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Thread: Can the Gospel be Taught to those Ignorant of All Scripture and God's Acts in History

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    Can the Gospel be Taught to those Ignorant of All Scripture and God's Acts in History

    Acts 18:5-11

    And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
    And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.
    And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.
    Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:
    For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
    And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

    1. Why does Paul declare that he has ceased ministering to the Jews and will henceforth go to the Gentiles, yet immediately following this statement Crispus believes the gospel?

    2. Why does Paul stay at the home of Justus when he has just separated himself from ministry to Jews?

    3. The Corinthians who heard and believed were Gentiles. Did they have any knowledge of the OT scriptures and God's acts in former history PRIOR to hearing the teaching of Paul?

    I am going somewhere with this but I am interested in answers to these questions first!
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Can the Gospel be Taught to those Ignorant of All Scripture and God's Acts in His

    The answer to the title of the thread is a resounding YES, and it is better that people don't carry any other background! Missionaries often tell that when preaching to a Chinese in a hut somewhere in the backwoods of China, a man who NEVER HEARD the name of Christ and has no idea of God's Acts in Nature or otherwise, are more prone to believe the Gospel and receive the message, than someone who has been "vaccinated" by religion. On the other questions I have to reflect a bit. One thing (not very theological) is that even in those days the word or name "Jew" was very broad and generic, similar to what the name Christian is today. Some of the blaspheming "Jews" were just not from any other religious or ethnic background, but Jews. Now, the good orthodox God fearing and worshiping Jew had the election prophesied throughout the O.T. (God Himself promised that those who seek Him SHALL FIND HIM. Seeking is a gift of God to the Elect and finding is a natural effect prepared by God before the world began. I called the elect's "predisposition". John 1: ..."born not of flesh and blood, nor the will of men, BUT OF GOD"...) I believe that Paul was fine in relating to this kind of Jew, and even declares later, that "he became like one of them to them, so he might win some". But of course this is an excellent theme and I am looking forward to a great interaction here.

    Milt
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    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Can the Gospel be Taught to those Ignorant of All Scripture and God's Acts in His

    I wish this discussion would really grow to full fruition with the cooperation of all members here. The reason is that I have this missionary vein in me, at the same time that I am a supralapsarian, and very convinced that "the less people know about the Gospel, the easier it is to preach the REAL Gospel" (in human terms, of course, the H.S. can irresistibly bring anyone to the knowledge of Christ and His Gospel). The "dumbed" down, watered washed gospel, has a tendency to immunize people (in human terms) to Christ's Gospel. I also am interested in your answers and would also like to know why Paul remained with some of those two "Jews" as per the premise of Bob's point.

    Thanks!
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Can the Gospel be Taught to those Ignorant of All Scripture and God's Acts in His

    Here are a few thoughts!

    Iím not sure I can say why (thatís always hard for me) but I think the whole passage may have to do with the synagogue. Ministry to the Jews was carried out in the Synagogue and so I donít think Paul was saying that he wouldnít minister to a believing Jew but that he would no longer minister/preach the Gospel in the Synagogue because of the hardness of their hearts and their blasphemy!

    It appears that Cripsus was not in the Synagogue when he believed but in the house of Justus who was a believer so maybe all Ďhearingí was cut off in the Synagogue by the Lord.

    I canít answer 100% that the Corinthian Gentiles did or did not have knowledge of the OT and the acts of God in prior history but I highly doubt that they did. I donít believe that would be a requirement of God to regenerate and as Milt said, often that knowledge gets in the way (although nothing can get in the way of the Lord).


    So yes, the Gospel can be taught to those ignorant of Scripture and God's acts in History.


    Eileen~
    "To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel" Robert R. Higby

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    Re: Can the Gospel be Taught to those Ignorant of All Scripture and God's Acts in His

    My own answer to the first two questions is this: Paul is now abandoning a former 'order of engagement' he had previously followed when starting out in a new place. Instead of going to 'synagogue Jews' first and hoping to start a core group of believers from them (adding Gentiles only after a congregation was started) he is going to the Gentiles from the outset. This is the meaning of 'from henceforth we will go to the Gentiles'. From now on, Paul would minister to Gentiles as the primary core of those who would be given faith. Naturally, based on events that had occurred, he concluded that God had elected many Gentiles to faith and few synagogue Jews in such places.

    Nonetheless, Paul did not cease ministry to Jews entirely as the passage indicates. The Lord had still chosen many of them!

