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0290-002

THE PROFILE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL; PART 2.

1TI 1:12-15, ACT 22:6-11, GAL 1:11-24.

08-31-2022

PDF: 0290-002

 

GRACE BIBLE CHURCH

08/31/2022

PASTOR ROBERT R. MCLAUGHLIN

 

 

I said on Sunday morning that if there is one word that describes the book of Ephesians it is the word supergrace.

 

Supergrace is the highest adult stage of the spiritual life in the Royal family of God and therefore, supergrace is maximum glorification of Jesus Christ.

 

Now, in EPH 1:1 we read, Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:

 

We began verse 1 with the profile of the apostle Paul.

 

Under the profile of Paul, we closed with our ninth point on the profile of the apostle Paul.

Let’s note where we are.

 

First of all, concerning the profile of Paul we completed the first nine principles.

 

  1. (Y) Paul is the Roman name of the Jew named Saul of Tarsus and while he was a Jew and one of the greatest genius’ in all of history, he was also the all-time greatest Roman.

 

  1. Everyone in the world was trying to acquire a Roman citizenship because it was considered to be one of the greatest privileges in the world at that time.

 

  1. There have been many famous Roman citizens, but Paul and Caesar are by far the greatest, and Paul is placed above Caesar because he actually did more for SPQR than Caesar did.

 

  1. The Roman name Paul occurs first in ACT 13:9 where his real name Saul was also known as Paul, having been filled with the Spirit.

 

  1. The Jewish profile of Paul is given in Eph 3:5. Paul was the only Roman citizen who was also a Jewish Pharisee, Act 22:28; Phi 3:5.

 

  1. The spiritual gift of apostleship was temporary and discontinued after the completion of the Canon of scripture; 1Co 13:10.

 

  1. 1Co 12:11 says the Holy Spirit sovereignly bestowed the gift of apostleship and 1Co 12:28, God appointed the apostles first on His list of gifts.

 

  1. Peter, James, and John were apostles to the Jews, Gal 2:7-9.

 

 

  1. The twelfth apostle was Paul, but before he was recognized as such, a farce occurred in Act 1, where Peter suggested that they elect someone to take the place of Judas Iscariot.

 

Here’s where we pick it up.

 

  1. In 1TI 1:12-15, Paul is described as the worst of all sinners before his salvation.

 

In genuine humility, Paul wrote that he was the worst sinner who ever lived, and here that he was the least of all the apostles.

 

As an unbeliever, Paul murdered many Christians and yet he became the greatest believer of all time and one of the reasons is that he recognized he was sinner or chief sinner that ever lived.

 

You say; What about people like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Attila the Hun, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Jack the Ripper, or YOU!

 

In fact, he even tells us this in 1TI 12-16.

 

1TI 1:12   I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service;

 

1TI 1:13  even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. And yet I was shown mercy, because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;

 

1TI 1:14  and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.

 

1TI 1:15  It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.

 

1TI 1:16  And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

 

Note the principle that as the foremost of sinners, Paul was also the foremost of receiving grace and mercy.

 

For Paul knew the principle that Dr. Luke told us in in LUK 7:47; where the principle of those who sin much, have been forgiven much.

 

LUK 7:47 "For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little."

 

Paul became an apostle as a result of the sovereign decision of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Eph 4:11.

 

EPH 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some   as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

 

Paul was given the spiritual gift by the Holy Spirit according to 1Co 12:11.

 

1CO 12:11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

 

  1. After his salvation, Paul is described as the least of all saints; Eph 3:8.

 

Since this book is our study, look at EPH 3:8 where the apostle Paul writes:

 

EPH 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,

 

The 12TH principle on the profile of Paul is that:

 

  1. From this we learn that humility is the secret to attaining greatness, no matter what the field, without humility, greatness cannot be sustained.

 

Arrogance creates a tragic flaw and destroys anyone’s success or prosperity.

 

No one can be an invisible hero under arrogance, the greatest corrupter in life.

