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Paul:  What’s so special about his teaching?

Gary Googe Sep 14

This is the man who is said to be the apostle of the Gentiles.

Romans 11:13

13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: [Emphasis added]

Are you a Gentile? If you are not in the genealogy of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, you are a Gentile.  This verse tells us that he, the apostle Paul, is our apostle as GentilesOn the other hand, the Twelve Apostles were all apostles to Israel.  Their commission and message is to them, not us! This means that while there are general principles the Twelve Apostles taught that can be to and for anyone, there are other things that were specifically addressed to Israel, not us.  Sorting all these things out is called rightly dividing the Scriptures, something we are all exhorted to do.

II Timothy 2:15

15 Study [SPOUDAZO = be diligent] to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [Emphasis added]

Then when Paul says, “I magnify mine office,” he’s drawing attention to the special commission Christ gave him.  The apostle Paul was appointed of God for a special mission to us in our time.

Acts 9:15

15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he [Paul] is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: [Emphasis added]

It was through this man that God would introduce a whole new program for His people.  Most of “the church” today has still not figured this out.

Acts 20:24

24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. [Emphasis added]

This is not the same gospel that was commissioned to Peter and the Twelve Apostles.  Please note Paul’s comments about it.

Romans 16:25-26

25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

He speaks of it as HIS gospel to distinguish it from the one given to the Twelve Apostles.  Otherwise, he could just call it, “the gospel.”

26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: [Emphasis added]

The King James Version and other translations have the phrase “the scriptures of the prophetsincorrectly translated.  This is an adjective not a noun in the original Greek text and should be translated the prophetic [forthtelling] scriptures.

It was Paul who laid the foundation for what we have today.  The “prophets” of old knew nothing about it.  That’s why it is called a mystery [MUSTERION = a secret]

Colossians 1:26-29

26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect [TELEIOS = mature] in Christ Jesus:

29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. [Emphasis added]

It was to Paul that this message was first given.

I Corinthians 3:10

10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder [ARCHITETON = architect], I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. [Emphasis added]

This is why we are exhorted time and time again to follow the teachings of the apostle Paul, not Peter.  Most people study the Scriptures so little that they don’t even realize there’s a difference and a conflict between the two.  Just reading denominational literature will never get you to the truth on this.  These men had quite different ministries and messages, and it is Paul that we are to follow.  Even the apostle Peter didn’t learn about this until the later days in his ministry.  His last words to us, therefore, direct us to Paul and his teachings.

II Peter 3:15-18

15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord [speaking of the delay in His return to establish His earthly kingdom] is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest [STREBLOO = twist], as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. [Emphasis added]

It is because of all this that Paul rightfully exhorts us to follow him and his teaching.

I Corinthians 4:16

16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. [Emphasis added]

Why does Paul make such a point of this if his message from Christ was the same as Peter’s and the others?

I Corinthians 11:1

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. [Emphasis added]

Like Peter’s, Paul’s message was of Christ, but it was not the same.

Galatians 2:7

But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; [Emphasis added]

Paul’s message had been a mystery, a secret held in the mind of God until it was first revealed to him.

Ephesians 3:1-9

1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable [ANEXZICHNIASTOS = untraceable] riches of Christ;

This tells us there’s not even a trace of this information outside the writings of the apostle Paul.

9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: [Emphasis added]

The teaching that a day would come when people could be saved apart from any works at all as an expression of their faith was totally new.  Always before [and even in the coming time of The Tribulation Period] man had to manifest his faith by his works.

James 2:18,20

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? [Emphasis added]

James was an apostle TO Israel, not us as members of the Body of Christ church.  People fail to distinguish between the two.  That’s the main reason there’s so much confusion today about things stated in that book.

James 1:1

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. [Emphasis added]

That little word, to, is small but so significant and important to having a right understanding of the Scriptures because although all the Bible is FOR us, it is not all TO us.  It is this message that goes by various titles [the gospel of God, the gospel of the uncircumcision, the gospel of the grace of God] that we have been commissioned to proclaim today.  Again, it is because of all this confusion about this that we have so many church denominations today with such a variety of beliefs.  Nearly all of them can quote Scripture to back up what they believe.  But what they fail to understand is that there’s a lot of Scripture in the Bible that’s not addressed to us today.

