Part 4: Gleanings From the Book of Acts



This Greek word translated “earth” is translated in Acts 7:3 and in 40 other Scriptures, “land”. Therefore, there are some Bible expositors who translate the Greek in Acts 1:8; “unto the uttermost limits of the land”, referring to the land of the Jews. We might agree that it is possible that such a translation was intended by the Holy Spirit, but then we might add that it is not probable.

One reason why these “expositors” have changed the reading from that in the authorized version, is because it is stated in Acts 8:1, that the twelve apostles remained in Jerusalem, and in all of the twenty-eight chapters of Acts there is no record that any of the Twelve preached beyond the limits of Israel’s land. In Peter’s Epistle, written after the “Acts” period, he had been in Babylon.

The Lord Jesus appeared in a vision to Saul of Tarsus in the Jerusalem temple and told him to get out of Jerusalem and to go far hence to the Gentiles. Acts 22:17 and 21. As we travel with Paul in the Book of Acts, we learn that as he journeyed through Asia Minor, Asia, Europe and the Islands, that his custom was to go first into the synagogues of the Jews and testify that Jesus was Messiah. Acts 13:26 to 30; Acts 17:3 and Acts 18:5. And then he would turn to the Gentiles. Acts 13:46 and Acts 18:6.

We must not be too dogmatic in our conclusions when our proof is by the silences in the Scriptures concerning certain facts; but we must admit that it seems rather significant that the first and only Gentile to receive a kingdom blessing from Jesus on earth was a Roman official, that the first and only Gentile (with his household) to receive a message of salvation from the twelve apostles was a Roman official (Cornelius), and that the first Gentile to receive a message of salvation from Paul on his first missionary journey, was a Roman official, (Sergius Paulus). Acts 13:6 to 12.

We recently offered to our radio hearers a book, as a reward for the correct Scriptural answer to this question “Who was the first Gentile to whom salvation came to provoke Israel to jealousy?” This fact is declared by Paul, in Romans 11:11, about 60 A.D., or about 33 years after Christ died and told the Eleven to “disciple all nations”. Matthew 28:19 and 20. Here is the statement: “Salvation is come unto the Gentiles to provoke them (Israel) to jealousy.” Perhaps, in the light of the Great Commission, we have thought and questioned, and still are uncertain, as to why it is stated that Paul turned to the Gentiles because of Israel’s attitude toward his testimony concerning the resurrected Christ, or that salvation was sent to the Gentiles to provoke jealousy. Perhaps we have tried to reconcile Paul’s declaration in Acts 13:46 with the words of Jesus in Matthew 23:33 to 39. Why was it necessarily to Israel first when the Lord Jesus called them serpents and vipers and said “your house is left unto you desolate”? There is not the slightest suggestion, or hint, that provoking Israel to jealousy was in the mind of the Lord when He commissioned His apostles to disciple all nations. Nor will there be jealousy with Israel when that Great Commission is carried out in the age to come, when the Gospel of the Kingdom will again be the King’s message.

Well, it was interesting to read the different responses as to the Gentiles to whom salvation was sent to provoke Israel to jealousy. Some, of course, think that the woman at the well was a Gentile, and that the sinners of her village whom she brought to Jesus were Gentiles. But Matthew 10:5 teaches us that there was a difference between Gentiles and Samaritans and the woman’s statements in John 4:12, John 4:20 and John 4:25, should convince any student of the Word that she was not a Gentile. Others think the Syrophoenician woman of Matthew 15:21 to 28 is the correct answer. Where does it say she was saved? Where is the Scriptural proof that any Gentile was saved while the Lord Jesus was on earth? If a Gentile had been saved while Jesus of Nazareth was witnessing to Israel, under the law, as the Minister of the circumcision, would that saved Gentile have become a member of the Body of Christ, or a proselyte, that is, a Jew by religion? Acts 2:22. Romans 15:8. Galatians 4:4. Remember, Jesus and His Twelve were under the law, obedient to the faith and practice of the true Jewish religion, while He was on earth. Luke 2:21 to 24. Luke 4:16. John 7:10. Luke 22:7 and 8. Let us be careful of what we mean when we speak of following Jesus.

If the Roman centurion, of Luke 7:1 to 8 and Matthew 8:1 to 12, was saved, he did not receive salvation to provoke Israel to jealousy. He received the answer to his petition and response to his great faith, by the intercession of Israel. Luke 7:3 to 5. Israel helped him to secure the blessing.

