Our Lord stated the principle that we are to follow:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. (John 13:20)
Just as Israel followed Moses, the Church, the body of Christ, is to follow the apostle Paul’s example, leadership, and doctrine.
The apostle Paul is to be our, a Christian’s, pattern to follow:
- “for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe” (1 Tim 1:16)
- “be ye followers of me” (1 Cor 4:16)
- “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1)
- “be followers together of me” (Phil 3:17)
- “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do:” (Phil 4:9)
- “Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am;” (Gal 4:12)
- “as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God” (1 Thes 4:1-2)
- “For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us:” (2 Thes 3:7)
Paul is not to be worshipped – we worship Christ – but he was sent by the Lord for a specific purpose (Jn 13:20; 1 Cor 9:17; 1 Cor 14:37; 1 Tim 1:16).
Following Peter, James, or John, apostles to Israel, will place you under the Law.
The instructions from the apostle Paul to fellow Christians, such as his protege’ Timothy, are very specific – “commit unto faithful men who will teach others, the things that you have heard from me (not the 12 or anyone else).” 2 Tim 2:2; 2 Tim 2:7; 2 Tim 4:17
How do we learn the “content” of our faith? Christ states the principle in John 13:20 that applies to every dispensation. Christ sent the twelve, but they were sent to Israel as they were preaching the prophesied Kingdom (and therefore impending great tribulation) “at hand” – (Mt 10:5-6). “Go not” means do not go. The twelve were not sent to gentiles, they were not sent to believers today. Realize that the great tribulation has not yet occurred.
Paul was sent to us, the Church, the body of Christ, and he is our pattern to follow.