Nationality Makes No Difference in Christ's Church: The Forward Progress of the Gospel to All Nations, to the Jew first
[To see an organizational outline of these lessons, click here]
Before the Lord Jesus went back to heaven He gave to His disciples a brief, one-verse outline of His NEW PROGRAM in which He would ______________ (Matthew 16:18) His Church (Assembly) and call out a _____________ (Acts 15:14) for His name. This verse is found inACTS 1:8 and could be called "THE BOOK OF ACTS IN A NUTSHELL." It summarizes the entire book of Acts in one verse. Here Christ taught that HIS W_________________ would be both
To help you better understand ACTS 1:8, please complete the following map. To do this, you need to put the following in their proper location:Uttermost part, Samaria, Judaea, Jerusalem. [If you need help, the maps found at the back of a good reference Bible would be useful.]
What group of people were present on the day of Pentecost (the day when the Church first began)--Jews, Samaritans or Gentiles (Acts 2:5)? ____________________ Where were these men from (Acts 2:5)? ____________________________________________ On this special day Peter preached to thousands of people. These people belonged to what nation (Acts 2:22,36)? ___________________________ Therefore, when the CHURCH first began on the day of Pentecost, the gospel went to the JEWS FIRST.
In Acts 3 whom did Peter preach to (Acts 3:12-13)? ___________________________________ Notice carefully Acts 3:26: "Unto YOU (the JEWS, the men of Israel) F___________ God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you." The BLESSINGS of the gospel went to the JEWS FIRST.
This same fact is set forth in Acts 13:46: "It was _______________________ that the Word of God should ____________ have been spoken to YOU." Who does the "YOU" refer to (verse 45)? ____________ It was NECESSARY for the Word of God to go to the JEWS FIRST.
Paul repeats this truth in Romans 1:16: "For I am not ashamed of the ______________ of Christ: for it (THE GOSPEL) is the power of God unto salvation to ___________ _____ that believeth; ______ _______ ________ ___________, and also to the Greek." Does ACTS l:8 indicate that the gospel would go to the JEWS FIRST? _______
Why was it NECESSARY (Acts 13:46) for the gospel to go to the JEW FIRST? There are at least four reasons:
1) The gospel must go to the JEW FIRST because "SALVATION is of the _________" (John 4:22).
Salvation is of the JEWS because THE SAVIOUR Himself was a JEW (Romans 9:5; Matthew 2:2). Since SALVATION is of the JEWS it seems right that the message of SALVATION should go FIRST to the Jews.
2) The gospel must go to the JEW FIRST because Christ came into the world for the purpose of saving HIS PEOPLE from their sins:
"And thou shalt call His name _____________, for he shall save ______ _____________ from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). Who does "HIS PEOPLE" refer to (Matthew 2:6)? _____________________ It was to these people that God first sent the BLESSINGS of the gospel, "in turning away every one of you (Jews) from his iniquities" (Acts 3:26).
3) The gospel must go to the JEW FIRST because the Jews had the Old Testament Scriptures(the 39 books)--see Romans 3:2 and 9:4. They of all people should have recognized the promised Saviour and should have acknowledged Him as the Christ (the Messiah) of Israel. The Jews were given many promises (Romans 9:4) concerning the coming Saviour. The Jews should have realized that their Bible spoke about the resurrection of Christ (Acts 2:25-36). The Jews should have understood that all of their __________________ (Acts 3:18) predicted that _____________ (the Messiah) should suffer exactly as He did. Moses (Acts 3:22; 7:37) and all the ____________________ (Acts 3:24) including Samuel and those who followed after told of the coming Saviour. In fact, Romans 1:1-2 tells us that the gospel was promised before by Gods prophets in the _________ __________________. In Luke 24:44-46 we discover that the Jews should have learned of the death and resurrection of Christ because IT WAS WRITTEN in the law of Moses, and in the ___________ and in the _______________. This can be seen below:
|Section||The Specific Passage||Fulfillment in ACTS|
|LAW OF MOSES
|Acts 3:22 and 7:37
Acts 8:30-35Acts 2:25-36
Of course there are many other verses in the LAW OF MOSES and in the PROPHETS and in the PSALMS that speak of Christ.
But the Jews failed to see Christ in the Scriptures! It is not enough to have and to own a Bible--you must do something with the Bible you have. The Jews had the Bible but they crucified the Messiah that their Bible spoke about. We need to take heed to what we do with the Bible that we have (the 66 books), so that we will be ready when the Saviour comes the second time.
God sent the GOSPEL to the JEWS FIRST because they should have been the FIRST to
recognize the Christ of the GOSPEL!
4) The gospel must go to the JEW FIRST because God wanted to SHOW that He was a gracious God.
Did the Jews DESERVE to hear the gospel FIRST? They were the very ones who crucified the Messiah. [See what Paul, himself a Jew, said about his fellow Jews in 1 Thessalonians 2:15.] Why did God seek to bless them? Why did God make known the message of SALVATION to the JEW FIRST? They should have been the last to hear! In fact, they did not deserve to hear at all! They rejected God's Saviour! Why didnt God reject them? [Because of our sins and our rebellion against God, none of us deserve to hear God's good news, whether we are Jews or Gentiles. That is what the grace of God is all about--God's wonderful love and kindness to those who do not deserve anything but God's wrath and judgment.]
Yet it was this wicked and guilty people who heard the gospel FIRST! How gracious God is to those who deserve no kindness at all. When Israels SIN was greatest, Gods GRACE was even GREATER: "where _________ abounded, _____________ did ___________ __________ abound" (Romans 5:20).
Has God been gracious to you? To better understand this, lets seek to answer this question:
There are several answers that we might give:
And yet God in His grace has allowed me to hear the gospel! God has invited me to put my whole trust in the Crucified One! God has been so gracious to ME, a person who does not deserve one drop of His kindness.
Grace is "GODS _________________ toward ______ through ______________ ________________."
2. Titus 3:4
Grace is "the __________________ and _____________ of God, our ___________________, toward __________."
How gracious God is to those who deserve no kindness at all! When my sin was greatest, Gods GRACE was GREATER! Grace greater than all my sin!!
The gracious hand of God reached out not only to the JEWS, but also to the SAMARITANS and to the GENTILES and unto the uttermost parts of the earth!
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