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Stephen’s Gospel Was Preached by Paul

19 Apr

Paul was involved in persecuting the church for perhaps a year or two when Jesus appeared to him on the way to Damascus and called him. It seems that Paul was instrumental in the death of Stephen (Acts 7:58-59), so it is almost like poetic justice that he should be the one who would later preach the same Gospel that got Stephen killed. The Gospel has always been Jesus crucified and risen from the dead, but what made Stephen’s Gospel different from that of Peter was to whom it was preached. Stephen preached that the Temple was not necessary and God blesses others besides the Jews. It was this same Gospel that Paul began to preach and that to the gentiles.

Acts 9:19-20 seems to imply immediately after Paul was healed of blindness that he began preaching the Gospel, confounding the Jewish authorities at Damascus, but this is not so. Paul says in Galatians that he left Damascus and spent 3 years in Arabia and then returned to Damascus. It was at this time he confounded the Jews, proving Jesus was the Christ. He was so zealous that the Jewish authorities at Damascus discussed how they might kill him. Indeed, their appointees waited for Paul to come into the street so they could seize him. Not only so, but it seems Paul got himself into trouble while in Arabia, because in 2Corinthians 11:32 Paul relates how the king of Arabia was waiting for him at the gates of Damascus. So Paul escaped both the Jews and the king when the brethren put him in a basket and let him down from a window the city wall (Acts 9:25; 2Corinthians 11:33).

Afterward, Paul tried to join himself with the apostles at Jerusalem, but no one but Barnabas would trust him. He spent a few days with Peter, after Barnabas vouched for Paul, but in the end he returned to his hometown of Tarsus. He remained there until Barnabas sought him for the ministry of the Gospel to the gentiles, perhaps a year or so later.

Such was the beginning of the ministry of perhaps the greatest missionary in church history. Certainly, there was none like him, and much of the New Testament was written by him, more than any other single author. Today, he is still reviled by many who claim he preached a different Gospel than Jesus. This, of course, is not so, and as I continue in Acts I hope to answer any arguments that would imply Paul was a traitorous heretic who did not remain within the apostolic church. I think the key to seeing Paul’s Gospel was no different than Peter’s is the fact that he merely took up the “baton” that was dropped by Stephen at his death. Certainly no one would claim Stephen’s Gospel, as it concerned Christ, was different from Peter’s. Stephen was simply more liberal concerning to whom the Gospel should be preached. He was killed for that, and Paul was defamed, persecuted and hunted down for implementing the very Gospel that Stephen preached to the Sanhedrin in Acts 7.

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3 Comments

Posted by on April 19, 2011 in Gospel

 

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3 responses to “Stephen’s Gospel Was Preached by Paul

  1. Julius Watler

    April 13, 2012 at 17:38

    Dear Friends;
    On teaching the Gospel to the Gentiles, SAul/Paul had ther advantage that most of the Gentiles were G-dfearing Gentiles (For whom the Court of the Nations/Gentiles was built) and were already living an older faith and belief in G-d, the Noahide Covenant. Jesus taught that you shoult know the 7 laws of Noah, but as far as I can tell, it is not mentioned in the Gospel as a faith, but he did tell more than one person that he should obey the seven laws.. Read Matthew 19:16-19.
    So when Paul felled in with Timothy, although he had a Jewish Mother, thus jewish himself, he had not had his bris (Hebrew for Circumcism) To the Gentiles, no matter, but to the Jews, A line never to be crossed.
    Anyway, they did as Jesus instructed, and brought the Gentiles a faith adabted from the Noah Code, with the Torah teachings of Jesus apended.
    Shalom;
    Yechiel

     
  2. Chad

    July 10, 2011 at 20:00

    Since you have determined that the book of acts is not true in all things, then maybe consider knowing that Luke was not there. Paul mentored and told him of these things. The liar in this case is Paul. Galatians 2 should show you the great lie that Peter said he would stay with the Jews while Paul goes to the gentiles.

    That is a lie because Peter was given the great commission to teach all nations. Also, Acts 15:7 states that the gentiles were to hear the gospel from Peters mouth.

    Test Paul’s spirit, for his writings are the tares in the wheat.

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      July 10, 2011 at 22:05

      I don’t know what gave you the impression that I thought the Book of Acts was untrue. Would you care to share?

      Luke tells us in Luke 1:1-4 where he received much of his information. It seems most likely that he kept a journal and was a witness to some of the events of Acts as the ‘we’ passages imply. Moreover, Paul mentions often in his epistles that Luke was present with him. I see no reason to believe that Luke had someone else dictate his work to him.

      I don’t see your Scriptural support for your understanding of Paul, nor do I believe you have a full grasp for what Peter may or may not have said or concerning the great commission. Matthew tells us who the tares are. Jesus interpreted his own words. Your understanding of Paul isn’t all that new, nor (as I said above) do you have Scriptural support for your stand.

      Have a good evening,

      Eddie

       

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