Paul, the Lord’s Apostle

Philippians 3:

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you. 

Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; 

for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, 

although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 

circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 

as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. 

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 

and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 

10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 

11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

For those of you who say Paul had a problem with women because he was a Pharisee educated under Gamaliel, consider the above Scriptures that speak of Paul counting ALL things he had gained as loss. That includes his good reputation as a scholar and a zealous keeper of the Law, and the education he received under Gamaliel. He left it all behind in order that he might gain Christ, because of the surpassing worth of knowing Him. 

Therefore, the gospel Paul preached had nothing to do with his past reputation and education, but was given to him through a revelation of Jesus Christ. He left everything behind to share in the sufferings of Christ and become like Him in His death.

I once saw Paul when my spirit was caught up with Jesus. When Paul looked at me, it felt like he knew me, and I knew him. For this reason, as well as for the sake of Christ, I take offense when people speak against Paul, claiming he was not a true apostle, and he had a problem with women talking, because he was taught that way by Pharisees. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

My friends, there has never been another person who suffered as much as Paul suffered, with the exception of Jesus. And he endured it all for the sake of the church, even those of you who blaspheme his name.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant