Saturday, May 12, 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).
Paul is not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ because it is so powerful that it can save anyone and everyone… from Jews who murdered their Messiah, to pagan Greeks who worshipped idols.
The Gospel of Christ, first preached by the Apostle Paul nearly 2,000 years ago, has saved millions. Paul received that special message directly from the resurrected, ascended Lord Jesus Christ: “But I certify [guarantee] you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11,12).
This Gospel of the Grace of God (Acts 20:24) has saved two groups of people: Jews who rejected and murdered their Messiah-King Jesus, and pagan Greeks (Gentiles) who, unlike the Jews, did not even have God’s Word (the Old Testament Scriptures; Romans 3:1,2). It saved Jewish Saul of Tarsus, who became the Apostle Paul, and it saved us formerly pagan Gentiles.
Although unbelieving Israel could not receive salvation in the prophetic (kingdom) program after Acts chapter 7 (cf. Matthew 12:31,32), they could receive salvation in our Dispensation of Grace, the mystery program, by trusting Paul’s Gospel, the Gospel of Grace (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Before our dispensation, salvation was almost limited exclusively to Israel (Matthew 10:5-7; John 4:22; Acts 3:22-26): non-Jews were to receive salvation in Israel’s kingdom (Matthew 25:31-34; Matthew 28:19,20).
When Israel rejected her King, her kingdom was postponed; through Paul’s ministry, salvation went to the Gentiles without redeemed Israel (Romans 11:11-13). Now, Israel’s works-religion (Judaism) is inactive. Today, God is saving Gentiles, not by their conversion to Judaism (as in time past), but by them trusting Christ Jesus as their personal Saviour; God is saving Jews, not by having them keep the Law (as in time past), but by them trusting Christ Jesus as their personal Saviour (today’s Scripture).