Praise the Lord.
Peter had great respect for Paul; even after he was rebuked by his in front of others for being hypocritical with eating with the Gentiles.
2 Peter 3:15-16: “and account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation— as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures” Notice that Peter equates Paul’s letters as Scripture.
John bears witness to Paul being an apostle as he writes the words of Jesus- Revelation 2:2: I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars.” The Ephesus church was watched over by Paul, he was not found to be a liar, but a true apostle.
Acts 20:29, 32, 34 it was Paul who warned the Ephesians before he left “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.”… “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
This is not an in depth look into Paul’s participation with the apostles and church but should be sufficient to dismantle any of the arguments. Paul taught “For you are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:8-10 tells us that it is by grace through faith that we are saved, not because Paul wrote it but because this is indeed the gospel. This is the means that is used to become a child of God. There is no other way. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).
Paul understood the difference and was happy to live in and by the new covenant instead of his old life by the law. Philippians 3:9: “And being found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law but that through faith in Christ the righteousness which is of God by faith.”
“It pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Cor. 1:21) What was that message? A few verses before He tells us, v. 18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” SAVED (past tense). How? Through faith! The cross is sufficient because it is Christ’s work for us- the gospel is grace through faith
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16).
If you reject what Paul wrote then you are ashamed of the gospel that Jesus Christ the Messiah gave.
This was a very lengthy subject but I feel it had to be in order to fully understand the importance of Paul’s ministry and how vitally important he was and is today in the life of a born again believer.
He didn’t water down or sugar coat his message because if he did, it wouldn’t be as effective as it needed to be in the perpetuating of the Gospel message and more important, the instructions given to him by Jesus Christ.
So many get stuck with the gospel that they miss the greatest, most instrumental part of walking this Christian walk, the instructions of HOW to walk that walk.
Next week I’m gonna discuss the very common and popular saying, “happy wife, happy life”.
Till next week,
Elder Dr. Robert L. Harrison