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Volume 28 - Page 108 of 217 Index | Zoom | |
Commencing once again with the Epistle to the Romans, we observe that the gospel
which was "promised afore in the Holy Scriptures", was also for the "obedience of faith
unto all nations" (Rom. 1: 1-5).
In chapter 3: the Apostle brings forward as an argument, the fact that God is One.
"Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles
also: seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and
uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid:
yea, we establish the law" (Rom. 3: 29-31).
This basic fact was evidently in the Apostle's mind when he addressed the men of
Athens and commented upon the worship of the "Unknown God".
"God, That made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven
and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's
hands, as though He needed anything, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all
things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men . . . . . that they should seek the
Lord . . . . . now commandeth all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17: 24-30).
Another argument is brought forward in Rom. 4: 9-10:
"Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only? . . . . . How was it then
reckoned? When he (Abraham) was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in
circumcision, but in uncircumcision."
We can only dimly realize the blow that this question and its answer must have been
to Jewish prejudice and exclusiveness. The Jews had boasted with pride that Abraham
was their father, but had forgotten that Abraham was not an Israelite, but a Gentile from
Ur of the Chaldees. Abraham was already justified by faith and the heir of the promises,
before the rite of circumcision was instituted, and before Isaac was born. He was
"the father of all then that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness
might be imputed unto them also: and the father of circumcision to them who are not of
the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham,
which he had, being yet uncircumcised . . . . . Abraham, who is the father of us all. As it
is written, I have made thee a father of many nations" (Rom. 4: 11-17).
With this passage should be compared the argument of Gal. 3::
"The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations through faith, preached
before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed" (Gal. 3: 8).
"Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds,
as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ" (Gal. 3: 16).
"For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is
neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female;
for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And it ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and
heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3: 27-29).