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Volume 28 - Page 107 of 217 Index | Zoom | |
agreement among us all, that, so far as the basic theme of the gospel was concerned--
redemption by blood, and the imputation of righteousness by faith--the Apostle preached
"none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come".
The inclusion of the Gentile in Gospel and Promise
was never a secret.
pp. 161 - 164
While it may readily be admitted that the basic terms of the gospel are to be found in
the Law and the Prophets, it may nevertheless be contended that the extension of the
blessings of the gospel to the Gentiles, and their inclusion among Abraham's seed, does,
in fact, go beyond what is written in the O.T. Scriptures. It is undoubtedly true that the
opening of the door of faith to the Gentiles took the early Church by surprise, and the
contention of those of the circumcision at Jerusalem with Peter after they had heard of his
visit to Cornelius (Acts 11: 3), and Peter's own attitude (Acts 10: 28), most certainly show
a deep prejudice against such an inclusion of the Gentile. But prejudice, however, deep,
is not the standard of our faith; and our quest must still be: "What saith the Scriptures?"
In Acts 15: we have another exhibition of traditional bias. In verse 14 we read:
"Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a
people for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets: as it is written, After
this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and
I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: that the residue of men might seek
after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord Who
doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the
world" (Acts 15: 14-18).
If we turn to the prophet Amos, and consult the context of the passage cited by
James (Amos 9: 11, 12), we shall perceive that James very rightly says: "To this agree
(or harmonize) the words of the prophets" (plural--the prophets as a whole), for
Amos 9: 11, 12 looks forward to a yet future time for its fulfillment. There was much
that took place during the Acts that was of a tentative nature, waiting to see (speaking
after the manner of men) whether Israel would repent and the kingdom be set up, or
whether they would refuse, and the kingdom purpose fall into abeyance.
In Acts 13: we find the apostle Paul using the O.T. Scriptures in much the same
way. When the Jews manifest their envy at the Gentile acceptance of the gospel, the
"It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but
seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we
turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be
a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth"
(Acts 13: 46-47).