The Berean Expositor
Volume 45 - Page 101 of 251
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"Have we here the development of the Church? No, the time had not yet arrived for
this . . . . . The Church as seen in the opening of the Acts exhibits but a sample of lovely
grace and order . . . . . but not anything beyond what man could take cognizance of and
value. In a word it was still the Kingdom, and not the great mystery of the Church.
Those who think that the opening chapters of Acts present the Church in its essential
aspect, have by no means reached the divine thought on the subject."
Coming to Peter's vision recorded in Acts 10: he comments:
"Here we are taught that the Gentiles, as such, are to have a place with the Jews in the
Kingdom. But did the council at Jerusalem apprehend the truth of the Church, of Jews
and Gentiles so truly formed in the one Body that they are no more Jew and Gentile? I
believe not . . . . . Peter never received a commission to unfold the mystery of the Church.
Even in his epistles we find nothing of it . . . . . it was reserved for the great Apostle of
the Gentiles, to bring out, in the energy and power of the Holy Ghost, the mystery of
which we speak."
Commenting on Acts 28: and Paul's gathering together the chief of the Jews at
Rome, and giving them a last opportunity to respond, he writes:
"He (Paul) found himself in the midst of the wide Gentile world--a prisoner at Rome
and rejected of Israel . . . . . he must therefore set himself to bring out that holy and
heavenly mystery which had been hid in God from ages and generations--the mystery of
the Church as the Body of Christ united to its living Head by the Holy Ghost . . . . . Thus
closes the Acts of the Apostles which, like the Gospels, is more or less connected with
the testimony to Israel. So long as Israel could be regarded as the object of testimony, so
long the testimony continued; but when they were shut up to judicial blindness . . . . . the
testimony ceased."
He goes on:
"Let us see what this `Mystery' this `gospel' . . . . . really was, and wherein its
peculiarity consisted. To understand this is of the utmost importance, what therefore, was
Paul's gospel? Was it a different method of justifying a sinner from that preached by the
other Apostles? No, by no means . . . . . the peculiarity of the gospel preached by Paul
had not so much reference to God's way of dealing with the sinner as with the saint; it
was not so much how God justified a sinner as what He did with him when justified.
Yes, it was the place into which Paul's gospel conducted the saint that marked its
peculiarity . . . . . Paul's gospel went far beyond them all (i.e. other servants of God). It
was not the Kingdom offered to Israel on the ground of repentance, as by John the Baptist
and our Lord; nor was it the Kingdom opened to Jew and Gentile by Peter in Acts three
and ten; but it was the heavenly calling of the Church of God composed of Jew and
Gentile, in one Body, united to a glorified Christ by the presence of the Holy Ghost."
"The Epistle to the Ephesians fully develops the mystery of the will of God
concerning this. There we find ample instruction as to our heavenly standing, heavenly
hopes and heavenly conflict . . . . . `He hath raised us up together and made us sit together
in heavenly places in Christ Jesus'. It is not that He will do this, but `He hath' done it.
When Christ was raised from the dead, all the members of His Body were raised also;
when He ascended into heaven, they ascended also; when He sat down, they sat down
also; that is, in the counsel of God, and to be actualized in the process of time by the