πŸ‘‘ The Twelve Apostles And Paul

In comparing the ministry of the twelve apostles with that of the Apostle Paul, we must observe carefully:

  1. The twelve were chosen by ChristΒ ON EARTHΒ (Luke 6:13) while Paul was later chosen by ChristΒ IN HEAVEN (Acts 9:3-5; 26:16).
  2. Prior to Paul’s conversion the twelve had known Christ onlyΒ ON EARTHΒ (I John 1:1). Even at His ascension to heaven β€œa cloud received HimΒ OUT OF THEIR SIGHT” (Acts 1:9). But Paul knew Christ onlyΒ IN HEAVEN, having never seen Him on earth (Acts 26:16; I Cor. 15:8).

3.Β The twelve represented their own nation.Β The number twelve has no connection with the β€œone Body” of Christ. As we know, Jacob of old β€œbegat theΒ twelve patriarchs” (Acts 7:8). From these sprang theΒ twelve tribesΒ of Israel. These tribes hadΒ twelve princesΒ over them (Numbers 1:16). Even when Israel was ruled by kings there were still to beΒ twelve princesΒ β€” one over each tribe (I Chronicles 27:22). Thus, as He went forth proclaiming β€œthe gospel of the kingdom” our Lord choseΒ twelve princesΒ for theΒ twelve thronesΒ in the kingdom to come (Matt. 19:28).

On the other hand, Paul, asΒ oneΒ apostle, represents the β€œone Body,” the Church of today (Rom.12:5; I Cor. 12:13; Eph.4:4). However, he was both aΒ born HebrewΒ and aΒ born Roman, so represented believing Jews and Gentiles β€œreconciled…unto God in one body by the cross…” (Eph.2:16).

  1. The twelve were sent to proclaim Christ’s kingdomΒ β€œat hand” (Matt. 10:7), and later toΒ offerΒ its establishment on earth (Acts 3:19-26). But Paul was sent to proclaimΒ β€œthe gospel of the grace of God”(Acts 20:24), while the kingdom is held in abeyance.
  • The ministry of the twelve was based onΒ covenant promisesΒ (Isaiah 60:1-3; Luke 1:70-79; Acts 3:22-26). Paul’s ministry wasΒ notΒ based on covenant promises, but wholly onΒ the grace of God through Christ (Rom.3:21-28; 5: 20,21; Eph.1:6,7; 2:7; etc.). source

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