 

On Sunday morning, we closed by noting that to be an apostle;

 

One of the requirements was you had to see the resurrected Christ, and the apostle Paul saw the resurrected Lord when he was on the Damascus Road on his way to killing Christians.

 

Paul saw the resurrected Christ on the Damascus Road, according to Acts 9:3-6, 22:6-11, 26:13-18.

 

ACT 22:6 "And it came about that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me,

 

ACT 22:7 and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?'

 

ACT 22:8 "And I answered, 'Who art Thou, Lord?' And He said to me, 'I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.'

 

ACT 22:9 "And those who were with me beheld the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me.

 

ACT 22:10 "And I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me,   'Arise and go on into Damascus; and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.'

 

ACT 22:11 "But since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus.

 

Next, being an apostle and having to see the resurrected Christ, our Lord appeared to Paul again in Arabia according to Gal 11-24.

 

GAL 1:11   For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.

GAL 1:12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

GAL 1:13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure, and tried to destroy it;

 

GAL 1:14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.

 

GAL 1:15 But when He who had set me apart, even from my mother's womb, and called me through His grace, was pleased

 

GAL 1:16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,

GAL 1:17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.

 

GAL 1:18   Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days.

 

GAL 1:19 But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother.

 

GAL 1:20 (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying.)

 

GAL 1:21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.

 

GAL 1:22 And I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ;

 

GAL 1:23 but only, they kept hearing, "He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy."

 

GAL 1:24 And they were glorifying God because of me.

 

Then He appeared to Paul in the Temple, Acts 9:26-30, 22:17-21.

 

Both passages we have noted.

 

Finally;

 

He appeared to Paul in prison, Acts 23:11.

 

ACT 23:11  But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, "Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also."

So, Paul saw the resurrected Christ on four different occasions.

 

As we just noted,

 

In 1TI 1:12-15, Paul describes himself as the worst of all sinners because, before he was saved, he persecuted Christians, both males and females, to the point of physical death.

 

And;

 

In genuine humility, he said he was the worst sinner who ever lived.

 

As an unbeliever, Paul murdered many Christians and yet he became the greatest believer of all time and one of the reasons is that he recognized that he was the worse  sinner who ever lived.

This was because he apparently forgot what the Isaiah said concerning our past sins at the moment of salvation.

 

In ISA 43:25, we read concerning all of our past sins what the Lord ha done for us concerning our past life.

 

ISA 43:25  "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.

 

Notice at the moment of salvation he wipes away our past sins and he wipes out your transgressions for His own sake and He will not remember your sins.

 

It is for His own sake that He will not remember our sins.

 

Why?

 

Because His justice and righteousness have been satisfied, he does not remember our sins.

 

Then notice what Isaiah said in Isa 44:22.

 

ISA 44:22 "I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you."

 

At the moment of salvation, the Lord wipes away our transgressions which cannot be seen because under the principle of a thick cloud, and a heavy mist, the Lord cannot see our past.

 

And notice our Lord’s heartbeat for the sinner when He says “Return to Me, for I have redeemed you."

 

Now, as I mentioned in one of those points concerning the worse sinners who ever lived;

 

What about people like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Attila the Hun, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Jack the Ripper?

 

Now, they were really terrible and they terrified people wherever they ruled, but probably even worse, another question emerges concerning the worse sinner who ever lived.

 

 (Y) What about You?

 

Paul even tells us this in 1TI 12-16 which we just read.

 

Paul became an apostle as a result of the sovereign decision of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Eph 4:11.

 

EPH 4:11 And He [TLJC] gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some   as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

Since this is the book we are studying look once again at a passage that most of you are familiar with;

 

ISA 44:22 "I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you."

 

Paul was given the spiritual gift by the Holy Spirit according to 1Co 12:11.

 

  1. After his salvation, Paul is described as the least of all saints; Eph 3:8.

 

EPH 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ.

 

  1. From this we learn that humility is the secret to attaining greatness, no matter what the field, without humility, greatness cannot be sustained.

Arrogance creates a tragic flaw and destroys anyone’s success or prosperity.

