Friday, July 29, 2011
“Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me” (1 Corinthians 4:16 KJV).
Paul is the only Bible author that declares, “Follow me.” Why? Paul writes in Ephesians 3:2,3a: “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: how that by revelation he [Jesus Christ] made known unto me the mystery;”
Today, we live in the Dispensation of Grace, a time period separate from Israel’s prophetic program. In 1 Timothy 1:15,16 we read that God made Paul “a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him [Jesus Christ] to life everlasting.” In order to follow the Lord Jesus Christ in this the Dispensation of Grace, we must follow Him according to the doctrine He committed unto the Apostle Paul’s trust.
We do not follow Christ after His earthly ministry because that was God’s message to Israel (Matthew 15:24; John 4:22; Romans 15:8; 2 Corinthians 5:16). Even the Apostle Peter admitted that the details of the Dispensation of Grace are only found in Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon (2 Peter 3:15,16).
Lest someone accuse us of exalting Paul above Jesus Christ, consider what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:1: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” The Holy Spirit instructs us to follow Paul in Philippians 3:17 and 1 Thessalonians 1:6. We follow Paul as he follows Christ.
God sent Paul to us. Paul is “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13; Romans 15:16; 2 Timothy 1:11). Just as Israel followed Moses, we follow Paul. To follow Paul today is to follow Christ; conversely, to reject Paul is to reject Christ (John 13:20). Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:37: “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.”
Does your pastor follow Jesus according to His earthly ministry? If so, flee from that assembly, friend. That is not what God is doing today. The Bible says that God made Paul our pattern. If ye are to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, ye must be followers of Paul!