    On the third point I am moving toward confession of a proper view of gospel hermeneutics. I believe that Paul's ministry demonstrates this. His message starts with the acts of God in Christ unto salvation, without a detailed explanation of everything that occurred in the Old Testament era. I will provide a more detailed explanation of why I believe this is true as we move forward.

    --Bob
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Can the Gospel be Taught to those Ignorant of All Scripture and God's Acts in His

    There is no one who believes more fervently than I that the God-breathed scriptures (2 Tim. 3:15-16) are the primary source of gospel truth. In most cases, I am confident that in the world of today--handing a Bible to one uneducated in the gospel is more fruitful than preaching/teaching oriented toward such a person. This is because I have no doubt that MOST who are interested in proselytizing to build churches in 'dark' countries don't know the real gospel--so the pure revelation from God in the Bible is infinitely better to lead citizens of such places into truth (even if the Bible they are given contains SOME destructive non-scripture that goes against the gospel!). The Lord leads all of His elect into the true gospel and enables them to discern counterfeit propositions that oppose it.

    Focusing on what Paul must have preached to Gentiles who were totally ignorant of God's past salvation acts in history is a most beneficial exercise. Today, we might start preaching from the epistles of Paul to expound the gospel to persons without hope and without God in their experience. OF COURSE WE WOULD! We would not start preaching from the Chronicles of the OT to such a person (although these are scripture). But at the time Paul preached to the Gentiles, no NT scriptures existed yet. He taught the realities of Christ's Deity, His sinless life and atoning death to save all of God's elect, and assurance of inclusion in God's end-time salvation solely by faith (EXCLUSIVE belief) in the kerygma that God had announced and was continuing to announce through His chosen apostles. He did this without providing a lot of detailed background into the history of Israel or the Old Testament (though I'm sure such things were not absent from his preaching).

    My point is this: THE GOSPEL OF GOD'S FINAL REVELATION TO PAUL AND OTHER APOSTLES AUTHENTICATES SCRIPTURE! Not the other way around.

    --Bob
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Can the Gospel be Taught to those Ignorant of All Scripture and God's Acts in His

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post

    My point is this: THE GOSPEL OF GOD'S FINAL REVELATION TO PAUL AND OTHER APOSTLES AUTHENTICATES SCRIPTURE! Not the other way around.

    --Bob
    Excellent Bob! We are regaining the thrust of everything we have discussed a long time ago both in the Elect list and here at P-Net!

    I have been called funny and not-so-funny names for defending what you describe in the quote above! From Burlingerist, to hyper-dispensationalist and a few other choice names (I am many "hypers"), most everyone has a comment when I mention the quote above. But I am firmly convinced that, anyone, in Corinth, Ephesus, or if they fall from a Planet here on the earth and find the 13 Epistles of Paul, they will not only see the TRUE Gospel but also would have a Master degree in it.

    For the doubters, YES, I believe that the books of the N.T. are the Gospel, but Mathew, Mark, Luke, John and the Acts are books that tell the story of Jesus, who He is and His mission fulfilled. In the Book of Acts we have the story of the baby Eklesia that met in the Synagogue. But in the Epistles of Paul we have the REVELATION OF THE GOSPEL OF GRACE, no longer in part, or as a mystery, that IN FULLNESS! We have how the Gospel is revealed to us, how we're saved, the role of Israel, the role of the Gentiles, The Holy Spirit in action, relationships, fellowship, and all related to the true and pristine Gospel!

    That's my declararion of faith, it has been my declaration, and it will continue to be until God proves me a fool. I just don't think He is about to do it, however!

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Can the Gospel be Taught to those Ignorant of All Scripture and God's Acts in His

    Can the Gospel be Taught to those Ignorant of All Scripture and God's Acts in History ?

    My answer would be yes. However I am not saying that the Gentile world of that day for the most part were absolutely void of any knowledge when it comes to the God of Moses as written and taught in the Old testament scriptures.

    Centuries before our Lord’s entrance into this world there were numerous Synagogues (of Satan, Ichabod) as God tells us, who’s religious teachers and leaders zealously strived to proselyte the "Goyim" to make them twice sons of devils, as Jesus tells us.

    These anti-Christ/God hating Zionists were and still to this very day are cursed above all mankind for their rebellion against God and His Christ. These reprobate "Bastards" as the writer of Hebrews calls them never ceased to convert the "Goyim" and deceive them with their lies and treachery.

    The Gospel witness whether written or oral when communicated to the elect via inspiration of the Holy Spirit will always achieve it’s goal in the regeneration and salvation of the elect in their earthly life.

    Nicholas
    My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand..........John 10:27,28

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