Expositions. No. 2.
IN THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS
dispensational dealings of the Lord, and that a totally new order of things has been brought in during the
abeyance of the kingdom.
we have much to learn and to unlearn with regard to the earlier Epistles, and so we will turn to these Epistles,
written before Acts 28, to learn their dispensational position and transitional character. The proposition we
seek to prove is this, that, prior to the revelation of the Mystery hid in God the blessing upon Gentiles, as
well as Jews, was ABRAHAMIC
and MILLENNIAL in its character.
Jew, contains bed-rock doctrine, as true today as when first penned. But, while the doctrinal part remains
untouched, the dispensational portion of it has become a thing of the past, so far as its interpretation is
concerned; not, of course, its
Epistles forming the earlier group. We give a list of the number of occurrences of the words "Jew," " Israel,"
"Israelite," and "Abraham," that our readers may see the great contrast between the Epistles written before
and after Acts 28.
surely help us if we endeavour to
understand this change of dispensation.
teaching us that at the time of Romans, the Jew had a place of precedence assigned to him-whether for
blessing, 1. 16, or judgment, 2. 10.
In other words, it indicates the character of the dispensation then obtaining.
once again, in a far fuller sense, the Divine order. They shall be " Head and not the tail." The Gentiles shall
call them "Ministers of our God"; while the same Gentiles shall stand and feed the flocks of Israel and be
their ploughmen. The sons of the strangers shall build up their walls, Gentile kings shall minister unto them;
and the nation and kingdom that
refuses to serve them shall perish (Isa. 60. and 61).
so long they retained their dispensational position ; and saved Gentiles came up to Jerusalem to worship
(like the Ethiopian Eunuch), and were linked to the believing Remnant as the channel of their blessing; just
as it will be in the days of the
the answer is, "No, in no
come to chapter 11. 22, in connection with the subject of our " standing in Christ," and the threat of being
the Church at Rome, and the
predominance of the Jewish element there.
it has been referred to only in an incidental manner. The objection of the Jew in 3. 3, recurs in 9. 6. The
Jews, held their traditional teaching that the "children of Abraham " were safe, simply on the ground that
they were descendants of the
while Luke 19. 9 shows that the term " Son of Abraham " was intended to include not only Jews, but believing
were to be called, and that "they are
not all Israel who are of Israel," etc.
exclusiveness is rebuked, and the non-Jewish believers are called " Gentiles," a truth to be remembered when
we examine chapter 11.
rejection, and the destruction of
chapter. It certainly is not the teaching of the One Body : that is quite clear. The difficulty lies in assuming that
the Dispensation of the One Body obtained before Acts 28. To avoid apparent contradiction, the passage has
been interpreted of the Gentiles AS SUCH: whereas it states the same truth as in Gal. 3, namely, that believing
Gentiles up to Acts 28, were blessed with faithful Abraham-the Father of many nations. It is wrong to read verse
5 as meaning "now," i.e., 1909. The Remnant of Israel, saved from apostasy by electing grace, formed the Olive
Tree, into which the believing Gentiles were grafted. This Remnant is called the " First Fruits" (verse 16), a pledge
of the harvest of " All Israel " of verse 26. The Gentiles addressed are said to have received "Salvation" (vs11 ),
to "stand by faith " (verse 20), and to partake with the saved Remnant "of the root and fatness of the Olive Tree"
(verse 17) The - reconciling of the
world" (verse 15) must be read with 2 Con 5. 19
did then, or do now, enter into any of the blessings set forth in Rom. 11. The Roman world neither stood by faith,
nor was it reconciled, or saved. The Apostle calls the Gentile addressees "brethren" (verse 25). If we once
perceive that Abrahamic blessing was the dispensational character during the "Acts" (as it will be when the
Kingdom is set up on earth), no difficulty will remain, and the transitional period of Corinthians, Galatians and
Romans will be better understood.
and was unrevealed when Rom. 11. was written, have we not, in the past, failed to "rightly divide the Word of
truth" with regard to this chapter? Some have a difficulty with verses 21, 22, because they feel that if this passage
refers to "saved Gentiles," it contradicts such passages as Rom. 8. 1. To be clear as to this point, Dispensational
privileges must be distinguished from personal standing. With regard to the former, the Jew had "much every way,"
but with regard to the latter, i.e., personal standing and merit before God, the answer to "Are we better than they?"
is " No, in no wise " (see Rom. 2).
"old things " of a past period.
After Acts 28, this Heavenly City is exchanged for "Heavenly places in Christ," and for the citizenship " in Heaven"
(see Eph. 1. 3 ; and Phil. 3. 20).
also contains much that is
transitional and much that belongs to another dispensation which has passed