2 Corinthians 4:5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.
Paul identifies himself as a bond-servant to us for Jesus. Hopefully we will come up with an answer for just who bond-servants are. He was not included with the original 12, and today much is being made of that distinction in an attempt to remove him and us Gentiles from this gospel of the kingdom seen here:
Matthew 24:14 “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. (NASB2020)
This gospel of the kingdom was rejected by Israel, and this gospel was according to some modern Dispensationalist teachers, devoid of Jesus’ payment for sin (His offer of Grace), and involved only with Jesus offer to be King of the Jews. An interesting concept if one wants to overlook other scripture. Like: John 10:9 “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. (NASB1995) John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. (NASB1995)
They further argue that Jesus’ death burial and resurrection was not preached by the disciples, who became Apostles on Pentecost; not until Paul introduced them to this new Gospel of Grace, which he received directly from Jesus, and then delivered it to the Apostles in Jerusalem. He, Paul, somehow had it approved; which effectively silenced the Kingdom gospel (which as these men understand it must be considered another gospel) and it would then remain silenced until the future time of the Tribulation. It was Paul then, who taught all the Apostles to begin to preach his gospel of Grace.
So it is the gospel of the Kingdom only (no other) that will be spread to the Jews during the Tribulation. It will be preached to all nations?
Early on in my Christian walk following Christ into the Scriptures, I began to ask the question: how can men who are saved during the Tribulation possibly be excluded from Christ’s bride, if the catching up of His bride must await, as Paul says, the resurrection of the dead, who are the dead in Christ? It would appear that this new Dispensational teaching has evolved with possibly the sole purpose of answering that question. A separate way of salvation for the Jews and Israel has always been the implication of any Dispensationalist teaching. The answer to my question before this new teaching evolved, was: that the Tribulation saints would be saved in the same manner that Israel of the O.T. was saved. Would that not mean that Jesus work for salvation must be ignored? But Paul even makes clear in Romans that heart circumcision through faith, was the way that the Children of Abraham were saved. He put it slightly different, but I believe that this was its meaning:
Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from people, but from God. (NASB2020)
This is the picture that Jesus gave Nicodemus of the new birth. Paul further says in Romans 11, that God has always had a remnant within the O.T. Israelites. Before this he justifies God’s choice between men of all factions:
Romans 9:30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, but the righteousness that is by faith;
31 however, Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at [that] law. 32 Why? Because [they did] not [pursue it] by faith, but as though [they could] by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, (NASB2020) notice that the works that Paul speaks of here are without faith.
Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same [Lord] is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; (NASB2020)
Paul’s bottom line if you read all of what he says here, really seems to not be the different from James who says show me your faith, and I will show you my faith by my works. Paul if you read all of what he says, makes clear that our righteous acts if there are any only comes from faith obeying the law that is written by God on our hearts.
I hope to continue on into a study into the bond-Servants, lord willing. More tomorrow.