Monday, March 11, 2013

A Strange Conclusion

It probably goes without saying that if one applies a text in an unorthodox way then he must be willing to accept all of the consequences which ensue from it, no matter how strange or unusual they may be. The unorthodox position, contrary to general Christendom, which the Conditionalist Hardshells place upon Romans 1:16 is a perfect example. They are adamant in their claim that this passage is teaching that the gospel is the power of God unto a temporal salvation only. Due to anti-means prejudices, they are forced into such a position. Unfortunately, such a stance produces a very odd conclusion.

Paul writes:

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

The Apostle tells us that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, yet he does not stop there. He also says that this same salvation, and not another, is "to the Jew first, and also to the Greek". My question, therefore, to those whom I would love to see rescued from their error is simply this:

"Is time salvation to the Jew first?"

This is the question facing those who give an explanation to this text which, to my knowledge, no one else in Christendom does. If this well-known gospel means passage is in fact teaching a temporal salvation only, then it necessarily follows that it must be "to the Jew first". In all honesty one should not have to proceed any further to know that this is approaching strange exegetical ground, and he should rethink his position. Hint.

The priority of the Jews is mentioned in a few places in scripture. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman that "...salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22). He described it as well when he stated there were some sheep not of the current fold which He, being the Good Shepherd, must also bring (10:16). When Paul and Barnabus were preaching in Antioch and the Jews refused to listen they responded "It was necessary that the word of God should first (emphasis mine -KF) have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles." (Acts 13:46)

In looking at these passages (and there are others), the priority of eternal salvation for the Jews is being set forth. If allowing scripture to interpret scripture means anything, we would also place Romans 1:16 in the same category. Should not all the New Testament witness on the priority of the Jews in salvation trump any wild anamoly? The fact that this passage is nevertheless being applied this way, despite what the analogy of faith has to say on the matter, shows that an extreme bias is at work. The premise that instrumentality cannot be involved in matters respecting eternity rules the day, even when the most basic hermeneutic rule says otherwise.

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