AT THE CROSS OR BY THE CROSS?
By Joel Finck
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:16, I Timothy 2:6
What a big difference a little word can make! This is especially true when it comes to the choice of words made by the Holy Spirit as He inspired the Scriptures. In Ephesians 2:16 we read, "And that he might reconcile both [Jew and Gentile] unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby." On the basis of this and similar passages, many conclude that the joint Body of Christ began at the time of the crucifixion of Christ. While it is easy to see how one could arrive at this conclusion, we must point out some important facts.
First, Paul does not say this joint Body was formed at the cross, but rather, by the cross. In other words, the Body of Christ was made possible by the wonderful sacrifice which our Lord performed at Calvary. Our text in Ephesians does not say thatthe Body of Christ was historically begun at that time. In the next chapter, Paul clearly states that the dispensation of the grace of God, including the revelation concerning the joint Body of Jew and Gentile, was a mystery until revealed to him (Ephesians 3:1-6).
Second, according to I Timothy 2:6, the full result of the death of Christ was not revealed when it occurred; for Paul says, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (I Timothy 2:5,6). When was this "due time"? The next verse tells us: "Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity" (I Timothy 2:7). The complete sacrifice for all mankind was accomplished by the cross but was not revealed until Paul.
How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4
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