A person must UNDERSTAND what it is they are asked to believe, in order to be joined to the body of Jesus Christ. It is unfathomable what God accomplished through his son; Jesus Christ took sinful man’s place, taking the penalty of their sins upon himself, so that those believing this truth can be joined to his body.
Paul had been given special divine authority with the understanding that he is our apostle, and that authority carried with it the details of what God expects people to believe today concerning the salvation Jesus Christ purchased for them with his sacrifice. What Jesus Christ accomplished where sins are concerned, is the power of God unto salvation.
Paul is the chief architect of the building project called the body of Christ and the blueprint, the plans were given to him by the risen ascended Christ. God committed to Paul the responsibility to lay this blueprint out on the table, he spread it out for us so we might see what this blueprint is all about, so we might build in a manner worthy of reward.
This labour has to do with building up the body of Christ, and the two building materials we utilize are the word of truth and agape love on behalf of the brethren. We who have been placed into the body of Christ are a member of the work crew, whether we knew it or not, the work project is this body of Christ, and we been part of the work crew ever since we were first saved.
Let’s put ourselves in Paul’s place for a moment if we could. For around 1500 years, the law had been God’s revelation to man. The Jewish nation had been God’s chosen people; they knew so and they proclaimed that truth. If a Gentile wanted to come to God at that point and time, they had to come through the channel of that chosen people Israel in an obedience to the law, they had to convert to Judaism.
That meant if one was a Gentile, they had to come Israel’s way, because there was no other way than Israel’s way. A Gentile had to take part in the circumcision which was the sign of those under one of their covenants. A Gentile had to bring the proper sacrifices in connection with another one of their covenants, in other wards, a Gentile had to come through the nation Israel.
The Gentile could approach Israel, but they could not approach God, only Israel could do that. Now all of a sudden it is Paul’s responsibility, his special responsibility to convince the Gentiles and the Jews alike, and he has to do that in the face of much Jewish opposition, that God is at this time doing something brand new, and that God has made Paul the Apostle of it.
Now Paul would tell these Gentiles that they can come directly to God. No longer do they need to come through the nation Israel. No longer is their manner of life to be the manner of life that God had prescribed for Israel under their covenant.
Things are different now, the Gentiles can come to God apart from Israel and apart from their program all together, because that program was put on hold as God ushered in this new program through the Apostle Paul.