Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 16
STATEMENTS OF PAUL
I think we will digress a bit during this lesson from our study in the Four Gospels and go back to some of the letters of Paul, because I’ve probably shook a few people up with some of my teaching. But remember don’t get too excited until you check out The Book. Because with the Holy Spirit and this Book for our guide, we trust each of you will become dedicated to studying The Word, seeing what it really says, and not what someone tells you it says.
I want to take some points that Paul brings out in his epistles. I want you to keep them in your memory bank so that when we go back to the Four Gospels and the early Book of Acts, you will realize that none of this is back there. Is any of this from Paul’s writing back in the Old Testament or in Jesus earthly ministry? I can tell you now the answer is, “No.” But I want you to be able to see that yourself. So let’s start with I Corinthians Chapter 15. And we’ll look at the first four verses. Remember he is writing to Gentile believers (now there were some Jewish believers in all of these Gentile congregations, but for the most part were Gentiles).
I Corinthians 15:1,2
“MOREOVER, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” In other words you must know what you believed and not just have head-knowledge.
I Corinthians 15:3
“For I delivered unto you first of all (he was the first one to share this message with them) that which I also received (from the ascended Lord), how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures (Old Testament);”
I Corinthians 15:4
“And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
Now that’s the purest form of the Gospel that there is. Faith in His death, burial, and Resurrection. And Paul speaks of this constantly; whether he speaks of all three or just says that He arose from the dead, which then implies that He died and was buried. Now let’s stay in this book for a moment and look at a passage in Chapter 1. All I want you to see is that these statements (prompted by the Holy Spirit through this Apostle to the Gentiles) will not be found even in Christ’s own words during His earthly ministry. And this verse we have come to shocks many people.
I Corinthians 1:17
“For Christ sent me not to baptize (now why was John the Baptist sent? To prepare the way, and to baptize, and he preached the baptism of repentance. But Paul says I don’t preach that message, nor was I sent to baptize like John), but to preach the gospel (of His death, burial, and Resurrection): not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
I Corinthians 1:18
“For the preaching of the cross (death, burial, and Resurrection, His shed Blood) is to them that perish foolishness (I’ve even had people here in the “Bible Belt” ask me, “What does something that took place 2000 years ago have to do with me?”); but unto us which are saved it (this preaching of the Cross) is the power of God.”
Salvation has to be the exercise of the Sovereign power of Almighty God. That’s why man can’t work for his salvation. All man has is physical strength. But only God can bring about the salvation of the spiritual. Now verse 22, and remember this as we go back to the Four Gospels and the Book of Acts.
I Corinthians 1:22
“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks (the philosophers) seek after wisdom;” But Paul says we won’t bother ourselves with either one. But rather:
I Corinthians 1:23,24
“But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”
Come on a little further to Chapter 12. Here Paul is using a simple analogy, an illustration of the human body. And all you have to do is think about yourself or look at your neighbor. How do we operate? Well, we have a central nervous system; we have a mind which is the very core of all our being. And everything originates up here in the head. And as a result the nerve endings will respond and the whole body will function, but it all has its headquarters up in the mind. And here Paul is using that as an illustration of the Body of Christ which is a brand new term, you won’t find except with Paul. Jesus never referred to the Body of Christ.
I Corinthians 12:12
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”
What is Paul saying? You have ten fingers and ten toes. You have eyes, ears, arms and legs; they are all members of the body. But do we have twenty bodies? No, only one. In the next verse he sets the Body of Christ. Every believer around the world, regardless of their color or denomination, if they are a believer then:
I Corinthians 12:13
“For by one Spirit (capitalized Holy Spirit) are we (how many?) all (not just the super spiritual) baptized (not with water, but by the power of the Holy Spirit) into (how many?) one body (there are thousands of denominations, cults and groups in America alone. But the Scripture only knows of one group, and that’s the composite of true born-again believers. They are members of the Body of Christ. And how do we get there? The Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and here it is), whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” You will never see language like that in the Four Gospels. Let’s look in the Book of Romans.