Others said that the message of Peter and the Eleven on the day of Pentecost was for both Israel and the Gentiles, because Peter declared, “this promise is unto you, and to all that are afar off.” Acts 2:39. There are several reasons why this answer is Scripturally incorrect. One reason is, if we are included in the “afar off” Gentiles, the promise has not been fulfilled, and moreover no true messenger of the Lord preaches to Gentiles, or Jews, today, Acts 2:38, as God’s message of salvation. It is inconceivable that Peter had the Gentiles in mind in 33 A.D. when he specifically declared, in 40 A.D., that it was unlawful for him to come to a Gentile. Acts 10:28. It was after that vision of Peter, recorded in Acts 10:1 to 28, that we hear the words of the apostles rejoicing over God’s acceptance of the Gentiles. Acts 11:18. All that Peter and the Eleven were preaching was in fulfillment of Israel’s prophecies. Acts 1:16; Acts 2:16; Acts 2:30; Acts 3:21 and 24; Acts 10: 43; Acts 15:13 to 17. The “afar off” Israelites of Acts 2:39 are the “afar off” Israelites of Daniel 9:7. They were not Gentiles.

We do greatly err when we open the door of salvation for the Gentiles before God opened that door. In Acts 15:7 we have the record as to when God opened a door in the land of the Jews, by Peter’s mouth; and in Acts 14:27 we have the record as to when God opened the door for Gentiles by Barnabas and Saul. Now the details concerning the first open door are given in Acts 10:1 to 47; and the door opened by Paul in Acts 13:6 to Acts 14:1.

This should convince us that the Scriptures mean exactly what they say in Acts 11:19. “preaching the Word to none but Jews only.” This should be the final word that the Ethiopian eunuch was a Jew by religion. This should convince us that the people in the city of Samaria, to whom Philip preached, were not Gentiles. Acts 8:5 to 17. Here is an important suggestion All Scripture should be studied as to whether it applied, as to time, before or after the statement of Acts 14:27.

Of course, the greatest number of guesses was, that Cornelius was the first Gentile to whom salvation was sent to provoke Israel to jealousy. But is that answer Scripturally correct? From the Record it seems that he and his household were the first Gentiles to whom any one of the Twelve preached and also the last Gentile, so far as we can learn by reading the Book of Acts. But it did not provoke Israel to jealousy after Peter had explained that Cornelius acknowledged that Israel had the only true God, the only true religion, that Cornelius feared God, prayed to Him, stood well with Israel, and gave alms to Israel. Acts 10:1 to 3; Acts 10:22. Peter preached to Cornelius the Word which God sent to Israel. Acts 10:36. Peter declared, in the name of Israel’s God, that Cornelius would be accepted because he feared God and worked righteousness. Acts 10:34. Doubtless Cornelius was an uncircumcised proselyte. It was Israel’s prophets who foretold this salvation through Israel’s Messiah. Acts 10:43. And the Israelites rejoiced over the salvation of Cornelius. Acts 11:18.

It is well to remember that Peter with the Eleven had the keys to the kingdom of heaven, that the Twelve are yet to judge the Twelve Tribes of Israel; and that the Twelve Apostles and the Twelve Tribes are linked together in the New Jerusalem. Matthew 16:16 to 18; Matthew 19:28; Revelation 21:12 to 14.


Does it not seem somewhat inconsistent that our Premillenarian Bible teachers so vigorously protest against confusing Israel with the Church and yet most of them teach that Paul carried right on with the Twelve, working under the commission of Matthew 28:19 and 20 the keys of the kingdom of because of the number “twelve” and because Matthias had to be chosen in fulfillment of Scripture to maintain the “twelve”, because the twelve apostles kept together in Israel’s land until Cornelius was saved, and because thereafter it was ordered by the Holy Spirit that the Twelve, represented by the pillars, were to go to Israel with Israel’s Gospel and turn over to Paul the responsibility of going to the Gentiles with different messages which he received in different revelations from the risen Christ. Galatians 2:7 to 9; Galatians 1:11 to 17; Ephesians 3:1 to 11; Colossians 1:24 to 28; II Timothy 1:9 to 11; I Timothy 2:5 to 7.

