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In 1 Corinthians 4:1-3 we learn that the servants of Christ are instructed to be faithful stewards of the Mysteries of God. In 1 Corinthians 1:10 these servants are told to speak the same thing, to be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment; not to be divided.
Hi everyone and welcome to part one of what looks like it will be a nine or ten part message series on the difference between the Gospel committed to Paul and the Gospel committed to Peter and the Eleven, and that they are NOT the same. Ok, let's get going...
The LORD's stewards are NOT perfectly joined together in the same mind concerning the meaning of the Apostle Paul's statement in Galatians 2:7 ; and they certainly do NOT speak the same thing in explaining the meaning of this verse. On the contrary, some of the LORD's servants not only differ with other stewards of the Mysteries of God concerning the meaning of Paul's statement in Galatians 2:7 , but they are very ungracious in their attitude toward those who disagree with them. They permit themselves to be stirred to indignation and disgust, if not contempt and hatred, against those who do not accept their exegesis. I just finished reading an article put out by the Reformation Theology people, that expressed what I have just written.
If any intelligent Christian should read Galatians 2:7 , and some “theologian” should not interfere with his thinking, what would that Christian decide after reading, “but contrariwise, when they saw that the Gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me (Paul), as the Gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter?” That Christian would surely decide the Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians that the LORD had committed unto him (Paul) “the Gospel of the uncircumcision,” and unto Peter, “the Gospel of the circumcision.” If there is any purpose to language, that Christian would decide that “the Gospel of the uncircumcision” and “the Gospel of the circumcision” are NOT one and the same Gospel. In the Greek the genitive is used. The word is “of” and not “to”. The Gospel “of” the uncircumcision. The Gospel “of” the circumcision. You follow?
The servants of the LORD, who happen to be Pastors, Preachers, and Teachers, who insist that the Apostle Paul meant to say that the same Gospel that the risen Christ authorized him to preach to the Gentiles He gave to Peter for the Jews, are the very same men who insist that Peter and his associates, who were Christ's apostles before Paul was converted, went all over Asia and Europe preaching to Gentiles, after Paul was converted. In Galatians 2:9 they agreed to go to the Jews. If they agreed to go to the Jews and then went to the Gentiles, they did not do what they agreed to do. These Preachers and Teachers acknowledge that they get their ideas as to the evangelization of Gentiles by the twelve apostles from “church history”, and NOT from the Bible.
Moreover, this is important, it is a fact that the same Bible teachers, who teach that the Apostle Paul and the twelve apostles preached the same Gospel, (Paul to the Gentiles and the other apostles to the Jews), teach that Peter and James set forth God's program for this age when they uttered the truth of Acts 15:14 , “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name.” But, is this God's program for this age? NO! This program was publicly stated by Peter and James in the city of Jerusalem about the very same time these two men and Paul agreed on their DIFFERENT ministries, as recorded in Galatians 2:9 , ”And when James, Peter 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 should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.”
Now let God's people permit the Holy Spirit to lead them and to help them use a little common sense in answering this question, “If God's program, as described by Peter and James, was to visit the Gentiles and take out of them a people for His name, did Peter and James have a part in God's program when they agreed to go to the Jews?”
Remember, it was Peter and James who agreed to go to the Jews at the time they declared that God's program was to visit the Gentiles and take out of them a people for His name. Peter and James, by going to Jews, could not help God to take out from the Gentiles a people for His name. Compare Acts 15:14 and Galatians 2:9 . Also Acts 15:14 with Ephesians 2:15-18 .
Now keep in mind that the very same Bible preachers, and teachers, who teach that there are not two Gospels in Galatians 2:7 , but the same Gospel to be taken by different apostles to different groups, also teach that God's program for this age was declared by Peter and James, in Acts 15:14 . They ALSO agree that the decision of Galatians 2:9 had the sanction of the LORD. Surely we must all be agreed that the LORD could not use Peter and James to visit the Gentiles, if He sent them to preach to the Jews. Did they go to the Jews, as they agreed in Galatians 2:9 , or did they go to the Gentiles? In answering this question read Galatians 2:11-14 . In these verses we learn that because of James and other Israelites, the Apostle Peter would not have fellowship with saved Gentiles. Do you believe that the LORD would send to the unsaved Gentiles James and Peter, when James would not permit Peter to eat with saved Gentiles? Ha, I don’t think so!
Now strange as it may seem, the very same Bible preachers, and teachers, who teach that God's program is Acts 15:14 and that Peter and Paul preached the same Gospel, teach that at the time James and Peter declared that God was visiting the Gentiles to take out a people for His name, God's order was, “to the Jews first and also to the Gentiles,” in harmony with Romans 1:16 . They say that this explains why the Apostle Paul, before and after the declaration of Acts 15:14 , went to the Jews before he went to the Gentiles. BUT! This explanation certainly clashes with their explanation of Galatians 2:7 , and Galatians 2:9 . If God's program was to visit the Gentiles and the Apostle Paul was to go to the Gentiles, why did Paul go to the Jews first? Why did Paul go to the Jews at all, if Galatians 2:7 means that Peter was to go to the Jews with the same Gospel that Paul was to preach to the Gentiles? Why do Bible preachers and teachers, who are bitterly opposed to other servants of the LORD who insist that Paul was given a distinctive ministry and message for the Gentiles, (like I do), diligently search church history to prove that Peter and his fellow apostles went to many different countries to preach to the Gentiles when they explain Galatians 2:7-9 to mean that the Apostle Peter was to go to the circumcision and the Apostle Paul to the uncircumcision?
There is something radically wrong with such thinking that these preachers and teachers are putting forward, if it can be called “thinking” at all!
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 . BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
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Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20 )