Dependence on the ability of the flesh to accomplish righteousness and holiness is a humongous logical fallacy. Isaiah stated, God considers our most righteous acts as filthy rags. Paul stated his perfect legalistic performance of the law was garbage.
Paul’s insights come from a mind trained by God, in regard to the law before Gamaleil, the great teacher of his time. The Constitution of Israel was the Law of Moses. Paul was a patriotic Israelite. So patriotic that he, being convinced Jesus was not the Messiah was busy persecuting those who did.
On his fateful ride to Damascus he was literally blown off his horse when Christ revealed himself in great light. Paul saw the Lord and he was blinded. Jesus, himself, ordered Ananias to go to Paul and lay hands on him to receive the Holy Spirit and return him to sight.
He further told Ananias, Acts 9: 15:
“But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
“This man.” Without sufficient understanding I and many have stumbled off the street into the church only to hear the many words of those without this sufficient understanding. What they and I heard is the mixture of two very distinct covenants. Jesus spoke to these issues.
A covenant was, in the ancient times and agreement between two parties which was signed in blood to indicate the violation by one party or the other reached to the very life of the contractors. A symbolic commitment to the death between them.
As Paul tells us, in Romans 11: 16:
Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
So the completion of the authority of Paul, placed there by Jesus himself at the ordination of Paul, by Jesus in Acts 9 is explained further. Galatians 1: 1:
Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers and sisters[a] with me,
To the churches in Galatia:
This was Paul’s first Epistle. In it he amplifies the position he was placed in by the Lord and explains to US the confused mess we find in regard to what is claimed as the gospel:
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!”
Jesus had put it like this in Luke 5: 36, 37; Mark 2: 22; and, Matthew 9: 16, 17:
Here Luke (A Gentile Author in the Bible) 5: 36, 37:
He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’”
The entire book of Galatians, rarely preached in my 40 years listening to preachers, is about the dividing line between the covenants of the Old and the New. Paul says this in Galatians 1:
” I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.”
The gospel was not preached until Paul. “Paul, its for you.” That is what Jesus said! Matthew is a book written exclusively to Jews concerning the kingdom of heaven. A kingdom that was prophesied, and is yet prophesied. Matthew, Luke, Mark and most especially John is useful to us, however, Jesus, a man and also God Almighty was subject to the Law of Moses and even after his death the Jews were under the law in Judah. The law is anathema to the gospel of grace which, as obedience to the Lord comes by faith.
Matthew 10: 5 and 15: 24 make what I am saying plain. Jesus was not teaching Gentiles the gospel, per his own words. Peter, as explained in Acts, saw the sheet let down from heaven and broke Jewish tradition in entering Cornelius’ house to tell many Gentiles the gospel. The Jewish Apostles in Jerusalem still had to obey that Law as long as there was an Israel, or they would suffer the punishments prescribed there for the various infractions.
What did Paul say about the law? Romans 3: 22-31:
“There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.”
We will pick up here next time. Please leave me your valued comments below. Please if you have any questions leave them there also. I will answer them as soon as I can. Lord Bless you. Chris 5/13/2020.