But Now…

Introduction

A favorite expression of the Apostle Paul was “but now” (νῦν δὲ or νυνὶ δὲ). Paul used this expression to mark a dramatic contrast to what had been before but had now changed. Through this expression the great apostle communicated the wonderful truths vital to one who has believed his gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Whenever we encounter the phrase it is a signpost that notes “before” and “after” reality. The “before” was our state before Christ’s work on the cross and God’s revelation of these truths to Paul. The “after” is the new state of things as the result of Christ’s work and His revelation to Paul.

We learn these doctrines and truths from Paul. Jesus did not reveal them in His earthly ministry and Peter and the Eleven were ignorant of them until Paul revealed them (2 Peter 3.14-16). How did Paul learn these truths? Paul received the “but now” truths directly from the risen Christ (Galatians 1.1, 11-12; Ephesians 3.3).

The “But Nows”

But Now…Comment
Romans 3:21 But now (Νυνὶ δὲ) apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,Prior to Paul, salvation required a Jew to exercise faith and keep the Law. Paul taught salvation by faith alone (1 Corinthians 15.1-4), not by faith and Law.
Romans 6:22 But now (νυνὶ δέ) having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.Before Christ, the entire human race was “shut up” (συγκλείω) in disobedience (Romans 11.32 cf. Galatians 3.23). Christ’s work freed the believer from sin and death.
Romans 7.6 But now (νυνὶ δὲ) we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.The Mosaic Law operated for 1,500 years. It revealed sin with its resulting death (Ezekiel 18.20 cf. Romans 6.23). Anyone who believes the gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) is freed from sin and death.
Romans 11.30 For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now (νῦν δὲ) have been shown mercy because of their disobedience,Gentiles have obtained mercy, not through Israel’s obedience, which was God’s covenantal plan, but through Israel’s disobedience. God’s mercy and grace are unfathomable.
Romans 16.25-26 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now (δὲ νῦν) is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith;Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) was unknown until the risen Christ revealed it to him. Peter and the Eleven knew nothing of it for it was kept “secret” (μυστήριον). From Paul’s gospel we learn salvation is by faith alone–believing Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead. No Law, no works, no baptism, no joining a church, etc. It is Faith + 0. This is grace! This is the glory of God!
1 Corinthians 5.11 But (νῦν δὲ) actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.Believers saved by faith alone have a responsibility to live holy lives to God (Romans 12.1-2) and exercise high standards. Believers must judge one another so our lives are seen as different by the world.
1 Corinthians 7.14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now (νῦν δὲ) they are holy.Christ’s work for the believer creates a sanctifying environment in a family. Paul encouraged marriage between a believer and unbeliever to continue if possible but warned against unequal yoking of the two (2 Corinthians 6.14).
1 Corinthians 12:18 But now (νυνὶ δὲ) God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.The body of Christ, the Church (Ephesians 1.22-23; Colossians 1.18), was a truth the risen Christ revealed to Paul alone.
1 Corinthians 12:20 But now (νῦν δὲ) there are many members, but one body.Each person who believes the gospel becomes a member of Christ’s body, the Church (1 Corinthians 12.13).
1 Corinthians 13:13 But now (νυνὶ δὲ) faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.Temporary gifts of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge ended with the completion of the canon. Faith, hope, and love continue.
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now (Νυνὶ δὲ) Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.The resurrection of the body is the final stage of salvation and is the hope of believers. Christ was the first to experience resurrection.
Galatians 4:9 But now (νῦν δὲ) that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?Paul’s plea to Christians was to continue in the purity of grace and not turn to the Mosaic Law, i.e., “weak and worthless elemental things.” How many churches today reject grace and are enslaved to Law!
Ephesians 2:13 But now (νυνὶ δὲ) in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.Every human being is born “in Adam” (1 Corinthians 15.22) spiritually dead. Christ’s blood paid the price of sin and death and reconciled all to God.
Ephesians 5:8 for you were formerly darkness, but now (νῦν δὲ) you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of LightBefore salvation we were blind and without hope. After salvation the believer can see and becomes a light. We should walk worthily of his new life.
Colossians 1.22 yet (νυνὶ δὲ) He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproachChrist’s work has reconciled, (ἀποκαταλλάσσω), brought back into harmony) the believer to God. The result is the believer is blameless in God’s sight.
Colossians 1.26  that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now (νῦν δὲ) been manifested to His saints,A “mystery” (μυστήριον) is a “secret,” something previously unknown. Paul revealed the “secret” of Christ’s gospel, body of Christ, and indwelling Spirit (Colossians 1.23-27)
Colossians 3.8  But now (νυνὶ δὲ) you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.The believer in Christ has become a new person because of the work of Christ. Our lives should match this reality.
2 Timothy 1:10 but now (δὲ νῦν) has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,Death reigned until Christ (Romans 5.21). Christ conquered death by His death and resurrection and has given eternal life to all who will believe the gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4).

