| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 34 - Page 219 of 261 Index | Zoom | |
First.--Any one book of the Bible is a part of the whole, and by its own fitness as
well as by its individual structure it claims that it does form an integral part of Holy
Scripture. Now, every reader of the Acts of the Apostles is conscious that something is
necessary to carry the revelation of truth on to its goal; something that will bridge the
gap made by the non-repentance of Israel and their present "lo-ammi" condition.
Previous to Israel's defection believing Gentiles were told that their dispensational
position was as wild olives, graft, contrary to nature, into the olive tree of Israel, and that,
humanly speaking, their inclusion at that time was for the purpose of provoking Israel to
emulation. When however Israel failed, and their hope was temporarily suspended, the
circumstances demanded either that nothing but confusion and darkness must be the
portion of the believer during the ensuing two thousand years of Israel's blindness, or,
that God in His wisdom and grace had provided against such a foreseen contingency, and,
when the moment arrived, was ready to make known further phases of His great purpose
that should deal particularly with the Gentile believer as separated from Israel.
This, we know, is what is claimed by the Apostle in Eph. 3: 1-13 & in Col. 1: 23-27.
In the latter passage Paul says that the mystery of which he was the minister "completes
the word of God" (Col. 1: 25). The same Greek word is used in Col. 4: 17 where
"fulfil" once again means "complete", and is so translated in the phrase "complete in
Him", which occurs in Col. 2: 10 and 4: 12.
Here then is one evidence that these prison epistles are "The Truth". They fit into
their appointed place in all scripture, fully recognizing the dispensational change that the
dismissal of the Jew must have made.
Secondly.--Not only is there a most evident fitness in this group of epistles in relation
to the rest of Scripture--for they complete the record of that mighty purpose that
embraces things in heaven and things on earth--but, when segregated and considered as a
group by themselves, this same fitness and perfect correspondence is still observable.
One of the characteristic features of any inspired book of the Bible is its literary structure.
This has to be seen to be fully appreciated, but most readers of The Berean Expositor are
acquainted with the phenomenon. It would therefore be a point against their inspiration
were these four prison epistles not to exhibit this characteristic. That they do cannot be
fully demonstrated now, but their detailed structures will be found set out in those of our
writings that purport to give them an exposition; all that we can do now is to present the
Ephesians.--This epistle is pivoted on the word "worthy" that comes in chapter 4: 1,
and balances seven sections of doctrine with seven sections of practice: we indicate one
such pair now:
DOCTRINE.--The temple "fitly framed together" (Eph. 2: 21).
PRACTICE.--The body "fitly joined together" (Eph. 4: 16).
What is true of these two corresponding sections is true of the whole seven.