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Salvation by Faith and Works in the Old Testament

Discussion in 'Dispensationalism' started by trident343, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. trident343

    trident343 Member

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    Just read this article. Seems to make a very good case. However, I do disagree that that the book of Hebrews and book of James were meant for some future dispensation. I think that the book of James was aimed at the messianic church before the Gospel of Grace was revealed.

    It seems there is way too much explaining away of scripture to suggest that people were saved by Faith alone in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) in all ages. When I read Ezekiel chapter 18 among many other places, it seems patently clear that repentance from sin and obedience to the Law was necessary for eternal salvation. I have yet to hear a good explanation of Jesus parable of the Unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:21-35) that is consistent with Sola Fide and Eternal security.

    Ruckmanite 1611: Dispensational Salvations

    Ezekiel 18:4-32

    4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

    5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,

    6 And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman,

    7 And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment;

    8 He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man,

    9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord God.

    10 If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things,

    11 And that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour's wife,

    12 Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination,

    13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.

    14 Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father's sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like,

    15 That hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour's wife,

    16 Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment,

    17 That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.

    18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.

    19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.

    20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

    21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

    22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

    23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

    24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

    25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?

    26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.

    27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.

    28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

    29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?

    30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

    31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

    32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
  2. mark273

    mark273 Member

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    I looked through the article and can only say that it is basically what I might expect from something associated with the name of Ruckman. But let's leave that aside.

    The New Testament clearly says that no one can do works such that God would find such value in them that the person would thereby be worthy enough to receive eternal life as a reward. All have sinned and cannot earn salvation. God gives us salvation by grace.

    This did not simply become true in the present dispensation. It has always been true. If anyone in the Old Testament like Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, or Daniel were "saved" and went to be with the Lord after death, then they were saved by grace, not by any good works they may have done.

    If salvation in the Old Testament depended on people working hard enough to get into heaven, then no one in the Old Testament was saved, including the ones I listed, including Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who Jesus said are included in the resurrection of the righteous in the kingdom of God (Matthew 8:5-13).
     
  3. trident343

    trident343 Member

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    Yeah, I'm not Ruckmanite at all. I don't think anybody was saved by their own good works ever. Once you've sinned a single sin, you are disqualified. However, it seems in the Law dispensation people needed to maintain a proper state of repentance in regards to their sins as well as make the proper sacrifices. However, mercy was only ultimately given because God showed mercy through the atonement he provided.
     
  4. mark273

    mark273 Member

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    I am glad you are not a Ruckmanite. I agree that no one earn salvation by their works. Once you've sinned a single sin, that is when one needs salvation!

    As I read the Old Testament, the main idea is the same as it is today, a relationship with God. Jesus said that the law could be summed up in the idea of loving God and loving one's neighbor. Paul agrees with this in Romans 13:8-10. There are plenty examples of grace in the Old Testament.

    Now this does not mean that the Old and New Testaments are identical. But the main difference to me has to do with ethnic focus. In the Old Testament salvation was by grace through faith as it is now. Paul reinforces this idea in Romans 4 when he finds support for his teaching about justification by faith in the lives of Abraham and David.

    But how is a person supposed to express their faith? In the Old Testament faith was lived out in terms of Jewish culture. But that cultural exclusivity has been removed, and now people can live and express their faith in the boundaries of any ethnicity. It is not that Jewish culture was bad. It is simply that now the command is go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. The decision at the Jerusalem council was that the early Jewish believers should not require the converting gentiles to become Jewish.

    Whether now or then, salvation has always been by God's mercy.
     
  5. JerryShugart

    JerryShugart Senior Member

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    Hi Trident,

    Even before the "gospel of grace" was preached men who were living under the Law were saved by faith and faith alone, as witnessed by the Lord Jesus' words here:
    "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (Jn.5:24).
    In His grace,

    Jerry
     
  6. trident343

    trident343 Member

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    As Protestants, it is uncomfortable to lose any grip on Sola Fide, but as you study the scriptures you realize that faith and works are not mutually exclusive. This is especially clear in the Old Testament. Read James or Hebrews chapter 11. Abel and Abraham offered the sacrifice God demanded, Rahab hid the Hebrew spies, Noah built an Ark. These were acts of Faith which were inseparable from salvation, but it was the faith behind the works that saved, not the works themselves.
     
  7. JerryShugart

    JerryShugart Senior Member

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    You failed to even attempt to address the words of the Lord Jesus which I quoted, words that prove that those who lived under the law were saved by faith alone.

    It is the Word of God and the Word alone which brings life, as witnessed what the Lord Jesus said here:
    "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (Jn.6:63).
    Your thelogy denies the truth of both John 5:24 and John 6:63.

