Comparing The Apostles and Their Ministries
We must compare the ministry of Jesus’ “Twelve” Apostles sent unto the Circumcision (Israel) with that of Paul, “The Apostle to the Gentiles,” (Rom. 11:13, Gal 2:8-9). We must then observe and note carefully the significant differences.
1. The twelve were chosen by Christ while ON EARTH (Luke 6:13) …
- Paul was only later chosen by Christ while He was IN HEAVEN (Acts 9:3-5; 26:16).
2. Prior to Paul’s conversion “the twelve” had known Christ only ON EARTH (I John 1:1). Even at His ascension to heaven “a cloud received Him OUT OF THEIR SIGHT” (Acts 1:9).
- But Paul knew only the risen Christ IN HEAVEN, having never seen Him on earth (Acts 26:16; 1 Cor. 15:8).
3. “The Twelve” represented their own nation of Israel. The number twelve has no connection with the “one Body” of Christ. As we know, Jacob of old “begat the twelve patriarchs” (Acts 7:8). From these sprang the twelve tribes of Israel. These tribes had twelve princes over them (Numbers 1:16). Even when Israel was ruled by kings there were still to be twelve princes — one over each tribe (I Chronicles 27:22). Thus, as He went forth proclaiming “the gospel of the kingdom” our Lord chose twelve princes” for the “twelve thrones” in the kingdom to come (Matt. 19:28).
- On the other hand, Paul, as one apostle, represents the “one Body,” the Church of today (Rom.12:5; I Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:4). However, Paul was both a born Hebrew and a born Roman, so represented believing Jews and Gentiles “reconciled…unto God in one body by the cross…” (Eph. 2:16).
4. “The twelve” were sent by Jesus to proclaim that Christ’s kingdom was “at hand” (Matt. 10:7), and later to offer its establishment on earth (Acts 3:19-26), though of course Israel, as seen in a parable, rejected the message saying of Jesus, “We will not have this man to reign over us.” (Luke 19:14).
- But Paul was sent by the ascended Lord Jesus to proclaim “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24) to ALL men, Jew and Gentile alike … while Christ’s kingdom to come on earth is still held in abeyance.
5. The ministry of “the twelve” was based on ‘covenant promises’ (Isaiah 60:1-3; Luke 1:70-79; Acts 3:22-26).
- Paul’s ministry message had been “kept secret,” never been spoken of (Rom. 16:25). So, Paul’s ministry was not based on any ‘covenant promises,’ but wholly on ‘the grace of God” that came by Jesus Christ at the Cross by his ‘death, burial, and resurrection” (Rom.3:21-28; 5:20-21; Eph.1:6-7; 2:7; 1Cor. 15:3-4etc.).
- Portions above were Adapted from Cornelius Stam –
For more detail read “Paul’s God-Given Credentials and Authority” at; http://www.artlicursi.com/articles/paul%E2%80%99s-god-given-credentials-and-authority