 

No one can be an invisible hero under arrogance, the greatest corrupter in life.

 

Now, we are ready for an outline of the book of Ephesians.

 

As an introduction to this book of Ephesians, let me give you what will be the corrected translation of verses 1-6, since it will be about a year before we even finish the first six verses.

 

Now, you can read your Bible along with me as I give you what I believe is the corrected translation of the first six verses.

 

The literal translation of the first six verses of this chapter will look like this:

EPH 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through God’s purpose, will and design, to those being saints and faithful in Christ Jesus.

 

EPH 1:2  Grace to you and peace, from the ultimate source of God our Father, and Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Eph 1:3 Worthy of praise and glorification the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the one having provided us benefits by every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ:

 

EPH 1:4 Even as he has chosen us for himself in him before the beginning of the world, that we keep on being saints and blameless in the presence of Him.

 

Verse 5 should begin with the phrase; “In love” which is found at the end of verse 4 but it should be placed in the beginning of verse 5.

 

So, it should read;

 

EPH 1:5 In love having pre designed us with the result of the appointment of adult sons for himself through Jesus Christ, according to the benevolent purpose from his will,

 

EPH 1:6 Resulting in recognition of glory from the source of his grace, from which he has pursued us with grace in the one having been loved.

 

Now, you may ask why will it take a year to translate six verses?

 

And The answer to that is found in all of the doctrines that are found in those verses like the Doctrine of Divine Decrees, Doctrine of Predestination, etc.

 

Between those two doctrines alone, it will probably take us about a year!

The objective of the epistle is to demonstrate how God pursues the super-grace believer with grace.

 

The subject of the first chapter is God’s pre designed plan. (PPOG).

 

Now;

 

The Pauline epistles, when he was thrown into prison, fall into four general categories.

 

The first one is:

 

  1. (Y) The second missionary journey Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians in 52 AD and 2 Thessalonians from 53 AD that Paul began writing.

 

  1. The third missionary journey Paul wrote Galatians; 1 Corinthians; 2 Corinthians; Romans.
  2. From 58 AD we have a silence from Paul for four years. He went into reversionism by going to Jerusalem.

 

When Paul wrote the book of Romans, he should have carried the epistle himself to Rome, he should have gone to Rome from Corinth.

 

But, He got out of the geographical will of God by going to Jerusalem.

 

For the Holy Spirit warned him not to go to Jerusalem, but being a Jew and in emotional revolt he disobeyed and went anyway.

 

Let’s notice the passage that seems like Paul is being humble but Paul is really being emotional as we will note.

 

ACT 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church.

 

ACT 20:18 And when they had come to him, he said to them,  "You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time,

 

ACT 20:19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews;

 

ACT 20:20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house,

 

ACT 20:21 solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

ACT 20:22 "And now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there,

 

ACT 20:23 except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me.

 

ACT 20:24 "But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

 

Notice that the Holy Spirit had warned him not to go to Jerusalem because if he does, he will be thrown in jail and be mistreated.

 

But;

 

He went anyway, and the Jews rejected him and gave him over to Rome to be thrown into prison, for the Jews had no prisons and were under Roman domination at the time.

 

In that passage we just read from the book of Acts;

 

It sounds like Paul was being humble, when in reality he was under divine discipline from God.

 

This was probably the worst case of emotional revolt of the soul in the entire New Testament.

 

But, as usual,

 

God turned the curse into a blessing for it was there in the Roman prison that Paul wrote those four great epistles.

 

Still under the Introduction

  1. After his recovery he wrote possibly the four most important things he ever wrote: Ephesians from Rome in 62 AD, Philippians from Rome in 63 AD, Colossians from Rome in 62 AD, Philemon from Rome in 62.

 

So much for our first part of the verse which says

 

EPH 1:1 Paul,

 

Next, we have, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

 

The next word “apostle needs to be noted.”

 

EPH 1:1 Paul, and then we have an apostle

 

(Y) This leads us then to The Doctrine of Apostleship

(Y) Point 1. A.  Etymology, the study of the origin of words.

