The Gospel revealed by the risen Christ to Paul is that Gospel for today. Sold individually.
“Many believers have read and studied the Gospels presented early in what we commonly refer to as the New Testament. The three synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, as well as John’s Gospel, are quite familiar to all who read and study. But while many are acquainted with these four earlier Gospels, few have ever come to really appreciate the latest Gospel even though the term “my Gospel,” which would indicate something distinguished from another, is used by the Apostle Paul three times.
“…according to my gospel” (Rom. 2:16).
“…according to my gospel” (2 Tim. 2:8).
“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” (Rom. 16:25).
The late W.R. Newell, writing in a booklet entitled Paul’s Gospel, recognized the doctrinal importance of this particular passage. “He that remaineth ignorant of Paul’s Epistles or readeth them lightly, WILL NOT BECOME ESTABLISHED” (emphasis added).
The Apostle Paul’s my gospel includes much more than salvation by grace through faith, apart from human work. It includes the doctrine, the exalted position, spiritual walk, and eternal destiny of the believer in this present dispensation.
A UNIQUE TITLE
The word “church” is a term that has become very popular, both in writing and in song. While this term is popular, very few have ever heard of a very unique title given to God’s called-out group of believers in this present dispensation. The believer who understands Paul’s my gospel, will also understand that the Body of Christ is a part of the Mystery hid in God and not made known in past dispensations until it was revealed to the Apostle Paul (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:5, 9; Col. 1:26). This truth was never proclaimed or even hinted of during Jesus’ earthly ministry. It was not until after the death, resurrection and ascension to glory that the risen Christ revealed it to and through the Apostle Paul.
Generally, the church is thought of as a local man-made organization, but in reality it is a Divinely-structured spiritual organism. It is the direct result of the work of the Godhead. The Father chose us:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath loved us…According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world…” (Eph. 1:3-4). (See also 2 Tim. 1:9 and Titus 1:2-3.)
The Son redeemed us, not by His life or example but by His precious blood.
“In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7). (See also Col. 1:14.)
“There is but one Body….”
“There is one Body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling” (Eph. 4:4).
“For we are members of His Body, of His flesh, and of His bones” (Eph. 5:30).
It is membership in the invisible, universal organism that is truly all important. The concept of the one true Church, the Body of Christ, is revealed to us only by God’s chosen vessel, the Apostle Paul.
A SECRET COMING
The Second Coming of Christ to rule and reign upon the earth is a central theme running throughout the Word of God. Once again, while many people know a great deal concerning this truth, only a few know much about Christ’s secret coming. This “other” coming is not to the earth but, rather, is in the clouds (air) for the members of His Church, the Body of Christ. Like the doctrine of the Church, the secret coming (called the Rapture by theologians) is unique to Paul’s my gospel.
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet of God shall sound, and the dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51-52). (See also 2 Cor. 5:1; Phil. 3:20-21; Col. 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thess. 4:13-18.)
Contrary to the Second Coming, which is preceded by signs and wonders (Mt. 24), the pre-tribulational secret coming of the Lord for His Body Church is without warning (signs) and is imminent. With the Second Coming, every eye shall see Him; He is preceded by the Antichrist, the Great Tribulation, signs and wonders. But the secret coming will all take place over a span of time described as a twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:52).
A VITAL QUESTION
Have you ever given serious thought to the following question?
If the Body of Christ had its historical genesis at Acts 2, a Jewish feast day, with the original Twelve Apostles ministering to Jews and proselytes only, why did God raise up a new apostle and give him a new and distinctive message (my gospel) by direct revelation from the risen Christ (Gal. 1:12-13), seven or eight years after the Cross and the Day of Pentecost?
Only the Apostle Paul could say:
“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). (See also Rom. 16:25; 1 Cor. 14:37; Phil. 3:17; 4:8-9; 1 Thess. 1:6; 2 Tim. 1:13.)
In this present day, the believer is to join with the Apostle Paul, not Moses, Abraham, the prophets, the Twelve Apostles, or John the Baptist in following Christ. The example of the Apostle Paul is to be the believer’s pattern (1 Tim. 1:15-16; 1 Cor. 4:15-16). The writings of Paul are of direct concern to every member of the Body of Christ. The late C.I. Scofield recognized this distinction when he commented in a footnote on Ephesians 3. “In his (Paul’s) writings alone, we find the doctrine, position, walk, and destiny of the Church.” (Old Scofield Reference Bible)
Biblical illiteracy, denominational confusion with its divisions and strife, liberals and evangelicals compromising, as well as the many cults; all are the result of the failure to recognize the uniqueness of Paul’s Gospel. A recognition of the distinctiveness of Paul’s my gospel is the only cure for the ills and isms in the world.
A FINAL PLEA
There is indeed a great need to proclaim the Word of God according to the Mystery revealed to and through the Apostle Paul. In fact, without the teaching of the Pauline Epistles, we would have no knowledge of the following.
Salvation by grace through faith apart from human works.
The Body of Christ
Doctrine of Reconciliation
Gentile salvation apart from becoming a proselyte to Judaism.
That Christ was the end of the Law
Baptism by the Holy Spirit
The sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit
A solid teaching of eternal security
Paul himself makes the plea that his message be heard.
“Those things, which ye have both learned and received, and heard and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Phil. 4:9).”