Answers to Bible Questions
Scriptures are from the KJV of the Bible
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(Q) Why Paul? Are Paul’s teachings any different from what the 12 Apostles taught?
(A) At the end of part four we were talking about all true believers being ambassadors for Christ as stated in II Corinthians 5:20. God is not asking us if we want to be an ambassador for Christ, but He is telling us as true believers, WE ARE AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST. So what kind of an ambassador are we going to be for Christ? Christ wants us to be the best example, or the best ambassador we can be for Him while He is away. Remember, we are representing Christ, because He is in heaven, and He is leaving us here to be His ambassadors until He returns at the time of the Rapture. What a privilege it is to be Christ’s ambassador!
As we move into part five, I want all my readers to realize the distinct apostleship of the Apostle Paul. When a believer comes to an understanding of the special revelation given to and through the Apostle Paul, the fog begins to clear.
There is no longer a need to take God’s message given to the nation of Israel and try to apply it to today. We understand that upon Israel’s rejection of her Messiah, God set the nation aside for a time and introduced the Body of Christ. God was no longer working in and through the nation to carry out the message of the coming Kingdom as was promised in the Old Testament. God would now create the “one new man” made up of both Jew and Gentile through the blood of the cross, Ephesians 2:15.
Understanding the significance of Paul’s ministry is key to understanding the whole Bible. Almost half of what most consider to be the New Testament was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by the Apostle Paul. Over half of the book of Acts chronicles the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul. It is in Paul’s epistles and nowhere else that we read about the “Mystery” which was hidden in God before the foundations of the world. Only in Paul do we read that we are living in the Dispensation of Grace. The message given to and through the Apostle Paul is God’s message for today, the message of the Grace of God.
There is yet another important truth to understand. Not only was Paul God’s chosen Apostle to the Church the Body of Christ concerning the doctrine for the Church, God also chose to show us through this special apostle’s life what it looks like to live out God’s grace. If we truly desire to be transformed by God’s message of Grace, we must see the Apostle Paul as our example and follow him in both what he taught and how he lived Philippians 4:9; I Corinthians 10:31 & 11:1.
Paul’s passion was to worship and serve the Lord. It was the Apostle Paul that stated in Philippians 1:21, “for to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
However, what we must not lose sight of is the fact that several times in Paul’s epistles he tells believers to follow him and his teachings. Paul does not mean that anyone should worship him; that would be heresy. He tells the believer to follow him not only because he was given the message for the dispensation of Grace, but also because he was appointed as our example to follow by Christ.
Paul declares that we are to hold fast or maintain what he taught in faith and love as a pattern. Paul also uses this idea in reference to God’s longsuffering in his own salvation, and in all who would believe the gospel, I Timothy 1:16. Paul declares that even in salvation his life was a pattern of God’s divine patience.
Paul uses the term tupos to describe himself as an example. The term tupos (example) carries the idea of an imprint or impression pressed into metal, such as in the making a coin from a blank piece of metal. In Philippians 3:17, Paul uses tupas, or example, to convey to the Philippians that they should follow his way of life and dedication to the Lord. Here again Paul is presenting us with an illustration, telling believers that he is an example to be followed. In II Thessalonians 3:9, Paul uses tupos to demonstrate that he and those with him were examples in labor so as to not be a burden. Paul was an example to the believer in both his message and dedication to the Lord. This is what God desires for the believer in this dispensation.
Paul states in I Corinthians 4:16-17, that they should imitate or follow him, as he had begotten them in the gospel. Here the term is mimetece, where we get our word mimic. This means that we are to imitate or mimic him. In verse 17, Paul tell us that Timothy was sent to the Corinthians to “remind them of my ways in Christ as I teach everywhere in every church.” The idea of following the “ways” of Paul literally means his path of life. I believe this is an all-inclusive statement whereby Paul sets himself up as one to follow both in word and deed. In I Corinthians 11:1, Paul states to follow him as he follows Christ. Here the term again is mimetece. The context deals with how the Apostle Paul dealt with matters of conscience while living in a pagan society. His goal was that the gospel would not be hindered, so Paul was careful not to needlessly offend those who needed to be saved.
When one begins to see the distinct message and life of the Apostle Paul, he begins to understand what God is doing today in the Dispensation of Grace, as well as what it means to truly follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you think some of the things I have been writing about in these articles about Paul are hard to understand, well guess what, the Apostle Peter thought the same thing about Paul’s epistles as recorded in II Peter 3:15-16: 15And account that the longsuffering of our Lord 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, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Why then do we put so much emphasis on Paul’ teachings? I believe one of the best way’s I can help you understand the question, why Paul, will be by showing you some Bible Contrasts. When God called Paul to be the Apostle of the Gentiles in Acts 9:15 around two thousand years ago, He also made a change in the way He was going to deal with mankind. If you read these contrasts very carefully and look up the scriptures given, you will see they are not contradictions, but changes that were made by God when He revealed the Grace message to our Apostle Paul. Here are some of these Bible Contrasts:
BIBLE CONTRASTS ARE BY PASTOR DAVID ADAMS FROM THE BEREAN BIBLE SOCIETY.
Special Abbreviations: (e.g.) meaning “for example” (ff.) meaning “following verse or following
Blessing Through Israel’s Rise is promised the Gentiles in the Old Testament through early Acts. Isaiah prophesied that Israel will be given supremacy over the nations (Isa. 60:10-12; 61:6). From that position of priority Israel shall be a blessing to all the nations of the earth (Gen. 22:17-18; Zech. 8:13; Acts 3:25-26). The prophet further states that “the Lord shall arise upon thee [Israel].” Then “the Gentiles shall come to thy [Israel’s] light, and…rising” (Isa. 60:1-3). Jerusalem and the Jews will be the route whereby the nations come to God (Zech. 8:22-23). The Gospels confirm these prophecies (Mark 7:27; 11:17; etc.).