Paul wrote the above passages to Gentile churches. Though now a minority view (and almost completely abandoned by professional scholars) I am convinced Paul wrote Hebrews. Below are “but now” passages (which provide internal evidence of Paul’s authorship of Hebrews) in which the Apostle to the Gentiles addressed his Jewish brethren. The theme of Hebrews is “better.” Paul argued Christ is superior to all that went before and all that pointed to Him. These “but now” passages demonstrate that since Christ is superior, no excuse exists to go back to Judaism and the Mosaic Law. Christ had fulfilled the Old Testament covenantal types.

But now…Comment
Hebrews 2:8 YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.” For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now (νῦν δὲ) we do not yet see all things subjected to him.Christ has conquered sin and death and is seated at the right hand of His Father’s throne. In a future day Christ will occupy His own throne to rule as David’s greater Son; all will be subject to Him.
Hebrews 8:6 But now (νυν[ὶ] δὲ) He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.Christ is mediator of the new covenant which replaced the “old” Mosaic covenant. Through this covenant Israel will finally enjoy God’s covenantal promises and blessings.
Hebrews 9:26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now (νυνὶ δὲ) once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.The Levitical sacrifices operated under the “old” Mosaic covenant. They were copies of reality (Christ) and were offered continually to “cover” sin. Christ’s sacrifice finally and eternally solved the problem of sin and death.
Hebrews 11.16 But as it is (νῦν δὲ), they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.Israel’s “heavenly” country is not heaven. Rather, its source was heavenly, i.e., established by God. Israel will achieve God’s promises and blessings when Christ reigns from Jerusalem.
Hebrews 12:26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now (νῦν δὲ) He has promised, saying, “ YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.”Israel faced the crisis of accepting or rejecting their Messiah when Christ was on earth. Now, however, He speaks from heaven. No escape is possible.

©2011 Don Samdahl. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold.

Updated, September 18, 2011


Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

24 Responses to But Now…

  1. Chuck Fyock says:

    This is one of the best websites regarding NT Christianity on the internet!!!
    Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to put all of this together.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Chuck,
      Thanks for your kind comment. Glad you like the articles.

      • Ron LaFitte says:

        Do you ever plan to update or continue posting in this site?
        It’s really a great site. Thanks.

      • You write;
        ‘Temporary gifts of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge ended with the completion of the canon. Faith, hope, and love continue.”
        It may be wise to amend such since the evidence throughout history especially the last 150 years is quite contrary and properly Biblically manifest. Be blessed, no less.
        1Cor. 13:10 as to “perfect” is certainly not yet in any evidence. Has the new Jerusalem descended to earth and ‘i’ missed it from my heavenly seat in The Anointing?

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Philip,
          The preponderance of evidence of how Paul used the word τέλειον is “mature,” “complete.” These gifts were given to communicate divine truth. Once the canon was complete (Colossians 1.25 DARBY) they were no longer needed. The new Jerusalem will come with the new heavens and new earth which will be a whole new order of experience.

  2. Bill Gray says:

    Don, I`m wanting your opinion on after the rapture? When we get raptured out, the church is gone and not one believer is left here on earth. The 7 years of Tribulation starts and finishes with Christ return to Jerusalem to rule for a 1000 year. The church is in Heaven(the above) so what`s going on the earth and who is believe what? I know the Anti-Christ will make peace with Israel and it`s enemies then what happens and to whom? I believe that God is dealing with Israel again and only Israel. We are in Heaven. At the end of the 1000 years God will create a NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH. Why would God create both if he was not going to keep us separate? What do we know about Temple worship and the 12 Tribe? The Kingdom has 12 gates ie. the 12 tribes. Help me out. Its clear to me that Paul`s gospel and Peter`s gospel were different. God has always kept Israel separate based on Deuteronomy 7:6-9. ( Chosen them above all the people that are upon the face of the earth) for a thousand generations. That’s quite a promise. There are Jews in every nation here on earth now. Am I out in left field or what? I like your take on this. Thank you, Bill Gray Bandera Tx.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Bill,
      During the 1,000 years, the Lord will reign on earth and fulfill His covenant promises to Israel (Zechariah 14.9; Deuteronomy 28.1, 13). We have no information about what the Church will be doing. The most we know is that we a joint-heirs with Christ. The Antichrist makes a peace treaty at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week (Daniel 9.27). At that point the Tribulation officially begins and God will begin to pour out His wrath. The new heaven and new earth is a differ reality with new physics: no time, entropy, etc. Heaven and earth will merge. The Bible is clear that Israel and the Church are different. But we integrate in that we have the same Lord and Savior but the Bible provides no detail about that integration or interaction. The new Jerusalem includes God’s throne complex and living environs. It is immense, 1,500 miles on each side. Again, we have no specifics of the Church’s relationship to it. God has chosen to keep this secret. What we can know is that it will be glorious and ineffably wonderful. The Millennial Temple will be much larger than Herod’s Temple and will be the center of Jewish life (Ezekiel 40-48).

