Gentiles

Christ Liveth in Me

Sunday, April 16, 2017

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 KJV).

“He is risen” is not a simple blasé cliché!

When Jesus’ disciples came to His tomb on that glorious Sunday morning nearly 2,000 years ago, they were startled to find it empty! Angels inform them that He has resurrected, but they are still in shock (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-8). Jesus Christ Himself must later explain the Scriptures to them regarding what happened those last few days (Luke 24:44-46).

However, until Paul’s ministry, Christ’s finished crosswork is not preached as good news for salvation. Peter and Israel’s other apostles simply preach that Jesus Christ is now resurrected to “sit on [David’s] throne” (Acts 2:30)—that is bad news for much of Israel, for they still reject Him, weeks and months after His resurrection and ascension. Throughout early Acts, Israel’s apostles warn her that Jesus Christ is coming back to judge them.

When we come to the Apostle Paul’s ministry, we learn that we Gentiles can benefit from Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork. Israel’s rejected Messiah is now our way to heaven! Yes, Israel hated Him, and demanded that He experience the most awful method of execution devised, but God allowed it in order to accomplish His will. Satan attempted to hinder God’s will by having Christ killed, but all that did was provide the method whereby God could save us pagan Gentiles. Calvary’s finished crosswork frees us from Satan’s evil system and gives us a chance to be God’s people (Acts 26:17,18)!

As people who have trusted Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for our sins, that crucifixion is our death to self and sin, and that resurrection is our raising to walk in newness of life—His life (today’s Scripture; cf. Romans 6:1-11)!

Indeed, Jesus Christ is alive, and He lives in and through those who walk by faith in God’s Word to them, Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon! 🙂

HAPPY EASTER!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study by the same name. That study can be read here or watched here.

Start in Romans #3

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office (Romans 11:13 KJV).

Why should people new to the Bible begin in the Book of Romans? Today’s Scripture tells us.

It is usually said that people should start reading God’s Word in the Book of John. However well meaning this is, it is spiritually hazardous. Christ’s earthly ministry, Matthew through John, was to and about the nation Israel, not us Gentiles: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). Moreover, John’s goal is confirming to Israel that Jesus is her Messiah because He conducted a ministry of signs, special teaching miracles, in her midst (see John 20:30,31). “The Jews [not us Gentiles] require a sign” (1 Corinthians 1:22).

Paul is God’s messenger to us non-Jews (today’s Scripture). Ephesians 3:1-2 elaborates: “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward….” Romans 16:25-26 says God wants to “stablish” (stabilize) us Gentiles using three components: (1) Paul’s Gospel, (2) the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery, and (3) the Scriptures of the prophets. Paul’s Gospel is laid out first, and most clearly, in the Bible in the Book of Romans, the head, or introductory book, of his 13 epistles (Romans through Philemon).

Romans is divided into four sections. Chapters 1-5 deal with justification, or how to have our sins forgiven and a home in heaven. Chapters 6-8 discuss sanctification, or how that Gospel of Grace has changed our identity from Adam to Christ. Chapters 9-11 covers dispensational changes—we are not the nation Israel, but rather the Church the Body of Christ, with Israel still having a future in God’s program. Chapters 12-16 are application, or how we are to by faith use the grace principles in Romans so our lives can glorify our Lord and Saviour!

Friend, you will not mature in grace if you begin the Bible in the wrong place. Using John as an introduction to the Bible will hinder you from laying the Scriptural foundation God intended for you. Start in Romans! 🙂

Start in Romans #2

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office (Romans 11:13 KJV).

Why should people new to the Bible begin in the Book of Romans? Today’s Scripture tells us.

Romans begins with a name—“Paul.” The Holy Spirit led this Paul to pen today’s Scripture. When we come to him in the Bible, especially his conversion in Acts chapter 9; we read about the risen, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ from heaven reaching down and saving a man who will become His spokesman to all the world.

Acts 26:16-18 were those words of Christ to Saul: “[16] But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; [17] Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee [apostolos = “sent one”], [18] To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

Paul thus articulates in Romans 11:11-13 (today’s Scripture): “[11] I say then, Have they [Israel] stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. [12] Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? [13] For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:”

With Israel’s temporary fall, salvation is coming to us Gentiles (non-Jews) through Paul’s ministry. Hence, we must go to Paul’s epistles, or letters of doctrine, to read about that salvation. While his ministry begins in Acts chapter 9, we do not read his writings in the Bible until after Acts—the Book of Romans. In other words, Romans is the most fundamental information that God gave to Paul to give us Gentiles….

Household Rules #12

Monday, January 16, 2017

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 (Colossians 1:25 KJV).

And, just what is this “dispensation of God which is given to [Paul] for [us]?”

To repeat, some people hate dispensational Bible study. Modern English Bible “scholars” eliminate “dispensation,” therefore hiding the system’s biblical foundation. If they omit the term from Scripture, then they quite easily argue dispensationalism is false. However, while refusing to admit it, even they understand some dispensational boundaries. They know a dispensational boundary exists between an animal-sacrificing Old Testament Jew and us today. They understand animal sacrifices were God’s directions to Israel under the Law, not directions to us under Grace. They know God’s directions to Noah to build an Ark are Scripture, but not to us. Yet, they claim and follow other verses not to or about us. How silly!

