GRACE AMBASSADORS

Christ to Paul, No More No Less

By Justin Johnson

Being Pauline

1. The Lord Jesus Christ made Paul the apostle of the Gentiles as early as Acts 9:15.

“Go thy way: for [Paul] is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel” – Acts 9:15

2. The Lord Jesus Christ made Paul and his salvation a pattern of God’s grace given to all who believe after him.

“… in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” – 1 Timothy 1:16

3.The Lord Jesus Christ gave to Paul a dispensation of the gospel, the revelation of the mystery, from his earliest epistles.

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is … by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” – Galatians 1:11-12

Being Pauline means the portion of scripture where you find yourself in the audience, the gospel for today, and the mystery of Christ is within Paul’s thirteen epistles alone.

The revelation of Christ to Paul, no more no less.

There are two ways not to be Pauline:

1. Take more than Paul.
2. Take less than Paul.

More than Paul

Perhaps you think you fit the audience of the writings of the old testament prophets, the ministry of John the Baptist, or in the Hebrew epistles written to the twelve tribes (e.g. Peter, James, John).

Perhaps you think the gospel for today can be found in John’s writings.

Perhaps you think the mystery church is also found at Pentecost or in the book of Revelation.

Then, for you, Christ’s revelations to Paul are not alone or unique to his epistles. You find your instructions, the gospel for today, and the mystery outside of Paul’s writings.

You take more than Paul. Being Pauline is saying too little.

Less than Paul

Perhaps you think that half of Paul’s epistles are not written to the body of Christ today.

Perhaps you think Paul was given different revelations later in his ministry that conflict with his earlier teachings.

Perhaps you think the mystery is only found in his later or prison epistles.

Then, for you, not all of Paul’s writings are alone or unique. You find your instructions in some of Paul’s epistles.

You take less than Paul. Being Pauline is saying too much.

Beware

There are people who would not claim to be Pauline with a ten foot pole. It is a non-issue for them.

But there are also people who claim to be Pauline and are not. They are either ignorant or deceptive. If neither, they should stop claiming to be Pauline. You should know the difference so you are not fooled or confused by “differences” among Pauline teachers who are not.

Taking more than Paul dilutes his apostleship. Taking less than Paul denies part of his apostleship. Both positions diminish it.

If you believe in the primacy of Pauline truth as revealed by Jesus Christ, nor more no less, then you are rightly called Pauline, magnifying his office.

“I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office” – Romans 11:13

“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God” – Colossians 1:25

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

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Published: August 22, 2020
Last Modified: August 22, 2020
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