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gives the Jew greater prominence than any other Pauline epistle save Romans.
It must be evident to all who have read so far that the Jew with all connected with him
is abundantly evident in those epistles written before Acts 28:, but that he becomes a
very small quantity afterwards. If we examine the passages in Ephesians it will be found
that even when the Jew is spoken of at all it is only set in contrast with the exceedingly
more glorious position of the Gentile under the dispensation of the mystery.
Where is the prominence of the Jew in Eph.2:12, "being aliens from the
commonwealth of Israel"? The passage tells the Gentiles what they once were in order
to let them see by the contrast the grace and glory of their high calling. The context of
the passage will emphasize its teaching. Its arrangement is suggestive also:--
A | Gentiles in the flesh; called uncircumcision.
B | Without Christ.
C | Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.
C | Strangers from the covenants of promise.
B | Having no hope.
A | Without God in the world.
The passage which follows goes on to show that now the Gentile has a position which
was not possible before the revelation of the mystery, the middle wall has been abolished,
a new man has been made, they are no more strangers and foreigners, but are fellow
citizens with the saints and of the household of God. This is very different from the
position of being "a wild olive branch" grafted in. This is a new order of equality, further
explained in Eph. 3: 1-9, specially noting verse 6. Other parts of the epistle place this
citizenship in the heavenly places where the commonwealth of Israel never was placed.
These two passages (Eph. 2: 11, 12), the only references to the Jew, are negative in
character, and forbid any approach to the conclusions put forward as quoted above.
How does the epistle to the Ephesians deal with the law, or the Old Testament
Scriptures? Perhaps there is such an overwhelming abundance of quotations that all we
have hitherto seen will be put in the shade when we consider this aspect. Let us read
through the epistle. Everything is new in the first chapter. Not a single quotation from
the Old Testament there. The second chapter likewise is revelation without reference to
the Old Testament, until we get to verse 17 where a reference to the ministry of Christ
occurs which of necessity goes back in time. In verse 20 the precious fact that the
church of the mystery is founded upon the selfsame chief corner stone as lies beneath the
purpose of the kingdom--yea of all God's purposes--is not peculiarly Jewish.
Chapter 3: contains no quotation, and chapter 3: concludes the purely doctrinal portion.
Chapter 4:-6: contain a few quotations which the reader should turn up and consider as
before the Lord.
One thing more. The above quoted speaker says of I Thess. 4: and Phil. 3:, "Do
they not synchronize and refer to the same thing?" I Thessalonians is full of the hope of
the parousia. That is explained in Matt. 24: as being after the tribulation. I Thess. 4: is