I. We Are Commanded to Follow Paul
A. Wherefore, I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church. (1 Cor. 4:16-17)
B. Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (I Cor. 11:1)
C. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for ensamples. (Phil. 3:17)
D. Those things which ye have both learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you. (Phil. 4:9)
Paul says. you do as I do, you do what I say. These are the orders for the Church today. God the Holy Spirit says follow Paul and his words. When you follow Paul. you follow Christ.
II. Paul Is Our Apostle
A. For I speak to you Gentiles inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office. (Rom. 11:13)
B. 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. (Rom. 15:16)
III Paul's Words are the Words of Christ
A. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Gal. 1:11,12)
B. For this cause, I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given to me to you ward: How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery (as I wrote afore in a few words, whereby when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ). (Eph. 3:1-3)
Concerning the Gospel, Paul's words are the Words of our Lord
C. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. (I Cor. 15:3)
Concerning the instruction for the Lord's Supper, Paul's words are the Words of the Lord
D. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread. (I Cor. 11:23)
Concerning the 2nd Coming of our Lord, Paul also received the Word of the Lord
B. For this I say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (I Thess. 4:15)
IV. Everyone Who Is Spiritual, Must Admit the Words of Paul Are the Commandments Of the Lord
A. If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, Let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. (I Cor. 14:37)
B. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus (I Thess. 4:2)
C. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. (II Thess. 3:12)
D. I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned and to all others that, if I come again, I will not spare Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me which to youward is not weak, but is mighty in you (II Cor 13 2 3)
Christ has spoken from heaven to Paul and from Paul to us. Paul's words are the Words of the Risen Lord. Paul's Epistles are for the Church today. We are to follow them and preach Paul's Gospel.
V. Men Will Be Judged According To Paul's Gospel
A. In the day when God shall judge the secrets men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. (Rom. 2:16)
VI. A Curse Is Pronounced Upon Anyone Preaching Any Other Gospel
A. But though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if anv man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Gal. 1:8,9)
Therefore, in light of all this truth and all of these passages, it cannot be denied that when Paul wrote, "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jcsus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness (I Tim. 6:3), Paul meant Christ's words through himself. To teach that when Paul said, 'The words of our Lord Jesus Christ", he meant His words while here on earth, is to take people back under the Law; for Christ lived in the age of the Law (Gal. 4:4.5). He kept the Law (Matt. 5:17), He was circumcised the 8th day according to the Law, He went to the temple to worship according to the Law. So to go back to the words which Christ spoke on earth for our instruction for this age, is to go back under the Law.
Through Paul, the chief of sinners, saved by grace, we have God's message and program for this age of Grace. Our risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ spoke His words from heaven to Paul. Remember, both the Words Christ spoke on earth and the Words He sent down from Heaven are recorded for us by inspiration of God. Whether Paul or Matthew recorded them, on earth or from Heaven, they are His Words. Are Paul's Epistles less inspired than the other portions of Scripture? God forbid. Shall we place Paul and our Lord Jesus Christ at odds against ecch other? God forbid. Paul's words are the words of the risen and ascended Lord (Gal. 1:11,12). Shall we today make it a question of which one of the two we shall obey? God forbid. We must take the time factor into consideration and "Rightly divide the Word of Truth" (II Tim. 2:15). Paul received a later revelation than Matthew. Mark, Luke or John. Those who make the message of our Lord Jesus Christ which He gave when He was on earth, binding on us today, confuse God's program. This makes the message of the same risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ to the apostle Paul an utter contradiction to the message our Lord gave when He was here on earth.
But some of us see that our ascended Lord gave Paul later revelations - another message for the Body of Christ today. Our Lord said to Paul, "But rise and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of those things which thou hast seen and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee." (Acts 26:16). We know from II Cor. 12 that Paul received more than just one revelation. "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure." (11 Cor. 12:7)
Paul's life centered in the Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. 2:20; Phil. 1:21; Phil. 3:7.10; Gal. 6:14,17). This is the apostle who said. "Follow me as I follow Christ." Are you following Christ as Paul did? This is God's will for our lives.
REMEMBER: ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF GOD, THOSE WHO FOLLOW PAUL ARE FOLLOWING CHRIST!
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