How Paul Handled The Gospel (Part 2)


I am not saying you shouldn’t tell them anything about what’s right and what’s wrong. All that can be emphasized later. Your first goal as a minister of the gospel is to establish the believers in the reality of Christ. Let them know the reality in Christ, let them become awakened to this reality, let them come to a point where they are interacting with this reality, teach them how to navigate the reality of Christ and manifest its infinite dimensions. Only after you have done a considerable amount of work on this can you move on to other things. 


We read the letter of Paul and we see things such as, “women submit to your husband, and husband love your wife, do not be drunk with wine, fornication is a sin, child obey your parents, etc”, and then we assume this is the main thing he taught, or this is what the gospel is about. We forget that he had spent months and even years establishing these people in the reality of being in Christ, teaching them nothing else but Christ. 


“For while I was with you I was determined to be consumed with one topic—Jesus, the crucified Messiah.” (1Cor 2:2).


Paul preached no other topic than Christ for months and decades. He didn’t teach don’ts and do’s, he didn’t teach holiness and sanctification (in the reality in Christ, we are already holy and sanctified), he didn’t teach eschatology and mysteries. No, he focused on one thing only, and that is unveiling Christ. It is only when Christ has been properly unveiled and the people have become awakened to his reality that they will have the grace to do what is right and avoid the wrong things. 


“May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.” (2Per 1:2).


You get more grace as you grow in the knowledge of God. Therefore, abandoning the revelation of Christ to teach people what is right and what is wrong is a very terrible thing to do because they now know they have to do this thing and not do that thing but there is no power in them to follow through with the rules and regulations. As such, they end up in frustration, they begin to feel God has set a standard for them that they cannot meet, and they are overwhelmed with that feeling of being a failure. 


Those that have some measure of success have ended up doing these by the works of the flesh. Anything that the flesh does produces death. If it tries to do righteousness, it produces a filthy righteousness, a dead thing. When it tries to submit to her husband it does it carnally and such a carnal submissiveness ends up producing problems one way or another in the relationship. When it tries to be humble, it does it in a dirty way. When it loves, it is a selfish love. Everything the flesh does produces more death. 


Hence, you need to get the people from the flesh into the reality in Christ. As long as they are in the flesh, whatever rules and regulations you give them, they will end up doing it in a way that produces death. Jesus came to give life and give it abundantly (John 10:10). The goal of the gospel is to give life, not to produce more death. So if you are handling the gospel in a way that is producing more death in the life of people, then you are doing the gospel a great disservice. So get them established in the reality of being in Christ so that they will produce life in every one of their actions. 


Paul spent months or years unveiling the reality in Christ to these people. Then he would leave them for months or years so that they grow into this reality. After that he would require of their progress and write letters containing certain issues about how they have been manifesting the reality in Christ. These letters would first of all remind them of the reality in Christ before addressing issues on how this reality is meant to be lived out. This is like the job of a gardener who comes to plant the seeds and allow it to grow first before coming back to intervene by trimming the plants in order to allow healthy growth. 


We must understand that when it comes to Christ, we are dealing with life. As such our approach should be the approach of one dealing with life. Focus on building life in people through the gospel, then observe how that life grows, and if necessary do the necessary adjustments. The gospel is not about don’ts and do’s, rules and regulations, right and wrongs. It is about life, and when we start treating the gospel this way, we are bound to see more progress and manifestation of Christ in the life of believers.



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