Part 3 of 17 -
Pauls Calling & Message
Paul was converted and saved several years after the cross, on the road to Damascus. In the book of Acts written by Luke, we see that Paul always went to the synagogue or Jew first (see Rom 1:16, 2:10), attempting to convince the Jews of the forgiveness of sins and justification "through Jesus" (Act 13:38-39). Paul did this…until the leaders of Israel, dull of heart and dull of hearing, made their final rejection of the Jesus. With that rejection, they were rejecting both the King and His Kingdom that had been long promised to them, as being Abrahams seed.
With Israels final rejection of Pauls sharing of forgiveness and justification in Christ alone, God set Israel aside, then turning to the Gentiles, whom Paul said will listen to Pauls message of the salvation of God.
Acts 28:25-29 (Amplified Bible) And as they (Israels Leaders in Rome) disagreed among themselves, they began to leave, [but not before] Paul had added one statement [more]: The Holy Spirit was right in saying through Isaiah the prophet to your forefathers: 26 Go to this people (Israel) and say to them, You will indeed hear and hear with your ears but will not understand, and you will indeed look and look with your eyes but will not see [not perceive, have knowledge of or become acquainted with what you look at, at all]. 27 For the heart (the understanding, the soul) of this people has grown dull (stupid, hardened, and calloused), and their ears are heavy and hard of hearing and they have shut tight their eyes, so that they may not perceive and have knowledge and become acquainted with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their souls and turn [to Me and be converted], that I may heal them. 28 So let it be understood by you then that [this message of] the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen [to it]! 29 And when he (Paul) had said these things, the Jews went away, arguing and disputing among themselves.
Paul tells us God has turned away from Israel, for now, turning to the Gentiles. Paul tells us Israel is now blinded (dulled in their senses) in part; Israel is set aside, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Rom 11:25 I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part (dulled in their perception of Israels Messiah) is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
With the Kingdom now in abeyance, a Jew today may only be saved according to Pauls mystery gospel (Rom 16:25, Col 1:25-27), under the dispensation of the grace of God (Eph 3:2), given to Paul by the ascended Jesus. Today, a Jew may only be saved by grace through faith…not of works (Eph 2:8-9).
Such a believing Jew then becomes a member of the church, which is His body (Eph 1:22b-23a), in which there are no more distinctions between believing Jews and Gentiles in Christ, for all are one in Christ (Gal 3:28). Pauls distinctive pure grace gospel message is Gods last or ultimate gospel, given to him for us. Colossians 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me (Paul) for you (Gentiles), to fulfil (Greek, pleroo, to complete) the word of God; Being then complete, Pauls is The Last Gospel message to be added or entered into the Bible.
HOW TO STUDY: Paul also instructs the believers as to how they should study in order to properly interpret the Bible; it is by rightly dividing the word of truth (2Tim 2:15). We need to be careful to note the differences among the gospels in the Bible as we study Scriptures. In that way we are able to separate that which, 1) God spoke by all the prophets, Jesus of Nazareth, and Jesus twelve disciples, addressing the Jews, 2) From that which was spoken by the ascended Christ, to and through Paul, for and concerning the Gentile members of the body of Christ.
Sadly, many if not most Christians do not study the Bible properly; thus they do not give proper place to Paul, to heed his writings and instruction for the body of Christ. Failing this, they miss out on the fullness of the riches of Gods salvation that may be found in Christ, by grace, through faith, apart from works.All Scripture is God-breathed and for our learning (2 Tim 3:16), but only a portion is written to and concerning the body of Christ. Most of the Bible concerns only the children of Israel. It is this lack of dividing the word of truth according to Pauls instruction that leads to; 1) the confusion and divisions we see among Christians, and 2) the contradictions that we see in their non-dispensational Bible teachings.