The Controversy Clarified
We are discussing what is behind the controversy that prompts religious folks to ask; “Which should bear the greater weight with us, the words of Jesus, or the words of Paul?”
This question is at the very root of the confused and contradictory words we hear preached and promoted today from the pulpits of the church at large, as noted in Part 1 with regard to The “Sermon on the Mount” and the “Great Commission.”
These and most other errors is because Christian pastors and teachers today continue to follow many of the teachings and traditions of “the State Church of the Roman Empire”; while they marginalize Paul as just another Apostle with the same message and mission as “the twelve.” I’ve read of some who call Paul a “false apostle.” They need to see Paul’s unique (different) calling given him by the ascended Lord Jesus. Paul alone (Rom 11:13) gives us a message and “commission” for the “body of Christ” today that is different from that which than Jesus of Nazareth gave to His Jewish disciples while He was on earth.
Paul’s commission for the body of Christ is called “the ministry of reconciliation.”
Corinthians 5:18-20 And
all things are of God, who
hath reconciled us to himself by JESUS
CHRIST, AND HATH GIVEN TO US THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION;
To wit, that GOD
WAS IN CHRIST, RECONCILING THE WORLD UNTO HIMSELF, NOT IMPUTING
(counting) THEIR TRESPASSES UNTO
THEM; and HATH COMMITTED
UNTO US THE WORD OF RECONCILIATION.
Now then WE ARE AMBASSADORS
as though God did beseech you
by us: we pray you in
Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to
as I have seen in my over 40 years as a Christian and student of the Bible,
the church at large mixes the words of Jesus of Nazareth with Paul’s
words. They come to confusion and contradiction in their teaching because
they mix the instructions of two
different programs of
relationship with God. These are for God’s
two people groups – 1) Jesus’
words are for “the nation
Since the confused today largely marginalize Paul, they remain confused. You see, they set “the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth” (on earth) over against “the teachings of Paul,” not because they are determined to obey Jesus (we’ve already proven they don’t), but because they are determined to minimize Paul. Paul’s ministry is what God has “magnified” — the authority of Paul as “the apostle of the Gentiles.”
I (Paul) speak to you Gentiles,
inasmuch as I am THE (singular) apostle
of the Gentiles, I (Paul) magnify mine office.
chose Paul to be the Gentile’s Moses. Paul was to declare “the
mystery (long held secret)” (
the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for HE
(Paul) IS A CHOSEN VESSEL UNTO ME, TO BEAR MY NAME BEFORE THE
GENTILES, AND KINGS, AND THE CHILDREN OF
IS NEITHER JEW NOR GREEK,
there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for YE
ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS.
At the time Jesus gave Paul his commission to go to the Gentiles with his new grace gospel, it was forbidden that a Jew would speak with or associate with a Gentile. So, being contrary to Jewish Law, this is quite a remarkable commission for Paul.
Sadly, such confused preaching and teaching as we see today has long exalted the teachings of the earthly “Jesus of Nazareth” above those of Paul because they have closed their ears to the oft-repeated and Spirit-inspired claims of Paul that came from the glorified Lord, through Paul. You see, after His ascension to heaven the Lord Himself spoke again, this time from heaven, to and then through Paul. The Lord committed to Paul “the dispensation of the grace of God” and the program of the grace gospel for this day in which we live.
Acts 20:24; 22:6-10, 17-21; 26:12-18; Rom. 11:13; 15:15, 16; 16:25, 26; I
Cor. 3:10; 11:23; 15:3; II Cor. 5:16; Gal. 1:1,11, 12; 2:7-9; Eph. 3:1-4,8,
9; 6:18-20; Phil. 4:9; Col. 1:23-27; I Thes. 4:15; II Thes. 3:14; I Tim.
2:5-7; II Tim. 2:7-9; Titus 1:2, 3, etc.).
Those who exalt “the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth” have forgotten the stern rebuke the Galatians received from Paul for failing to recognize Paul’s teachings as a message from the risen, exalted Christ.
marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the
grace of Christ unto another gospel (than Paul preached): 7
Which is not another; but there
be some that trouble you, and would pervert
the gospel of Christ. 8 But
though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than
that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9
As we said before, so say I now again, If
any man preach any other
gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men?
for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 11
But I CERTIFY YOU,
BRETHREN, THAT THE GOSPEL WHICH WAS PREACHED OF ME IS NOT AFTER MAN. 12
For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it,
but BY THE REVELATION OF (FROM) JESUS
They have also taken lightly Paul’s words to the Corinthians recorded here. “…if I (Paul) come again I (Paul) will not spare: since ye seek a proof of CHRIST SPEAKING IN ME…” (2Cor 13:2-3).
They have distorted Paul’s inspired admonition as to his words and writings. The result, according to the word the Lord gave Paul, is they are “proud, knowing nothing.”
any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the
words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine (spoken through Paul)
which is according to godliness; he is PROUD,
KNOWING NOTHING… from such withdraw thyself” (I Tim. 6:3-5).
any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge
that THE THINGS THAT I (Paul) WRITE
UNTO YOU ARE THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD.”
is a misunderstanding that comes by what is implied when we read so-called
“Red-Letter” Bible’s that mark the words of Jesus by printing them in
Red ink. Yes, those words are the God-breathed word of God, but so also are
the words that the Lord speaks to us though the Apostle Paul, as well as all
the writers of all sixty-six books of the Bible. The One divine writer of
the Bible is God. Psalm 138:1-2
thou (Lord) hast magnified THY WORD ABOVE ALL THY NAME.
The Lord inspired every word, with its wording (context), through each
Only when we “rightly divide” the “word of truth” in His written word can we arrive at the scope, intent, and purpose of the Lord in all that we read in the whole Bible.
Timothy 2:15 Study
to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH.
There are Bible truths for this Gentile age of grace that are in contradistinction with that of the previous age of “the Law.” These truths will come to light as we study the Bible in its full context that is only seen dispensationally. It is critical that we clearly see these contrast or we will be in confusion, never able to have and enjoy the security of our faith as the Lord intended for our rest and peace.