The Berean Expositor
Volume 24 - Page 157 of 211
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The Jew first.  Body and Bride.
Paul's twofold ministry.
pp. 235 - 240
Passing from the distinctive epistles of the mystery, and the peculiar features of the
new dispensation, we come to the question of the relative place of Jew and Gentile before
Acts 28::--
"Mr. Welch writes, `In Romans, Paul speaks of the Jew first'. Ah, but let us turn
to his words, and perhaps we shall find that he means first in order of having the
gospel preached unto them, first in time, not first in superiority. So look up Rom. 1: 16;
2: 9, 10; and 3: 9. `Are we better than they? No, in no wise.' Surely words cannot be
plainer; surely, too, such an assumption of racial distinction in the Pentecostal church is
not consistent with the attitude of Christ towards the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well
and His words in John 10: 16 and 17: 20, 21."
Even if we agree that "first in order" is what the apostle means when, in Rom. 1: 16,
he says, "To the Jew first", the question as to why this should be stated still requires an
answer. If we were to write, "The power of God unto salvation, to the Corinthians first,
and also to the Chinese", our readers would naturally want to know why such a statement
was written. It certainly would not satisfy them to say, "Well, wasn't that the historical
order?" Further, does Rom. 2: 9, 10 mean that the Jew will be judged "first" in time?
Are we to understand that in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus
Christ (Rom. 2: 16), the Jew will be judged some time before the Gentile? To take
another passage, Is there no special significance, beyond that of mere historic sequence,
behind Peter's words when he said:--
"Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you" (Acts 3: 26).
If we read the previous verse, we shall see that there was a definite reason for this
"Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our
fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all kindreds of the earth be blessed.
Unto you first" (Acts 3: 25, 26).
The fact that the Saviour came to the Jew first (Rom. 15: 8), and the fact that the
gospel was preached to the Jew first, was because Israel was the appointed channel of
blessing to the nations of the earth. A saved Israel is necessary for the functioning of the
promise made to Abraham. A saved remnant of Israel enabled the fulfillment of the
promise to commence, but with the setting aside of the channel, the blessing of the
nations was also postponed and awaits the day of Israel's restoration.
The teaching of Rom. 11: 17-25 shows that Israel were "first" as to position, being
the "natural branches". The believing Gentiles were reminded that they were but a wild