Why Paul? (Romans 1:5, 11-12)

teaching by Duane Gallentine
from Essential Doctrine Series tape 7 side b

When we come to Romans 1, we need to know and retain some information that was presented to us in the book of Acts because Romans picks up where Acts ends: with salvation going to the Gentiles without Israel.

What was going on in the book of Acts?

  • Acts begins with Peter and ends with Paul.
  • Acts begins with the nation of Israel, the people of the covenant and children of promise and ends with the Gentiles, strangers from the covenants of promise.
  • Acts starts with a ministry that confirms the promises made to the fathers to fulfill the law and prophets and ends with Paul preaching the gospel of the grace of God to the Gentiles.

What we see happening in the book of Acts is Paul, a different apostle than the twelve with a different message. Paul begins preaching to the Gentiles without Israel risen up in faith and obedience. What we see happing in Acts is what Paul described in Romans 11:30 where he says Israel is in unbelief and they stumbled, fell, are diminishing, cast aside and blinded. The book of Acts ends with Paul delivering Godís salvation to the Gentiles. We need to understand how different that is. This also clearly shows that there are 2 gospels being preached in Acts.

The testimony of the Old Testament and the four Gospel accounts is the Gentiles are saved through Israel only. In Romans, Paul goes to the nations while Israel is in a state of unbelief. If you can see this then you have to believe there is another gospel being preached. If you do not believe that, then you are in unbelief concerning Paulís apostleship; you are not familiar with who Paul is and what he taught.

So, as Gentiles, we need to hear from this guy Paul, the apostle to and of the Gentiles.

The number one fundamental fact that forms the meat of Pauline authority is that Paul received his office of apostleship from the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

(Romans 1:1-5 KJV) Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, {2} (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) {3} Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; {4} And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: {5} By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Verse 5 says, "By whom we have received grace and apostleship..." Why did Paul receive grace and apostleship? For the obedience to the faith among all nations.

We, as Gentiles, are to obey the faith. "The faith" is what we are to believe as a Gentile. If you say you believe in God you need to believe in God a certain way during this dispensation of the grace of God and the way we know it is through Paul.

Simply put, why did Paul receive apostleship and this grace (Godís unmerited favor)? For the obedience to the faith among all nations.

So, why Paul? Why Paul if there is not a different gospel than what the 12 preached or a different kind of office of authority? The reason Paul gives is for the obedience to the faith among all nations.

(Acts 1:8 KJV) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Here we see that the 11 will receive power after the Holy Ghost has come upon them. When that happens they are to go out in a particular order:

  1. Jerusalem, the city of the great king (Isaiah 60)
  2. Judea, the land of the throne
  3. Samaria, the northern kingdom
  4. The uttermost part of the earth (the Gentile nations)

So we have to ask ourselves the question: if Paul and Peter preached the same gospel, then why Paul because the Gentiles were already concluded under Peterís commission? But Paul comes along and says he is the one who received grace and apostleship for the obedience to the faith among all nations.

The facts are that when you get to Romans 1 you now have a different gospel with a different apostle. We need to recognize Paulís authority and the uniqueness of his office and the message of it.

Since the world began, God moved to restore His kingdom on the earth. God vested His kingdom (rule) in a nation called Israel and Israel at the end of Acts was in unbelief. So, when you get to Romans 1:5 and you see the phrase "obedience to the faith" it is not something you read in the books of Acts. We ought to really appreciate that phrase "obedience to the faith among all nations".

We know that "obedience to the faith" is not in Genesis - Acts because a Gentile concerning the faith in Genesis - Acts has to get their salvation through Israel and her meat on the table (the Law and prophets). So that phrase has great importance at this point in Romans - it shows a different gospel. This obedience to the faith among all nations as Paul reveals it is without Israel - so it is a different gospel.

Why Paul? For obedience to the faith among all nations. This obedience to the faith among all nations is only found and attainable by listening to Paul as this apostle to and of the nations.

(Romans 1:11-12 KJV) For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; {12} That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

Paul wants to impart something he calls a "spiritual gift". What do we often think of when we hear the term "spiritual gift"? Often, we think of tongues, healings, miracles and the other sign gifts. Paul talks about those in 1 Corinthians 12 and these are another of the essential doctrines of which Paul does not want us to be ignorant . However, the context of Romans 1 is not the sign gifts, it is something else.

We need to understand what the spiritual gift will do; it will provide comfort. Paul is anticipating something in the Romans with himself with which they can be comforted together. It will be by the mutual faith of both them and Paul.

Faith is taking God at His word; faith is something we believe. We can say we believe in God as a Gentile and if that is true then we need to know the way God has told us to believe in Him. We cannot freelance it and do our own thing. We cannot just believe in anything. We must believe what God tells us to believe - that would be faith (believing what God says we are to believe).

In verse 12, what will provide comfort? "The mutual faith both of you and me". Paul describes what will happen if the Romans get that imparted spiritual gift, that mutual faith will be in both them and in Paul.

(Romans 1:13 KJV) Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

Other Gentiles are believing what Paul believes about this obedience to the faith. Do you get the connection? The spiritual gift is so that you will believe what Paul believes. The spiritual gift is the mutual faith, that you will follow Paul in what he believes; that is you will know what he believes, you will possess the same mind regarding these mutual faith issues. The spiritual gift is so you willl know the same thing that Paul knows.

Now, the idea is very simple: Paul got it first and now he is going to give it to the Romans, this mutual faith. How did Paul get it?

(Galatians 1:11-12 KJV) 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.
(2 Corinthians 12:1 KJV) It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

(2 Corinthians 12:7 KJV) 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.