The Apostle Paul is “the Apostle of the Gentiles” (WIP)

The apostle Paul gave himself the title “the apostle of the gentiles” (Rom 11:13, 15:16; Gal 2:8), but a more fitting title would be “the apostle of mysteries” (or secrets), as this title is his most defining description:

  1. Within Paul’s writings alone do we find the mystery (secret) body of theology revealed to this unique apostle:
    1. The body of mysteries/secrets:
      1. 1 Cor 2:7, 4:1, 13:2; Col 4:3; 1 Tim 3:9
    2. The Church, the body of Christ:
      1. Eph 3:3-9, 5:32; Col 1:25-27
    3. The gospel of the grace of God:
      1. Acts 20:24; Rom 16:25-26; Eph 6:19-20
    4. The blinding of Israel:
      1. Rom 11:25
    5. The mystery of godliness:
      1. 1 Tim 3:16 summarizes Christ’s earthly ministry, resurrection, ascension, Paul’s commission as the apostle of the Gentiles, the kingdom, and the consummation of all things (1 Cor 15:24-28).
      2. The word “godliness” means “piety,” “reverence,” “holiness”.
      3. “the mystery of godliness” was information pertaining to how God had fulfilled His plan through Christ, how Christ died for the entire human race (1 Tim 2:3-7), and how He was blessing gentiles despite Israel’s disobedience.
      4. “the mystery of godliness” is used in contrast to “the mystery of iniquity” (2 Thes 2:6-7)
    6. The mystery of iniquity:
      1. 2 Thes 2:6-7
      2. The “mystery of iniquity” is how Satan is accomplishing his plan.
      3. The appearance of the antichrist is not a mystery/secret and is spoken to by both the prophets, Jesus, the twelve, and by Paul. (Jn 5:43, 2 Thes 2:1-12)
      4. Satan’s plan regarding the “man of sin” is in place currently and surely Satan has had someone prepared in every generation for this eventuality.
    7. The rapture of the Church:
      1. 1 Cor 15:51
      2. The rapture is the Church’s, the body of Christ’s, resurrection. (1 Thes 4:13-18)
      3. If there is no rapture, the Church has no resurrection.
      4. The rapture of the Church was not taught before Paul because the Church, the body of Christ, did not exist before Paul.
    8. Gathering all things in Christ:
      1. Eph 1:9-10; Col 2:2
  2. Prior to the apostle Paul, the word “mystery” was used in only three passages (Mt 13:11; Mk 4:11; Lk 8:10) and concerned Israel’s earthly kingdom.
  3. The other occurrences of “mystery” are in the book of Revelation (Rev 1:20, 10:7, 17:5, 7) and concern God’s program for Israel and the nations, not the Church, the body of Christ.
  4. Shortly before his death, Peter wrote that Paul’s letters were Scripture, but that they were hard to understand (2 Pet 3:14-18). This is because Pauline doctrine and Petrine doctrine are so different and teach conflicting things.

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