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MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD.pdf

MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD.pdf

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT




" Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they
came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the yews: and Paul, as
his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach iinto you, is Christ," etc. ACTS XVII. 1-9.
BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT




" Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they
came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the yews: and Paul, as
his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach iinto you, is Christ," etc. ACTS XVII. 1-9.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 03, 2013
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MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD.BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT" Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, theycame to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the yews: and Paul, ashis manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasonedwith them out of the Scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ mustneeds have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus,whom I preach iinto you, is Christ," etc. ACTS XVII. 1-9.ANOTHER missionary journey begins here. LeavingTimothy and Luke in charge of the infant Church atPhilippi, Paul and Silas pursued their journey towardsthe south-west towards Athens, the eye of Greece.I think the good soldier of Jesus Christ already felt theswelling of a sanctified ambition to meet Athenianphilosophers on their own chosen field. He may, foraught I know, have allowed a secret consciousness of power to lead him in that direction. It is the instinctof a warrior to seek a worthy foe. If this motivewrought in his mind, it is probable that his pride wassoon crushed; for he does not seem to have obtainedso much success at Athens as elsewhere. His epistlesto the Christians of Corinth, Thessalonica, and Philippiattest the extent and solidity of his work in theseplaces; but although he enjoyed an opportunity of debating with Stoics and Epicureans, and of declaiming inMars Hill, no epistle to the Athenians remains toedify the Church. It would appear that the soil inwhich human speculation grew rank was not well fittedto receive and nourish the living seed of the Word.Here the narrative drops the first person and assumes the third; this is the only intimation of the factthat at this point Luke, the historian, parted companywith the missionaries. The first person indicating the
 
presence of the narrator, is not resumed until we reachchapter xx.They passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia,two successive stages on the Roman road that extended from the Bosphorus to Rome, and came toThessalonica at a distance of about one hundred miles"My Kingdom is not of this World." 307from Philippi. It appears that the Jews possessed nosynagogue at the intermediate stations, and thereforethe missionaries made no halt till they reached themore important city of Thessalonica. There Paul,"as his manner was," entered the synagogue, andopened his commission first to the seed of Abraham.Three Sabbath-days he reasoned with them outof the Scriptures. It is clear from the result thatthe audience on these occasions was not limited toJews. The apostles found by experience that bypreaching to the Jews they found the readiest accessto the Gentiles. The Greeks in great numbers, bothmale and female, came into the synagogue and listened to these distinguished strangers. The preacherbased his discourse on the Scriptures. His methodis described by the terms "opening and alleging"that is " opening out and laying down."The Old Testament he treated as a nut. He brokethe shell, opened out the kernel, and presented it asfood to the hungry. The Jews were like little childrenwho had a fruit-tree in their garden, their father s legacy. The children had gathered the -nuts as they grewand laid them up with reverence in a storehouse; butthey knew not how to break open the shell, and soreach the kernel for food. Paul acts the part of elderbrother to these little ones. He skilfully pierces the
 
crust and extracts the fruit, and divides it among them.The passage, for example, that Philip found the Ethiopian reading on the road, or the passover lamb, orthe second Psalm, he opened, and from it broughtChrist.This able reasoner laid down a major and a minor;for in Greece he is mindful of his syllogism. (On hisway from Philippi he had passed Stagirus, the birthplace of Aristotle.)Major premise: The Christ expected by the Jewsmust suffer and die and rise again.Minor premise : This Jesus whom I preach untoyou suffered and died and rose again.Conclusion: Therefore the Jesus whom I preach untoyou is the Christ.But it is not logic for its own sake; it is logic graspedand used as an instrument to commend Christ to sin-308 The C/ntrch in the House.ners. Whatever method he may adopt (and in thathe will become all things to all men) he will know noother subject than Jesus Christ and him crucified. Theyspeak of successors of the apostles; their best successors are those who walk in their steps.The result is, that some Jews believed, and a greatmultitude of Greek proselytes and not a few chief women. While a remnant of the chosen seed is gatheredeverywhere, the kingdom is in the main gliding overto the Gentiles. Another feature of the success is,that almost everywhere the higher and more educatedclasses are attracted. In the great Greek city of Thes-

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