Knowing Your Apostle Paul

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office” (Romans 11:13 KJV).

Yea, “…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 in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity” (1 Timothy 2:5-7).

I once asked a Roman Catholic priest about the “Petrine papacy.” While readily admitting that Jesus Christ sent Paul to us Gentiles (today’s Scripture), he preferred to follow Peter— “I do not care what the Bible says!” He wanted to follow Israel’s Apostle Peter. Never would anyone take “sacred tradition” from him. To abandon the centuries-old fallacy of “Pope Peter” was out of the question!

Christendom’s greatest error is the failure to learn where to go in the Bible to get our “mail” for today. Matthew through John is robbed of the Beatitudes, the so-called “Lord’s Prayer,” and the miracles (the “What-Would-Jesus-Do?” crowd). The Psalms and Proverbs are carelessly isolated. Almost all gravitate to the Book of Acts, especially chapter 2, Pentecost, and the other “Holy Ghost encounters.”

Prophecy said God would bless Gentiles through redeemed Israel (Genesis 12:1-3; Isaiah 60:1-3; Isaiah 61:6; Zechariah 8:20-23). With Israel refusing to convert in early Acts, God could not reach Gentiles. So, with Saul of Tarsus’ (Paul’s) conversion in Acts chapter 9, God instituted a program that He had kept secret since the world began. Salvation would come to us Gentiles through Christ’s shed blood without Israel!

Romans 11:11,12: “[11] I say then, Have they [Israel] stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. [12] Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?”

Through Paul’s Gospel—Jesus Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)—we have access to God by faith. May we study Romans through Philemon to learn through Paul’s ministry what God expects of us as members of the Church the Body of Christ!