In Acts 15:7 we have recorded the words of Peter, that God chose him to represent the Twelve in preaching to the Gentiles. And now, you and I have some questions in our minds. How do we reconcile Acts 15:7 with Galatians 2:9; that Peter was God’s choice to preach to the Gentiles and yet he was to confine his preaching to Israel? What need was there for Paul, if Peter was God’s choice for the Gentiles and if Peter continued preaching to Gentiles and Paul perpetuated the ministry and message of the Twelve under the Great Commission? Think prayerfully and diligently in your attempt to answer this question. Where will Paul be when the Twelve shall sit on twelve thrones with the Son of man judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel? Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30. Why was it that Israel accepted Peter’s explanation as to why he preached to the Gentiles and when Paul gave his authority for going to them they wanted to tear him to pieces? Acts 11:1 to 18; Acts 22:21 to 30. If Paul was acting under the general instructions of Matthew 28:19 and 20, why did he need a special revelation to preach a different message to the heathen, and why did he declare that Gentiles obtained mercy through Israel’s unbelief? Galatians 1:11 to 18; Romans 11:30. and why Acts 13:46 and Acts 18:6 and Acts 28:28? Good why’s, answer them.

If we will carefully, prayerfully, spiritually and studiously compare Acts 13:46; Acts 18:6; Acts 28:25 to 28, with Galatians 1:11 to 18; Romans 11:11; Romans 11:30 and Ephesians 3:8 and 9, we shall certainly be persuaded that the Apostle Paul had a ministry of revelation, as well as a ministry of confirmation; that he had a ministry which more than supplemented the ministry of the Twelve, one that superseded that ministry. In order that we might understand Paul’s ministry during the “Acts” period, we must understand his two-fold program as declared by him in I Corinthians 9:20 to 22, “as one under the law” and “as one not under the law”.

Quite a number of our radio friends wrote in that in the Thirteenth of Acts we find the first Divine Record of Gentiles being saved to provoke Israel to jealousy. And perhaps they are Scripturally correct. Let us read Acts 13:47 to Acts 14:5 and see that we find there the first record of the salvation of Greeks; and that salvation stirred the Jews to more than jealousy. Let us not confuse the Grecians of Acts 6:1 and Acts 11:20 with the Greeks of Acts 14:1. The Grecians were Jews. The Greeks were Gentiles.

Let us turn to Acts 13:6 to 12 and read that very interesting and symbolic lesson. Here we have the story of BarJesus, the disobedient, gainsaying Israelite, blind for a season, and Sergius Paulus who “when he saw what was done, believed.” Paulus was astounded at the doctrine of the Lord. All Gentiles should be. Because of Israel’s blindness for a season, because of Israel’s unbelief, the Gentiles have obtained mercy and salvation. Read it in Romans 11:6 to 32. Great story! BarJesus means the child of Jehovah-Saviour. Israel is so called in the Scriptures. The individual Gentile, Sergius Paulus, and the individual Jew, BarJesus, are representative and symbolic. With the close of Acts 13, we have a group of Jews provoked and judged and a group of Gentiles saved. “All day long have I stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” Romans 10:21. Israel the people. How long is “all day long”, until Matthew 23:39 or until Acts 28:25 to 28? Write down your answer.

Now read carefully Acts 13:40 and ponder it in your mind and heart and do not follow in the steps of so-called Bible teachers who have made the serious blunder of having Israel judged and set aside with Matthew 23:31 to 39. “Beware lest it come”. It had not yet come. The blindness and Divine judgment, pictured in Romans 11:3 to 32, fell upon the Nation with the quotation from Isaiah 6:6 to 9. Read it in Acts 28:25 to 28. And read Matthew 23:31 to 38 with Luke 21:20 and Matthew 22:8, and know that God’s judgment, pronounced by Christ while on earth, was postponed until after the “Acts” period closed. Then it was that God sent His army. But He is to send another army. It was then (about 69 or 70 A.D.) that Jerusalem was compassed with armies and their desolation nigh. Jerusalem will again be compassed with armies. Compare Matthew 13:14 and 15; John 12:40 and 41, Acts 28:25 to 28 with Isaiah 6:6 to 10.

The Little Word “But” in Ephesians

The word “but” occurs twenty-five times in the Epistle to the Ephesians. It is interesting and instructive to read the significance of each occurrence. Let us study several of these “buts”.

Ephesians 2:4 and 5:

“BUT” God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).”

