Paul and Dispensationalism #14

Friday, August 21, 2015

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

From Genesis chapter 12 (call of Abraham) until Acts chapter 9 (salvation of Saul of Tarsus), JEHOVAH God dealt almost exclusively with the nation Israel, promising them various covenants, the backbone of their prophetic program. Romans 9:4,5 comment: “[4] Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; [5] Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.”

When God dealt with Gentiles prior to Acts chapter 9, He did so through or related to the nation Israel. The Abrahamic Covenant described how God blessed Gentiles who blessed Israel and He cursed Gentiles who cursed Israel (Genesis 12:1-3). Ultimately, God would convert and commission Israel to bring His Word to all nations in His earthly kingdom (Exodus 19:5,6; Isaiah 60:1-3; Zechariah 8:20-23). At Calvary and during early Acts, Israel refused to become that kingdom of priests!

Ephesians 2:11-13 explains how prophecy gave way to mystery: “[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.” (Verse 13 is true now that we have come to Paul’s ministry!)

God’s grace that brings salvation “appeared to all men once the risen, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ saved and commissioned Saul of Tarsus. Now, God’s Word and the Gospel of His Grace have come to us Gentiles through Paul’s ministry without Israel (Romans 11:11-13). That grace message is Israel’s rejected Messiah Jesus and His finished crosswork can save Gentiles (including lost Jews) into a body of believers who are alive with God’s life!