Galatians - Part 13 - Galatians 2:6-10By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, August 16, 2020.
3. The events of the Jerusalem council were important and relevant to Paul’s letter. ACT 15:6-29. A. Peter reminded the church that when he first was sent to the house of Cornelius, God made it very clear to him and his Jewish companions that He had His children among the Gentiles (ACT 15:6-9). God demonstrated His acceptance of believing, uncircumcised (and as yet unbaptized) Gentiles as brethren by giving the Holy Ghost to them as He had done to the Jewish believers at Pentecost. ACT 10:34-35, 44-45; 11:15-18. B. God indeed had ended the separation of Jew and Gentile as touching men’s approach unto Himself and their inheritance in Christ. ROM 3:29-30; EPH 2:11-18. (1) With the acceptance of uncircumcised Gentiles into the church, the significance of fleshly circumcision officially ended. (2) The token of righteousness and acceptance with God is faith like Abraham had before he was circumcised. ROM 4:9-12. C. Peter, noting that law was an impossible burden for Jews, concluded that it would be of no benefit for Gentile salvation either. Grace would save both. ACT 15:10-11. D. Paul and Barnabas then gave further evidence that God was with them also in their work by the confirming miracles which attended their ministry. ACT 15:12 c/w GAL 2:7-8; 3:5. E. James then gave his assessment of the situation (ACT 15:13-21). He concluded that the incorporation of Gentiles into the church was exactly what the prophets had previously declared. ACT 15:14-15. (1) This great mystery of a common body and salvation not defined by genealogy, nation, circumcision or Moses’s law was certainly revealed to the prophets, but not with present clarity. EPH 3:3-6. a. Moses spoke of it. DEU 32:21, 43 c/w ROM 10:19; 15:10. b. David spoke of it. PSA 18:49; 117:1 c/w ROM 15:9, 11. c. Isaiah spoke of it. ISA 55:5; 65:1 c/w ROM 10:20; ISA 11:10 c/w ROM 15:12. d. Hosea spoke of it. HOS 1:10; 2:23 c/w ROM 9:24-26. (2) Circumcision-free Christianity therefore was not a departure from Moses and the Prophets but the realization of their words. F. James made particular application of a prophesy of Amos which spoke of a rebuilding of a tabernacle of David. ACT 15:15-17 c/w AMO 9:11-12. (1) Dr. Scofield interpreted these passages as prophesying of a future re-gathering of Israel in their own land—the re-establishment of the Davidic monarchy: “Dispensationally, this is the most important passage in the N.T. It gives the divine purpose for this age, and for the beginning of the next. (1) The taking out from among the Gentiles of a people for His name, the distinctive work of the present, or church-age. The church is the ecclesia---the 'called-out assembly.' Precisely this has been in progress since Pentecost. The gospel has never anywhere converted all, but everywhere has called out some. (2) 'After this [viz. the out-calling] I will return.' James quotes from Amos 9:11-12. The verses which follow in Amos describe the final regathering of Israel, which the other prophets invariably connect with the fulfilment of the Davidic Covenant (e.g. Isa.11:1, 10-12; Je.23:5-8). (3) 'And will build again the tabernacle of David,' i.e. re-establish the Davidic rule over Israel (2 Sa.7:8-17; Lk.1:31-33). (4) 'That the residue of men [Israelites] may seek after the Lord...” (pp.1169-70, Scofield Reference Bible) (2) The “tabernacle of David” was not referring to an earthly Davidic political dynasty. (3) The tabernacle of David preceded the later temple of Solomon which was still standing in all its glory on Mt. Moriah (2CH 3:1) at the time that Amos made this prophesy in the days of Jeroboam II before the Babylonian captivity. AMO 1:1. (4) The tabernacle of David was set up on Mt. Zion to house the ark of the covenant where God communed with His people. EXO 25:21-22; 1 KI 8:1. a. The tabernacle of David was a temporary alternative to the tabernacle of the LORD which was concurrently in Gibeon receiving typical Levitical offerings. 1CH 16:1, 39-40. b. There was therefore a temporary overlap of Davidic-style worship without Levitical appurtenances and Mosaic worship with them, a curious preview of 1st C. Jewish religion in Judea. c. Mt. Zion is typical of the SPIRITUAL city of God (HEB 12:22; REV 14:1): we do not come to God in spiritual Mt. Moriah nor spiritual Gibeon. (5) The tabernacle of David enjoyed a form of worship which was a departure from the Mosaic service, like the church. It was a joyous time of blessing to man and woman with sacrifices of praise. 1CH 16:1-3, 35-36 c/w GAL 3:28; HEB 13:15. (6) According to Amos's prophecy, at the time of this rebuilding of the tabernacle of David, Israel would not be regathered in their land, but scattered among the nations! AMO 9:9-11 c/w ACT 2:5; JAM 1:1. (7) The “residue of men” (ACT 15:17) who would seek the Lord when David's tabernacle was rebuilt would not be Israelites as Dr. Scofield asserts, but rather “the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen...” (AMO 9:12). This is the gathering in of the elect Gentiles into God’s house, the church (c/w ISA 2:1-3), the actual means by which Israel would possess Gentiles. (8) The focus of the Jerusalem council was not the restoration of Jews in their land, but the conversion of Gentiles to the gospel: “...And to THIS...” (ACT 15:14-15). (9) The Lord had promised David that his seed would build a house (He said) “...for my name...” (2SAM 7:12-13). a. James points to the calling out of elect Gentiles as just that (ACT 15:14). b. Christ was indeed building God's house: the church comprised of Jew and Gentile in a common body of faith. MAT 16:18 c/w EPH 2:18-22. G. James's sentence (ACT 15:19-21) was adopted by the council, who then sent an epistle, (v. 30) to that effect unto the Gentile believers (vs. 22-23). (1) NOTE: This is an apostolic epistle recorded by Luke: his is the only record of it. (2) The precedent was here established: the law of Moses had been fulfilled; its time and purpose were completed and it was on the way out. GAL 3:19; HEB 8:13. H. It may also be noted that during the entire record of the Jerusalem council, the argument of Pedobaptists that baptism has “come in the room of circumcision” as an “infallible sign of God's covenant of election” was never suggested as a reason to not obligate Gentiles to be circumcised. The notion that infants should be baptized in the N.T. because baby boys were circumcised in the O.T. suffers some heavy damage here.