Is Paul anti-Christ?
Psalms 119:165 -
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
Some days back I came to know of a person who thought Paul was anti-Christ at first I was taken back how this person being a Christian would entertain such a thought but I found he was not alone there were a few others who also of the same mind set. I checked with the things they found of dispute between Paul and Jesus:-
I found most of them foolish beyond words and mostly mischief done by quoting half scriptures or assuming things without proof.
There were just 3 accusations that I could find worth writing on.
Accusation no 1 - Paul preached another Gospel for he did not get the Gospel from the other disciples or from Jesus for he had personally not met Jesus.
11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Firstly we need to understand the word Gospel means Good News and the Bible uses this term with reference to the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. It does not use this term with anything else. The term 'another Gospel' refers to someone preaching the news of salvation not through Christ but something else.
Gospel is just the basic more like a trailer. The real movie is the Word of God. We need to know that Paul was a student of Law he had done very high level studies of scriptures and was a student of the topmost teacher of the Jews at that time. Yet he had not known that all the scriptures were concerning Jesus Christ, nor did he have the true understanding of the scriptures. It was in his encounter with Jesus Christ that it was revealed to him the connection of scriptures to Christ. When Paul came to know of this he immediately started to obey Christ. He was baptized not only in water but also received the Holy Spirit by the laying of hands by Ananias.
The Gospel which Paul preached was the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ and what Jesus preached was the same for Jesus said He was the only way to the Father, so also the other disciples preached the same Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Accusation no 2 - Paul contradicts Jesus
Matthew 23: 9 - And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
1 Corinthians 4: 15 - For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
Based on the above scriptures they conclude that Paul contradicted Jesus by calling himself a spiritual father while Jesus said call no man your father.
One should realized when Jesus said call no man your father it did not mean the English word father for that would cause Jesus to go against the 10 commandments of which the Lord said honour your father and mother. If we do not call our father 'father' then that would mean dishonouring them. When Jesus used the word father the Greek word 'pater' has 2 other meanings one is creator and the other provider.
We are born of our parents yet they are not our creators. The same with our provisions even though the parents work and earn for the provision of the family yet they cannot claim to be the providers of the family for all provisions come from God and the parents are just vessels through whom God provides.
Now coming to the last and most important part which is also part of our message for today.
Accusation no 3 - Paul wrote a lot against the law and on the other hand we have scripture where Jesus speaks of upholding the law, also that Jesus fulfilled the law and did not come to abolish it.
The Greek word used for law is 'nomos'. The primary meaning of this word means a parcel, especially food or grazing to animals. It simply means a package or established or confined set of things that are consumed by man. Like food is consumed by man so also rules and regulations are for man and are defined. This word could also mean things like traditions, set beliefs, thus includes all things that have been defined for man to follow.
Luke was very careful with the use of this word and thus at many places specified what he was referring to. When people did anything in the name of law it is important to know who set these defined set of rules.
When the term Mosaic Law is used it has 2 different meanings one is the Law the Lord gave through Moses and the other what the Jews did in the name of Moses.
For example the Jews did thousands of things in the name of Sabbath Day but Jesus did nothing what they thought as the Law concerning Sabbath that is why they were very angry against Jesus, and they Bible says Jesus did not any Law of God for He was without blemish.
Paul used the word 'law' very loosely in the start and it is hard to understand what he referred to without understanding the context. That is why we see at some times Paul condemns the law and sometimes is pro law. In Romans chapter 7 Paul takes the pain to define the law he is referring to and its understanding.
Luke on the other hand uses the term Law of the Lord when he was referring to the Law given by the Lord through Moses. In Acts Stephen accused the Jews of being far from God and of glorifying Moses more than God to the state of making Moses a god therefore they accused Stephen of blasphemy against Moses. We see that was the reason God hid the body of Moses after his death.
Today's message says clearly those who uphold the Law of the Lord will have peace in their lives and nothing will come against them. We can see this also written in other scriptures. We should know the Law of God is good for us like food nourishes our body the Law builds us in righteousness. Since Law is to do with righteousness we automatically have fear of God since He hates unrighteousness. But there is one thing we need to understand, when we walk in love of the Lord we will walk in His Law not out of fear but out of love. Thus for man true Love fulfils the Law and is thus above the Law.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, we thank You for your Law, for without the Law we would not have been able to know You. Your Law exposed sin and helped us to know how far we are from You. It also opened the door for your Love to be manifested abiding by the Law. You gave the Law and You paid the price so that through Love and by the Law we become your Sons again, for it is written your Law will be written in our hearts...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Romans 9:31 - But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Romans 13:10 - Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
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