Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 22, 1953

Christ In The Old Testament -- No. 2

Luther Blackmon, Bellaire, Texas

In a previous article we showed that Genesis 3:15 records the first mention of Christ. It is a prophecy concerning His ultimate triumph over Satan, and dimly suggests what Isaiah plainly declares; that he should be born of a virgin.

We invite your attention now to Genesis 12:1-3. "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred, and from thy fathers house, unto a land that I will show thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee and make thy name great; and thou salt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee: And in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

God's promises to Abram here embrace two covenants. The one national, the other universal; the one fleshly, the other spiritual. It was the first promise, the one concerning the fleshly seed of Abraham, that four hundred and thirty years later occasioned the giving of the law. Israel, the fleshly seed of Abraham, had become a nation. This nation must have a law: 1) To provide a code of rules for political government; 2) to restrain transgression and the universal spread of idolatry; 3) to convict men of sin and the need of a better covenant bringing absolute and complete pardon; 4) to furnish through its types and shadows evidences of the divine nature of Christianity and to preserve in these types certain characteristics of the New Testament church that might not have been so forcibly set forth in mere words.

But all of this, national Israel, the law, and everything that was a part of or grew out of the national promise, was important only because it was necessary to the fulfillment of the spiritual promise, "in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Paul, in Galatians 3:8, identifies this promise with the gospel covenant in these words: "The scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed." During those centuries when national Israel was His covenant people, God was looking toward the day when, through Jesus Christ, salvation would be offered to Jew and Gentile alike. In Ephesians 3:1-7 the apostle says, "... by revelation he made known unto me the mystery ... Which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel."

The "promise" mentioned here in Ephesians 3:6 is the same "promise" mentioned in Galatians 3:29, "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Both refer to the spiritual promise of Genesis twelve, "in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

National Israel and the law of Moses stood, in relationship to the gospel covenant, much the same as a scaffold stands in relationship to a brick building: A scaffold is necessary to the building of the house, but once the house is completed, the scaffold is removed. "Christ is the end (aim, purpose, L.B.) of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth." (Rom. 10:4) . . . the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come (seed of Abraham) to whom the promise was made; ...before faith came we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterward be revealed ...but after that faith (system of Faith, L.B.) is come we are no longer under the schoolmaster (law)." (Gal. 3:16-25)

These passages are self explanatory. It is difficult to understand how honest men and women can read these scriptures and still hold the views that some hold regarding the "Jews," and what "God has in store" for them. The Jews already have what God purposed that they should have — the opportunity to come into the kingdom of Christ one at a time, individually and personally, and enjoy the saving benefits of the blood of Christ. This opportunity they rejected, so the "son of the freewoman" is now in bondage (self imposed) while the "son of the bondwoman" is free (through Christ). The Jews are still working on the scaffold and some of my brethren are helping them.