WHOSE REPORT DO YOU BELIEVE?
As for me, I only believe the report of the Lord Jesus.
Every Christian must decide whether he is a follower of Jesus or a follower of Paul. Don’t make the mistake of many in assuming the two are the same. For starters, take a closer look at the following.
Jesus says children of God are born of God: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3). But Paul says children of God are adopted by God: “We ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons.” (Romans 8:23).
Jesus says God must be the only father of believers: “Call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9). But Paul calls himself the father of some believers: “I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment.” (Philemon 1:10).
Jesus says he is the only pastor and the only teacher: “I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one pastor.” (John 10:16). “Nor be called teachers, for One is your Teacher, even Christ.” (Matthew 23:8). But Paul says there are many pastors and teachers: “Truly he gave some to be apostles, and some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. (Ephesians. 4:11-12). “I am ordained a preacher and an apostle (I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie), a teacher of the nations, in faith and truth.” (1 Timothy 2:7).
Jesus says we should pray in private: “When you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your room. And shutting your door, pray to your Father in secret; and your Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:5-6). But Paul says we should pray everywhere: “I desire that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” (1 Timothy 2:8).
Jesus himself was circumcised: “When eight days were fulfilled to circumcise the child, his name was called JESUS, the name called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” (Luke 2:21). But Paul says if we are circumcised we would be estranged from Christ: “I, Paul, say to you that if you are circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do all the Law, you who are justified by Law are deprived of all effect from Christ; you fell from grace.” (Galatians 5:2-4).
Jesus says we should not receive payment for preaching the gospel: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. You have received freely, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8). But Paul says we should receive payment for preaching the gospel: “If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?” (1 Corinthians 9:11).
Jesus says we should love one another: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35). But Paul wished some people would be castrated: “I wish that those causing you to doubt will cut themselves off.” (Galatians 5:12).
Jesus says we should love our enemy in order to be like God: “I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:44-45). But Paul says we should love our enemy for malicious reasons: “If your enemy hungers, feed him. If he thirsts, give him drink. For in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head.” (Romans 12:20).
Jesus says he who is acceptable to God will be hated by men: “If the people of this world hate you, just remember that they hated me first. If you belonged to the world, its people would love you. But you don’t belong to the world. I have chosen you to leave the world behind, and that is why its people hate you.” (John 15:18-19). But Paul says he who is acceptable to God will be approved by men: “The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is well-pleasing to God, and approved by men.” (Romans 14:17-18).
Jesus told God he completed his God-given assignment: “I have glorified you upon the earth. I have finished the work which you have given me to do.” (John 17:4). “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, It is finished! And he bowed his head and gave up the spirit.” (John 19:30). But Paul says he completed what Jesus failed to complete: “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” (Colossians 1:24).
Jesus says God is not the God of the dead: “He is not God of the dead, but of the living. For all live to Him.” (Luke 20:38). But Paul says God is the God of the dead: “Christ both died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living.” (Romans 14:9).
Jesus says all the commandments are summed up in two commandments: “Jesus said to him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40). But Paul says they are summed up in one commandment: “All the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Galatians 5:14).
Jesus says we should be like God: “Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48). But Paul says we should be like him: “My friends, I beg you to be like me.” (Galatians 4:12). “Brothers, be imitators together of me, and mark those who walk this way, for you have us for a pattern.” (Philippians 3:17).
Whose report do you believe: that of Jesus or that of Paul?
As for me, I only believe the report of the Lord Jesus.