In verses one to three of this chapter we read of the miserable condition of the unsaved sinner, his black record, his dark past, his helpless and pitiable, ruined state. He is everything he ought not to be by nature. He is dead. Religion could not benefit such a man. There is nothing within to offer any hope. Forms and ceremonies prove futile. Any attempt to remedy the disease or get rid of death by trying to do something for God will result in absolute failure.

“But God.” Now something worth while may happen. The sinner is powerless and dead. The living God is omnipotent. With Him all things are possible. He created the heavens and the earth. He delivered Israel from Egypt and led them dry-shod across the sea. He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him far above in the highest heavenlies. Surely the supernatural God, with such supernatural power, can do something for the natural sinner who will allow Him to. God is rich in mercy and great in love. Note what He did for those poor, lost, ruined, condemned, dead sinners. “Quickened (made alive) with Christ . . . hath raised us up together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:5 and 6. “By grace are ye saved.”

These redeemed sinners, together with you and me, if we are saved by God’s grace, are going to be put on exhibition as sinners saved by grace in the ages to come, all to the glory of the person and work of the Son of God’s love. Ephesians 2:7.

In, verses eleven and twelve, lest we should forget what we were before we became God’s workmanship, God reminds us again that we were Christless, Godless and hopeless.

“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ:’ Ephesians 2:13.

Then follows the second “but”.

This is how the great transforming work is done. “But now”. Emphasize the “now”. What a change! What a difference! “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” “Far off;” the past. “‘Nigh;” the present. How? By the once-for-all suffering and sacrifice of Christ. By Him we were brought to God. I Peter 3:18. The two factors in the believer’s salvation are God’s grace and the precious shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even the sinner’s saving faith is the gift of God. So salvation is, from beginning to end, all by grace; and nothing but grace.

Let us read the third “But” in Ephesians 5:8. Here we have another “but now”.

Ephesians 5:8:

“For ye were sometimes darkness, BUT now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.”

To the redeemed sinner God here says, “ye were” “ye are”. You have heard that testimony of one of God’s faithful saints, “I am not what I ought to be: I am not what I hope to be: but, by the grace of God, I am not what I once was.” “Ye were darkness.” “But now”. “But now ye are light in the Lord.” Think of it! Christ is the light of the world! The believer is in Christ. In Christ he is light. There is no real spiritual light or life outside of Christ. There is no place of Divine blessing outside of Christ.

How should those who have light in Christ walk? “Walk as children of light.” And what else? Read the “buts” in Ephesians 5:3 and Ephesians 4:20.

We give three other “buts”. Ephesians 4:15:

“BUT speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ.”

Ephesians 4:7:

“BUT unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”

Ephesians 5:18:

“And be not drunk with wine, BUT be filled with the Spirit.”

From these verses we learn that we are expected not only to abstain from worldly habits, ungodly practices, from yielding to former lusts, but to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called, and to give forth a clear positive, uncompromising, unmixed testimony concerning God’s message for saint and sinner in this day of grace “speaking the truth in love”. For this life of peace and victory, for this worship and service, every member of the Body is given grace. Moreover, to do all that God desires of His children, His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained for us, the believer must be filled with the Holy Spirit. As we walk in the Spirit, we shall fulfill the righteousness of the law, we shall manifest the fruit of the Spirit. But in order to walk well pleasing unto the Lord and worthy of the calling wherewith we are called, we must faithfully, diligently, spiritually and prayerfully study the Word of truth, rightly divided, so we shall know our calling and not walk in the path the Lord marked out for Israel.

Study the other “buts” in Ephesians.

Some Questions and Scriptural Facts For Meditation

1. In II Peter 3:15 and 16 we read these words from the pen of Peter concerning Paul: “Even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood.”

I am sure that we desire to add our hearty “Amen” to Peter’s statement. Not only do we find some things in Paul’s Epistles hard to be understood but we find that an honest, prayerful, spiritual endeavor to understand them brings from Christians, who insist on mixing Peter’s circumcision ministry with Paul’s uncircumcision ministry, some hard sayings and uncharitable condemnation.

2. In Luke 2:25 we find an Israelite, Simeon, waiting for the Kingdom of God. In Luke 21:20 to 31 we learn from the mouth of the King that the kingdom of God will be at hand after signs in the heavens and on earth when the Son of man comes in the clouds. The Thessalonians and Corinthians were waiting for God’s Son to come from heaven. I Corinthians 1:7—I Thessalonians 1:9 and 10. The Romans, with Paul, were waiting for the redemption of the body. Romans 8:23. Unto those that wait for Him Jesus is going to appear the second time. Hebrews 9:28. Members of the Body of Christ are looking for that blessed hope. Titus 2:13. We are waiting to appear with Christ in glory. Colossians 3:4. We are not waiting for the coming of the Son of man as told in Luke 21:23 to 31. If we are, remember the awful signs will precede that coming and we will be with Israel in the great tribulation. The time of Christ’s appearing for His Body is not to be told by the signs which will be given for Israel.

