Friday, May 11, 2012
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16 KJV).
Why is the Gospel of Christ given “to the Jew first, and also to the Greek?”
From Genesis chapter 12 (Abraham’s salvation) to Acts chapter 9 (Paul’s salvation), God dealt almost exclusively with Israel. During those 2,000 years, God dealt with mankind on the basis of physical circumcision (Jew) and physical uncircumcision (Gentile) (Ephesians 2:11,12).
During these centuries, the Old Testament prophets reminded Israel of her coming King (Deuteronomy 18:15; Isaiah 9:6,7; Jeremiah 23:5,6; Zechariah 9:9; et al.). When Jesus Christ presented Himself to Israel in the Four Gospel Records, He came to establish His kingdom on earth, for Israel to then evangelize the pagan Gentiles (Exodus 19:5,6; Isaiah 60:1-3; et al.). Nonetheless, Israel rejected Jesus in unbelief, demanding His crucifixion on Calvary (John 19:15).
After Jesus Christ resurrected, Israel still rejected Him by persecuting and ignoring the Holy Spirit-filled twelve apostles who were calling Israel to repentance and faith (Acts 2:14-40; Acts 3:12-26; Acts 4:8-31; Acts 5:29-42; et al.). With uncooperative Israel finally murdering her prophet Stephen in Acts chapter 7, God turns to the Gentiles without Israel (Romans 11:11,12). The ascended Lord Jesus Christ saves Saul of Tarsus (Paul) in Acts chapter 9, commissioning him as his apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13).
From Acts chapter 9 to Acts chapter 28, Israel is “diminishing”—losing her special status before God (Romans 11:12). Thus, in the cities Paul visits in the book of Acts, God has him go to the local synagogue to preach the Gospel of Christ to Jews first: “Brethren [Jews], you have killed your Messiah Jesus, and your kingdom program is falling away, so you can only be saved now by becoming a member of the Church the Body of Christ!” Once these lost Jews refused to listen, Paul preached salvation in Christ to local pagan Greeks (Gentiles) (Acts 9:20-22; Acts 13:5, 14-52; Acts 14:1-27; Acts 17:1-34; Acts 18:1-11,18-21; Acts 19:8-10; Acts 28:20-31).
One thought on “I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ #2”
If the religious leaders really believed the Old Testament writings, and loved God, they would have believed on the Messiah, but they trusted only in a earthly King to solve their problems. They did not look to him to solve their spiritual problems. Thank You Lord for being so patient with mankind! It is by your mercies that we are not consumed!