Why did Paul use the following sequence? He was “appointed  a preacher, and  an apostle, and  a teacher of the Gentiles.” All of the consecrated are called to preach, but only 12 were called to be apostles (Isa. 61:1). And of the Twelve, only Paul was called to be a teacher (or apostle) to the Gentiles. The other apostles preached mainly to the Jews, with Peter having a higher commission. As a “preacher,” Paul went from home to home, visiting people in a lesser capacity, as opposed to speaking in the public forum or the synagogue. As an “apostle,” he made public pronouncements. As a “teacher of the Gentiles,” he went to Gentile lands, where he spoke publicly and made converts.
Posts Tagged ‘ ecclesias ’
Chapters 1-3 are introductory. In chapter 4, Paul would begin to reason by telling what the Old Testament teaches. He would say in effect, “I did not write the Old Testament, for it has existed for hundreds of years. In what purports to be the Word of God is the message that Jesus brought and that I, as an apostle of Jesus, am preaching.” First, however, he wanted to get everyone in a humble frame of mind by putting them on a common level. He reasoned, “After all, who are we and what are we? We are nothing unless God somehow provides a way of escape, and that way of escape is Jesus, whom I will preach.”
Many brethren think it is unchristian to stop someone’s mouth, yet Paul was telling Titus, who was not an apostle, to do that very thing. Doctrines that are pernicious and damaging to true Christianity should be boldly opposed and stopped, not democratically debated. One should not be timid about opposing a harmful doctrine, nor should such a doctrine be tolerated. Rather, it should be stopped in its tracks.
Paul knew that the Christians in Rome were going to have certain problems. Since he would not be visiting Rome for a while, he wanted to give advice to this church, which consisted of a mixed element of Jews and Gentiles who met together on a regular basis. What was Paul’s motivation? Realizing that Jews and Gentiles had radically different backgrounds, he wanted to unify them by getting them to appreciate each other’s backgrounds and their one calling. He wanted them to be firm in their faith so that they would not wobble back and forth under the influence of the Judaizing believers, who felt that a Christian had to follow the Law as well as walk in grace and truth by faith. Thus he proceeded to teach the real meaning of the doctrine of justification by faith, and the theme of his Epistle to the Romans is justification by faith in the blood of Christ.