The Berean Expositor
Volume 46 - Page 21 of 249
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A Case for Right Division
A Distinctive Purpose of the
Gospels according to Matthew and Luke demonstrated.
pp. 239, 240
The words used by Luke and Paul have been tabulated and it has been found that
"every second word in the Gospel of Luke is also used by Paul" and so close is the
language of the Acts of the Apostles to the diction of Paul's epistles, that there is
actually a volume of considerable interest published, entitled "Paul, the author of the
Acts" (H. Heber Evans).  The human authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews is
problematic, and there are those who maintain that its amanuensis was Luke. This may
have been so, but we have every confidence that Hebrews is one of Paul's fourteen
epistles--yet the closeness of language between Paul and Luke is emphasized by this
The message which was given to the Apostle Paul for the Gentiles, and the ministry of
the reconciliation committed to him, arose out of the failure of Israel (speaking after the
manner of men) to repent and believe the good news of the kingdom. The great teaching
of the Apostle, which included the Gentile within the sphere of the promise of Abraham
(Romans and Galatians), is scarcely suggested by Matthew's Gospel. Matthew's Gospel
is divided into two parts, each part being connected with the relationship and covenants
indicated in Matt. 1: 1. The first part, covering Matt. 4: 7 - 16: 20, is associated with
the kingly title "Son of David"; the second portion, commencing with the announcement
of suffering, death and resurrection (16: 21), is the fulfilling of the title "Son of
Abraham". The second phase of the Lord's ministry could not be made a matter of
public proclamation until the great transaction of Calvary had removed the curse, and
made it possible for the blessing of Abraham to flow out to the Gentiles (Gal. 3: 13, 14).
The Acts opens with a renewed witness concerning the kingdom of Israel and David's
throne, but also links with it the wider covenant made with Abraham. Luke, who wrote
the "Acts", had already written a "former treatise of all that Jesus began to do and teach"
and in that treatise he laid a foundation for Paul's Gospel of the reconciliation. He does
not stay at Abraham when he gives the genealogy of the Lord, but goes back to Adam.
The unfolding of the divine purpose is closely connected with the revelation of Christ
Himself. It will be found that the circle of truth widens and deepens as the time arrives
for some richer title of Christ to come forth. The inner circle, latest in time of revelation,
and first to be fulfilled and exhausted is associated with David. To this the first portion
of Matthew is devoted (1:-16:). The next circle, which goes back in history, and looks
forward beyond the confines of the rule of David, is connected with Abraham. The
second portion of Matthew (17:-28:) and the Acts belong to this section of the