Part #02 of “IF IT’S NOT THERE WITH PAUL……”
“True liberating Christianity is about faith in the Truth where it stands today, and not where it once stood”.
There are Truths within the Truth of the Bible, the entirety Of God’s Word, which are exclusively relevant for us today.
All of Scripture is the Truth Authored by the Spirit of Truth.
But each Truth belongs to its own place of operation, setting and circumstance, purposed by God Himself.
Hence, the truth must be understood according to where it once stood and where it stands today.
It is why Scripture strongly admonishes and exhorts us to rightly or correctly divide the Word of Truth [2 Timothy 2:15].
Granted, there are truths that are common to every dispensation, age or era, administration and setting.
But when it comes to “Grace age doctrines”, the truth for this Age of Grace, stands separated from every other.
They are exclusive and God has exclusively revealed them only to the apostle Paul.
And because only Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles, those truths are exclusively relevant for us today.
There is much that is traditional within the framework of Christendom that does not line up with Grace Age truths.
The ministry that the Ascended Lord entrusted the Apostle Paul with, breaks the back of every religious tradition, opinion and philosophy.
That can and does rile up many of us no end.
And we will go to any lengths to defend our traditions, and our leaders who represent those traditions.
Religious traditional beliefs and legalism are our comfort security zones, which we don’t want to or find hard to leave.
And what we need to come to terms with, is that it’s the Truth and not our traditions that sets us free.
The Battle For Truth
The battle for the truth where it stands today is a tough and ongoing one.
And furthermore, this is an internal battle within the framework of Christendom.
The only way this battle can end is by accepting that it is Paul who is the designated apostle for this Age of Grace.
That he alone holds all the relevant doctrines of truth pertaining to our personal salvation and growth in God’s Grace.
Whether it will happen or not, is a different matter.
For Paul, unlike the other apostles to the Jews, had to constantly battle to defend his God-designated apostleship.
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ…..” [1 Timothy 1:1]
This statement is nothing short of ‘crystal clear’.
And we know that Satan viciously opposes and comes against everything that God does.
Paul, A Constant Target
So Paul was a constant target by his own fellow Jews.
The attacks for the most part, will always come from within, Church going people.
And when Paul had come to the end of his 26 year ministry, he wrote his final letter to Timothy.
This was shortly before he was beheaded by the Roman Emperor, Nero, and this is what he said:
“For Demas hath forsaken me………..” [2 Timothy 4:10 – 11]
Luke the beloved physician of Scripture was the only one who stayed with Paul.
And further on in [2 Timothy 4:16-17], Paul writes:
“……no man stood with me, but all forsook me;…..”.
“Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me;”
And he says, “that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear:…..”
How clear and faithful was this man right to the very end!
We have what we have today because of this apostle.
No Shortage Of Messages
There are no shortages of messages from the Old Testament, James, Peter and John, coming from the pulpits of Christendom.
And they are indeed good and needed for faith building and encouragement.
But they were predominantly Jewish letters, to a Jewish audience, to prepare them for the horrific coming tribulation.
We today, are still living in the Age of Grace, even though there is tribulation all around us.
But it’s not the great tribulation that Scripture talks about, for that is yet to come.
So, messages must conclude with what the Apostle Paul writes in his epistles, which does not happen too often.
And they are in fact, the Risen and Ascended Lord’s final say on any and every matter and they’re ‘complete’.
What is unsaid, and not addressed is not for us, the Church, the Body of Christ.
The epistles of the Apostle Paul are both totally inclusive and conclusive for this Age of Grace.
There is nothing missing!
Because ‘everything’ that Paul writes is by Christ’s revelation from His positional place of Ascension for the Body of Christ.
[Galatians 1:11-12] makes this so clear.
But unfortunately, such messages with their exhortations, are far and few in between.
Paul is not given his due and rightful place of apostleship within most of Christendom.
And yet he alone is our ‘go to man’, in this Age of Grace.
It’s why we at Bread Basket Crumbs constantly stress and are driving home the vital importance of Paul’s apostleship.
A Four-Thousand-Year Journey
The truth which began at Genesis took on an evolving and unfolding four-thousand-year journey.