    In His grace,

    Jerry
     
  8. trident343

    trident343 Member

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    I do no see anything in what Jesus said that suggests that People under the Law were always saved by personal faith in Jesus. He was addressing people who were physically around him at that time.
     
  9. Danoh

    Danoh Newbie

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    Passages like Luke 1 would apear to disagree:

    5. There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
    6. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

    Declared righteous before God in what sense? As to their WALKING IN ALL the commandments and ordinances of the Lord BLAMELESS.

    But Luke 1 takes place under the Law. What then are we to do - ignore such passages?

    Romans 10:

    For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

    Hunh?

    As with the Pre-Trib Rapture, this issue is also a dispensational one; solved only by studying them out in Scripture in light of those higher ground writings committed to the Apostle Paul.



    30. What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
    31. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
    32. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
    33. As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.



    25. For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
    26. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
    27. And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
    28. For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
    29. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

    In short, righteousness under the law required works done in faith, from the heart, not mere, inwardly dead, outwardly professing works. This is why King David, despite his massive violations of the Law, was neverthelss the apple of God's eye. When, for example, he would screw up - as he often did - and a prophet of God would call him on it, he would heed - from the heart - that prophet and seek to make things right according to the Law.

    The issue was faith - in what God had then required - which was works.

    The issue was - were they blameless as to their heart of faith motive.

    This was why the Lord could point out to the Pharisees why healing on the sabbath was not the sin their traditions had made it, as well as why he could point to King David having had taken of the Preistly bread to feed his starving men - the issue was a heart of faith - was the heart motive there?

    The law had been meant, not as a means of righteousness, but of pointing out the existence of its opposite. And an obedient Jew would - under the Law - do those works that the law required - but from his heart, rather than as a mere outward show.


    31. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
    32. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
    33. As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.


    They had the works, but not the faith. As a result, when their Messiah showed up, they were unable to believe on Him for they had never really kept the law by faith. For had they, they would not have been found ashamed to believe on Him:

    John 5:

    44. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
    45. Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
    46. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

    47. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

    Of course, that is the righteousness of the Law - works out of a heart which believed that the Law these people were under was God's will for them in Moses. But that was then.

    Romans 3:

    19. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
    20. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.


    "But Now" and "At This Time" - here, words signaling a Dispensational change in things:

    21. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
    22. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
    23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
    24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
    25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
    26. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.


    Danoh
    Eph. 4:16​
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  10. Danoh

    Danoh Newbie

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    Unless I am reading into something wrong, you two are actually on the same page on much of this issue - salvation by faith alone, which then differed as to faith in what aspect of God's will at what particular time:

    Works of Faith under The Law and the Prophets [Gen-Mal]

    Works of Faith When Their Messiah was in their Midst [Matt - John]

    Though you might disagree somewhat on these two:

    Works of Faith In Their Messiah as Having Risen from the Dead [Acts 1-8/Heb-Rev]

    Temporary, Dispensational Change between Acts 9 and Revelation:

    Faith Without Works in Paul's Gospel [Acts 9-Philomen]

    Danoh
    Eph. 4:16
     
  11. JerryShugart

    JerryShugart Senior Member

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    Here we see that the principle of salvation by grace apart from works was applied to David, who lived under the Law:
    "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin" (Ro.4:5-8).
    That is why Paul would say the following later in the same chapter:
    "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all" (Ro.4:16).
    In His grace,

    Jerry
     
  12. JerryShugart

    JerryShugart Senior Member

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    The dispensational change had nothing to do with how men were saved. Instead it is in regard to the revealing of the fact that all men have always been saved by grace through faith apart from works:​
    "But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known..." (Ro.3:21).​
    The "dispensation of grace" did not begin until this principle was preached by Paul. Here are three quotes from the pen of Paul where he speaks of a "dispensation" that has been committed or given to him:​
    "If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me toward you" (Eph. 3:2).

    "Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God" (Col.1:25).

    "...a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me" (1 Cor.9:17).
    The "dispensation" which was committed to Paul is in regard to "God's grace", a "ministry", and a "gospel." Here Paul sums up his dispensational responsibility:
    "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20: 24).
    There can be no doubt whatsoever that the event which marks the beginning of the "dispensation of grace" was the preaching of the "gospel of grace."

    That did not happen at Acts 9.

    In His grace,

    Jerry

     
  13. Danoh

    Danoh Newbie

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    Using your own logic Jerry, in Romans 4, the Apostle Paul is making use of David having inadvertantly described salvation by grace apart from works. And yet, not. For David was not saying that he was saved by grace alone.

    If you read the context in which David did said describing it is obvious that he was lamenting the burden of the law, not rejoicing in grace plus nothing. He is referring to a righteous man - a man in whose spirit there is no guile.

