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Why Did Paul Say to Follow Him?

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Much has been said lately...well...let me say it this way instead...it has been said often lately, that we should follow only Paul...that only his epistles are for today's church. Here are the single-verse proof texts used...

1 Corinthians 4:16
Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

1 Corinthians 11:1
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Philippians 3:17
Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

So...now I ask the following question.

According ONLY to the contexts of each of the above single proof-verses and according ONLY to preceding and/or succeeding verses (which gives the context), why did Paul say this?

In other words, why did Paul say what he said where he said it?

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3 hours ago, Ukulelemike said:

I don't know that we have to go outside of the three verses, and one in particular. "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."  Paul preached the same gospel of Jesus Christ as any disciples did. He was commissioned by the Lord Jesus as an Apostle of the Lamb, (unlike Matthias, who was appointed by the other Apostles and drawing of lot), and as such, carried an authority the same as the other Apostles. Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles, just as Peter was the Apostle to the Jews, (though Peter first preached to the Gentiles, in fulfillment of Matt 16:19, and Paul certainly preached to the Jews).

But also, he only expected anyone to follow him as he followed Jesus, so Jesus was the actual authority. The Corinthian church, addressed here, we know had issues with authority-they were called carnal and contentious because they wanted to be known by the name of men, (I am of Paul, I of Cephas, etc), so while they WERE to follow Paul, it was not for Paul's sake, but for the Lord's, in recognition of the authority He gave Paul, and as Paul was faithful to Christ.

It is the same way we would follow any pastor today-only as far as they are following Jesus Christ.  

I absolutely agree with you; however, from what I've gathered from here and elsewhere...the answer as to why Paul said to follow him is...because he's the apostle to the Gentiles.

My point in asking why Paul said to follow him was to hopefully encourage people to take the time to actually read why he said it in each individual case. Too often we read along in God's word, and we lose focus, don't pay attention, or skim through until we get to what I refer to as a "knockout verse"...a verse that is used alone to prove a point, doctrine, or personal preference...a verse that "knocks out" everything around it.

As an interesting side-note...in those 3 verses that are used to prove we are to follow Paul's teachings alone, only the first one excludes everyone but Paul. The second one includes the Lord, and the third one includes "us". 

As an interesting side-side-note...there are several other verses where Paul says to follow "us". 

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1 hour ago, Critical Mass said:

I don't know anyone who says only Paul's epistles are for the church and nothing else. Not even your most hardcore hypers says that.

 

Actually, I have known hyper dispensationalists who believe just that. They see Jesus as a dispensation, then Peter and the Jewish believers were a dispensation, but only to Israel, (and that they preached a gospel of faith + works), and then Paul is the dispensation for believers. They seem to miss that Paul preached quite a bit to Jews, and that Peter opened to door initially to the Gentiles. Also, Paul and Peter both claimed to be preaching the same gospel, and Peter says in Acts 15, "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they."  He didn't see a different gospel.  So yeah, there are those out there who are that hardcore-hyper. 

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Indeed there are actually a number of folks out there who proclaim only the writings of Paul are for Christians today. Some go so far as to say we shouldn't even read most other books of the Bible.

The teaching that Paul's Gospel is any different than the one true Gospel and his books are to be set apart in some manner for our special attention, whether in a soft or hardcore manner is unscriptural dangerous false teaching that shouldn't be tolerated.

Along with these are those who call themselves "red letter Christians", with some going to the point of disregarding most everything in the Bible except what has been printed in red in their Bible.

Dangerous teachings that have no basis in truth and should be separated from.

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6 hours ago, Ukulelemike said:

Actually, I have known hyper dispensationalists who believe just that. They see Jesus as a dispensation, then Peter and the Jewish believers were a dispensation, but only to Israel, (and that they preached a gospel of faith + works), and then Paul is the dispensation for believers. They seem to miss that Paul preached quite a bit to Jews, and that Peter opened to door initially to the Gentiles. Also, Paul and Peter both claimed to be preaching the same gospel, and Peter says in Acts 15, "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they."  He didn't see a different gospel.  So yeah, there are those out there who are that hardcore-hyper. 

Yes, but they still don't teach that only parts of the bible are for Christians ("all scriptures are profitable") while others are not. At least none that I ever read. They may say that certain parts (like Paul's epistles) only apply doctrinally to Christians but never that you toss out everything else. I can go into Exodus and find verses about the boards and silver knobs of the tabernacle and find some kind of spiritual application for Christians but I'm not teaching it as church age doctrine. This is what people are not getting here; there is a threefold interpretation of the bible: historical, doctrinal and spiritual. Paul's epistles apply exclusively to the church. It is church age doctrine from the apostle to the Gentiles. The gospels, Acts and the Jewish epistles have plenty of church age doctrine because of their placement after the cross but they are not exclusive for the church. There is some doctrine in those books that applies only to Israel. 

Also, it's clear from Acts 2:38 that Peter was preaching something different initially. Do you preach that as the gospel? Do you know anyone other than maybe a Church of Christ preacher that preaches it that way? And I mean the way it says in the KJV not the way it may say after tearing it apart with the "original language" like John R. Rice did. I don't know anyone who preaches, "Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins" and, oh yeah, you will "receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" afterwords. 

5 hours ago, John81 said:

 

Dangerous teachings that have no basis in truth and should be separated from.

You mean like the teachings that Invicta and Covenantor have been spewing out for years in this forum?

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5 hours ago, Critical Mass said:

You mean like the teachings that Invicta and Covenantor have been spewing out for years in this forum?

Take note that Covenanter was banned from this site yet in all his views which were deemed unacceptable he was clear there was only one means of salvation, just as Scripture says. False teaching on salvation is far more dangerous than various views regarding the end times.

Peter, Paul, James, John, all the other Apostles and Jesus all taught one and the same Gospel, the only means of salvation for anyone ever.

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When you accepted Christ (by grace through faith in Jesus Christ) you were then sealed with the Holy Spirit. The tribulation believer's will not have that same indwelling of the Holy Spirit (or do you believe they will?). This is part of your salvation, is it not? The only thing you "did" to receive the Holy Spirit was to accept/believe upon Christ. I believe it happens the very moment we believe and accept Christ.  So this "part" of salvation will not occur for those saved during the time of Jacob's trouble. Yet somehow, they are saved the exact same way? How can that be?

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22 hours ago, Oὐ Νικολαΐτης said:

why did Paul say this?

Because the Corinthian church was being lead astray by ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing!  "Don't listen to those wolves, follow me!"  Or maybe Ruckman told him to write it?  :shootme:

Edited by swathdiver

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the things that I [Paul] write unto you are the commandments of the Lord  1 Corinth 14:37b

As also in all his [Pauls] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood,

which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 2 Peter 3:16

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I [Paul] have laid the foundation    1 Cor 3:10a
 
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. (not from any man... including "the twelve")
For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the [direct] revelation of Jesus Christ.  Gal 1:11-12

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Paul apparently approved of the other apostles' gospel preaching...

1 Corinthians 15:9-11

9  For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

10  But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

11  Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

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A better question might be: are there any epistles that are written to (set aside for) a "future" group of disciples that will have to endure the Tribulation (following the Rapture)?

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

Yea, but, but, but:  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

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3 hours ago, beameup said:

A better question might be: are there any epistles that are written to (set aside for) a "future" group of disciples that will have to endure the Tribulation (following the Rapture)?

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

Yea, but, but, but:  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

 The above verse quoted by beameup, James 2:24, is miss-used and taken out of context and has a faulty interpretation of salvation in the Tribulation Period.

Why not quote James 2:18, "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew me my faith by my works."

Why not quote James 2:22, "Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was made perfect?

If so, and a "future" group of disciples had to endure to the end of the Tribulation (following the Rapture), to be eternally saved, then the Lord Jesus Christ did not die for them and the "future group of disciples" could "boast" in heaven they were made righteous by their own merit or works and God is in 'debt' to them and would have to give them eternal salvation. And, these 'future groups of disciples could 'glory' in their own works for salvation.

The teaching that a 'future group of disciples who would have to endure to the end of the Tribulation' is heresy and contrary to the Old Testament and New Testament doctrine of justification by grace through faith. I would suggest to our brethren who believe in such a teaching to re-study the doctrine of justifcation by grace through faith  in the book of Romans. The doctrine of justification, as revealed in Romans, by faith is the only means of eternal justification for anybody, in any age, and in any country: this includes the Jewish people in the Tribulation Period. 

