Doctrine of the New Covenant, part 20
Title: Doctrine of the New Covenant, part 20.
The people of the Indus River Valley reached a peak between 2600 and 1900 BC. Abraham lived near the end of this period. We have no idea what happened to the people of the Indus River Valley. Was there a war, famine, plague? We know almost nothing about them. There were likely about 5 million of them and they built sophisticated cities (Mohenjo-daro). I only mention them for the purpose of illustrating that we know so little about the civilizations of that time and that we know almost nothing of God’s dealings with man outside of the revelation of the Bible. Why did God choose Abraham over someone else in Ur or why didn’t God choose someone from the Indus?
Rom 9:10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac;
Rom 9:11 for though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God's purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls,
Rom 9:12 it was said to her, "The older will serve the younger."
Rom 9:13 Just as it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
Man has an idea of good and evil, justice or injustice, but we are fallen and so finite. How could we know what is truly good and just? The only way we can know is by revelation from God, the One who is good and just. God says that His ways are not our ways. We would immediately say that without weighing the good and bad things that Jacob and Esau had done, God had no right to chose one over the other. God might go into an explanation of the reason for His way, but rather He says:
Rom 9:14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!
Could we possibly understand the explanation? We give ourselves way too much credit if we think we can.
Eph 2:19 So then [conclusion to vv. 14-18] you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,
Eph 2:20 having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,
The church is looked upon as a building. The foundation is Christ and Paul was made to be a wise master builder, in 1Co 3, but here he changes the analogy slightly: the foundation consists of the apostles and prophets and Christ is the cornerstone. The apostles and Christian prophets (only existing in the early church) might be viewed as the first stones to be laid.
Eph 2:21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;
It is in relation to the cornerstone that every other part of the building is allotted its proper place. The first stones were Jewish and many more Gentiles were being added in constantly increasing numbers. In this building community, race, status, or sex were transcended by the grace of God.
Eph 2:22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
And so, in continuing into chapter 3, we see the mystery that was entrusted to Paul.
Eph 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles —
Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles and because of that, great animosity came against him from the Jews, which is the reason he was currently the prisoner. He was truly a prisoner for the sake of the Gentiles.
Eph 3:2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you;
"assuming that you heard of the administration of God's grace, that was given to me for you."
Eph 3:3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.
"mystery" - the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body with the Jews with all of its benefits. The Spirit reveals this mystery to every believer.
In revealing the mystery He is revealing your status as a son and the inheritance that goes along with that status.
Heb 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
Heb 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
He became like His brethren in all things, flesh and blood, so that through death He would render powerless the one who had power over death, the devil.
2Co 6:16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
"I will dwell in them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
This is a promise from the New Covenant, written by Paul to the church at Corinth who were neglecting the fact of it.
2Co 6:17 "Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord.
"And do not touch what is unclean;
And I will welcome you.
He quotes Isaiah and Hosea.
2Co 6:18 "And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,"
Says the Lord Almighty.
Isaiah prophesies that God is their Father and Redeemer.
The church age believer, Jew or Gentile, is a son or daughter in the greatest family and with the greatest Father. This was accomplished by the blood of Christ.
Rom 11:12 Now if their transgression be riches for the world and their failure be riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!
Rom 11:13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,
Rom 11:14 if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.
Rom 11:15 For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world [Jew and Gentile], what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
“their rejection” – the casting aside of the nation of blessing for a time. It is not a rejection of the Jewish people or their future.
Israel is no longer the channel through which God reveals Himself. The Mosaic Law is fulfilled and so rendered inoperative. This equals reconciliation of the world.
Their “acceptance” will be at the second coming of Christ.
Rom 11:16 And if the first piece of dough be holy, the lump is also; and if the root be holy, the branches are too.
Holy root or first piece of dough – Abraham and thus Israel set apart unto God.
Rom 11:17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree,
Broken off branches – dispersion of the apostate nation.
Wild olive (no fruit) – the Gentile united with the Jew in one body in Christ.
The tree is the Jewish nation, which remains, though not now seen, due to the root, which is Abraham and in essence Christ who gave the promise to Abraham. The tree will again blossom, but is not now seen. Abraham lives and the remnant also lives in every generation and so therefore does the nation. Salvation has come from the Jews and so we who were wild olive branches owe much to the people that God called out for Himself.
Rom 11:18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.
The Gentiles are partakers of the Jewish spiritual blessings. They did not take over them.
Rom 15:22 For this reason I have often been hindered from coming to you;
Rom 15:23 but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you
Rom 15:24 whenever I go to Spain — for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while —
Rom 15:25 but now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints.
Rom 15:26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.
Rom 15:27 Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things.