  3. Bob G. says:

    Don,
    I just read your posting of But Now……
    I like the first part, but can’t say that I agree with the second.
    Paul writing Hebrews. To me there is no evidence of familiarity with his other letters.
    No mention of his name, the mystery, the cross etc…
    I enjoy your website. We just don’t agree on this one issue.
    Rightly dividing God’s Word is the key to understanding Scripture.

    Thanks.

  4. Becky says:

    Hi Don,
    The title of this topic seemed to fit my question (sort of). I just read these verses:
    Mat 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    Paul addressed the second in Rom 13:9-10 applicationally by concluding that love fulfills the law, but I couldn’t find where Paul addressed the first commandment specifically. Am i missing it or can you give some insight? I see a few verses where he speaks of us loving God, but again, not the specific command.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Becky,
      Only tangentially. See the article, Paul and the Law. Sorry–did not read carefully and will have to take a look. But generally, fulfilling the Law all came from the the inner man controlled by the Holy Spirit–through the relationship of grace (2 Thessalonians 3.5).

  5. Thank you Don for your wonderful website that can set true believers free from the bondage of religious tradition! I have studied with my favorite Bible teacher Les Feldick for many years now since being born again in 1980, and it’s great to see how you both are rightly dividing God’s word for us, especially in these last of the last days.
    I would like to help support your ministry financially. How do I do that?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Tom,
      Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate you offer. Please send anything to Les or the Berean Bible Society. Grace and peace.

  6. williams says:

    well don sir i respect you concerning all this bible knowledge you hav ,u really open my eyes to many things which am lost and never know that god is so easy but only man made difficulty . thanks
    but i want to know if the old testament declaired the suffering and the death of christ there is no need for christ to become a king .ok if the israeli accepted christ as there savoir that means christ will not die on the cross he will become a king on earth ?
    pls help me am confuse sir.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Williams,
      Whether Israel accepted Jessus as the Messiah or not He would have had to have been crucified. If the Jews had accepted Him, Rome would have taken the lead (Revelation 13.8).

  7. Bruce W says:

    Don,

    It’s truly amazing that the church, founded on Grace, basically loathes it now.

    Can you explain hyper-grace?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Bruce,
      I’m not familiar with the term hyper-grace. I think Biblical terms are sufficient to describe our standing and state with regard to God. Hyper-grace is redundant.

  8. courtney king says:

    Dear Don,
    The “But Now ” article is wonderfull. Sad to say so much theology from dead mens bones is pushed off on us as being scholarly when its just junk at best. Your web site is a source of sound bible based teachings. Thank you for your help and
    Help and service.Peace and Grace

  9. becky says:

    Hi Don, I just found a link where a person can subscribe to receive a daily email to watch Les Feldick Bible Study in video format. For whoever would be interested , here it is https://lesfeldickbiblestudy.com/424-ephesians-1-13-23-part-2/?utm_source=Les+Feldick+Daily+Videos&utm_campaign=8fba1a5ce4-Day_4242_27_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_40f92956d7-8fba1a5ce4-293409825

  10. This is the first time I have access to this site. It is amazing how much I have learnt. The wealth of edifying articles on the NT is second to none. Thank you so much, Don for the work. Heresy is the order of the day and this site is a shield against such

  11. julia josephson says:

    Why is the use of the word “dispensational” so negative to some?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Julia,
      A theological divide exists between those who identify themselves as “covenant theologians” and “dispensational theologians.” The covenant folks don’t like the word “dispensation” because they disagree with dispensationalists.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *