๐Ÿ‘‘ The Genuine Article

Have you ever used Romans 15:16 to point out to someone that theย Apostle Paul was โ€œthe minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles,โ€ only toย have them argue that no, he was just a minister of the Gentiles, one ofย many who ministered to the nations? If you bump into someone whoย really knows his stuff, he may even point out that there are more versesย that use the indefinite article to describe Paul as โ€œa ministerโ€ (Acts 26:16;ย Eph. 3:7; Col. 1:23,25) than the lone Scripture that you can cite where heย is called โ€œthe minister.โ€

If anyone has ever called you on this, as youโ€™ve sought to press theย apostleship of Paul, you donโ€™t have far to go to turn the tables and giveย them pause and food for thought. You see, just a few verses earlier inย Romans 15, Paul referred to the Lord Jesus Christ as just โ€œa minister ofย the circumcisionโ€ (Rom. 15:8).

How can this be? How can the Son of God be anything other than theย minister of the people He came to save (Matt. 1:21; 20:28)? I believe it isย because, while the Lord Jesus was God in the flesh, He did not come intoย this world to sit in an ivory tower and dispatch other men to ministerย to the circumcision. He Himself was on the front line of the battle forย the souls of men, standing shoulder to shoulder with other ministersย of the circumcision, men like John the Baptist, the twelve, the seventy,ย and any and all others who ministered to โ€œthe lost sheep of the houseย of Israelโ€ (Matt. 10:6) in the face of opposition that came from men andย devils alike.

In the same way, there is no question that the Apostle Paul was theย minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, the preeminent minister of theย uncircumcision, as even an examination of the passages where he is calledย โ€œa ministerโ€ will show (Acts 26:16-18; Eph. 3:1-7; Col. 1:24-29). But likeย his Lord, Paul was in the trenches, duking it out with the enemies of hisย gospel, standing shoulder to shoulder in the battle for truth with men likeย Timothy and Titus and Aristarchus and Epaphras and others.

So stick to your guns when it comes to standing for the distinctivenessย of the apostleship and message of Paul. In the face of opposition fromย men and devils alike, continue to insist that whether heโ€™s called by theย definite or indefinite article, the Apostle Paul was the genuine article! source

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