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SWORDS Bible Study: Why Is Paul Your Apostle? (He was not one of the 12!) PART 11
(All caps for emphasis only)
(SWORDS Strong Women Of Rightly Dividing Studies)
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
We will continue with our study of the differences in the gospel given to the 12 Apostles of Israel during Jesus’ earthly ministry, and the gospel given to the Apostle Paul by the Risen Jesus Christ from heaven.
It is a dreadful thing to see so many believers taught a confusing message or to outright disbelieve the word of God! To fight against or simply dismiss the gospel of the grace of God (which the Apostle Paul received from the Lord Jesus) by the so called “Christian religions” and denominations.
Act_20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the MINISTRY, which I HAVE RECEIVED OF THE LORD JESUS, TO TESTIFY THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD.
I was raised in a major religion that was completely works based. Leaving the Roman Catholic Church I began to look into other religions to see what they were all about, then denominations and non-denominational “Christian Churches”. All were teaching a confusing message to me, and no one could explain the differences that I saw before me, in a reasonable manner. (I actually had one Pastor here in Montana tell me the gospel of Mark did not belong in the Bible! Because Mark 16:16 to 18 did not fit his narrative and he did not know how to rightly divide. He was also denying Christ Jesus’ very words! This is for another time, but I will get to it!)
Instead of reasonable they mixed up law and grace up willy nilly, as if Peter and Paul were teaching the same gospel of the cross. Denying the differences and often, I believed, making the cross of none affect with the mixing of the law.
Gal_5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Baptism became a “one time works ritual” to help one GET saved or STAY saved or PROVE or WITNESS ones FAITH in many different religions! Often one needed to be baptized to become a member of a Church!
Though the Churches that believe you MUST be baptized to be saved argue about the way it is done…immersion under water, sprinkled or in the name of Jesus or in the name of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The denominational Churches just as confused by baptism and confusing the folks who do not know how to rightly divide either, work to convince folks into an empty work, a ritual without blessings. Though, most often the folks do not need much convincing as it seems to suit the flesh mightily to have a hand in their salvation. Or to have something to do with the process rather than trusting by grace through faith in Christ’s FINISHED WORK for us on the cross.
John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul were BOTH used by these false teachers as an example to continue to baptize folks in a water ritual…even though the Apostle Paul said he was NOT sent to baptize and he was GLAD he had NOT baptized more than just the few we read about later in his ministry!
1Co 1:14 I THANK GOD that I baptized NONE OF YOU, BUT Crispus and Gaius;
1Co 1:15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
1Co 1:16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
1Co 1:17 For Christ sent me NOT TO BAPTIZE, BUT TO PREACH THE GOSPEL: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
Remember too, that the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus was NOT INSTANTLY filled with all the knowledge the Lord was to give him! In fact, he tells us that he would come to these revelations over time! And that there would be an abundance of them!
2Co_12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I WILL COME TO VISIONS AND REVELATIONS OF THE LORD.
2Co_12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the ABUNDANCE OF THE REVELATIONS, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
Paul told us that baptism would NO LONGER be in water by the hands of man BUT BY THE OPERATION OF GOD through faith! Instead we would now be BURIED with Christ, identified (which is what baptism is all about) with His death, burial and resurrection.
Col_2:12 BURIED with him in baptism, wherein also ye are RISEN with HIM THROUGH THE FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD, who hath raised him from the dead.
Man-made religions do not know how to rightly divide the word of truth. Without understanding, they still baptize for two reasons. One because Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, and they believe that Jesus is OUR pattern today, rather than ISRAEL’S.
We know this is NOT TRUE because the word of God tells us differently. The risen Jesus Christ gave us the Apostle Paul as OUR PATTERN to follow Paul as he followed Christ. As everyone who came hereafter believing on Christ to life everlasting, will do!
1Ti_1:16 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.
1Co_4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, BE YE FOLLOWERS OF ME.
1Co_11:1 BE YE FOLLOWERS OF ME, EVEN AS I ALSO AM OF CHRIST.
And two, because these teachers do not have any idea how to make sense of the word of God, so they ad-lib…they add to the Scriptures what God did and does not allow. Like a water baptism as a witness to others, when baptism for Israel was REQUIRED for the REMISSION OF SINS (Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.), and is NOT REQUIRED FOR US WHO BELIEVE TODAY and have FAITH IN THE BLOOD OF CHRIST THAT WASHED AWAY OUR SINS!
Eph_2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
We are washed and sanctified, justified by the name of Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God the moment we believed!
1Co_6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Because of lack of knowledge these pastors and teachers want people to be dunked in a baptistry or in a river, lake or ocean… wherever they may do their rite and rituals to turn a new believer to works that the Lord Jesus Christ had freed them from!
You see baptism was a command for all who believed Jesus was the Son of God, and it was FOR the remission of sins. Without this baptism they were NOT identified with the Christ! Baptism was an ORDINANCE that was a COMMAND of God!
This command was LATER NAILED TO HIS CROSS! Now, by BELIEVING ON WHAT CHRIST DID FOR US ON THE CROSS…TAKING ALL OUR SINS UPON HIMSELF…we are SAVED by grace through faith! NOT by obeying the Laws!
No more signs, rites and rituals as Israel needed. Now it is by faith, NOT by sight! For us…or for our fellow believers!
Col_2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Eph_2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
2Co_5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
WHERE in the word of God does it say that baptism is for “an outward sign of an invisible, inward change/transformation within us”? WHERE is even such an example EVER given? It is NOT. It was NOT for a sign at all; it was FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS!
Mar_1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
Luk_3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
Act_2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
So, in case you were baptized by one of these confused Churches of men, just so you know…I was too. About 5 or 6 times!
Once as a baby for salvation removing “original sin” …and 4 or 5 times by other Churches that found reasons my last baptism was not worthy, and “theirs” would be. And…they put another notch on their belt, even though they knew it was not saving anyone, it was somehow a great thing how many people they got wet!