"What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God." Romans 4:1 and 2

"Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt." Romans 4:4

"Where is boasting then? It is excluded. by what law? of works? Nay: but of the law of faith." Romans 3:27

 

 

Edited by Alan
spelling (twice)

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Most "assume" that after the Rapture that the world will immediately go into the Tribulation.  hmmmmmmm

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.  Acts 2:38

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As also in all his [Paul's] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest [wrestle], as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 2 Peter 3:16  File under: "Wrestling with Paul's Epistles"
 
Edited by beameup

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2 hours ago, Alan said:

 The above verse quoted by beameup, James 2:24, is miss-used and taken out of context and has a faulty interpretation of salvation in the Tribulation Period.

Why not quote James 2:18, "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew me my faith by my works."

Why not quote James 2:22, "Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was made perfect?

If so, and a "future" group of disciples had to endure to the end of the Tribulation (following the Rapture), to be eternally saved, then the Lord Jesus Christ did not die for them and the "future group of disciples" could "boast" in heaven they were made righteous by their own merit or works and God is in 'debt' to them and would have to give them eternal salvation. And, these 'future groups of disciples could 'glory' in their own works for salvation.

The teaching that a 'future group of disciples who would have to endure to the end of the Tribulation' is heresy and contrary to the Old Testament and New Testament doctrine of justification by grace through faith. I would suggest to our brethren who believe in such a teaching to re-study the doctrine of justifcation by grace through faith  in the book of Romans. The doctrine of justification, as revealed in Romans, by faith is the only means of eternal justification for anybody, in any age, and in any country: this includes the Jewish people in the Tribulation Period. 

"What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God." Romans 4:1 and 2

"Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt." Romans 4:4

"Where is boasting then? It is excluded. by what law? of works? Nay: but of the law of faith." Romans 3:27

 

 

I have no problem discerning the obvious contradictions and the reason that many such "contradictions" exist.

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There are some who confuse the Tribulation and Great Tribulation which also causes problems.

I'm curious why it seems some get more riled up over differing views of the end times than they do the constant promotion of false gospels. In Scripture we see a great emphasis upon exposing false gospels, naming those who promote false gospels and clear separations being made from the promoters of false gospels.

If people get salvation wrong then hell awaits them along with all those they lead astray.

Even if a person says they believe in a pre-trib rapture yet if they don't believe the one and only means of salvation for all time they are lost and leading others away from Christ by their false gospels.

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36 minutes ago, John81 said:

There are some who confuse the Tribulation and Great Tribulation which also causes problems.

I'm curious why it seems some get more riled up over differing views of the end times than they do the constant promotion of false gospels. In Scripture we see a great emphasis upon exposing false gospels, naming those who promote false gospels and clear separations being made from the promoters of false gospels.

If people get salvation wrong then hell awaits them along with all those they lead astray.

Even if a person says they believe in a pre-trib rapture yet if they don't believe the one and only means of salvation for all time they are lost and leading others away from Christ by their false gospels.

Gotta say, John, the last few weeks on here have felt like an eye-opener. Though the eschatology wars have been difficult to watch, there have always been eschatology debates/discussions on OB. But when it came to soteriology, I had always throught that folk on here--and IFBs in general--were united in believing that salvation is and always has been by grace through faith alone.

Multiple threads and posts proclaiming works salvation--be it for times past or times future--with relative silence from forum regulars who have traditionally been quick and rigorous in defending OB's stance on free will and end times doctrines is something I never expected to see. But it might just be because we are down to about a dozen regular posters.

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Well, folks have their proof verses, and no amount of context or comparing scripture with scripture can be used to show them their mistakes. Their context is their single verses (or in many cases, only one section of a single verse even when the verse explains and nullifies their belief). Their comparing of scripture with scripture only extends to comparing their single proof verses with their other single proof verses. 

The pinnacle of this promotion of different salvation methods was recently reached (in my opinion) when an agnostic member here also began promoting such.

With that said, I leave this portion of scripture for everyone. Please apply this to your daily walk with Christ...after all, it was written by Paul. Oh, and it promotes yet another salvation method.

Colossians 2:21-22b

21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;

22  Which all are to perish with the using;)

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7 hours ago, beameup said:

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.  Acts 2:38 

Acts 2:38 -- "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins."

Hmmmm.  So then, is it repentance and (faith in) the name of Jesus Christ that results in "the remission of sins"?  Or, is it repentance and (the religious work of) baptism that results in "the remission of sins"?