As I said earlier, the most important thing about this principle is to do with the tremendous importance of correctly understanding what one must believe today for salvation.  It is what we speak of as Paul’s gospel that provides that information for us now.

Romans 2:16

16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. [Emphasis added]

Yes, it will be THIS gospel by which people will be judged in eternity.  If their faith was in his gospel message, they’ll gain entry into Heaven.  Without it, they will not!

Again, Romans 16:25

25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, [Emphasis added]

This preaching of Jesus Christ comes to us through His heavenly ministry, not His earthly one, as with what’s given in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  In other words, this is the gospel and teaching Christ revealed to Paul from Heaven, not the one He gave the apostles and others during the time of His earthly ministry.  To see the basics of those differences, go to my article entitled, Bible:  What are The Two Programs?

If you talk about there being two different gospels in the Bible, many people will think you’re crazy.  But the Scriptures clearly show exactly that.  Paul’s gospel was quite different from Peter’s.  For instance, Peter’s required water baptism [Acts 2:38] and the keeping of the Mosaic Law [Acts 15:5-10], but Paul’s did not.

II Timothy 2:8

Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: [Emphasis added]

This gospel Paul proclaimed was by no means something he made up or received through Simon Peter and the other apostles.  It was given to him by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself after He had ascended into Heaven.

Galatians 1:11-12

11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. [Emphasis added]

Paul later went to Jerusalem [Acts 15] to explain his gospel message to the Twelve Apostles and other members of the Jerusalem leadership.

Galatians 2:2

And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them THAT gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. [Emphasis added]

Then there’s more about this a few verses on down.

Galatians 2:6-9

But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

Be careful about some translations on verse seven because they’ve mistranslated it to coincide with their incorrect beliefs about what it is saying.

(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. [Emphasis added]

It is the apostle Paul who Christ speaks through to us today the things He would have us know about the salvation gospel message and much more.

I Corinthians 14:37-38

37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. [Emphasis added]

This message was first entrusted to Paul and no other.

I Timothy 1:11

11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. [Emphasis added]

As the very first member of the church which is the Body of Christ, it is Paul’s example, his pattern, that is now to be followed by all.

I Timothy 1:16

16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. [Emphasis added]

Then notice the warning he gives about all this.

Philippians 3:17-19

17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) [Emphasis added]

Notice the contrast between that and his attitude toward those who follow his example and herald the truth about his message.

Philippians 4:9

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. [Emphasis added]

Specifically, what is this gospel Paul proclaimed? It is not just that Jesus was the Christ, the promised Messiah.  That’s what believing in Christ’s NAME is all about.  Believing in the NAME of Christ is believing in His identity as the promised Messiah to Israel.  That’s certainly important! But today it’s all about believing in what is often referred to as the cross-work of Jesus Christ, namely His death, burial and resurrection.  It is receiving THIS message that brings salvation to people today.

I Corinthians 15:1-4

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received [by special revelation], how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

Even though the cross was in the Scriptures, it was veiled.  People did not understand the meaning of those passages.  Much of Isaiah 53 is a good example of that.  We can now see clearly what that passage is talking about because, as people say, hindsight is 20/20.

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [Emphasis added]

More details of what happened at the cross of Christ is found in places like this next passage.

II Corinthians 5:18-21

18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

This tells us the sins of all the world were held against Christ and judged at the cross.  It was there that He paid the complete penalty for them.  To observe the command of this next verse and be fully reconciled and saved one must accept in faith what Christ did for them. 

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Emphasis added]

Paul tells us similar things in his letter to the Romans about the justification of Abraham that ultimately provided him with salvation.  Had he not believed in faith [and this was before the giving of the Mosaic Law], salvation would not have been provided for him.

Romans 4:22-25

22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it [the righteousness of God] was imputed to him;

24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. [Emphasis added]

Salvation clearly comes to people today only by grace through faith in God’s provision of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  If you’ve never put your faith in that alone as the basis for your salvation, I hope you will do that now.

So much of what you see in this article is quite controversial today.  I just hope you’ll study it all through and draw your own conclusions.  What a wonderful blessing it is to discover the wonderful things God has provided for us to know and believe!

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