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified…”
Remember when the rich young ruler came to Jesus, and said “Master what must I do to inherent eternal life?” What was Jesus’ answer? “Keep the Commandments, keep the Law.” And Jesus wasn’t playing a trick on him, for indeed that was one of the requirements. And with the appearance of the Messiah they also had to believe that He was The Christ, and to show their faith they had to repent and be baptized. He was the fulfillment of all those Old Testament covenants and promises. That is what you see in the Four Gospels and at least Chapter 8 of the Book of Acts. Let’s see what Paul says again:
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
The Law can do nothing but condemn us. There is no power in the Law to save anyone. And how many people even here in the Bible Belt say, “Well I’m doing the best I can, I’m keeping the Ten Commandments, I think I’ll make it.” No you won’t. If you think that, you are in trouble, because when you enter into Biblical salvation you know you are saved.
“But now (that indicates there has been a change. We are no longer under the Law, but rather under Grace) the righteousness of God without the law is manifested,…” Do you see how plain that is. How can people miss that?
“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of the Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:…” That’s faith + nothing. It doesn’t say that they repent and are baptized. But rather upon all them that BELIEVE.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” But even though we have come short of God’s glory, He is able to justify us freely by what was accomplished on the Cross.
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Now let’s go to Chapter 4:
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Many people will tell us, “If I could just clean up my act, I bet I’d get saved.” They are putting the cart before the horse. You can’t clean up your own act. We have to let God do it. Now Chapter 5:
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Stop and think. Even Christ in His earthly ministry, could He say something like that? He never revealed it. Even His disciples didn’t know that He would be raised from the dead as we have looked at in Luke 18:34 (let alone know that Christ was dying for the sins of the world). But now Paul can, after the fact, and after the revelations from the risen Lord, make statements like that of verse 8.
“Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
The finished work of the Cross. Now Romans Chapter 8. And remember we are showing statements Paul makes that are not even mentioned back in the Four Gospels and the early chapters of Acts. Here in Chapter 8, I could use about the whole Chapter, but let’s look at verse 11.
“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
Paul is telling us in this Age of Grace, that when we become a child of God, the very presence of the Godhead in the Person of the Holy Spirit, not only raises us up out of our deadness in sins, but that He also indwells us. That is why we no longer need the Law. When I say we’re not under Law, that doesn’t mean we have license, that doesn’t mean we are free to steal for example; not at all, but rather it’s quite the opposite. We are under the power now of a Person in the Godhead who keeps us from all that the Law demanded not to do. That power keeps us from wanting to steal, murder, speak falsely, covet or be immoral. Now verse 14; this is the secret of the Christian life which the world can’t understand. They think the reason we live like we do is to make points with the Almighty. We can’t do anything to merit the favor of God. Rather we are responding to what He has done for us and through us.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” And we are led because He indwells us.
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are (already) the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Now come over to Chapter 10. I hope you are getting the idea that none of these things that I’m showing are back in the Four Gospels, at least through Chapter 8 of Acts.
“That if thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead (here His Crucifixion is implied) thou shalt be saved.
That’s a promise and God can’t lie. Now let’s go to the Book of Galatians (probably one of Paul’s earliest letters).
“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins…” Now let’s look at Ephesians Chapter 1:
“In whom we have redemption through his blood (His death), the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace (or unmerited favor); Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made know unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation (His death, burial and Resurrection for you): in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.”
You won’t see that in the Four Gospels and Acts. All of this was held until revealed by the Apostle Paul.
“Which is the earnest (or down payment) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” And we could just go on and on with these writings and revelations that you won’t find anywhere else in Scripture.
“AND you hath he quickened (or made alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins;”
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,”
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Maybe you have some idea of the difference in language between Paul’s writing (which is directed to the Body of Christ, the Church), and the Gospel writers which was directed mainly toward the Nation of Israel to fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant and promises.