 

  1. (Y) The Greek word is apostolos had the highest rank ever given to a member of the Royal Family of God in the Church Age.

 

As a Roman citizen, Paul carried authority in the Middle East.

 

As a Pharisee, Paul carried authority in Judea.

 

But;

 

As an apostle in the Royal Family of God, Paul reached the peak of rank and authority.

 

  1. (Y) Apostolos, an Attic Greek word, was already 500 years old when used in the New Testament.

It was originally used for high-ranking admirals or general officers chosen by a counsel to command either an army or an Athenian fleet on a military expedition, generally against the Spartans.

 

  1. (Y)  The third meaning was for whomever was in command of Greek colonists when they would leave Athens and go elsewhere to establish a Greek colony.

 

The governor of the founded colony was called an APOSTOLOS.

 

Hence;

 

  1. (Y) The word connotes command responsibility for a commander of a military or naval expedition and for the governor of a Greek colony, are found in the New Testament.

 

  1. (Y) This word is used in the New Testament epistles in a special way for a temporary spiritual gift which were temporary because there was no Scripture as of yet for the Church Age to explain the PPOG. 

 

It had not yet been reduced to writing.  The highest of all these temporary spiritual gifts was apostleship.

 

(Y) Point 2. New Testament Use of Apostolos.

 

Until the Canon of Scripture was completed and circulated, apostleship was a gift of super authority beyond the local church level.

 

There were two categories of apostles in the early church which correspond with the two uses of Apostolos:

The twelve men with the spiritual gift of apostleship, analogous to the commander of a military or naval expedition.

 

Pioneer missionaries as a delegated function in the early church, analogous to the founder and governor of a Greek colony.

 

So much for our introduction and the first points I fave under Point 1 and Point 2.

 

Next we have the third point in our doctrine of apostleship.

 

Point 3.  (Y) The Spiritual Gift of Apostleship.

 

The gift of apostleship is the first and highest of all spiritual gifts ever given.

 

This gift had maximum command authority.

It is listed in 1Co 12:28 and Eph 4:11.

 

1CO 12:28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles,

 

EPH 4:11 And He gave some (first) as apostles,

 

The apostles were twelve men in the early church who had the spiritual gift.

 

Eleven of these were carried over from being the apostles to Israel in MAT 10:2-4.

 

The only one not carried over on that roster was Judas Iscariot, who was never saved as some teach.

 

My Bible says that it would be better off he had not been born for in MAT 26:20, we read.

 

MAT 26:20   Now when evening had come, He was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples.

 

MAT 26:21 And as they were eating, He said, "Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me."

 

MAT 26:22 And being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him,   "Surely not I, Lord?"

 

MAT 26:23 And He answered and said, "He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me.

 

MAT 26:24 "The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born."

 

MAT 26:25 And Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, "Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" He said to him, "You have said it yourself."

 

Therefore,

 

The Bible distinguishes between the apostles to Israel and the apostles to the Church.  Paul replaced Judas Iscariot according to 1Co 15:7-10.

 

1CO 15:7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;

 

1CO 15:8 and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.

 

1CO 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

 

1CO 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

 

The spiritual gift of apostleship carried the highest authority God has ever delegated in the Church Age.

 

The apostle had authority over all local churches, in contrast to the pastor whose authority is limited to only one local church.

 

The spiritual gift of apostleship carried fantastic absolute authority.

 

It was designed for two purposes.

 

 

 

  1. The formation of the canon of Scripture, the New Testament which is the absolute authority restricted to the pre canon period of the Church Age, from 30 to 96 A.D.

 

  1. Leadership in the pre-canon period of the Church Age  involved the establishment of local churches, the clarification of the mystery doctrine of the Church Age until the Canon was completed.

 

The maintenance of a true systematic theology with dispensational emphasis, the training of pastors, and the establishment of local church policy.

 

The gift also functioned in sending out colonial apostles known as super missionaries in the ancient world.