3. Read the message of our brother Chas. F. Baker in our January edition. He is going to show in that message the folly of teaching that Peter’s “last days” Kingdom Message on the day of Pentecost was the “first day” of the Body of Christ. How could Joel’s “last days” mean the Body’s “first days”? If we teach that the Kingdom of heaven, proclaimed in Matthew, Mark and Luke, has been postponed until after the Body of Christ has been completed and removed from earth, then why not teach that the “last days” proclaimed by Peter and the Eleven have been postponed until after that Body has been completed? If the Body of Christ was not prophesied as having anything to do with Israel’s “last days”, why have that Body begin historically when the “last days” message was proclaimed?

4. The word “Church” comes to us from the word “Kurios”, translated several hundred times in the New Testament Scriptures “Lord”. The word “church” and “churches” occurs over one hundred times in the New Testament Scriptures. The Greek word is “Ekklesia”, literally “the called-out. The word is translated “assembly”, Acts 19:31, 39 and 41, heathen gathered in the theatre. A mob thus gathered centuries before could have been correctly called “an assembly”. Therefore the word “Church” has a rather indefinite meaning unless qualified and described in the Scriptures. The church of Hebrews 2:12 is called in Psalms 22:22, “the congregation”. In Luke 10:20 the Lord Jesus told 70 disciples that their names were written in heaven. Were they not then members of the Church of the first born, which are written in heaven? Hebrews 12:29. Believing Jews and Greeks were not baptized in one Spirit in one body while Christ was on earth. But where is the Scripture to prove that the Church, which is the Body of Christ did begin on the day of Pentecost? Who was the first Greek to be baptized into the Church which is Christ’s Body? Let us be careful about proving doctrine by the use of the Word “ekklesia”.

5. In Acts 28:20 Paul was in Rome and in that verse he declared to a company of Israelites that he was bound with chains for the hope of Israel. In Colossians 4:3, Ephesians 6:19 and 20 and II Timothy 2:9 Paul was in Rome and declared to Gentiles that he was in bonds for “the mystery”. Our Premillennialist brethren, who devote very little time to the preaching of “the mystery” declare that “the mystery” was the fact that Paul was preaching Israel’s hope to Gentiles. Peter did that to Cornelius in Acts 10:34 to 43. Was Peter preaching “the mystery” to Cornelius? If so, how did he and James keep out of bonds for “the mystery”? Would Gentile believers need the wisdom and revelation of Ephesians 1:17 and 18, if “the mystery” was Israel’s hope? Remember that nearly all able students of the Word teach that Paul had two imprisonments in Rome. What is the difference between Israel’s hope and the hope of the Church which is Christ’s Body?

6. In Matthew 15:24 the Lord Jesus declared that He was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. John 3:16 declares that God gave His Son that whosoever believeth on Him should have everlasting life. How do we reconcile “the lost sheep of Israel only” with “whosoever”? Did Christ say what is recorded in John 3:16 while He was on earth or did the Holy Spirit speak those words years later by John? Did Jesus and the Twelve preach to Gentiles? Did the Twelve preach a “whosoever” message that took in the Gentiles during the first nine chapters of Acts? Did not the Twelve require something more than believing to receive God’s blessing? Acts 2:38. Acts 8:12 to 16. Mark 16:15 to 18. How does the gospel program which the Lord Jesus gave to the Twelve, in Matthew 10:5 to 10, fit into the gospel program of Paul in Ephesians 2:8 to 10, I Timothy 1:11; 5:23, II Timothy 1:9 and 10 and Titus 3:5 to 7?