Making its pit stops along the way, it was eventually fulfilled on the cross, and revealed in full seven years later.
And it was none other than the Apostle Paul who was entrusted with those final revelations.
They are the revelations of Grace.
And they stand ‘complete’ and in concrete, with no further evolving or unfolding required.
THIS IS IT!
No Place Under Grace
The truth, for the most part, that was “under the Law” finds no place “under Grace”.
And the reason is simple.
The unchanging Creator God of the Bible and the universe, has had a change in operations.
And Paul is God’s exclusive instrument in both instigating and instituting that change.
And it’s only through this apostle we learn that this is God’s final dealing with the human race.
There are no more changes coming, before Christ comes like a thief in the night to snatch away His Church.
It’s any day and moment now as the clock ticks closer to the midnight hour.
And the curtains of history as we know it, will be drawn to a close.
The Battle With Tradition
Apart from unbelief, the battle that Jesus Christ had on His Hands was dealing with Jewish traditions.
“Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders?”, the religious Pharisees questioned Jesus Christ.
But The Lord, Who always answered a question with a question, put them on the spot.
“Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?”
Because that’s what they were doing when it came to honouring their parents [Matthew 15:1-6].
And now look what HE tells them, “You have made the Word of God of ‘none effect’ by your tradition.”
And that is exactly the danger of tradition even today.
For it has the ability to nullify and make the Word of God of ‘none effect’.
Every Tradition Destroyed
The sacrificial cross of Christ has destroyed every tradition and philosophy of man, leaving only the truth to be embraced.
And it is only in this embracing that we will find our true God-given liberty.
It is a battle for the truth no doubt, especially for those of us who have been traditionally raised.
But the Ascended Lord in Glory has given us the man in the apostle Paul, who knows about it all.
A man zealously steeped in the traditions of his fathers, [Galatians 1:13-16], broke out of it, and so can we.
Even the traditional, strict law keeping Jew, Peter the apostle to the Jews, recognized this in [2 Peter 3:15-18].
And this was towards the end of his ministry, shortly before he was martyred for his faith.
Though there were “some things hard to be understood”, he admitted it was “according to the wisdom” Paul received from the Ascended LORD.
So, Peter admonished his fellow Jews to stay with what Paul had written, and encourages them to “grow in Grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”.
Man For This Age And Hour
Paul alone is God’s appointed man for this age and hour.
There have been just two such appointed men in all of Scripture.
The first was Moses, who was given the dispensation of the law at Mount Sinai, for the nation of Israel.
The second is the Apostle Paul, who at the same Mount, was given the dispensation of Grace for us today.
The ‘law dispensation’ age lasted for 1500 years, right up to the point Christ Jesus came on the scene.
He was the fulfillment of everything that was given to Moses.
Christ Jesus fulfilled every demand of the law in order to qualify as the Sacrificial Lamb of Scripture.
He is the only ‘Qualified Saviour”.
But HE was totally rejected by Israel, not just at the cross, but right up until stoning of Stephen [Acts 7:54-60].
In Comes The Grace Age
And then God brings in the ‘Grace Age’ era through the Apostle Paul.
It is where HE is now dealing with the human race, ‘no longer’ according to the demands of the Law.
But rather, according to His Grace, which came with a price that He paid.
There is much from what belonged to the law that Christendom for the most part, has incorporated into, ‘under Grace’.
And this infiltration into Grace has brought about much legalistic confusion, chaos and unhealthy divisions.
How clearly Scripture in [Romans 6:14] points out, “for ye are not under the law, but under grace”.
It’s the specific reason, Paul tells us, why sin, our fallen human nature, though while co-existing, has ‘no dominion’ over us.
We can keep pressing ahead, and be all we can be, without the sword of the Law hanging over our heads.
The wonderful thing about living the Grace life, is that there is no one chasing us or looking over our shoulder.
It’s sad there are many within Christendom who judge this Wonderful Grace of God instead of living it.
These are the religious legalists.
“Oh, so you’re saying we can live any way we want?”
“No, we’re not, you’re saying that!”
What we’re saying is this:
The Law written on cold tablets of stone was what God demanded.
The Cross was what God provided.
“On the Road to Damascus, Grace triumphed over Law”