Saturday, February 22, 2014

Paul's apostleship

Transcribed excerpt from…

2 Timothy 1:11
Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

Paul reminds Timothy of his apostleship and ministry:

2 Timothy 3:10-12
But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

The first thing you need to know is Paul’s grace doctrine and know it fully.  You need to be studying Paul’s epistles.  You want your mind to be filled with this information [Phil 4:8].  Then God will give you understanding of the rest of scripture [2 Tim 2:7], but you need to know as much of the grace message in Romans through Philemon as possible. You can study on your own and if you have questions, let’s do it together.

Timothy fully knew not only Paul’s doctrine, but also his manner of life. Timothy watched the apostle Paul as they ministered together.  He was with him from beginning to end (Acts 16).

Paul’s purpose was the grace ministry, the mystery of Christ [Acts 20:24; Rom. 16:25; Colossians 4:3-4].  That is our purpose too.

2 Corinthians 5:20
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Paul believed the doctrine that God gave him and as a result, he suffered for his faith.

1 Timothy 1:16
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

Paul served others with an attitude of love (charity) and he endured the afflictions that came because of his ministry with patience, as he was our ensample in all things [2 Thess 3:9]

Acts 20:23
Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.

Romans 8:18
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

At some point we are all going to get sick or injured.  We will all have emotional issues and spiritual problems.  Someone in our family won’t receive the truth and it will hurt us spiritually and emotionally.  Sooner or later we will all suffer.  We differ from our denominational brethren and the world because we know why.

Romans 8:18-23
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

There is a curse on creation and the curse is random. 

Ecclesiastes 9:11b
but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Both believers and unbelievers suffer the same things.  What can we do?  What we should do?  We are to listen to Paul and understand [2 Tim 2:7 KJB] that it is a part of life.  Do we stay in the sufferings?  No, we use them.

Romans 5:2-4
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

We can take the hard times and use them for God’s good and ours.  That’s what Paul is saying.  That is patience.

While patience has to do with troubles that come our way in life, persecutions come from people. 

2 Corinthians 12:7
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

The lost are not persecuted for their faith.  They don’t have faith.  They’re just going along with the crowd.  That includes most of our Christian brethren because they don’t rightly divide the word.  Who then is persecuted?  Grace believers!  We who are rejected by our own brethren in the body of Christ because we follow the apostle Paul as he follows the Lord [1 Cor. 4:15-16; Cor. 11:1; Phil. 3:17] 

Afflictions are physical things that happened to Paul.  He was beaten [2 Cor. 6:4-5; 11:23-27].  His physical body was affected. Paul says that he too suffered unto death and God delivered him.  I am convinced that Paul is not only talking about the end of the dispensation of grace and the suffering that comes along with it, but he is actually dealing with physical death.  I am so convinced that when Paul brings that up he is talking about his stoning.

Acts 14:19-20
And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.  Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

He is saying to Timothy, “Don’t you remember when I was stoned to death?  They threw me out of the city and right in front of the disciples God raised me from the dead.”

God may not deliver you and me the way he did Paul who had a special ministry to fulfill, but when we die we have a surety.

1 Thessalonians 4:14
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

We will rise from the dead.  There is a hope of resurrection.  Paul is saying that God raised him from the dead and he can deliver you out of your persecution and affliction too.

2 Timothy 3:12

Yea, and [Some?  No!] all that will live godly in Christ Jesus [if you chose to live godly in Christ Jesus] shall suffer persecution.

This is godly suffering.  Understand that people do not like you because you believe this Pauline grace message.  I came to that conclusion a long time ago when I was very zealous about sharing it and I was continually rejected.  I thought  Why wouldn’t every saint want to understand it?  But I realized that people just don’t want truth.

I have learned that when God’s truth rubs me the wrong way I just say, “I’m wrong; you’re right, God.  Let’s get on with it.”  Who would want to fight against God?  That’s ridiculous.

Acts 9:5b
…it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

God’s word is right, so change your thinking to be in agreement with what he says. 

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