    Not so, as to said perfect standing, in David's case, under the law - his sin had to be covered [confession and animal sacrifice]. Til then his conscience weighed heavy on him. For afterwads he would be declared without iniquity, and that til the next round.

    Psalm 32:

    1. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
    2. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
    3. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
    4. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
    5. I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

    The writer of Hebrews notes the "remembrance" ever before King David's soul - Hebrew 10:

    1. For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
    2. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
    3. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

    4. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

    As is typical of Paul, as with the seed allegory in Galatians, for example, which is "as of many" both in Genesis and in Acts 3, in Romans 4 he lifts David's words out of their orginal context to make from them the point he is making, while at the same time, not changing their orginial writer's intent.

    ------------------------------------------​

    If the dispensation of the grace of God dispensed by God, to and through Paul to dispense the message of to others did not begin with the salvation of Paul for a pattern to them which should thereafter believe, by what works of faith was Paul himself saved?

    I ask, knowing in advance we may not come to see eye to eye on some of these things, which is fine by me, so long as you're covered by Romans 5:8.
     
    Danoh
    Eph. 4:16
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  14. JerryShugart

    JerryShugart Senior Member

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    David's words in regard to having his sins forgiven were quoted by Paul becuse David was speaking of himself:
    "I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin" (Ps.32:5).
    That is exactly why Paul quoted his following words to demonstrate that David was saved by faith apart from works:
    "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity" (Ps.321-2).
    Here are Paul's words and it is evident that Paul was quoting David's words as evidence that David was justified before God apart from works:
    "Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin" (Ro.4:6-8).
    David was describing his own blessedness and Paul certainly understood that. So Paul is in effect saying that David was justified apart from works. That should surprise no one because those who lived under the Law were saved by faith and faith alone, as witnessed by the Lord Jesus' words to the woman who washed his feet:
    "And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace" (Lk.7:48-50).
    The Lord is no respecter of persons so when it comes to eternal life He treats all men the same way. Those who "believe" receive everlasting life, as witnessed by the Lord Jesus' words spoken to the Jews who lived under the Law:
    "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (Jn.5:24).
    Paul was not saved by any "works" but instead the same gospel which he preached not long after he was saved:
    "And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God...But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ" (Acts 9:20,22).
    A dispensation is a stewardship which involves duties. That stewardship does not began until that duty is acted upon. Paul received a stewardship from the Lord Jesus giving him the responsibility to preach the "gospel of grace" and there is no evidence that Paul preached that gospel to anyone at Acts 9. I agree with those many Mid Acts dispensationalists who place the beginning of the present dispensation at Acts 13.

    In His grace,

    Jerry
     
  15. Danoh

    Danoh Newbie

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    Not saying David - nor anyone else ever - was saved by works.

    Rather, their faith required works because the law they were under required works - Luke 1:

    6. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

    That in contrast to Paul's Now Time revelation "NOW to him that worketh NOT," Rom. 4.

    At the same time, your mention of the Acts 13 position now made me think of brother J. C. O'Hair's sincere, warm smile.

    For that, I thank you, Jer.

    Danoh
    Eph. 4:16​
     
  16. JerryShugart

    JerryShugart Senior Member

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    First of all, this verse does not say that they were righteous before God because of the fact that they walked in all of the commandments. Instead, Matthew Henry had it right when he said:​
    "Their being 'righteous before God' was evidenced by the course and tenour of their conversations; they showed it, not by their talk, but by their 'works'; by the way they walked in and the rule they walked by" (Matthew Henry, Commentary on Luke 1).​
    You make no sense when you say that "their faith required works" but they were not saved by works. That is similiar to Cornelius Stam who wrote:​
    "We have no illusions as to man's utter inability to please God by works as such in any age. Man has always been saved essentially by the grace of God, through faith. There could be no other way to be saved " [emphasis added] (Stam, Things That Differ, [Berean Literature Foundation, Twelfth Printing, 1985], p.15).
    In other words, according to him the only thing that is "essential" in order to be saved is faith. But then he says:
    "Note carefully that while God refuses works for salvation today, He required them under other dispensations" [emphasis added] (Ibid., p.21).
    The word "require" means "to demand as necessary or essential" (Merriam-Webster Online).

    Therefore Stam is saying that in other dispensations works were "essential" in order to be saved. That idea directly contradicts what he said earlier, that only "faith" is essential for salvation.

    The giants of Mid Acts dispensationalism, Sir Robert Anderson and J.C. O'Hair, never taught that "works" were required for salvation in any dispensation. It was not until Stam came around do we see any of that teaching within Mid Acts dispensationalism. That idea started with E.W. Bullinger and it was rejected by both Anderson and O'Hair.
    The Greek word translated "now" in that verse is a conjuction and means "but, morever, and, etc." (Thayer's Greek English Lexicon).

