. Matthew 15:24. Luke 13:16. Luke 19:9.
Fifth. We learn in Romans 11:15 that the glorified risen Christ sent Paul with the message of reconciliation to Gentiles when and because Israel was cast away. Then and there began “the times of the Gentiles” spiritually. Since that time we have been living in “the times of the Gentiles” in every sense of the word. It is so important that we see “the times of the Gentiles” began with Nebuchadnezzar, politically, and with Paul spiritually.
Premillenarians are dispensational Bible-teachers and all dispensational Premillenarians teach that when “the House of Israel” fell, God began to build a new and different House, “the House of God” of I Timothy 3:15.
Then believing Jews and Gentiles were baptized by the One Spirit into the One Body. I Corinthians 12:13. That One Body is called in Ephesians 3:6, “the JointBody.” Divine Truth concerning this “Joint-Body,” its hope and calling, is called “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Ephesians 3:8.
The word “unsearchable” means “not-to-be-tracked.” That truth was not prophesied by Israel’s prophets. It was called God’s Secret. Ephesians 3:9. It was disclosed to Paul, and by him to us. And it is our duty “to make all see what is the dispensation of the Secret.” Ephesians 3:9. “Having made known the Mystery of His will.” Ephesians 1:9.
WHEN DID THE BODY BEGIN?
The historical beginning of “the Church of the Mystery” was not while Christ was on earth. And assuredly “the Church of the Mystery,” disclosed to Paul, did not begin with Peter on Israel’s feast day, Pentecost.
Let us learn that “the Body of Christ” is “the Church of God,” but “the Church of God” is not always “the Body of Christ.” Note the definition of the Body of Christ in Ephesians 1:23, “the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.” The Church is one flesh with Christ. This was one phase of “the Mystery.” Ephesians 5:30 and 31.
Now let us carefully read and consider the radical change recorded in Acts 14:27. In that verse we learn that God opened up the door of salvation unto the Gentiles shortly after the Holy Spirit said, “separate unto Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them,” (Acts 13:2), shortly after Paul turned from the Jews and said, “lo, we turn unto the Gentiles.” Acts 13:46.
In Matthew 15:24 to 28 we learn the great difference between Jews and Gentiles, “children” and “dogs.” In Romans 10:10 to 15 we learn that difference no longer existed. Believing Jews and Gentiles were then one in Christ and all baptized into One Body by One Spirit. Galatians 3.26 to 28, I Corinthians 12:13. Romans 6:14: “Ye are not under the law. “
MEMBERS OF CHRIST
Now let us note Romans 12:4 and 5:
“For as we have many members in one Body and all members have not the same office, go, we being many, are one Body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”
Note how this was accomplished in Romans 6:3 and 4: believers were baptized into the death of Christ, buried with Him by baptism, and raised to walk in newness, of life. Christ’s Body is called in Ephesians 3:6, “the Joint-Body.”
We learned in I Corinthians 10:32 that the members of Christ’s Body were not to offend Jews, Gentiles, or the Church of God.
GOD’S DIVINE PRINCIPLE
Let us study the Four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, as well as from Genesis to Malachi, and the first twelve chapters of Acts, in the light of God’s truth revealed after the radical change marked by Acts 14:27.
Then let us study all Divine Truth, from Acts 14:27 to the other radical change, marked by Acts 28:25 to 28, in the light of Paul’s Epistles, written after the close of the “Acts” period.
Thus we should find that God’s “golden key” for the interpretation, appropriation, application and enjoyment of the Scriptures, is in the “Body Truth” in Paul’s Prison Epistles.
Let us study all Scripture in the light of Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, Titus, II Timothy and other Epistles and be careful not to frustrate the grace of. God or eliminate any precious truth that God wants brought over from some former dispensation. “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His Body’s sake, which is the Church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the Word of God; Even the Mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: To Whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; Which is Christ in you the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:24 to 27.
NOTHING TO PAY
Nothing to pay ! Yes, this is true,
There is nothing left for the sinner to do.
There’s nothing to pay to earn God’s love
There’s nothing to pay for a home above.
The sinner has nothing good within;
The sinner has nothing to pay for sin.
No human can keep God’s holy law
None can remove a single flaw.
God’s debtors we are in our bankrupt state ;
How can we pay our debt so great?
Apart from grace, though doing our best,
We find no pardon, peace or rest.
Christ came from heaven to die on the tree.
Eternal life! God’s gift, is free;
For God hath accepted the work of His Son,
He saves, guilty sinners by the work He has done.
God saves by grace, without good deeds;
Christ is all that the sinner needs
This is the gospel so often we’ve heard
The message of grace in God’s own Word.
Why should a sinner think he can aid?
Why should he pay what Christ has paid?
No value is there in a human plan;
But Christ tasted death for every man.
No payment more will God require,
What more than Christ should man desire ?
Complete in Christ and justified,
Forgiven, cleansed and sanctified.
Let us thank God for His infinite grace;
And the Saviour Who was willing to die in our place,
To die on the cross to put sin away,
Rejoicing to know there’s nothing to pay.
The work of our Saviour we’ll never forget;
Forever we’ll praise Him for paying our debt.
We’ll honor and praise Him, looking above,
Seeking each day to be filled with His love.
Yes, looking to Jesus, we’ll run well the race,
Depending each day on God’s wonderful grace.
God’s Word is true; we’re sure of reward
For all that is done in the name of the Lord.
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.