There are two schools of thought in regard to the special revelation that God gave Paul regarding the Gentiles (Colossians 1:25-27.) There is a group of good, dedicated Christians who adhere to the Acts 13 position and there is another group of good, dedicated Christians who cling to the Acts 28 position. Having been in both groups at different times and having great respect for the leaders in both of these positions, I will list what I believe are the scriptural reasons I have selected one position over the other.
Covenant and The Mystery #6. From Truth for Today Archives, Aug. 1964-July 1975, by Oscar M. Baker. Seven articles entitled, “Covenant and The Mystery” (From Vol. 22, #8, p. 269)
We have noted in Romans 11 that the Gentile believers are spoken of as wild olive branches that are grafted into the true olive tree, or Israel. We can better understand this picture if we go to Galatians where instead of the olive tree, we have Abraham, Gentiles finally can have a part in the promises made to Abraham. See the following:
The Dispensational Frontier of Acts 28:23-31. The Analogy of a Frontier. It is but reasonable to expect that any system of doctrine or interpretation that differs from or challenges orthodoxy, will be subjected to a fair amount of criticism, and this should be welcomed, for if our pursuit be the TRUTH, the faults discovered even by an enemy should be acknowledged and the quest continued. We believe that many whose interest has been quickened, but who have received a setback by some of the specious arguments advanced against us, would value a careful and constructive presentation of the reasons why Acts 28 should be considered a dispensational boundary. This we hope to provide in the text below.
The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 20:28) that Jesus Christ was the Word and the Word was God (John 1:1) that He was God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16).
God is spirit. When we consider the wonder of God, His infinity, and the glory of His awesome majesty, we must ask ourselves the question, "How can we ever comprehend Him?" But this unfathomable God, whose ways are described as being past finding out, has provided a way by which we can come to know enough about Him that is life saving to our mortal sinful souls. He has shed His light and His love; and this is bound up in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9). Essentially God is Spirit (John 4:24), but in the New Testament He makes Himself known as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and each are ascribed with true Deity and given equal glory as a consequence. These three expressions of Himself equal the one and only true God, or God absolute (Hebrew Elohim); "I am the Lord, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me" (Isaiah 45:5).
In the days of Peter, people struggled to understand the writings of Paul (2 Peter 3:15-16), and we are no different today. At that time there were many systems of interpreting the Bible with the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and others, and with many differing groups within the Pharisees. Today many more systems have been added, but which one is right? Or, if not right, best?
Last time we looked at a summary of the important issues of 1Corinthians as an Acts epistle. One issue is that those saved whether Jew or Greek were to remain in that state:
This has some important implications when one interprets many of the doctrines that are taught by Paul in his Acts epistles. One very important issue relating to this is the economy that the world was under and the nearness of Christ's second coming. Paul applies this to the subject of marriage. He continues in verse 29:
Last lesson mainly concerned the meaning of the 27th verse: "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. (1Co 12:27 KJV)" -- where it was discovered that the idea of the Corinthians being a body of christ was that they were made so by their "part" in the body -- they functioned particularly -- so would the body at Rome have a different combinatorial mix to satisfy the needs at that locality.
We will continue to ask the same question (slide above) as we compare the Acts body with the body created by God at the end of the book of Acts.
Last week we discussed the problem of divisions that developed in the Corinthian assembly under the context of a ministry began by the Lord and continued into the Acts period. How could "the Mystery" of Eph 3 or Col 1 have been revealed and expounded in Acts when the apostles were not to be interpreted as teaching different things? Surely the summary evidence of 1:10-13 is that the Corinthians were to be of one mind and Judgment because Christ's doctrine was also Peter's and Paul's and that this originated in the gospels and continued into the time of the Acts. Christ could not be divided, Peter and Paul were cardinally in agreement. While Paul called them alongside himself -- it was done by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. When Paul said be ye followers of me he also added "even as I also am of Christ" 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (1Co 11:1 KJV)
It is within the context of begetting them through the gospel and his work "in Christ Jesus" Paul exhorts them: KJV 1 Corinthians 4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. (1Co 4:16 KJV)
Last time we looked at the tension between what cannot be done in truth revealing communion (see vs 10:21) and what can be done under liberty (10:25,27,28). The truth is that we who are saved by Grace cannot partake in the altar of an idol -- we have nothing in common and we cannot in truth "partake". So it is with our communion with the doctrines and manner of life associated with other ages.
Last time we looked at the logical argument that Paul brought forward for the resurrection of the redeemed and Christ. This was constructed very carefully and started upon the evidence of Christ's resurrection through the witnesses documented including the above 500, many of whom were currently alive to bear living testimony of this. We shall now proceed further into the secrets of the son.