 

Apostles were not appointed until after the resurrection of Christ when in  Eph 4:8, our Lord has distributed spiritual gifts to men."

Until Christ's session , when our Lord was seated at the right hand of God, there were no apostles.

 

The spiritual gift of apostleship was temporary and discontinued after the completion of the Canon.

 

The removal of this temporary gift began with the post canon period of the Church Age.

 

1Cor 12:11 says that the Holy Spirit sovereignty bestowed the gift of apostleship:  "But one and the same Spirit [Holy Spirit] energizes all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills."

 

And that is why 1CO 12:28 should say, "Furthermore, God has appointed first apostles."  That means first in order of authority and power.

 

Point 4.  (Y) The Roster of the Spiritual Gift of Apostleship.

Distinction must be made between the two categories of apostles.

 

  1. Our Lord's appointment of apostles to Israel during the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union, Mat 10:2-4.

 

  1. The twelve apostles appointed for the pre canon period of the Church Age.

 

The roster of the first eleven men with the gift of apostleship is as follows.

 

As with any group, some men were more active, and some were almost honorary apostles.

 

These eleven were apostles to Israel for three years, and apostles to the Church until A.D. 96.

 

 

  1. Simon Peter, one of the three most active apostles.

 

  1. Andrew his brother, who was almost an honorary apostle because he did so little and had a very short life.

 

  1. James and John, John being one of the most active and who lived the longest, were two sons of Zebedee, James and John, who came from a very wealthy family.

 

The apostle John wrote 1Jo, 2Jo, 3JO and the book of , Revelation, as well as the great Gospel of John.

 

  1. Philip, who also had the gift of evangelism, which he used extensively.

 

  1. Bartholomew, also called Nathaniel, was an honorary type, known for doing very little.
  2. Doubting Thomas, also called Didymus meaning a twin, did very little according to the Bible.

 

But extra Biblical sources indicate that he went to India and did a lot of work there.

 

  1. Matthew, alias Levi, a writer who taught Peter.

 

  1. Simon the Canaanite, an honorary mention who also did the least.

 

  1. James, the son of Alphaeus, who disappears immediately.  He is mistakenly called "James the Lesser."  But just because we know so little about him doesn't mean he's inferior.

 

  1. Thaddaeus, also called Jude, who wrote the Book of Jude mentioned first in Matt 10:2-4, as apostles to Israel.

They were the eleven disciples of our Lord who later became apostles.

 

The twelfth apostle was Paul, but before he was recognized as such, a farce occurred in Acts 1, when  Peter suggested that they elect someone to take the place of Judas Iscariot.

 

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ gave the first spiritual gifts to the Church on the Day of Pentecost; after that they are sovereignly bestowed by the Holy Spirit; 1CO 12:11.

 

You do not elect what is sovereignly given by God!

 

You cannot elect greatness.

 

The church voted for Matthias but:

 

 

Matthias was not appointed by God to replace Judas, Acts 1:15-27 because the volition of mankind is never involved in spiritual gifts.

 

The twelfth man was to be the apostle Paul, 1Co 15:7- 10.

 

  1. In genuine humility, Paul wrote (in Timothy) that he was the worst sinner who ever lived, and in 1CO 15:10, he was the least of all the apostles.

 

As an unbeliever, Paul murdered many Christians.

 

Yet he became the greatest Church Age Christian!

 

  1. Paul became an apostle as a result of the sovereign decision of Jesus Christ according to Eph 4:11, as well as in 1CO 12:11,  Paul was given the spiritual gift of apostleship by the Holy Spirit.

 

  1.  Add to this 1Ti 12-14 where Paul I thanks Christ Jesus our Lord who made him strong, because He considered him to be faithful, putting him into the ministry.

 

Even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor, he received mercy because, being ignorant, he did it in unbelief.

 

And the grace of our Lord was superabundant with faith and love in Christ Jesus for him."

 

(Y) Point 5.  Office of Apostleship and the Pioneer Missions.

 

And that’s where we will pick it up on Sunday.

 

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