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle

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On ‎1‎/‎14‎/‎2016 at 11:36 AM, beameup said:

For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the [direct] revelation of Jesus Christ.  Gal 1:11-12

So Jesus stepped down off of his throne, left heaven, returned to earth, and gave Paul one on one classes?

In reality the Holy Ghost revealed Jesus unto Paul.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

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I find it somewhat amusing that so many just "assume" (because it is often repeated and repeated to them) that the Tribulation immediately follows the Rapture.  I also find it somewhat amusing that many simply "assume" that those saved in the first half of the Tribulation and those saved in the second half (ie: Great Tribulation) are "saved" in the same manner, or that there one and only one "Rapture".

If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.  Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles 1 Corinthians 14:37-38
 
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Edited by beameup

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6 hours ago, beameup said:

I find it somewhat amusing that so many just "assume" (because it is often repeated and repeated to them) that the Tribulation immediately follows the Rapture. 

This is not based upon an assumption, but upon Bible study.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:2-3 we are taught that the Day of Christ cannot begin until the "man of sin" is revealed.  Now, this Day of Christ is explained in Revelation 6:16-17 as "the great day" of "the wrath of the Lamb."  So then, we understand that the Day of Christ is a phrase that refers to the seven year Tribulation Period.  As such, the seven year Tribulation Period cannot begin until the "man of sin" is revealed.  So then, how shall this "man of sin" be revealed?  Daniel 9:27 reveals the answer by teaching us that "the prince that shall come" will "confirm the covenant with many [from among Daniel's people, the children of Israel] for one week [for a seven year period]."  Even so, this revelation of the "man of sin," "the prince that shall come" is itself the very initiation of the final seven year period of the "seventy weeks" of Daniel 9:24-27, which is the seven years of the Tribulation Period.  As such, we understand that the seven year Tribulation Period begins immediately with this revelation of the "man of sin."

Yet 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 teaches us that the "man of sin" cannot be revealed until the One who now withholds "the mystery of iniquity" be "taken out of the way."  Now, "the mystery of iniquity" is already working to take over; and the only power that is preventing "the mystery of iniquity" from taking over is the One who now holds it back.  Even so, as soon as the One who now withholds is "taken out of the way," the power of "the mystery of iniquity" that "doth already work" will move with the force of a raging flood; and "then" (at that time) the "man of sin" shall be revealed.

6 hours ago, beameup said:

I also find it somewhat amusing that many simply "assume" that those saved in the first half of the Tribulation and those saved in the second half (ie: Great Tribulation) are "saved" in the same manner . . .

No need for any form of assumption here, since I do not believe that anyone will be getting saved during the second half of the seven year Tribulation Period, but that all unbelievers during that time will be under God's work of "strong delusion" to believe the lie of "the man of sin" wherein he shall claim to be god, as per 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12. (See also Revelation 13:8)

6 hours ago, beameup said:

. . . or that there is one and only one "Rapture".

Really???  And what future "catching up" is revealed in the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God other than that in 1 Thessalonians 1:13-18?

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The cartoon about "thinking outside of the box" is priceless, simply because it is an apt example of where heretical teaching comes from.

You would have to think "outside of the box" [Bible] to come up with doctrines that fly in the face of actual Scripture and sound IFB teaching to come up with the obvious distortions and wrong interpretations posted by "some" in this thread.

It is amazing to me that "some" who claim to be IFB can deviate so far from the teaching of those that have gone before us, and yet still want to be known as one with us.

Scripture warns us in many places of this kind of danger.

 Jude 1:3 ¶ Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 
 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. 

 Gal 2:4-5  And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: 
 5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

 Gal 1:6 ¶ 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.

 Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

 2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 

So then, is there specific teaching of those that have gone before us, those that have held to the pure teaching of God's word even at the cost of their lives that we are to hold to? Does Scripture tell us to follow the teaching of faithful men of God?

 2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

 Col 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

 Tit 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

 Heb 2:1Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

There is a place where truth resides, it is the local church, this  is why church doctrine and church history is so critically important.

 1Ti 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

There will always be those among us that will seek to subvert people by twisting and wresting Scripture to their own liking and brand of Theology. It is important that we understand that all Scripture is Inspired of God.  2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

As such, it is imperative to include those things recorded in Scripture and taught by those that are recorded in Scripture.

 

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