Saul of Tarsus was the first member of the Church, the body of Christ (WIP)

  1. (Rom 11:11-12, Eph 3:1-4, 1 Tim 1:16, Col 1:25):
    1. James 2:21-24 – Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
    2. John 8:30 – They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
  2. Paul was given a special apostleship (Rom 11:13, 15:16, Acts 9:15, 22:21, 26:15-17, 13:46-47):
    1. The gospel of the grace of God was first revealed to the apostle Paul (1 Cor 15:3).
    2. Paul says that the dispensation of the grace of God was given to him (Eph 3:2, Col 1:25, 1 Cor 9:17).
  3. Paul was not one of the 12 (Gal 1:1, 1 Cor 14:37, Acts 26:16, Eph 3:6-7):
    1. The 12 were sent to the nation of Israel, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom.
    2. Paul was sent to the Gentiles, preaching the gospel of the grace of God.
      1. The dispensation of the grace of God will conclude at the rapture of the Church and after that, the “kingdom program” will resume and Daniel’s 70th Week will begin.

We believe that God has dispensed His dealing with mankind in different ways throughout history. Those who are chosen to announce these changes of dispensations are called stewards. We are currently living in the dispensation of grace, the steward of which is the Apostle Paul. This current dispensation of grace was a mystery that was hid in God from the beginning of the world until revealed to the Apostle Paul.

Paul explains that a dispensation is not an arbitrary period of time, but rather begins with a revelation dispensed from God.

“If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery…” – Ephesians 3:2-3

When was this grace first given to Paul? Answer: At his conversion.

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 1:12-14

It was at his conversion from blasphemer to minister of the Lord that God bestowed grace to him:

“…because of the grace that is given to me of God, That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles,…” – Rom 15:15-16

“Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.” – Eph 3:7

The calling of Paul to ministry is recorded as far back as Acts 9:15.

“…[Paul] is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:” – Acts 9:15

Paul tells his own story of how it all began at least twice in the book of Acts, here before Agrippa:

“Whereupon as I went to Damascus [Acts 9]… And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,…” – Acts 26:12-17

Paul’s conversion whereby God gave him grace and apostleship is mentioned more times in Acts and the epistles than the popular Spirit outpouring at Pentecost in Acts 2.

Clearly God is calling attention to when he gave Paul grace and called him to minister to all men in Acts 9.

The beginning of the dispensation of the grace of God was when an undeserving sinner first received longsuffering and salvation from God freely apart from Israel and the law.

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” – 1 Tim 1:15-16

The Lord Jesus Christ made Paul a pattern for those who would follow after in the gospel of the grace of God, and in the fellowship of the mystery.

We do not worship Paul, we recognize the Biblical emphasis upon the dispensation of God’s grace first given to Paul. This was not in the beginning of Acts at Pentecost, nor at the end, but in the middle when Christ first appeared to Paul.

One response to “Saul of Tarsus was the first member of the Church, the body of Christ (WIP)

  1. 100% agreed!!! 🙂

    May your site and ministry grow from strength to strength.
    Grace and peace to you guys here at WWURD.

    — Paul says: For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 1 Corinthians 4:15
    — Paul says “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, 1 Corinthians 3:10

    Some similarities between Abraham and Paul, the progenitors of the two programs,
    Both Abraham and Paul were chosen specifically by the Lord to spearhead the start of each program.
    Abraham: Gen.12:2
    Paul: Acts 9:15

    The covenant God made with Abrahams was sealed with the sign of circumcision (in the flesh), whereas the promise given to Paul was that each member in the Body of Christ would be circumcised (in the spirit).
    Abraham: Genesis 17:12
    Paul: Colossians 2:11

    Abraham declared righteous by faith alone.
    Abraham: Hebrews 11:8, Galatians 3:6
    Paul: Ephesians 2:8

    The two programs are alluded to by the STARS and the SAND. The restoration of -heaven and -earth (Eph.1:10; Col.1:20 – to bring both together under the headship and rule Christ in fullness of times.)
    Abraham: Genesis 22:17, Rom.4:11-17
    Paul: Philippians 3:20, Ephesians 2:6

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