7. How are we to follow Jesus today? In I Corinthians 11:1 Paul wrote to the Gentile believers at Corinth; “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” Several years later he wrote to the Philippians, “Be followers together of me”. Philippians 3:17. In Philippians 3:5 to 9 Paul declared that everything he had cherished in Judaism, everything he had valued in his religious life, everything he had practiced as an Israelite under the law, he had counted as loss. It is not a difficult task to map out our spiritual path, our Scriptural program as given in Paul’s prison Epistles, although we have a gigantic task to try to follow his course of faithful obedience; but we find no end of the study needed to be able to follow him in his pre-prison Epistles. We know we are not expected to circumcise a Timothy, to take vows, to shave our heads, to observe Pentecost, to sit as a Jew in a Jewish assembly; to become as one under the law—all of these Paul did. He said “I thank God I baptized none of you (but a few),” “I thank God I spake with tongues more than ye all.” I Corinthians 1:14 and I Corinthians 14:18. Those who speak with tongues join with other brethren in telling how many were baptized in their meetings. Most Fundamentalists cannot thank God either way. Paul laid hands on the sick and they recovered (in his pre-prison ministry). Shall we follow him? In other words, how are we to apply the principle of II Timothy 2:15 so as to obey I Corinthians 11:1 and Philippians 3:17? Much of Paul’s program during the Acts period was put away when he took up his ministry in Ephesians, Colossians, Titus, Philippians and II Timothy. And as we do not live in the Acts period we are not expected to take up what was put away with the close of that period. This includes the “sign gifts” of Mark 16:17 and 18 and, I Corinthians 12:8 to 11.

His Birth and Ours






“But as many as received Him (Christ), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, to them that believe on His name; which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man but of God.” John 1:11 and 12. “Ye must be born anew.” John 3:7. Concerning our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we are told, in Colossians 1:15, that He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature. What ever truth the Holy Spirit would convey to our minds and hearts in this blessed truth we are sure that He would not have us follow the error of some teachers of the Bible; that the eternal Christ, before the ages was created by God, He was in the form of God, He was with God, He was God. “He is before all things and by Him all things consist.”

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” John 1:14. “The Second man is from heaven.” I Corinthians 15:47. He shared the Father’s glory before the world was. John 17:5. He was made lower than the angels for the suffering of death. Hebrews 2:9.

Although made in the likeness of sinful flesh, the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary, was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners. He knew no sin. The holy child Jesus was not born within the natural law of procreation. He had no human progenitor. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, He inherited none of Adam’s sin. This sinless Saviour was made sin on the cross. II Corinthians 5:20 and 21.

Some one has estimated that 20 billion people have descended from Adam. By Adam sin and death have passed unto and upon all men.

Inasmuch as we were not born as the Holy Child was born, we cannot live as the Holy Child lived. It is worse than folly to talk about becoming holy by walking in His footsteps. We can only walk in Adam’s footsteps until we undergo a spiritual change, a Divine transformation, “God’s workmanship created in Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 2:9 and 10. God has told us how to become holy. “By the which will we are sanctified (made holy) by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:10.

To be sure the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, His once-for-all sacrifice, would have been valueless to accomplish our eternal redemption, had He not lived a sinless life, for He had to be God’s Lamb without spot or blemish. But His sinless life could have accomplished nothing but condemnation for sinful humanity apart from His death and resurrection After we die with Christ we are raised with Him to walk it newness of life. Then we are told to put off the old man and to put on the new man. Ephesians 4:22 to 24. Then we can say “Christ liveth in me.”

To Nicodemus the Messiah said, “except a man be born from above he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3, “Marvel not that I said, ye must be born again”. John 3:7. How? By looking to the Son of man on the tree. John 3:13 and 14. Paul wrote that we are saved by the washing of regeneration. Titus 3:5 to 7. He was directed by the infallible Holy Spirit when he wrote, “if any man be in Christ Jesus, there is a new creation.” II Corinthians 5:17. He wrote, no hope, no cure in religion; only in the new creation. Galatians 6:15. The sinner’s place of refuge, blessing, salvation, security is in Christ Jesus unto good works”. Ephesians 2:5 and 10.

There may be both a difference and distinction between the new birth which Christ, proclaimed to the ruler of Israel, and the new creation, He committed with the ministry of reconciliation to Paul for us. But let us not argue with the sinners whether it is regeneration or the new creation. Let us get them to Calvary, where the Lord of glory was crucified and became the Saviour of the world; and persuade them to appropriate by faith so they can with assurance say, “He is now my Saviour.”

As many as received Him to them He gave the right to become the sons of God. If you are among the unredeemed members of Adam’s family, why not celebrate this Christmas 1935 by beginning to live? You can never live until you live in Christ and with Christ. You must first die with Him by accepting His death.