How did Christ save the Gentile?

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jaydam
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How did Christ save the Gentile?

Post by jaydam » Fri May 13, 2016 3:12 pm

I have several considerations that I am contemplating and would appreciate any input on:

Hebrews 9:13-14 speaks to the old sacrifices related to the original covenant, and the superiority of Christ's sacrifice to do for the Jews what their old sacrifices could not.

However, the Gentiles were under no sacrificial system in the first place. So should Christ's death be spoken of in terms of a sacrifice for those not under a sacrificial code?

Or should Christ's death be seen to work in one way for the Jew who needed sacrifices in their covenant and another way for the Gentile who was not under the old covenant?

Besides Hebrews, whose context is the Jews, is Christ's death clearly spoken of elsewhere as being a sacrifice for the Gentiles in same sense the Jews needed sacrifice?

Hopefully these questions make sense...
Last edited by jaydam on Fri May 13, 2016 3:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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jaydam
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Re: How did Christ save the Gentile?

Post by jaydam » Fri May 13, 2016 3:15 pm

One more, perhaps central to my inquiry:

Going on in Hebrews it says that Christ died for redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant (9:15), but the Gentile had no transgressions under the first covenant because they were not in it... Thus, did the sacrificial aspect of Christ's death only apply to the Jews, while the forward action of Christ brought Jews and Gentile's together into a new covenant?

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backwoodsman
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Re: How did Christ save the Gentile?

Post by backwoodsman » Fri May 13, 2016 5:04 pm

I'd look at it the other way around: The old covenant sacrificial system was a dim foreshadowing of Christ's sacrifice. His sacrifice applies to all men because it's the "real" thing, whereas the old covenant sacrifices were just a shadow of Christ to set the stage for His arrival.

Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians who were being sucked back into Judaism; hence the emphasis on the necessity of leaving the old covenant in order to be part of the new covenant. Gentiles weren't under the old covenant, so such an emphasis wouldn't be necessary, but Christ's sacrifice is still a sacrifice for them.

Ephesians 5:2 mentions Christ's sacrifice outside the context of the old covenant, written to Gentiles.

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dizerner
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Re: How did Christ save the Gentile?

Post by dizerner » Fri May 13, 2016 10:31 pm

So should Christ's death be spoken of in terms of a sacrifice for those not under a sacrificial code? Or should Christ's death be seen to work in one way for the Jew who needed sacrifices in their covenant and another way for the Gentile who was not under the old covenant?
It seems that God dealt with the human race as a whole, by including Gentiles into his covenant with Jews:

He says, "It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

Also that in regard to Law-breakers and sinners, it seems God consigned humanity in totality corporately:

For God has consigned all men to disobedience, so that He may have mercy on them all.

For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come from the Law. But the Scripture pronounces all things confined by sin, so that by faith in Jesus Christ, the promise might be given to those who believe.


In Gospel descriptions all humanity is made a point to be applied without exemption, yet always with a nod to the special origin of God's working covenant:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free, and we were all given one Spirit to drink.


And then we see all partake of the same "root" and same "nourishment":

Now if some branches have been broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others to share in the nourishment of the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, remember this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you
Hebrews it says that Christ died for redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant (9:15), but the Gentile had no transgressions under the first covenant because they were not in it... Thus, did the sacrificial aspect of Christ's death only apply to the Jews?
Where I think people start wondering is, if the Law served a condemnatory function, how would the sin of those who knew not that Law be called to account, reckoned, given knowledge of the requirements, or have their sins imputed? We instinctively feel as humans that ignorance is in some way a real excuse, and we can find some bare Biblical support for the idea, at least at first glance. (We do have some record of Gentiles making forms of sacrifices.)

God was said to overlook, show patience towards, show mercy toward, not impute, and describe those as "had no sin" if there were certain degrees of ignorance. Yet still, even in that ignorant state the Bible doesn't seem to give them a real "out" from condemnation, because they don't trust in the Mediator and still die in their sins and unbelief. What was the whole point of the Law if we don't even need it, and this is indeed right were modern "easy believism" or "hyper gracers" go to. Much modern evangelism speculates that raising awareness of sin through some form of Law preaching is a way to facilitate the knowledge of the need for grace—it's not much use preaching amnesty to people who don't know their slaves, preach forgiveness to people who don't know they have any debt. It seems the Law may still have a modern day function. In the end the Law is the standard, known or unknown, that no one lives up to. But even when sins are not imputed people still perish without Law. So it seems the Law does not ever actually create something, but brings to light what is already present (the darkness that is loved because deeds are evil).
~ Classical Arminian Christian Mystic ~

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Re: How did Christ save the Gentile?

Post by Paidion » Sat May 14, 2016 9:24 pm

To answer the title question briefly—Christ saves the Gentile in the same manner as He saves the Jew. Indeed, in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile (Galatians 3:28). The wall of division has broken down. The two have become one in Christ Jesus.

Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.

In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly.

When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (Ephesians 2:11-3:6 ESV)
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