House Church Talk - Baptisms and Administrations

Ross J Purdy rossjpurdy at
Thu Feb 12 12:04:01 EST 2004

Hi Bruce:
Please forgive me, but I have taken liberties in cutting and pasting to
arrange things in order to condense and provide some continuity (at least to
my answers). Hopefully I have not taken anything out of context. Herein are
issues of Jewish vs Gentile missions. I will address baptism issues later.

The EMTV is the English Majority Text Version. It is a literal translation
of the Hodges and Farstad Greek Majority Text.

Ross wrote: "It is a history in which we see a transition from a purely
Jewish mission unto an international mission. This international mission was
supposed to happen through Israel but rather occurs in spite of them."

Bruce wrote: God never had a "purely Jewish mission"!!

As you noted with Christ going only to the lost sheep of Israel and
commanding His disciples to do likewise, there was indeed a purely Jewish
mission for awhile. You see, before the Gentiles could be blessed through
Israel according to the New Covenant, Israel had to get right with God and
thus John the baptizer's mission. Israel first, then the rest of the world.

Bruce wrote: The Ethiopian eunuch, the household of Cornelius, and many
other Gentiles were already members in the Body of Christ. Some of them even
before Paul, Himself!!!

These were saved and certainly part of the household of God, but they were
not members of the "Body" until it was created. One can not be a member of
something that does not yet exist! The Eunuch was not an ethnic Jew but he
was a religious Jew. Cornelius' status as a "God-fearer" implies a special
sympathy for the Jewish religion if not the intent to become a proselyte at
some point.

Bruce wrote: -Paul's 3 mentions of the gospel going to the Gentiles are NOT
similar to a frustrated parent's continual but unfulfilled threats to a
disobedient child! i.e. Paul was NOT saying, "If you continue to reject the
Gospel, I'm going to take the Gospel to the Gentiles."

Paul's point is that Israel was not taking it to the Gentiles and so
therefore God will do it in spite of Israel's obstinacy.
The story of Israel's obstinacy in Acts in a nutshell:
Rom 10:16-21 EMTV But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says,
"Lord, who has believed our report?" (17) So then faith comes by hearing,
and hearing by the word of God. (18) But I say, have they not heard? Yes,
indeed they have: "Their voice went out to all the earth, and their words to
the ends of the world." (19) But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses
says: "I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, by an
unintelligent nation I will anger you." (20) But Isaiah is very bold and
says: "I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to
those who did not ask for Me." (21) But to Israel he says: "the whole day
long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people."

Bruce wrote: The Gospel going to the Gentiles was not at all because the
Jews rejected it! It was God's purpose all along to send the Gospel to the

Of course, but the Jews were supposed to be the channel of blessing, but
having rejected the Messiah, they stumbled and God went directly to the
Rom 11:11-12 EMTV I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall?
Certainly not! But by their transgression, salvation has come to the
Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy. (12) But if their transgression is
the riches of the world, and their defeat is the riches of the Gentiles, how
much more their fullness!

Bruce wrote: -Brother, where in Paul's epistles do we read that Israel ever
lost any advantage that they had over others?? They never did have advantage
over others in a distinct way of salvation, or a distinct means by which
they could come to God which was not available to others! Their advantage
lay in the fact that unto them were committed the oracles of God. Romans

That proves my point! The Jews had the oracles and God once dwelt in their
temple. Who serviced the tabernacle/temple of God? What people had Yahweh
for their God? Through which priests did one go and to what location to
worship according to God's prescription? The Jew was born into a covenant
with God while the Gentile had to become a proselyte to enter in to that
covenant. Some Gentiles had to wait several generations to obtain the full
status a born Jew had.

Rom 9:3-5 EMTV For I could wish that I myself to be accursed from Christ on
behalf of my brothers, my countrymen according to the flesh, (4) who are
Israelites, of whom are the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and
the law-giving, and the worship, and the promises; (5) of whom are the
fathers and from whom Christ came, according to the flesh, He who is God
over all, blessed forever. Amen.

Bruce wrote: Where do you find any scriptural statement that teaches you
that "FOR NOW, Jew and Gentile will approach God on equal ground...?"

