The Berean Expositor
Volume 12 - Page 34 of 160
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Dispensational Difficulties.
#6.  The New Creation.
An enquiry as to how the Apostle Paul could use the term
both before and after Acts 28:
pp. 11 - 13
The Church of the One Body is a new man, created so. In II Cor. 5: the apostle says,
"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature". The difficulty before the minds of some
is somewhat as follows:--If the Church of the One Body be the subject of a mystery not
made known until after Acts 28: how is it that the apostle speaks of a believer being
a new creature in an epistle written before Acts 28:, seeing that the new creation is a
distinctive term of the Mystery?
Let us notice the references to a new creation in the prison epistles.
"Created in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Eph. 2: 10).
"To create of the two in Himself one new man" (Eph. 2: 15).
"Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness"
(Eph. 4: 24).
"And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of
Him that created him: where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor
uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but Christ is all, and in all"
(Col. 3: 10, 11).
Next let us observe the references in the earlier epistles:--
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away,
behold new things have come into being, and all things are of God who hath reconciled
us to Himself" (II Cor. 5: 17).
"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision, but a
new creature" (Gal. 6: 15).
The doctrine of the earlier epistles of Paul are the foundation upon which the Mystery
is built. During the early ministry doctrine and dispensation differed considerably. The
doctrinal position of Jew and Gentile as set forth in Romans is summed up in the words
"no difference", whereas the dispensational position is "some difference", and, "the Jew
first". The middle wall still stood.
The introduction of the ministry of the reconciliation, while it did not completely
remove the dispensational distinctions, was plainly a step in that direction.
During the early epistles the dispensational position of the Gentiles was that of wild
olive branches grafted into the true olive, whereas the dispensational position of the
Gentiles in the prison epistles is that of fellow-members of the One Body. What is true
only doctrinally in Paul's early ministry is true equally of doctrine and dispensation in
Paul's prison ministry. Every saved and justified believer during Paul's early ministry