Friday, 29 July 2016

By Grace Through Faith

The author of the Book of Acts actually had intent behind the developing plot of the book.

And as a traveling companion of Paul's, his intent also reflected Paul's theology and purpose.

The story is the journey from its starting point in Jerusalem, with an all Jewish church, believing in their Jewish Messiah, many of whom were still zealous for Moses' Law - then Gentiles becoming believers; with the decree that the Gentile believers did not have to become Observant of the Law - and the story ends in Rome with Gentiles gladly accepting the Gospel, the Jewish rulers having rejected the message and the church first in Jerusalem, then expelling them from synagogues in Gentile cities everywhere, then persecuting Paul again in Jerusalem and finally resisting his message at Rome also.

The story is a living illustration of Paul's theology: that the Gospel was the fulfilment of God's Promises to Israel; that a believing remnant of Jews had experienced it, as prophesied; that Gentiles also were to hear and would believe; that the rest of the Jews were hardened - not understanding that the Promised salvation was to be granted by grace through faith in Jesus Christ who died, was buried and rose again for our justification, without the deeds of the Law; that this good news was to be preached to Jews first, and also to Gentiles; that this Kingdom-scheme, inaugurated and spreading, was the precursor to the final consummation of the Kingdom-salvation at Christ's second coming, when the dead shall rise.

The Epistles taught it - the Book of Acts gave the history. All built on the foundation of the Law and Prophets. Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.

An increasingly popular "Hebrew Roots" mis-interpretation of the place of the Law in Paul's Gospel, makes no sense of Acts 15, and loses the plot of the Book of Acts.

Paul's wish was, "I have laid the foundation - let a man take heed how he builds thereon".

"If anyone preaches any other Gospel, let him be 'Anathema Maranatha'." 

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