by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1 September 24, 2017 Humble, Texas (Download Audio)
(001)Thesis: There is a need for a clarification of the Larger Plan of God in view of the rather abrupt change of many of the issues that produced the first century nation of Israel.
Introduction: As we begin to look into Paul's presentation of God's Larger Plan, we need to understand that a lot of challenges faced the truth-claims of the Gospel regarding The Christ. So, this evening we are going to take a step back and consider the changes that had come on the scene at what Paul called "the fulness of the time" in regard to the coming of The Christ into the world.
I. First, There is the Undeniable Fact That "Israel" as a National Entity Clearly Rejected Jesus of Nazareth's Claim to Be God's Prophesied King.
A. "Official" Israel pressured Rome's authority to obtain a death sentence against Jesus of Nazareth.
B. "Official" Israel proclaimed that Jesus of Nazareth was possessed by the spirit of Satan and pressured all Israelites with the dictate that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Christ was to be ostracized from both synagogue and Temple.
C. "Official" Israel conspired with Rome to attempt to blunt the facts about the resurrection and actively made faith in Jesus as The Christ a capital crime.
II. Second, There is the Undeniable Fact that "Israel" Clearly Rejected the Shift in Theological Focus That Was the Root of God's Larger Plan.
A. The voices of prophecy in Israel had gone silent for over 400 years as "Israel" slid deeper and deeper into its "theology of hatred for the True God".
B. When those voices were again raised with the coming of John the Baptizer, they proclaimed a theology that was radically opposed to Israel's theology of hate and forced a confrontation that sought a conclusion through illegal murder pursued by "Israel's" official leadership.
C. God's forced shift of focus was upon "Grace" to be proclaimed to all the world and even those "Jews" who confessed that Jesus was The Christ were unwilling to give up the foundations of the theology of hate that they had so deeply embraced.
1. This is the inescapable conclusion from Acts 15 in its record of the "First Church Council" of the Church and many "in" that Church argued for the "damnable heresy" that salvation is by law-keeping.
2. This was a full decade and a half after the Church was formed by the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost in A.D. 33 (this heresy existed in the very heart of the "Church" in Jerusalem and required that Paul go up to Jerusalem and confront it for the preservation of the truth of the Gospel).
III. Third, There is the Undeniable Fact that There Were at Least Three Critical Claims That "Israel's" Theology Had Never Understood.
A. First, there was a distinctive shift in the doctrines of the Coming of The Christ.
1. The Jews had over-developed the concept of the Victorious King so that they could scoff and mock Jesus for not coming down off of the cross.
2. The Jews had under-developed the concept of the Suffering Savior so that they could preen and strut in their blasphemous hypocrisy that was so insufferable that the nations blasphemed God because of it.
B. Second, there was an explosive shift in the "audience" for The Word of The God.
1. When the Holy Spirit was given from heaven, He clearly presented the fact that the nations of the world were going to be "the" audience for The Word of God.
2. At the same time He clearly presented the demotion of Israel from its "status" as "the" people of God and, afterward, by His ministry through the apostles established this demotion in the very face of the rage it created in the hearts of pride in Israel.
C. Third, there was a clear presentation of the difference between Israel's "theology of hate" as it masqueraded around as a "theology of holiness and divine wrath" and the "theology of love" that was first depicted by Jesus at Calvary and then flowed outward through untold martyrs whose only "sin" was to offer "Life" to the dead.
IV. Conclusion: There Was A Clear Need For Paul to Explain What, Why, and How God's "Permitted" Norm in Historical Israel Was Being Rejected by God At The Coming of The Christ.