Why did God need to raise up the Apostle Paul if, as most people believe, the disciples were to take the gospel to all people?


Romans 11:19

ESV - 19 Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.

Clarify Share Report Asked December 17 2016 Open uri20161126 4901 10e21fr Robert Woods

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Although Jesus (before His ascension) instructed His disciples to carry the gospel to all nations, He also appeared personally (in glorified form) to Paul (Acts 9:3-8), commissioning him for the same purpose. I believe that multiple factors led to God calling Paul.

Paul was originally an opponent of the gospel and a persecutor of Christians (Acts 8:3; Acts 9:1-2). Therefore, he could identify from personal experience both with those who opposed Christianity, and with those who followed Christ. This would widen the scope of those among whom he could effectively minister or witness; increase his ability to answer criticisms or rejection of Christian teachings; and be a personal testimony to the life-changing power of faith in Christ.

Paul was a Pharisee who had been thoroughly schooled in the Mosaic Law and in the prophecies of the Old Testament by Gamaliel, an eminent Jewish rabbi/teacher and member of the Jewish ruling council, the Sanhedrin (Acts 5:34-39; Acts 22:3). This enabled Paul to effectively refer to the Law and the prophets in the context of their fulfillment in Jesus; to rebut Jews who opposed Christianity; to shame Jewish opponents of Christianity who violated the Law in their conduct toward him (as in Acts 23:3); and to establish fundamental Christian principles by (for example) refuting "Judaizers" who attempted to require Gentile Christians to be circumcised (for males) and also to obey the Mosaic Law (in addition to having faith in Christ) in order to be saved (Galatians 1-5).

He was a Roman citizen by birth, which gave him maximum freedom of travel and access to the varying countries and peoples that comprised the Roman Empire, and legal protections that aided in saving him from punishment and prolonging his ministry (as in Acts 22:22-29, for example).

Based on his education and training, he was also undoubtedly already conversant in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, and familiar with literature or poetry in multiple languages (as evidenced by Acts 17:28, for example) in a way that the other apostles may not have been. This also increased the number of contexts in which he could evangelize.

He was unmarried (1 Corinthians 7:8) -- unlike at least some of the apostles, such as Peter (Matthew 8:14) -- which meant that he could focus solely on the furtherance of the gospel, without having his attention diverted or his ability to freely travel affected by domestic/family concerns.

There may be other considerations, as well, but these are the ones that occur to me most readily as to why God was able to use Paul in a way that may not have been possible through the original apostles, or that might have required multiple other individuals to carry out evangelical activity that Paul could accomplish by himself.

December 18 2016 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Q jcryle001 JD Abshire
I agree with the other postings but would like to add that after the dispersion we read in Acts 11:19 "Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only."

"...preaching the word to none but into the Jews only". Consider this was approximately 7-8 years AFTER Christ's ascension and the original disciples were still in Israel. So much for evangelism.

December 21 2016 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Kenneth Heck
The Great Commission of Matt 28:19-20 was indeed given to the 11 disciples, which told them to go and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. As the 11 were Jews, as a practical matter they were limited to contacting the Jews in other nations during their lifetime. Peter was called the apostle of the circumcision (Gal 2.8), and the other 10 were presumably in much the same category.

Paul, as the "apostle to the Gentiles" was, during his lifetime, specifically called to convert gentiles rather than Jews due to his wider status within the Roman Empire, and his earlier education. Because of Paul, Christianity had an early beginning at converting gentiles - the 11 disciples initially would not have believed that gentiles had anything to do with Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Son of God. This was one of the things not revealed until after Christ's Ascension.

December 18 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Roseanna Villanueva
Paul was predestined to preach to the Gentiles the Salvation through Jesus Christ, and through him, many Gentiles were saved and believed.

April 29 2017 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini doug Macredie
In the Gospels Jesus debated, clashed and corrected the Pharisees more than any other group. The Pharisees were so bound in religious rules many of them hated the freedom that Jesus taught and demonstrated NONE of Jesus's disciples were Pharisees. Mostly they were working class. 

I believe GOD demonstrated s whole new dimension of his grace and the power of the gospel when he called Paul, a PHARISEE, to lead such a significant evangelical ministry. From the very group of people who attacked Jesus the most, God calls a great leader of the New Testament church. The contrast of Saul the pharisee to Paul the Apostle sets the scene for how the transforming power of the gospel is to work for the centuries to come and shows God's love is for everyone.

March 03 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Peter Vuzi
The Lord searches the heart of men, and most of the disciples were not ready to take the gospel to the Gentiles (the uncircumcised). Peter (also called Cephas) made an act of hypocrisy by denying the Gentiles when certain brothers from James came and Paul says he rebuked him publicly. (Galatians 2:11-14). God knows all and He knew that He was not making a mistake in choosing Paul.

June 02 2024 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Profile pic Mark Vestal Proud of nothing of myself. Freed by Christ who did it all!
God revealed His plan to Israel that it would be through them that the world would be made known of God.

Exodus 19:5-6
"Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel."

Because Israel, as a nation, rejected the prophets, Christ as their Messiah, and then the holy Spirit at the stoning death of Stephen, salvation became the free unmerited gift of God to the world by His grace through having faith alone, and without first having to go through Israel's kingdom of priests.

Romans 11:11
"I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy."

Paul was not just another apostle of Christ's earthly ministry to Israel (the circumcision) and Peter's church of believing Jews. Paul was appointed to be the minister of the gospel of the uncircumcision (Gentile) church, the heavenly body of Christ, as given directly to Paul from Christ ascended in glory.

Gal 2:7-9
"But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision."

Gal 1:11-12
"But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."

Eph 3:1-6
"For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:"

Romans 15:16
"That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost."

Paul was the first member and leader of the Gentile church to be the pattern for believers from his ministry forward, until the last Gentile believer believes.

Romans 11:25
"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."

1 Tim 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."

1 Cor 11:1
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."

Both groups (believing Jews and the church, the body of Christ) are "in Christ", but one has a purpose on earth (Israel) and one has a purpose in heaven (the church).

Romans 11:26-28
"And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes."

While followers of Christ's earthly ministry will judge the twelve tribes of Israel on earth, followers of Christ's heavenly ministry to Paul will be judging angels in heaven.

Luke 22:30
"That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

1 Cor 6:3
"Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?"

Both groups will come together after Christ's millennial reign on earth and at the completion of time.

Eph 1:10
"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:"

June 02 2024 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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