Monday, October 5, 2009
THE FOUR GOSPELS AND PAUL’S GOSPEL
Note these words of the apostle Paul:
“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:11 and 12.
“According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.” I Timothy 1:11.
“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24.
“But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter.” Galatians 2:7.
The Lord Jesus, some years after He went back to heaven in His glorified body, committed the gospel to Paul, by revelation. “The glorious gospel of the blessed God.” “the gospel of the uncircumcision,” “the gospel of the grace of God,” committed to Paul’s trust surely differ, in some respects, from any gospel Christ had committed to the twelve apostles before He revealed His message and ministry to this special apostle, who said: “Unto me who am less than the least of all saints is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Ephesians 3:8. “I am the apostle of the Gentiles.” Romans 11:13.
Some man of God said, “if Christians are determined that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John must be called ‘the Four Gospels,’ then I am going to call Paul’s gospel, the fifth gospel” In Romans 2:16 Paul refers to “my gospel.” Note II Timothy 2:8 and 9 and Romans 16:25 and 26:
“Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to MY gospel; Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the Word of God is not bound.”
In Romans 16:25 we learn how believers in this age of grace are to be established by a gospel which was kept secret since the world began, but given to Paul in a revelation. Note Romans 16:25 and 26:
“Now to Him that is of power to stablish you according to MY gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.”
Note “my gospel.” This gospel was according to the revelation of the mystery.
Note the comments of three outstanding Bible teachers concerning Romans 16:25
Dr. Wm. L. Pettingill:
“There is much preaching of Jesus Christ which does not stablish God’s people, because it is not according to Paul’s gospel, not according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but was made manifest by revelation to the apostle Paul.”
Mr. Wm. R. Newell:
“And again it pleased Him to choose Paul to be the great proclaimer and revealer of just what the gospel is for this dispensation. You can judge any man’s preaching or teaching by this rule—Is he Pauline? Does his doctrine start and end according to those statements of Christian doctrine uttered by the apostle Paul? No matter how wonderful a man may seem to be in his gifts and apparent consecration, if his gospel is not Pauline, it is not the gospel, and we might as well get our minds settled at once on that point.”
Dr. H. A. Ironside
“The mystery was not something of difficult mysterious character, but a sacred secret never known to mankind until in due time opened up by the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul. This was not until Israel was given every opportunity in incarnation and in resurrection to receive Christ. The mystery was the secret purpose of God’s heart only to be revealed after the rejection of His Son.”
Would that every Christian would take to heart these true and helpful statements by these men of God. In no other way can Christians be established in God’s truth for this age. Let us emphasize the statement of Dr. Pettingill:
“There is much preaching of Jesus Christ which does not stablish God’s people, because it is not according to Paul’s gospel.”
To the statements of Mr. Newell quoted above, he added:
“Would that we had grace to defend just as vigorously this great message today, for it has many enemies, and even real friends who do not yet see it clearly; and there are others, who like Peter (Galatians 2:11), through fear of others, are ready to compromise and tone down the gospel of God.”
What a pity that any servant of the Lord Jesus Christ will keep silent concerning this most wonderful truth for saints, because he fears religious Christian leaders who are violently opposed to Paul’s unmixed “grace” message and program! Remember Paul’s words in Galatians 1:10, “If I yet pleased men I should not be the servant of the Lord.”
Now let us emphasize with very special emphasis the all important and true statement of Dr. Ironside: “The dispensation of the mystery with Paul’s ‘my gospel’ did not begin until Israel had had every opportunity to receive Christ in resurrection as well as in incarnation.” This is sound doctrine and certainly proves that the dispensation of the mystery did not begin with Peter and Pentecost, which was before Israel had had every opportunity to receive Christ in resurrection.
Any intelligent spiritual student of the “scriptures, Who has studied Acts 5:29 to 32, Acts 13:31 to 36, Acts 13:46, and Acts 3:19 to 21, knows that Israel was given the opportunity to receive Christ in resurrection. As Dr. Ironside so clearly and truthfully writes, “the dispensation of the mystery,” which he states seven or eight different times in his written messages, was not revealed to any person until it was first revealed to Paul, was not even revealed to Paul until Israel rejected Christ in resurrection. as well as in incarnation. It is no easy matter to learn from the Book of Acts just when Israel had had every opportunity to receive or reject Christ in resurrection. But when the time arrived that Israel rejected Christ in resurrection, “the dispensation of the mystery with Paul’s “my gospel,” was revealed to Paul and proclaimed by Paul.
Paul was in the jail at Rome for preaching “my gospel.” II Timothy 2:8 and 9. He was in jail for “the mystery of the gospel.” Ephesians 6:19.