Thursday, May 31, 2012
“…Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth of Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity” (1 Timothy 2:5c-7 KJV).
One of the greatest blunders of the professing Church is the assumption that Paul’s ministry was an extension of the twelve apostles’ ministry. Many verses, including today’s Scripture, prove Paul’s ministry is separate from the twelve apostles. “Why Paul?” is a simple question, an inquiry which, had Christendom first proposed and then answered using the Bible, would have prevented the Biblical confusion that pervades churches today.
Today’s Scripture—“Christ Jesus… gave himself a ransom for all”—was not always true. In His earthly ministry, Jesus Himself claimed: “Even as the Son of man came… to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). Is that a contradiction? NO! In Jesus’ earthly ministry, He was sent to “save his people [Israel] from their sins” (Matthew 1:21; cf. John 1:11; Romans 15:8). Peter and the eleven preached this message in the early Acts period (Acts 2:36-38; Acts 3:19,24-26; Acts 4:10-12; Acts 5:31; et al.).
Why Paul? Carefully re-read today’s Scripture: “…Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto [To which] I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth of Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.”
It is not until we come to Paul’s ministry that we learn that Christ died for all (Jew and Gentile). This was the special message (the Gospel of the Grace of God) that the ascended Lord Jesus Christ committed to Paul alone (Galatians 1:11,12; Titus 1:2,3; 2 Timothy 2:8). This is why God made Paul an apostle!
God had a special Gospel He wanted preached to us Gentiles, but He could not use the twelve apostles to preach it (they had to convert Israel first; Matthew 10:5-7). Paul is our apostle, “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13). Thus, his epistles testify, Christ died for all—including us Gentiles (today’s Scripture).