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Paul's Introduction To Peter

Although Peter the fisherman and Paul the pharisee were two very different men, both of them were personally called by Jesus Christ to be apostles of Christ. First, Peter:

"4:18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 4:20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him." (Matthew 4:18-20 KJV)

Then Paul, when he will still known as Saul, the Christian-persecuting pharisee:

"9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do." (Acts 9:3-6 KJV)

"For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles"

Paul and Peter were servants of Christ, each accountable only to Christ, for the individual responsibilities that each were given by Christ - Peter the apostle of Christ to the people of Judah, Paul the apostle of Christ to the people of other nations. Paul was commissioned later than Peter, but that did not make Paul inferior. There was no ranking system among the apostles, other than that they were all equally under Christ, as Paul explains:

Apostle

"2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 2:2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel [see The Gospel of The Kingdom of God] which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. 2:3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 2:4 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: 2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

2:6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person: for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 2:8 For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship [see Apostle] of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles: 2:9 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. 2:10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do." (Galatians 2:1-10 KJV)

The early Church was composed almost entirely of Jews - most of whom believed that people must become Jews to become Christians. As a pharisee, Paul himself likely believed that as well, until Christ made plain that He is the Messiah of any and all who genuinely repent and obey Him. The most obvious example of that was Abraham, who, although the key ancestor of the Israelite people, was himself not a Jew (see Abraham Wasn't A Jew). Abraham was an "uncircumcised gentile" for most of his life i.e. "12:4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran" (Genesis 12:4 KJV; see also Israel's Iraqi Roots) and "17:24 And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised" (Genesis 17:24 KJV). Under the authority and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul explained: "6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision" (Galatians 6:15 KJV).

"2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 2:13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? 2:15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ [see Works Means Obedience and A Life Of Faith], even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid [see Grace Into Licentiousness]. 2:18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2:11-21 KJV)

Fact Finder: Although Peter and Paul were very different men, did they both live, and die, in true service to Christ?
See Peter's Ministry and Paul's Ministry


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