Knowing Which Gospel Applies Today
Some Christians mistakenly say; “All of the Bible is written to us. It’s all about us, and there is only one gospel.”
It is true that “all Scripture” is for our learning (2 Tim. 3:16-17). But that means as we seriously study the Bible, we learn that God’s has two people groups; 1) Israel, and 2) the Gentile “body of Christ.” As we study, we notice how the Apostle Paul clearly wrote of two gospels in Gal. 2:7 for these two people groups of God.
“the gospel of the uncircumcision [Gentiles] was committed unto me [Paul], as the gospel of the circumcision [Israel] was unto Peter.” (Gal. 2:7 as seen in the KJV only).
So, how are we to reconcile these ‘two gospels’?
“Well,” some might say, “it’s the same gospel but just a different audience.” If that is so, then how do you explain Matt. 10:7 in which Jesus said,
“And as ye go, PREACH, saying, The kingdom of [from] heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”
Ask yourself, is this what we preach and hear in our churches today? … That the kingdom of heaven is “at hand” … Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead? When was the last time you heard this message seriously preached or when did you last see someone raised from the dead in your church? You haven’t!
- By contrast, Paul preached his gospel for today;
“I declare unto you THE GOSPEL which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved… how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day” (1 Cor. 15:1-4).
This should the gospel that grace believers are called to preach and share today.
Now notice what Jesus explicitly told His Jewish disciples and twelve Apostles (not Paul);
“Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Is this how we disseminate the gospel today? Do we avoid the Gentiles and Samaritans, and speaking only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel? Is that God’s will for us today?
- By contrast, Paul said God “would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery [former secret] among THE GENTILES; which is CHRIST in you, the hope of glory: WHOM WE PREACH, WARNING EVERY MAN, and teaching EVERY MAN in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col. 1:27-28).
Jesus told a Gentile woman in Matt.15:24 “I [Jesus] am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” – exclusively.
- By contrast, Paul said in Rom. 10:12 that there is NO DIFFERENCE between Jew and Greek [Greek. ethnos, ‘all ethnicities’).
Many would ask, “What about the thief on the cross? Wasn’t he a Gentile?”
Ask yourself, what was it that the thief believed that got him saved? When he was hanging on that cross, did he think that Christ was in the process of paying for the sins of the whole world? No. How could he know that Christ was paying for the sins of the world when that truth was not yet revealed? It came later when it was revealed to Paul. The thief simply believed that Christ was Israel’s Messiah, which was the gospel during the Lord’s earthly ministry (John 3:15-16). This is not the gospel that Paul preached, which was … Faith In The Lord’s Death, Burial, And Resurrection As A Payment For All Sins (1 Cor. 15:1-4).
In the so-called “Great Commission,” Peter and the other were told by Jesus, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost…”
- By Contrast, Paul said in 1 Cor. 1:17 that “Christ sent me not to baptize.”
Do you think Peter and the 12 could say what Paul said? They had been specifically instructed by Jesus to ‘baptize.’
John the Baptist mentioned three baptisms in one verse, Matt. 3:11, baptism by water, Spirit, and fire.
- Yet, Paul says in Eph. 4:4-5 that “there is” only “One Lord, one faith, ONE BAPTISM.” Doesn’t one mean one?
How can Paul’s “one baptism” not be the baptism by the Spirit that takes place the moment we first believe (cf. 1 Cor. 12:13)? This is a waterless spiritual baptism into an intimate union with Christ. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit”. (1 Corinthians 12:13 (KJV)
So, why was it that the Lord did not send Paul to baptize?
Answer: Paul answers that question for us saying; “lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect” (1 Cor. 1:17). You see, any religious tradition, ritual, rite, or ‘work’ that is added to your salvation would be an affront to the power and to the glory and to the victory and to the all-sufficiency of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross at Calvary’s Cross!
In Israel’s program, their all ‘blessings’ and ‘curses’ were conditional under the “If/Then Principle” that is found in Deut. 28:1-2, 15.
- By contrast, under Paul, all our blessings are UNconditional after we first believe. In fact God the Father has already “blessed us [believers] with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3) and made us “joint-heirs with Christ” (Rom 8:17).
