BibleTools

Topical Studies

 A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


What the Bible says about Paul the Apostle
(From Forerunner Commentary)

2 Corinthians 3:1-2

Paul boasts that the church at Corinth displayed such a fine example that their behavior worked like a letter of commendation for him, the apostle who started the congregation and served it.

Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Have the Ten Commandments Passed Away?

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Was there ever a man who was given as many gifts as the apostle Paul? Judging from how much God wrote through him—how much God used his mind, intellect, training, experience, yieldedness, and willingness to work and sacrifice himself on behalf of God and the church—it might have been very easy for him to have been puffed up. He even said himself that nobody worked any harder than he did, writing, "I labored more abundantly than they all" (I Corinthians 15:10).

However, he was not bragging. It is not wrong to take the right kind of pride and to speak the truth about what we really have done. There is nothing wrong with a developed skill and confidence in our ability to do it. If we do not have any confidence, will we ever offer ourselves in service to others? There must also be a proper recognition of where all that power, strength, and everything flows from. It flows from the gifts, from what God has given.

God mercifully allowed Paul to suffer a physical problem to keep him mindful of his dependence on Him. The truly humble are knowledgeable of their dependence, and they cry out to God continually for help, for what God only can supply: His Holy Spirit, His love, His faith, the forgiveness of sin, etc. Theirs is not just a feeling of weakness, because everyone, the converted and the unconverted, experiences weakness.

People with pride experience a feeling of weakness too, but they compensate, not by seeking God's help, but by flaunting what they think others will accept and bring praise to them. As long as a person continues to depend on himself, this world will continue as it is. Nothing will change. This attitude is illustrated in the beginning so simply. Without actually saying the words, Adam and Eve told God in Genesis 3, "We don't need you."

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part Seven)

2 Corinthians 12:12

Paul is defending a challenge to his apostleship. What were the signs? They were things the Corinthians could see, the fruits of his ministry. The gospel of the Kingdom of God was preached to them, people were healed, demons cast out, people converted, congregations raised up, and apostles used to clarify doctrine under Christ (as in Acts 15).

John W. Ritenbaugh
Was Mr. Armstrong an Apostle?

Galatians 1:1

This epistle was one of Paul's first letters, if not the first. As such, it was early on in his ministry, and one of the first topics in this letter was his credentials. This is seen in his parenthetical statement that he was an apostle appointed by God and Jesus Christ and NOT by men. The other apostles ate, walked, and lived with Christ while He was on the earth, and thus their credibility was established in part by proximity and association with Christ. Paul did not fall into this category, but rather persecuted the true Christians until his dramatic conversion. However, at that time, he was instructed by Christ personally and thus had a legitimate claim to apostleship.

David C. Grabbe

Galatians 1:1-3

The bulk of this chapter is occupied with Paul's defense of his apostolic office. False teachers,the people who had access to the Galatian Christians' ears,were teaching them that what Paul had previously taught them had no authority from God because Paul did not meet the qualifications of being an apostle.

These people could come up with all kinds of things. They might say, "Well, Paul never met Jesus": that he had not been an eyewitness to Jesus' preaching, that he had received no commission from God to be an apostle, and that he had not even been chosen like Matthias. Paul's calling, conversion, and commission were done apart from large numbers of people. Nobody had seen him trailing around after Jesus as they had seen the Twelve. He had not been eyewitness to the miracles that Jesus did. "He had not been taught directly by Jesus," was what they were saying.

Thus, Paul spends the first chapter and more defending his position. Immediately, he states that his authority did not come through men. He confirms that he was an apostle, but his selection was not of men but by Jesus Christ. Right off he states his authority, and that it had come directly from God. By doing this, Paul puts himself in the same class as the Twelve, because even these false teachers were willing to concede that the Twelve's offices did not come through men either. Everybody knew that they were directly chosen by Christ. So Paul asserts, "So was I."

He also speaks of his experience on the Damascus Road as his commission, and then he references the resurrection, further linking his commissioning to the risen and glorified Christ. All of this is contained within the first three verses. He had to establish his authority quickly, and this is how he chose to do it.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Twenty-Four)

Galatians 1:11

"I certify to you" translates into modern English as "let me make this clear." Then, just as he had denied their claim that his was an inadequate apostleship, he begins to deny their claim of an inadequate source of his gospel. He says it was "not after men," that is, it did not have its source in men. (The proliferation of manmade gospels is something that cannot be stopped. It seems as if God allows it to happen so that we will discern the true from the false.) There is a way we can tell the source of a gospel. A reasonably well-read person can compare Paul's gospel with gospels that come from men, and Paul's agrees with the rest of the Bible.

Another thing is that gospels of men always elevate man at God's expense. Sometimes it is very subtle, but it can even be discerned right in the book of Galatians, once we understand that the people Paul is confronting were elevating themselves as worthy—because of their works—to be called of God. They were not empty of their human nature at all but filled with it! It came out in their proud boasts about how great their works were.

Paul always denigrated himself in favor of God. God and Jesus Christ are always the great Ones, while all the rest of us are lowly servants. This is a major point to comprehend.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Twenty-Four)

Galatians 1:17

Paul continues to illustrate that the foundation of his spiritual understanding was not instruction by the other apostles or by any other human being. He received his instruction and understanding directly from Jesus Christ.

David C. Grabbe

Galatians 2:10

Notice that the church leaders in Jerusalem felt there was nothing that they needed to correct in Paul's understanding or approach—there appears to be perfect unity and agreement in what was being taught. This is also touched upon in verse 6. At a later time (when Peter came to Antioch; verse 11), there was a dispute between Peter and Paul, and in one of Peter's epistles he observes that some of Paul's writings can be twisted by those who want to ignore God's law (II Peter 3:15-16; see also I John 3:4; Romans 6:23; 8:7 to see that disobedience to the law leads to the destruction that Peter is talking about. Compare Matthew 7:12-14; Philippians 3:17-19; I Timothy 6:9), but at this point, there is nothing that Peter, James, or John felt they needed to change about Paul's teaching.

David C. Grabbe

Ephesians 3:7

Paul would never have become an apostle if God had not done what He did. He made Paul an apostle. God converted Paul, an enemy of the church, and turned him into the hardest worker, probably, that the church has ever seen. He converted him, changed him.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 6): Ephesians 4 (C)

1 John 1:1

Who is "we" and "our" here? They are the apostles of Christ: Peter, James, John, Andrew, and even Paul, an apostle "born out of due time" (I Corinthians 15:8). Why would they be unimpeachable as sources? John tells us why: "We were with the Boss for three and a half years. We heard our Lord, Master, and Savior with our own ears, saw Him with our eyes, watched Him do miracles, saw Him walk on the water. We touched Him. We ate with Him. We slept by Him." It really makes a difference to have good sources, and eyewitnesses are among the best.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Twenty)


 




The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment

The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment

Sign up for the Berean: Daily Verse and Comment, and have Biblical truth delivered to your inbox. This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. See what over 145,000 subscribers are already receiving each day.

Email Address:

   
Leave this field empty

We respect your privacy. Your email address will not be sold, distributed, rented, or in any way given out to a third party. We have nothing to sell. You may easily unsubscribe at any time.
 A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
©Copyright 1992-2020 Church of the Great God.   Contact C.G.G. if you have questions or comments.
Share this on FacebookEmailPrinter version
Close
E-mail This Page