The Service of God – Romans 9:4

by Oscar M. Baker (originally published August 1949)
    Most people believe that the church began at Pentecost or at some time during the Acts period of time. Contrary to Scripture, most of them believe that Gentiles were among those added to the church at Pentecost.
    The first preaching to Gentiles was at the house of Cornelius. It was there that Peter used the keys of the kingdom to open it to the Gentiles. This was about 8 years after Pentecost. We have Peter’s own words for it that he was the first to preach to the Gentiles, Acts 15:7.
    Now in all the New Testament we have no record that a Gentile at any time during the Acts period took part in the service of God. Cornelius and Peter were saved by the same salvation, but Peter could go into the temple and Cornelius could not. That to the Jews During Acts there was a wall of partition between Jew and Gentiles, not only the literal one in the temple, but also in the matter of race, ordinances, and the service of God. In position, it was the Jews first. In Romans 9:4 it is made plain that to the Jews pertained the service of God.
    As a grafted in branch, the Gentiles were not expected to bear fruit. Wild olives would be fit for nothing anyhow. The purpose of the wild olive branch was to provoke Israel into bearing fruit. God’s dealing was still with the Jew first. If He blessed the Gentile, it was with the express purpose of bringing greater blessing to Israel.
    If the church did begin at Pentecost or at any time during Acts, then what about all these Gentile ministers, teachers, and other officers who take part in the service of God? Are not they out of place?
    Some claim that the church began about Acts 13. But if that is true and Romans TRUTH FOR TODAY, how can they have teachers, pastors, and evangelists who are Gentiles? Are they consistent? Eph 3:1. I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles. This new creation is now called Gentiles. The church of the dispensation of the mystery is called Gentiles. The church of the dispensation of promise was called Israel.
    Eph 3:6. That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ. In Israel there never had been an equality. One tribe was above the rest as to kingship. One tribe for priesthood, and even in Acts there was a diversity of gifts, not an equality. But in the mystery there is equality as to being heirs, being members, and even of a promise which Israel never had.
    Eph 3:8. That I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. Paul’s ministry had been during Acts to the Jew first. No Jew now in view. He is to preach among the Gentiles. The expectation of the Jews had been cut off and they were blind to any spiritual truth except they should become as Gentiles and believe the mystery. Eph 4:17. Walk not as other Gentiles walk. In all other instances the word Gentiles has been used in these latter epistles of believers, members of the church which is the body of Christ, and of which He is the Head. But these Gentiles here mentioned are outside this group.
   At no time were uncircumcised Jews called Gentiles in the Word. That was a later invention. Be not deceived. If any during Acts could have been uncircumcised Jews (and that very unlikely) their first duty would have been to be circumcised. So then the Gentiles in Galatia could not have been Jews.