Blessing Through Israel’s Fall, apart from Israel, is presently God’s program. Now “there is no difference between” Jew and Gentile before God (Rom. 10:12). The Jews rejected the Word of God Paul preached so “the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles” (Acts 13:45-47; 28:25-28). It is through Israel’s “unbelief,” “blindness,” “casting away”; “through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:11-15-25-30).
Tongues A Sign: Isaiah prophesied that God would speak to His people Israel with “another tongue” (Isa. 28:11-12). At Pentecost, “Jews…out of every nation under heaven” heard the disciples “speak with other tongues” (Acts 2:4-6). “Jews and proselytes…” heard “them speak in our tongues” that is, native languages (Acts 2:8-11). The Apostle Paul wrote that “the Jews require a sign” (I Cor. 1:22). He urged mature understanding and then quoted what Isaiah wrote. He concluded that speaking with other “tongues are for a sign” to unbelieving Jewish people (I Cor. 14:20-22).
Tongues To Stop: Paul regarded tongues as the least of spiritual gifts (I Cor. 12:28-31; 14:19). Tongues were prominent in the most unspiritual New Testament church (I Cor. 3:1-4). Thus it is not surprising to read Paul’s statement: “whether there be tongues, they shall cease” (I Cor. 13:8). Instead, for the present time “now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three” (I Cor. 13:13). God has presently cast away Israel, the sign people, in blindness (Rom. 11:15-25). Thus the very purpose for tongues has ceased.
Sabbath Commanded: God “rested on the seventh day” after creation (Gen. 2:2). Thus the Ten Commandments included, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” for “the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord” (Ex. 20:8-11). The Lord through Moses added, “The seventh [day] is the sabbath of rest,” “the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath…for a perpetual covenant” as “a sign” with “Israel forever” (Ex. 31:15-17). Jesus Christ and His disciples consistently observed the sabbath day (e.g.: Luke 4:16; 23:56; Acts 13:14).
Sabbath Concluded: The Apostle Paul wrote that Christ has now “abolished…the law of commandments” (Eph. 2:15). Believers today are to “let no man therefore judge you…in respect of…the sabbath…a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ” (Col. 2:16-17). Today’s “rest [sabbath rest, in Greek] to the people of God” is to have “ceased from his own works” (Heb. 4:9-10). Thus it came to be that “the first day of the week,” was “when the disciples came together” for fellowship, preaching, and to gather collections (Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:1-2).
Tithing Ordered: Abraham and Jacob gave to God “tithes” or “a tenth part of all” (Gen. 14:20; 28:22; Heb. 7:2). “The Lord commanded Moses for… Israel” that “the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord” (Lev. 27:30-34). The priests had “a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law” (Heb. 7:5; Num. 18:21). A second and third tithe was paid for festivals and the poor (Deut. 14:22-29). The “sons of Jacob” robbed God when they withheld “tithes and offerings” and were cursed or blessed according to their tithing (Mal. 3:6-10).
Tithing Omitted: About giving, the Apostle Paul speaks “not by commandment” (II Cor. 8:8) for “the law of commandments” is today “abolished” (Eph. 2:15). The believer now is to give “as God hath prospered him” (I Cor. 16:2). “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” The amount is up to the giver, but God promises to bless accordingly as one gives (II Cor. 9:6-8).
Under Moses’ Law: The Lord gave “the law which Moses set before the children of Israel” to “keep and do” (Deut. 4:44; 5:1-3). If the “house of Jacob” obeyed, they would “be a peculiar treasure… above all people” (Ex. 19:3-5). God promised Israel “life and death, blessing and cursing” in accord with their obedience to the law’s commands (Deut. 30:10-20). Christ on earth was “made under the law” (Gal. 4:4). He did not “come to destroy the law…but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17). Under the “new covenant with…Israel,” God will put His “law in their…hearts,” and they will “do them” (Jer. 31:31-33; Ezek. 36:26-27).
Not Under The Law: Gentiles never were under the law of Moses and were exempted when the issue arose (Acts 15:5-19-24; 21:24-25). The Apostle Paul declares that God’s people today “are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14-15). “My brethren, ye also are become dead to the law” (Rom. 7:4). That old covenant has been “done away,” “abolished” (II Cor. 3:6-14). “Christ is the end of the law…to everyone that believeth” (Rom. 10:4).
Ordinances Required: During past ages various religious ordinances were necessary to please God. The Lord told Moses to “speak unto the children of Israel…Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein” (Lev. 18:1-4). Such ordinances were for Israel and sojourning strangers “forever” (Num. 9:14; 15:15). Trouble came to God’s people when they had went away from His ordinances, and didn’t keep them (Mal. 3:7). John the Baptist’s parents “were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Luke 1:6).
Ordinances Abolished: The Apostle Paul writes of Christ “having abolished…the law of commandments contained in ordinances” (Eph. 2:15), and of God “blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross” (Col. 2:14). “The first covenant…service…stood only in…carnal ordinances, imposed… until the time of reformation” (Heb. 9:1,9,10). Since believers today are “dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world,” Paul asks, “why…are ye subject to ordinances” (Col. 2:20)?
This will conclude PART FIVE, but there are 20 more Bible Contrasts which I will present in PART SIX. PART SIX will be the finial article about “WHY PAUL.”
Have a good day,
Maranatha (Lord Come)