    That is not the same Greek word translated "now" (nyni) at Romans 3:21, which means "now, at this very moment" (Thayer's Greek English Lexicon).​
    That was also the teaching of another giant of Mid Acts dispensationalism, Charles Baker. And he did not believe that "works" were required for salvation in other dispensations either. He too rejected that teaching put forward by E.W. Bullinger.

    In His grace,

    Jerry
     
  17. Danoh

    Danoh Newbie

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    Acts 9:19. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

    What do you make of the gap in Acts 9:19 - where I have placed the brackets [ ]?

    Acts 9:19. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. [ Gal. 1: 11, 12, 15 - 17 ] Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

    Galatians 1:
    11. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
    12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
    15. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,
    16. To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
    17. Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

    "...and returned again unto Damascus - then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

    Unless I am reading that wrong, Paul received his gospel at Acts 9. His havinh immediately conferred not with flesh and blood including Ananias, in that it is with regard to said gospel that he is declaring that he conferred not with flesh and blood on but only with the Lord Himself.

    By the way, I'm curious how you yourself first came to see Paul's gospel as not the same that Peter had preached.

    My own first glimpse was Paul's testimony at Acts 22, where, at verse
    12, he testified of "one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there."

    I was reading through Acts one day when I ran smack into that passage and remembered Acts 9:10's "And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord."

    'Wait a minute,' I thought, 'according to this chapter here - Acts 22 - this individual is still under the Law 9 chapters after Acts 2's Pentecost!'

    I had already run smack into this issue at Acts 10:14, where Peter at first refuses to eat anything considered under the law "uncommon or unclean," and then, at verse 28, where he informes Cornelius and his band of men, "Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean."

    It struck me that they had remained under the Law just as Christ had instructed them to in Matthew 23, just as their New Covenant prophesied they will be [able to keep it], Jer. 31:33, Rom. 11:26, 27; Heb. 8:10-12.

    Danoh
    Eph. 4:16
     
  18. JerryShugart

    JerryShugart Senior Member

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    A dispensation does not begin until the steward begins to excercise his stewardship responsibility. In regard to the "dispensation of grace" that would mean that that dispensation did not begin until the "gospel of grace" was actually preached. There is absolutely no evidence that that gospel was preached in Acts 9.
    If I remember correctly I first encountered that teaching while reading one of the books written by Sir Robert Anderson.

    In His grace,
    Jerry
     
  19. Danoh

    Danoh Newbie

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    Jerry, what do you make of Acts 26:

    15. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
    16. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
    17. Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
    18. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
    19. Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
    20. But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

    Do you see Paul as preaching the gospel of the kingdom at Damascus, etc., and then the gospel of the grace of God to the Gentiles?

    Also, what, in your understanding, is verse 18's "by faith that is in me" a reference to?

    Not attempting to prove you right or wrong, Jerry, just inquiring about your particular Mid-Acts Perspective for my own understanding on where you, a fellow Mid-Acts Dsipensationalist see these things from.

    Of course, should it throw others off on here - who do not hold to said perspective - the above is a question from the Mid-Acts perspective of Bible study. I'm just pointing that out to others on here, as, where one looks at things from to begin with greatly impacts what they end up arriving at.

    I, as I have noticed many Mid-Acts people have, came to said perspective first.

    Only after said fact, and that, only after much time looking at said perspective outside of same with open eyes and ears in the Book before adopting same, Acts 17:11, have we begun applying it as the perspective to study things from to begin with, 2 Tim. 2:15; Eph. 3.

    Danoh
    Eph. 4:16
     
  20. JerryShugart

    JerryShugart Senior Member

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    I believe that Paul was preaching the "gospel of the circumcision" in Damascus. I do not think that Paul preached the gospel of grace until Acts 13.
    I think that the Lord Jesus was speaking of the "faithfulness" which is in Him. In the Bible the word "faith" is translated from the Greek word is pistis and one of the meanings of that word is "fidelity, faithfulness, the character of one who can be relied on" (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon).

    Now let us look at the verse again:
    "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faithfulness that is in me" (Acts 26:18).
    The only people who had been sanctified before Paul were Jewish believers. Therefore the Gentiles who believed were to share the same inheritance that was given to the Jewish believers. Paul said the same thing to the Ephesian elders:
    "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified" (Acts 20:32).
    The inheritance which the Gentile believers receive is said to be "among all them which are sanctified." That would surely be in regard to the Jewish believers. What do you think that "inheritance" is?

    In His grace,

    Jerry
     
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