Paul’s God-Given Credentials and Authority
Christians of today’s age of “the dispensation of the grace of God” need to see and appreciate how that Paul alone is “the Apostle to the GENTILES.” This is in stark contrast with “the Twelve” Apostles who Jesus sent “not into the way of the Gentiles” but rather only to “the lost sheep of the HOUSE OF ISRAEL.” (Matt. 10:5-6)
“I [Paul] speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the GENTILES, I magnify [I honor] mine office” (Romans 11:13).
Paul here distinguishes his calling to the Gentiles from that of Peter’s calling unto Israel.
“But contrariwise [as opposites], when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me [by God to Paul], as the gospel of the circumcision [Israel] was unto Peter; 8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision [ISRAEL], the same was mighty in me [Paul] toward the GENTILES:)
9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we [Paul and company] should go unto the heathen [the ethnic GENTILES], and they [the 12 Apostles] unto the circumcision [ISRAEL].” Galatians 2:7-9 (KJV)
Recognizing Paul’s unique calling in the plan of God and his special ministry to the GENTILES is the basis for our understanding the 'dispensational truth' that is for today.
This below was written by William Newell (1856-1965), Professor, of the famed Moody Bible Institute. I’ve added the text for the Scriptures that he references along with some emphasis.
“What We Take for Granted When We Read Paul
“I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office” (Romans 11:13).
1. That Paul is speaking directly from the Lord to us.
“For ye know what commandments [Grk. parangelia, mandate] we gave you by the Lord Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 4:2 (KJV)
2. Therefore, that he knows the mind of God for us.
“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16 (KJV)
“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 [Grk., entole, precepts] of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 14:37 (KJV)
4. That we, being Gentiles, Paul’s words take precedence over ALL other Scripture to us.
“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:” (Romans 11:13 (KJV)
5. That the risen Christ is speaking in Paul in a completeness which, even if it sets aside temple worship, and all Jewish matters, as such, must govern our very thoughts, as to our relationship to God and or worship of Him.
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he [Christ] made known unto me the mystery [Grk. musterion, secret plan of God]; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye [Paul’s] may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;” (Ephesians 3:1-5 (KJV)
6. That there is therefore no appeal from Paul to Jesus Christ of the Gospels, for ‘Christ Risen’ Speaks In Paul, In The Full Value Of All His Atoning Work – which was NOT possible in the Gospels, not even in John’s gospel.
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision [Israel] for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:” (Romans 15:8 (KJV)
“For I [Paul] neither received it [Paul’s ‘grace gospel’] of man, neither was I taught it, but [I received my gospel] by the revelation of [from] Jesus Christ.” [Galatians 1:12 (KJV)
7. That therefore, To Reject Paul’s Words Is To Reject Christ.
“Verily, verily, I [Jesus] say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth Me; and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me.” (John 13:20 (KJV)