Besides Paul's references to Jew and Gentile in one body without difference:
Rom 3:22-23 EMTV even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus
Christ, to all and upon all those that believe. For there is no difference;
(23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Rom 10:12 EMTV For there is no difference between Jew and Greek, for the
same Lord of all is rich to all who call upon Him.
Rom 11:32 EMTV For God has shut up all to disobedience, that He might show
mercy to all.
The context in Romans shows that Israel's recent fall and condemnation is
the basis for grace being extended to all apart from Law keeping.
Rom 11:11-12 EMTV I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall?
Certainly not! But by their transgression, salvation has come to the
Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy. (12) But if their transgression is
the riches of the world, and their defeat is the riches of the Gentiles, how
much more their fullness!
Bruce wrote: I have also shown in a previous post that the unifying message
of one body composed of
Jews and Gentiles was not unique to Paul but was shared commonly by all the
apostles. Nor did this ministry commence after Acts 28 (A.D. 67). It had
become a common teaching long before this!

I did not see where you showed that brother, Paul is the exclusive preacher
of the one Body, there is no mention of it before Paul. True, God had always
intended to bless the Gentiles but this was always in the context of Israel
as the ministering nation. Paul's preaching of the one Body is unique to him
and entailed the fact that it would not be through Israel and the Law, but
rather in spite of Israel and apart from the Law. Paul justified his
ministry by proving God had always intended to bless the Gentiles but he
reveals that it is being done apart from Israel and the Law, and this was
new, i.e., it was kept secret since the foundation of the world and never
before revealed until by Paul.

Bruce wrote: Where in scripture is there any statement to the effect that
"the Davidic kingdom was "offered" to Israel" or that such an offer is "yet

Act 1:6 EMTV Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying,
"Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"
The only kingdom that Israel knew about was the one in which David would
always have a descendent sitting on the throne. I suggest that just as in
Acts 1:6, the typical Jew was expecting the messianic kingdom. The offer was
still open during Acts since Paul was still approaching the Jew first to
provoke to jealousy.
Act 28:23-31 EMTV And having appointed for him a day, many came to him at
his house, to whom he was explaining and solemnly testifying to the kingdom
of God, and persuading them of the things concerning Jesus from both the Law
of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning till evening. (24) And some
were persuaded by the things being said, but others refused to believe. (25)
And being in disagreement with one another, they went away after Paul had
said one word: "The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to
our fathers, (26) saying, 'Go to this people and say: "Hearing you will
hear, and by no means understand; and seeing you shall see, and by no means
perceive; (27) For the hearts of this people has become dull. Their ears are
hard of hearing, and their eyes have closed, lest they should see with their
eyes and they should hear with their ears, lest they should understand with
their heart and turn back, so that I should heal them." ' (28) "Therefore
let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the
Gentiles, and they will hear it!" (29) And when he had said these things,
the Jews went away, having a great dispute among themselves.

Acts opens with the prospect of the kingdom being restored to Israel and
ends with Israel still rejecting Christ and thus being bypassed.

Bruce wrote: -But I need to ask you: Where in scripture do you find any
statement that teaches that "the Davidic kingdom offer is put aside until a
future day"?

Rom 11:15 EMTV For if their casting away means reconciliation for the world,
what will their acceptance be, if not life from the dead?
Rom 11:23-29 EMTV And they also, if they do not remain in unbelief, shall be
grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. (24) For if you were cut
out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to
nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more shall these, the natural
ones, be grafted into their own olive tree? (25) For I do not desire you to
be ignorant, brothers, of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own
opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of
the Gentiles has come in. (26) And so all Israel shall be saved, as it is
written: "The Deliverer shall come out of Zion, and He shall turn away
ungodliness from Jacob; (27) For this is My covenant with them, when I take
away their sins." (28) As regards to the gospel, they are enemies for your
sake; but as regards to election, they are beloved for the sake of the
fathers. (29) For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

I take vs 29 to refer to the covenant.

It explicitly keeps the door open to Israel's future, a future that is
guaranteed by what God will do and not on what Israel has done. This tells
me that God will follow through on His promises to Israel.
Heb 9:10 also refers to the reformation of Israel to be effected through the
Messiah as is in accord with all the OT prophecy. I see the book of
Revelation as the prophecy of the consumation of the reformation yet to be

In Christ,
Ross Purdy

House Church Talk is sponsored by the House Church Network.

House Church Talk has been renamed. These discussions, via the web, now occur at the Radically Christian Cafe.