In the four Bible Gospel books, Jesus said forgiving others was a requirement to receive forgiveness from God the Father. The Lord said in Matt. 6:14-15, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
- By contrast, Paul says that we’ve already been forgiven! Eph. 4:32 tells us, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath [already] forgiven you.” Plus, Col. 2:13 tells us, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having [already] forgiven you all trespasses.”
Israel was promised an EARTHLY inheritance. They were told again and again that they shall inherit the Earth. As David wrote in Psa. 2:8, "I shall give Thee... the uttermost parts of the Earth for Thy possession”. In Psa. 22:27, he’d write, “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.” In Psa. 72:8, he’d also write, “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.”
- By contrast, Paul tells us we’ve inherited HEAVENLY positions. Eph. 2:6 tells us that God has “raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
The Lord Jesus obeyed the laws of Moses and told His followers to obey the law. He said in Matt. 23:2-3, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.”
- Paul tells us repeatedly we’re “not under the law but under grace” (Rom. 6:14-15). In the Ten Commandments, the Jews were told to “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exo. 20:8; Deut. 5:12).
By contrast, Paul also tells us in Col. 2:16, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat [foods], or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days”.
Do you think the scribes and Pharisees sitting in Moses’ seat would have all their people observe the Sabbath? Do you think they’d judge someone who didn’t observe the Sabbath? You know they would! And yet Paul tells us, let no man judge you about observing Sabbath days.
Under Israels program, many meats were forbidden such as we might find in Lev. 11:7-8. “The swine is unclean to you… of their flesh ye shall not eat and… not touch.” But Paul tells us that “every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving” (1 Tim. 4:4). I praise the Lord every time I can have some fried swine with my eggs for breakfast!
Under Israels Law program, if you lived with an unbelieving mate, Ezra 10 told you to put that mate away according to the law.
- By contrast, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 7 that if you have an unbelieving mate, live with them so they might be led to Christ.
The Lord told the rich young man to give away all his possessions and follow Him.
- By contrast, Paul tells us in 1 Tim. 5:8, under the grace gospel, “if any provide not for his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
Tithing was part of the old Mosaic Law given to Israel (Lev. 27:30-33).
- By contrast, Paul tells us that God took that old Mosaic law “that was against us, which was contrary to us, and [Jesus] took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Col 2:14).
- What Paul teaches about tithing can be found in 2 Cor. 9:7, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” That’s grace!
I ask you – how do you reconcile all these apparent contradictions between what Jesus and His Apostles to Israel said and did, compared with Paul’s gospel message?
There’s only one answer. Paul is our “Apostle to the Gentiles” for today. “For I [Paul] speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, …” Romans 11:13 (KJV) And Paul wrote that ALL MEN are to be considered Gentiles. (cf. Gal 3:28).
Please prayerfully consider how that what the Lord revealed to us through Paul was entirely different from what had been taught before him. This is why Paul three times talks about his “my gospel” (Rom. 2:16; 16:25; 2 Tim. 2:8), because his good news was different than the good news of “the kingdom” being “at hand” for Israel. This is why Paul three times under inspiration of the Holy Spirit tells us to “be ye followers of me” (1 Cor. 4:16; 1 Cor. 11:1; Phil. 3:17), because he is our apostle for today and because Paul’s conversion by grace through faith was to be a “pattern” to all who “should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting” (1 Tim. 1:16).
He’s a pattern because we live during a new “dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:2), which has interrupted in the prophetic program in which God is now dispensing His grace to all, Jew, and Gentile alike, who come to Him by faith trusting in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ as a payment for all our sins.
God revealed this grace gospel information to Paul in a “mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:25-27).
We are, therefore are careful to be “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). In the Majority Text manuscripts, which is the written Word of God, rightly dividing was accurately translated in the King James Bible from the Greek word, orthotomeo, which means to dissect correctly, or to make a straight cut, or to rightly divide. We must make a straight cut in the Bible between that which is spoken to us for today and what isn't spoken to us or about us, between God's kingdom program for Israel and God’s grace program for us, between prophecy and the mystery (the former secret hid in God), between Israel and the church today called “the Body of Christ.”
Adapted from Joel Hayes: http://supplyofgrace.com/2023/06/27/to-the-haters-out-there/