Part 2 of 17–
Paul’s Calling & Authority
Question: As Christians and students of the Bible, are we to believe what the Apostle Paul has written in his fourteen epistles? The answer must be “yes,” since “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” 2 Tim 3:16.
Paul’s writings are as inerrant and God-breathed as all sacred Scripture; as is the Pentateuch written by Moses, and the four Gospels, etc. If we are to believe Paul’s writings then we must reconcile them with the other Scriptures in a way that shows the perfect continuity of the Bible’s message when it is properly interpreted in the context, and light of Paul’s own writings and claims.
Paul's Spirit-inspired claims for the distinctive character of his apostleship leave no room for doubt. Consider this sampling of Pauline verses that tell us who Paul says he is and about the gospel he preached.
11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I AM THE APOSTLE OF THE
1:11, 12 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached
of me is NOT AFTER MAN. FOR I NEITHER RECEIVED IT OF MAN, NEITHER
WAS I TAUGHT IT, BUT BY THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST.
3:1-3 For this cause, I PAUL, THE PRISONER OF JESUS CHRIST FOR YOU
GENTILES, If ye have heard of THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD,
WHICH IS GIVEN ME TO YOU-WARD: How that BY REVELATION HE MADE
KNOWN UNTO ME THE MYSTERY....
1:25 ...I am made a minister, according to THE DISPENSATION OF GOD
WHICH IS GIVEN TO ME FOR YOU, to fulfill [fill full, or complete] the
Word of God.
Timothy 2:5-7 For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men,
the Man Christ Jesus;
Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
WHEREUNTO I AM ORDAINED A PREACH-ER, AND AN APOSTLE (I SPEAK THE TRUTH IN CHRIST, AND LIE NOT); A TEACHER OF THE GENTILES IN FAITH AND VERITY.
1:2,3 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie; promised before
the world began;
But hath in due times manifested His Word THROUGH PREACHING WHICH IS COMMITTED UNTO ME, according to the commandment of God our Saviour.
him that is of power to stablish you according to MY GOSPEL, and the
preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which
WAS KEPT SECRET SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN,
In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ
according to MY GOSPEL.
Cor. 14:37 If 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.
The Canon of Scripture is the list andsetting of the books of the Bible that are considered to make up the Holy Scriptures as deemed by the religious community, generally in Judaism and/or Christianity. The term “Canon” itself was first used by Christians, but the idea is found in Hellenistic Jewish sources. The Canon of Scripture that is accepted by most all Christian organizations has thirteen of Paul’s epistles gathered together, running from Romans to Philemon. These are written to the predominantly Gentile “church, which is His body.” Paul also wrote the letter to Hebrews, directed to guess who? Yes, the Hebrews. In Hebrews we may learn and gain additional Pauline insight as it expands upon the core faith truths and meaning of the cross of Christ that we see in Paul’s other books such as Romans.
Interestingly, Paul’s fourteen epistles are correctly set into the Canon of Scripture, not according to the date of their writing, but rather as the Holy Spirit directed. The Holy Spirit guided men that these books would be correctly placed into the proper sequence so as to reveal the unfolding of God’s eternal plan of the ages, dispensationally. Paul was given “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2), and conveyed it to us.