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Thursday, July 14 2016
Romans 15: Paul, The Apostle To The World
"For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles"
The apostles Peter and Paul were both Jews (see Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings) and both raised in the nationalized religion of the Kingdom of Judah (known as "Judaism"; see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism), but their mandate from the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) after their conversion was very different. Peter was assigned to be the apostle to Jews, while Paul was assigned to be the apostle to the world. As such, Peter's ministry was much more parochial i.e. local in activity, and limited in their view of the other 99.9% of the world.
"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 of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles" (Galatians 2:7-8 KJV)
It's the primary reason that Peter could remain in Jerusalem and Judea, while Paul had to journey far away in the world. It's also why relatively little is recorded about, or by, Peter after the beginning of the Book of Acts, while the last two-thirds of Acts and most of the epistles were about Paul.
"1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days." (Galatians 1:18 KJV)
While Paul frequently encountered Jews of the ancient diaspora (some of whom welcomed the Gospel, while others were violently hostile to it) in his travels through Asia and Europe, the people of the other nations had the advantage of not having to unlearn the accumulated errors of Judaism, while at the same time they had the disadvantage of not having the experience of the things that Judaism got right. It's the reason that Paul was a stern teacher, but a gentle and patient "father" for those who were growing to spiritual adulthood (see The World Of Tomorrow).
"15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Paul was not the first to take the Gospel to the other nations, the "gentiles" (see the Fact Finder question below to understand what "gentile" actually means). His task was to reawaken them to the knowledge that was given to the people of the world before the people of Israel and Judah even existed (see The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq).
"15:14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. 15:15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
Rome was the self-declared "leader of the world" in that day. There too, Paul's work produced a congregation of genuine Christians (see Romans 1: Paul's Letter To The True Church Of Rome).
"15:23 But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; 15:24 Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. 15:25 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. 15:26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 15:27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. 15:28 When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. 15:29 And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
Fact Finder: What does "gentile" actually mean in the Word of God?
This Day In History, July 14
664: Anglo-Saxon king Eorcenberht died. Historical records state that Eorcenberht was the first king in Britain to command that religious idols be destroyed (see also The History Of Idolatry).
756: During China's An Lushan Rebellion, Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty was forced to flee the capital from An Lushan's forces (see also Gog and Magog).
1223: Louis VIII became King of France after the death of his father, Philip II.
1430: Joan of Arc, after being taken prisoner by the Burgundians in May, was handed over to Pierre Cauchon, the bishop of Beauvais.
1769: A Spanish expedition led by Gaspar de Portola established a base in California (named by the Spanish after Califia, a mythical paradise in Spanish literature).
1789: The Bastille, a fortress in Paris used to hold political prisoners, was stormed by a mob, marking the beginning of the French Revolution.
1789: Alexander Mackenzie completed his exploration to the mouth of the great river that he hoped would take him to the Pacific Ocean. It turned out to be the river later named him, the Mackenzie River of Canada. At 1,738 kilometers (1,080 miles) long, it is one of the longest rivers in the world.
1798: After the rebellion of the New England colonies, the Sedition Act was passed by the new regime. The federal law made it a high crime to incite or encourage a revolution against the revolution.
1865: British climber Edward Whymper led the first team of climbers to reach the summit of the Matterhorn in the Alps at a height of 14,690 feet.
1867: Explosives manufacturer Alfred Nobel first demonstrated his invention, dynamite, at Merstham Quarry in Redhill, Surrey.
1881: U.S. frontier criminal and murderer "Billy the Kid" was shot and killed by Pat Garrett outside Fort Sumner.
1918: The French troop-carrying liner Djemnah was sunk by a German submarine in the Mediterranean; 442 were lost.
1950: The Battle of Taejon began during the Korean War.
1950: Using an Italian refugee passport provided by a Franciscan monk in Genoa, Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann obtained an Argentine visa; he arrived in Argentina a month later.
1958: King Faisal of Iraq was assassinated in a coup by army officers, including one named Saddam Hussein, who established Iraq as a republic. The independent Iraqi republic lasted until 2003 when George W. Bush obliterated the country and inflicted over 1 million casualties on Iraqi men, women and children (plus tens of thousands of documented cases of rape and torture) with his false accusations of "weapons of mass destruction" and a non-existent connection to the 9-11 terrorist attacks - that were actually committed by men from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, based in Afghanistan.
1965: Mariner 4 arrived at Mars and became the first spacecraft to produce near photographs of another planet.
1976: Capital punishment was abolished in Canada.
2000: The "Bastille Day Event" - a massive solar flare caused a geomagnetic storm on Earth.
2002: French President Jacques Chirac escaped an assassination attempt during Bastille Day celebrations.