Consider Paul First And You Get Understanding

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by AVBunyan, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. AVBunyan

    AVBunyan
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    I believe vehemently that the most neglected truths today are those from the Apostle of Paul to the Gentiles.

    1. Paul was given the gospel – I Cor. 15:1-5; Rom. 16:25; II Tim. 2:8.

    2. Paul as given his revelation directly from the Lord Jesus Christ himself – Gal. 1:16, 17; Acts 26:16; II Cor. 12:7; Gal. 2:2.

    3. Paul fulfilled the word of God – Col. 1:25.

    4. Paul was the only apostle who told you to follow him – I Cor. 4:16; I Cor. 11:1; Phil. 3:17; II Thess. 3:9; Phil. 4:9.

    5. Paul was the only one in the scriptures who told you to study –II Tim. 2:15.

    6. Paul was the only apostle in the scriptures who told you that if you wanted to understand all things you had to consider what he said – II Tim. 2:7.

    7. Paul was the only one who told you to rightly divide the scriptures II Tim. 2:15.

    8. Paul was the only apostle who was given the mystery, which was hid to others – Rom. 16:25; Eph. 1:9; Eph. 3:3, 4; Eph. 6:19.

    9. Paul was the first apostle to learn that Christ died for sins - I Cor. 15:1-5.

    10. Paul was the first to speak of being in Christ and Christ in you - Acts 24:24; Col. 1:27.

    11. Paul was the first to reveal that one was justified by the faith of Jesus Christ – Gal. 2:16.

    12. Paul was the only apostle who said men would be judged according to his gospel – Rom. 2:16.

    13. Paul was the one where you learn the purpose of scripture – II Tim. 3:16,17.

    14. Paul was the only man who told you what the root of all evil was – I Tim. 6:10.

    15. Paul was one of the two apostles that the Lord appeared to after His final resurrection - Acts 26:16.

    16. Paul was given the truth of the body of Christ – Eph. 1:22, 23.

    Now, with the above truths – how is it that so many want to relegate Paul to the back seat when it comes to doctrine and truths for this age. It appears that many churches think that the “words in red” are more important than Paul’s. It appears to many that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John carries more weight than Paul when it come to truths regarding their lives for today. Paul wrote 14 books of the NT but then one runs to James for authority regarding justification. Many go to John’s epistles or the Gospels as the standard which to judge as to whether a person is saved or not!!!

    I find it amazing that the least read portion of scripture when it comes to salvation and one’s position in Christ are the first three chapters of Ephesians. Paul tells us about how we are to behave in the body of Christ and yet many go elsewhere to get these truths. It is Paul that reveals the mystery of Christ and yet many go to the Gospels as their authority regarding this matter.

    We are told to consider Paul and it appears that when it comes to the major doctrines he is the last one considered – strange thing. It is though the devil doesn’t want Paul to be studied. And you wonder why the church today is in such a mess.

    Now, don’t leave this post saying I’m saying that the only books to read are Paul’s – don’t you dare do that for I believe II Tim. 3:16,17; I Cor. 10:11; Rom. 15:4. I am in I Chronicles now in my daily scripture reading. My preacher is in the Gospel of John in the Sunday AM service and I Samuel in one of the Sunday PM service – so don’t go accusing me of neglecting the rest of scripture or not believing it all. Don’t you dare say I am elevating Paul to the fourth member of the trinity over Christ. I know some of you – don’t misrepresent what I’ve put down here.

    I am saying this:

    2 Tim 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

    Do you want understanding in all things – I’m assuming you do – then consider Paul first – he got the latest instructions directly from the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

    Now, you have a blessed day now!
     
  2. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
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    AV Bunyan,

    Interesting thoughts.

    I'd argue that the most neglected books are the 4 Gospels. I agree that everything Paul has said is true. But too many Christians use Paul's zeal as an excuse to bash those who are different.

    I recall the street preachers who used to come around when I was in college (I was a lost soul then). They were so filled with anger; they appeared to be just looking for a fight. I didn't yell obscenities at them like most of the frat guys and sorority gals - but I do distinctly remember having a distaste for their message.

    At that time I was lost and needed a savior (although I didn't know it). But when I encountered these street preachers I thought, "Boy what a bunch of fakes these guys are - they are not only plain ignorant but mean spirited as well! Is this what Christianity is about? Well I sure don't want any of it!!"

    I think these guys knew (or rather could quote - I don't now think they KNEW) Paul inside and out - but hadn't learned a thing from Jesus.

    And how many people did they turn OFF for Christ?? I don't think they cared - they felt like they had done good by going out and yelling the Gospel.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. AVBunyan

    AVBunyan
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    Thanks for the response -
    Yes, Paul teaches strong doctrine but that doctrine has to affect the heart - grace, love, forebearance, charity, etc. must be the result of sound doctrine.

    I would say that those folks you are referring to may not have really known Paul as they should as you hinted.

    I believe, like you, that Christ must have the preeminence in all things (Col. 1:18, 3:1-3) and I also believe it is Paul who teaches us about the fullness and compelteness of the resurrected Christ.

    I believe when one understands Paul better then he can truly understand our Saviour even more fully when he reads the Gospels.

    Thanks or your thoughts on the blessed Gospels -
    God bless you [​IMG]
     
  4. JGrubbs

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    I have talked to many liberal Christians who don't believe that Paul was inspired by God, and that his writings are simply his opinion on the issues, they said that they usually just skip over the books written by Paul in the Bible. :(
     
  5. Charles Meadows

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    Peter even confirms that Paul has written under inspiration!! Unfortunately many liberals simply cannot stomach Paul.