Certain “church people” loathe dispensational Bible study—especially Pauline dispensationalism—because it prevents them from ripping out of context verses from Jesus’ earthly ministry and early Acts. They enjoy claiming the gifts of healing and tongues; they like the Beatitudes, Sermon on the Mount, and so-called “Lord’s Prayer;” they harp on Christ’s parables; they revel in water baptism, Sabbath-day keeping, and confession of sins. If they were to recognize dispensationalism as true, and apply it consistently in Scripture, then they would see only Paul’s doctrine as applicable to us (today’s Scripture; cf. Ephesians 3:2).

They dislike Paul since he was not sent to water baptize (1 Corinthians 1:17); did not have the gifts of healing and tongues his entire ministry (1 Corinthians 13:8-13; 1 Timothy 5:23; 2 Timothy 4:20); did not quote the “Lord’s Prayer,” Sermon on the Mount, or Beatitudes; did not emphasize confession of sins; directly opposed forced giving/tithing (2 Corinthians 9:6,7); and outright condemned Sabbath-day keeping (Galatians 4:9-11; Colossians 2:16). Paul emphasized grace rather than works. Thus, some groups have removed Paul’s “nuisance” epistles entirely from their Bible!

Dispensational Bible study—specifically, Pauline dispensationalism—threatens church traditions (works-religion). They must ignore dispensational boundaries in order to keep people working and striving in church programs and denominations. In doing so, they underscore Law, thus refuting the Gospel of Grace and hindering victorious Christian living….

Household Rules #11

Sunday, January 15, 2017

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 (Colossians 1:25 KJV).

And, just what is this “dispensation of God which is given to [Paul] for [us]?”

The Mosaic Law was not given forever; that dispensation was not meant to operate into eternity future. It was only given to Israel temporarily—namely, to prove to her that God would make her His people. The Jews could never do enough to please God: their religious efforts were utterly futile. Their nation would only exist because of God’s work. Although the Law was given to Israel, it showed all nations to be guilty before God” (Romans 3:19). “Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (verse 20). Chapter 3 proceeds to explain how there came a dispensational change—Law to Grace. With that new dispensation came a new Gospel!

Another one of the major “household rules” in effect today is we are under grace, not law (Romans 6:14,15)—that goes for initial justification before God, a right standing before Him to go to heaven, as well as for daily Christian living, practical sanctification. Our performance will never measure up to God’s perfect standards. However, Jesus Christ’s performance at Calvary does please God. The Gospel of the Grace of God, Paul’s Gospel, is most clearly and succinctly defined in 1 Corinthians chapter 15: “[1] Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you…. [3] For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; [4] And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

We have a sin problem, friends, and commandments cannot help us. Thus, Jesus Christ died for our sins, shed His blood to pay for those sins, that by simple faith in Him and Him alone, we can join the Church the Body of Christ (Ephesians 2:1-22), the Holy Spirit can baptize us into Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), all because of what Christ did, not because of our religious works….

Household Rules #10

Saturday, January 14, 2017

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 (Colossians 1:25 KJV).

And, just what is this “dispensation of God which is given to [Paul] for [us]?”

A prevalent myth in Christendom is that there is only one Gospel in the Bible. No, there is only one Gospel today; there are many Gospels in Scripture. The common belief of “one-Gospel-in-Scripture” shows us just how ignorant “churchianity” really is concerning Scripture. They do not understand dispensational boundaries, so they smooth over (retranslate/question/deny) contradictory verses. They try to harmonize Paul with Jesus, James, and other Bible characters.

In the words of the Apostle Peter, “[15] And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; [16] As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest [twist, distort], as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:15,16). Haters of dispensational Bible study existed 2000 years ago!

Just as “the Dispensation of the Grace of God” is committed to the Apostle Paul’s trust (Ephesians 3:2), “the Gospel of the Grace of God” is another one of God’s current “household rules.” Paul said in Acts 20:24: “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” On three occasions, Paul called it my gospel” (Romans 2:16; Romans 16:25; 2 Timothy 2:8). Why would he say my gospel” if everyone in Scripture also preached it?! Furthermore, he said he went to Apostles James, Peter, and John in Jerusalem to “communicate unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles” (Galatians 2:2). Surely, Paul and the 12 Apostles were preaching separate Gospels, for they were ministering to two separate groups. It is this, Paul’s Gospel, the Gospel of the Grace of God, whereby God forms the Church the Body of Christ….

Household Rules #9

Friday, January 13, 2017

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 (Colossians 1:25 KJV).

And, just what is this “dispensation of God which is given to [Paul] for [us]?”

We read in Ephesians chapter 2: “[11] Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; [12] That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: [13] But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

“[14] For he is our peace, who hath made both [Jew and Gentile] one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; [15] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain [Jew and Gentile] one new man, so making peace; [16] And that he might reconcile both [Jew and Gentile] unto God in one body [the Church the Body of Christ] by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: [17] And came and preached peace to you [Gentiles] which were afar off, and to them [Jews] that were nigh. [18] For through him we both [Jew and Gentile] have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”

In addition to the Body of Christ, another one of God’s major “household rules” in the Dispensation of Grace is that the nation Israel is temporarily spiritually blinded and momentarily fallen. We read about that throughout Romans chapters 9-11, only in Paul’s ministry and epistles. Romans 11:25 says: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” When this the Body of Christ is concluded, and our Dispensation of Grace is over, Israel will return to her exalted status before God and prophecy will resume. Let us see other examples of today’s “household rules….”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does God mean, ‘I am Alpha and Omega?’