Which Jesus Do You Preach?

 2 Corinthians 11:4 and Romans 16:25

(2 Corinthians 11:1-4 KJV) Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. {2} For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. {3} But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. {4} For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Why is Paul writing this epistle this way? In verse 2, he writes "for I am jealous over you". Why is he jealous over them? He had a tremendous love for them. He says that I have begotten you. He considered them as children. He is jealous because he looks at them and sees some things happening that he does not like. Paul established them in the truth and began to see that there are some things that are not right. He is afraid that someone will come along and tell them something other than what he taught them and that they would go astray.

Is there more than one Jesus in the Bible? There is only one Jesus but he has different ministries, earthly and heavenly. Paul is saying that someone will come along and preach Jesus but there will be something wrong with the Jesus they preach. The Jesus they preach will be different from the Jesus that Paul preached.

(Romans 16:25 KJV) Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

Paul preached Jesus according to the revelation of the mystery; this is Jesus in His heavenly ministry. This is the Jesus that is to be proclaimed in the dispensation of grace.

Jesus According To Prophecy

(John 1:29-31 KJV) The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. {30} This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. {31} And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

In verse 31, John the Baptist, by baptizing, is showing Jesus to Israel. Jesus Christ comes to this earth to preach the gospel of the Kingdom which was prophesied by the prophets. Jesus Christ is being presented as King, Priest and Prophet in his earthly ministry. 

After Christ is resurrected:

(Acts 2:36 KJV) Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Peter tells what Jesus Christ means to them after his death and resurrection, that He is Lord and Christ. It is the same Jesus according to prophecy but here we see that there is the addition of the Holy Spirit within the message being proclaimed. The message is still that which was foretold by the prophets.

(Acts 3:19-20 KJV) Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; {20} And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

Peter tells Israel if they would repent Jesus would come back. The Jesus that would come back is the Jesus that was preached unto them; it is the Jesus according to prophecy.

(Romans 15:8 KJV) Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:

Even Paul declared that when Jesus Christ came to the earth he came to confirm the promises made by the fathers, that is He came according to prophecy.

 Jesus Christ According to Mystery 

Paul preaches some things about Jesus Christ that only he knows. (See Ephesians 3) In Acts 7, Jesus was ready to come back with judgment. Instead, he came down, saved Saul of Tarsus, and began to tell him things that were not made known before.

It is another Jesus in the sense that Paul has a different message: the gospel of the grace of God, the gospel of the uncircumcision.

(1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; {2} By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. {3} For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; {4} And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Paul defines the gospel he preached in 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4. Why is it so important for us to declare the right Jesus Christ today? Paul tells the Corinthians that they heard the gospel he preached unto them and they received it and that is wherein they stand. It is Paul's gospel by which people are saved today in the dispensation of grace. If you are not preaching the gospel that Paul preached then you are not preaching a message by which people may be saved. Paul's gospel is: how that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again on the third day according to scriptures. Make sure you give people the right gospel when you speak to them. If you take the gospel Jesus  preached in His earthly ministry then it is another gospel, different than the one Paul reached.

Paul declares the gospel he preached unto them is how Christ died for our sins. How many times do we find Jesus telling Israel in his earthly ministry that he was to die for their sins? Zero, not one time does He say this. Jesus tells them "all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished." (Luke 18:31)

Paul says that we have been given a ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18), not a confirmation ministry such as Jesus' earthly ministry. This indicates that something has changed. That which Jesus was doing in His earthly ministry has been temporarily set aside and we should not mingle that confirmation ministry with the ministry of reconciliation during this dispensation of grace.

(Galatians 2:7-9 KJV) 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.

Peter, James and John recognized that Paul received a new message, they agreed to confine their ministry to the circumcision and Paul would go to be heathen. Paul did not preach the gospel to the true circumcision; that was to whom Peter, James and John went.

The reason James, Cephas and John agreed with Paul to confine their ministry was they recognized the revelation Paul received was something new, that God was doing something different. This is why they agreed to limit their ministry to the circumcision. They understood that they were not to go to all nations at this time. It is now Paul's ministry to go to the heathen with the gospel of the uncircumcision.

Those of the circumcision, along with the scribes and Pharisees followed Paul wherever he went stirring up strife and contention. They perverted the gospel of the grace of God by telling the people that in order to be saved they had to be circumcised. For those Jews, circumcision was a true gospel, but it was not the gospel that Paul preached which is the gospel of the uncircumcision.

(Galatians 1:6-9 KJV) I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: {7} Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. {8} 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. {9} As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

What Paul means by another gospel is they were taking the gospel of the uncircumcision and adding the gospel of circumcision to it. They were mixing Jesus' earthly ministry with His heavenly ministry.

Paul says the words he speaks unto them are the commandments of the Lord (1 Corinthians 14:37). Do you ever wonder why churches today cannot agree? It is because they are not preaching the Jesus that Paul preached; they are mixing Jesus' earthly ministry with His heavenly ministry.

What would Paul say to us today? Most likely, it would be similar to what he told the Galatians:

(Galatians 3:1-3 KJV) O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? {2} This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? {3} Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Paul calls them foolish and asks who has bewitched them. He told them they do not obey the truth and believed they had to be circumcised because someone came to them with a gospel other than what he preached. Paul preached the gospel of the grace of God: Jesus Christ in the heavenlies and we are seated up there with him. The Galatians were foolish because they started in the Spirit but went under the law, a performance based system (flesh).

What percent of the churches today preach a performance based system? That is, what percent of the churches go back to the system that worked at one time but is not the way to do things today, mixing Jesus' earthly ministry with His heavenly ministry?

The gospel of the grace of God, the message of the risen Lord Jesus Christ in His heavenly ministry, is the way to be saved and the way we are to live today.

Challenge: understand which Jesus we are to preach. This is done by rightly dividing the word of truth, that is, understanding the difference between prophecy and mystery!

 Fellowship with the heavenly Jesus Christ! 

(2 Timothy 2:15 KJV) Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Source Used: Berean Bible Church
Florida Regional Grace Conference 2001
"Which Jesus Do You Preach" - Pastor Willard Sessoms

   

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