    I do think that Paul was not afraid to call down someone who was doctrinally wrong. But consider the example of eating meat offered to idols - Paul said he had no problem eating it - but he's avoid it if his eating it was a stumbling block.

    I think that many today look at things like pants on women, bible versions, contemporary Christian music etc and try to use Paul as an example of how we should stand against these things. In reality I think Paul would have said get a grip and stop straining at gnats and get on with the gospel!

    Just my opinion!!
    [​IMG]
     
  6. StefanM

    StefanM
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    In my liberal days, I played the "Paul didn't really say that" game. Although I was probably closer to being neo-orthodox than to being a true "liberal," I didn't have to say that Paul wasn't inspired by God. I basically said that he was inspired, but his first century Jewish male identity produced some biases in his works. Of course, I got to send Ephesians, 1-2 Timothy, and Titus to the reject pile because I did not believe them to be genuinely Pauline.

    What I see in liberal circles is an overemphasis on Jesus (of course conveniently redefined ;) ), while in conservative circles we have an overemphasis on Paul's writings. Effectually, the Pauline corpus has become a de facto "Christian Torah."

    We must be careful not to emulate Judaism's oral law. We must remember to keep with the spirit of Paul's teaching and not to build "hedges around the law" (so to speak) by adding extra-biblical requirements.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    The "Grace" movement (Oharites) and some in the "Berean" movement are a sect within Christianity that are hyper-dispensational and will ONLY follow what Paul wrote.

    And mostly AFTER his time in prison, although some read the prison epistles, too. This limits just a few NT books as "applicable" today. And since in those few books there is little on water baptism, hell, and a number of other doctrines, they do not follow such.

    I love the writing of Paul. But the entire NT is for my life and I will not give precedence to one part over another. Guess that's from too many years putting up with the Oharites in this world!!
     
  8. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
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    Stefan,

    Nice post! [​IMG] Some very good points. I have several more liberal pastor friends who read Rom 1:26, 1 Tim 3:1, or 1 Cor 14:34 and say, "well that's just Paul...."

    I personally feel that a CORRECT Jesus (a divine Jesus accurately portrayed in authentic gospels - not a liberal Jesus!) cannot really be overemphasized. Paul speaks to us today but also spoke to specific situations which occurred in NT times. I think that splitting a church based on different opinions on dress, hair length, music styles - often based on an interpretation of this or that Pauline verse - is never something positive. I think that Paul stood for important points - but would not have split hairs over pants or guitars. It's obvious from his work that homosexuality is a no-no. But it is not obvious that women cannor wear pants or have short hair.

    I see alot of Paul-based overlegalism fostering judgmentalism in churches - and this is fundamentally unChrist-like.

    By the way AV Bunyan, thanks for your gentle and Christlike approach to our disagreements!!

    [​IMG] ;)
     
  9. AVBunyan

    AVBunyan
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    Thanks Charles, actually it was your sincere and cordial response to my post that even prompted me to respond. I'm trying to avoid responding to certain types of "repsonses". Because of those types of "responses" I've responded very little on this forum, even on the threads that I've started.

    Also, you said:
    "I see alot of Paul-based overlegalism fostering judgmentalism in churches - and this is fundamentally unChrist-like"

    I agree - again these folks may not know Paul as they should.
    Doctrine should affect duty - belief should affect behaviour.

    So, brother, thank you for your gentle and Christlike approach to our chats.

    May God bless you!

    Ooops! he arleady has - look at:
    Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
     
  10. AVL1984

    AVL1984
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    I agree Dr. Bob. We have some friends who almost totally disregard the other books of the NT and hold to Pauls every word. They seem to be very confused people to me. The whole NT is relevant for Christian living. I also don't believe that this stops the OT being used for instruction and wisdom in things.

    AVL1984
     
  11. R. Charles Blair

    R. Charles Blair
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    AVBunyan - Clearly Paul's writings are inspired Scripture, very important for us. But it is also clear that John (the Baptist) understood that Christ would die for our sins: "Behold, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!" Any Jew knew that the passover lamb died as a substitute, clearly seen in the Exodus and every passover afterward.

    Also, don't forget Paul's admonition in one of his late letters, I Timothy 6:3-5. It is "the words of the Lord Jesus" which counted most to Paul, and as Dr. Bob has pointed out, the danger of hyper-dispensational rejection of the gospels is very real. The first martyr for the faith was not Stephen, but John (the Baptist); the first Gentile convert was not Cornelius, but a Roman centurion who talked to Jesus in person. There were many Gentiles who were saved during the life of our Lord, some of them proselytes, possibly some who were not. Check a harmony of the four gospels to see how many different ethnic groups were involved leading up to the "Message on the Mount," which is clearly the ordination of the 12 and constitution of the Kingdom, and I believe also the organization of the very first New Testament ecclesia. Mt. 16:18 literally reads, "I will continue to edify (same word Paul used in Ephesians) My church." The word means to build up, never to lay a foundation - no reference to Acts 2, which is a great revival for that already-functioning church.

    I'll be away for several days in a missions conference, but if this thread is still up when I get back next week I'll check in. If not, I would enjoy a "private message" reply. Best in Christ - R. Charles Blair - Romans 8:28
     
  12. DHK

    DHK
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    The Oneness Pentecostal movement cannot show you the plan of salvation outside of the Book Acts. Doctrines such as the necessity of tongues, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, baptismal regeneration, are all gleaned from misinterpretation of verses from the Book of Acts, and totally ignoring the epistles.
    DHK
     

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