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Paul’s Gospel

11 Dec
Paul's Gospel

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A few years ago I published my understanding of Paul’s Gospel, while I was going through the Book of Acts for the second time: What Was Paul’s Gospel? In this blog-post I wish to offer the same point of view from a different perspective. In the first chapter of Galatians Paul offers a glimpse of the Gospel he preached to the gentiles. Although it was somewhat different from that preached by the Twelve, in essence it was the very same Gospel preached at Jerusalem. Notice that in Galatians 1:4 Paul says that he preached that Christ gave himself for our sins in order that we might be delivered from this world. In a nutshell, this is the Gospel, and, as I hope to show here, it was the Gospel preached in Jerusalem, minus the Jewish traditions that the Apostles preached Jews should obey, just as Paul preached gentiles should obey the authorities who governed them.

According to Paul, there are really only two entities in which mankind exists. We are either in Christ (Ephesians 1:10; 2:10) or in the wicked one (1John 5:19). We are either in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) or in the flesh (Romans 7:5). We are either the Body of Christ (1Corinthians 12:27) or the body of sin (Romans 6:6). We are either part of the new creation in Christ (2Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15) or part of the old creation in our old man (Romans 6:6; Colossians 2:11-12). We have either Christ as our head (1Corinthians 15:22b, 45b, 47b) or Adam (1Corinthians 15:22a, 45a, 47a). Adam represents rebellion from God, for it was he who took mankind away from God, and the whole world with all of its evil lies in him (1John 5:19). He is the body of sin and the beginning of the old creation. All mankind proceeds from him. Therefore, before Christ, all mankind—the whole world—lay in him.

Galatians 1:4 says that Christ gave himself for our sins so that we might be delivered from this world, which lies in the wicked one (1John 5:19) or Adam (1Corinthians 15:22a). While in Adam we are in the state of rebellion against God. We were at war with our Creator before the coming of Christ, but in Christ we have peace (Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 2:12-14). In Christ we are no longer in rebellion, no longer at war with God, and, therefore, no longer under the judgment of God, because the price (punishment) of our rebellion has been paid (1Peter 2:24; 1John 3:5; cp. 1Corinthians 15:3; Galatians 1:4). This is the Gospel Paul preached; it is the Gospel Peter preached (1Peter 2:24; 4:1-2), and it is the Gospel that John preached (1John 2:2, 15-17).

Paul’s Gospel centered around what he knew from his own experience, namely, what occurred on the road to Damascus in Acts 9. Paul found that Jesus, whom Paul had originally considered cursed of God, was really alive, and, if alive, then reports of his resurrection were true. Only God could have done such a thing, so, therefore, Jesus was not cursed but declared to be the Son of God and Savior of the world. Everything Paul preached about Jesus and the Gospel was born out of this life-changing experience. The traditional view of the Messiah being a great general who would defeat the Jews’ enemies (esp. Rome) had no foundation in view of Paul’s Damascus Vision. Savior had to be interpreted in some other manner than delivering the Jews out of the grasp of their enemies. While this idea may be incorporated into the theology of the Messiah’s return, it cannot be understood this way in the times immediately following Jesus’ death and resurrection. The Gospel, then, is spiritually discerned.

The Gospel went out at the command of Jesus to all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). The disciples were sent out as ambassadors in Jesus’ stead to preach to the world that God has reconciled himself to us (i.e. made peace with us) through the death and resurrection of Jesus (2Corinthians 5:18-19). The Apostles (and we by extension) are ministers or servants of the news of that reconciliation. Paul and the other Apostles preached to the world in Christ’s place: “Be reconciled to God” (2Corinthians 5:20-21)! The war is over—be at peace with God and glorify him (Galatians 1:5) for what he has done. Accept his offer of peace (Galatians 1:3; 6:16).

 

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3 Comments

Posted by on December 11, 2015 in Galatians

 

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3 responses to “Paul’s Gospel

  1. Paul Ross

    December 11, 2015 at 12:53

    Now that I have shared the true gospel, which was not shared in the 4 letters of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (although John came close with John 3:16, that we need to believe in Jesus, but it was not pointing to the nature of the belief based on his death, burial, and resurrection). And as we know, that Saul of Tarsus never initially believed at all in any of that. That he was the Messiah. That he was of the godhead. That he was resurrected. And we know that he was a major tool for seizing and arresting the Jewish believers for the chief priests in Jerusalem…and he made a lot money in reward…and voted for their terminations… So the believers scattered to defend themselves, so he and his army was on the rode to Damascus when he Jesus made him a believer. All of them got knocked down from their horses. All of them were confronted by the light from heaven. And all of them heard the verbal speakings from above….but only Saul of Tarsus was able to comprehend and speak back to the language from above. Only him. Which made clear he was the exclusive target. And he was able to see Jesus (as he later admits)…and was thus the only enemy of Jesus who got blinded. The other troopers were not.

    Note how Jesus mentioned he was the specific person he was taking, as he spoke to Ananias:

    Acts 9:11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
    Acts 9:12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
    Acts 9:13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
    Acts 9:14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
    Acts9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
    Acts 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

    There very evidence that he was to be made Jesus’s “footstool”.

    And we need then to be aware what this was all relating to….an early exampled illustration of what is to come from the prophecy when Jesus was resurrected, then after 40 days assended to heaven next to his father, in Psalm 110:1. A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

    He was thus he was to be an illistratede “Footstool” of Jesus who could put his feet in rest upon Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul. Note how he repeatedly mentions that he was a “prisoner”, of Jesus, for us Gentiles:

    Ephesians 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
    Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
    2Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
    Phillipians1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,
    Phillipians 1:9 Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

     
    • Eddie

      December 11, 2015 at 18:26

      Paul, you seem to be cluttering up a very simple Gospel. Jesus died for our sins and the Father raised him up from the dead, so that we who are in him might have life (Romans 10:9). If one believes and confesses this, he is saved.

       
  2. Paul Ross

    December 11, 2015 at 12:25

    Yes, Jesus Christ did die for our Sins under our Adamic natures, but then he does give the salvation into Heaven only via Faith in him.

    As the apostle Paul rote in 1st Corinthians 15: Verses 1-4:
    1: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
    2: By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
    3: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
    4: And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

    And that faith, i.e., true belief, is how we receive the sealing of the Holy Spirit from Jesus, and his indwelling in us, that gives us that salvation that we receive our salvation. We need to totally believe in not just his dying for our sins…but how he was raised…

    1Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

    Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Ephesians 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
    Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.

    Faith.

    Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

     

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