By Oscar M. Baker
Beginning with verse 3, Paul makes the claim that by a special dispensation of grace, to him was given the apostleship which was to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery. Was Paul mistaken? Was such a ministry necessary?
In some quarters there is the supposition that if one had life, then he was automatically a member of the church which is the body of Christ. But is this the plan given in Eph. 1?
From the content and comparing Scripture with Scripture, we have believed that Paul wrote 7 epistles after Acts 28:28 (A.D. 64). But one by one these are being taken away and put in the Acts period by those who do not know the mystery. Now finally we are having the last 2 of them taken away, that is, Ephesians and Colossians. So we are again entering into the dark ages.
Many believed Paul's message about the church and were accepted, adopted, and given membership into that church by the Father. Yet we are told that this was totally unnecessary. Was it? Is John's gospel all we need today for entrance into the church? And was Paul's ministry after Acts 28:28 all a mistake and not needed? You will never learn anything from the Bible if you race through it like the newspaper.
And the claim is that John's gospel was written long before Israel did not receive Christ as King. But when was that? It could not be at Cavalry, for the Word had been preached only in the land that was promised to Israel. Thousands of Jews in the provinces had never heard of the kingdom. That is why that Paul and those with him went out into far away places and proclaimed the King and the kingdom. And finally finished with Paul proclaiming it in Rome. There was the final rejection of John 1:11. His own received Him not.
But was all that preaching during Acts by Paul a mistake? Could not all Israel be added to the kingdom as soon as John began to preach? And was the Acts of the Apostles necessary? De. 8:3 is equivalent to John 3:16, except it was for Jews only. Was that all they needed to enter the kingdom? If so, then we might concede that when this message was proclaimed to all the world through John 3:16, all would automatically enter into the church. But can we find a basis for this supposition?
And if John's gospel was written early in Acts, as these folks claim, then folks began to enter the church during Acts, at the beginning instead of at the end.
Now one great vital factor has been left out in this discussion, and that is FAITH. No one has ever received blessings from God except by faith. And that faith comes by hearing a message, and believing it, and that message is from the Word of God. Was Paul's faith, and also ours, a big mistake? Search and see. Read slowly and carefully Col. 2 and 3.