False brethren are attacking the epistles of Paul and questioning whether they are indeed God-breathed. One tactic they use is to present a false dichotomy between the words of Jesus Christ and the rest of the New Testament. They fail to understand that all of the New Testament was given to the New Testament writers by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ didn’t pen the words He said, His followers did as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit; and the revelation of Who Jesus Christ is and what He has done is also made known to us by men moved by the Holy Spirit to write the very Words of God in the text of the New Testament.
I believe the reason they do so is to pave the way for the promotion of homosexuality. God’s testimony that homosexuality is sin is given to us in the New Testament by the apostle Paul. Those who are supportive of this sinful behavior will often say that Jesus didn’t say anything about homosexuality. If they can convince others that Paul’s words were not given to him by the Holy Spirit, then they can dismiss the use of New Testament Scripture to reveal that homosexuality is sin. They will debunk what is stated in the Old Testament by saying that was a time of law and we now live in a time of grace, or whatever other way they strive to discredit the Old Testament prohibitions against homosexual sin.
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22
If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:13
Another method these false brethren use to attack the New Testament is to falsely teach that the New Testament documents were not accepted as the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God until they were officially accepted into the New Testament canon, thus giving the possibility that they were falsely included. However, for those who suppose that the church did not have an agreed upon collection of inspired writings received as the Holy Writ of the New Testament before they were formally canonized, it should be realized that these God inspired writings had to be embraced as the Word of God long before they were formally canonized by the “official spokesmen” for the church. The gospels and the book of Acts must have been in circulation well before they were canonized because of who authored them and when the men used by God to write them lived. All of the epistles and gospels that we now know as the New Testament had to be written before the end of the first century because the authors, the men used by God to write them, were all contemporaries of Jesus! These works were circulated among Believers years before the “official acknowledgement” of their authenticity as the Word of God. Additionally, they fact that the writings of the apostles were considered the Word of God is given credence in the following Scriptures.
30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:30-31
John self-consciously declares that what he has written in his book, the Gospel of John, is sufficient for bringing the lost to salvation. He would not make this statement without knowing that God inspired Him to write it as Jesus promised in John 14:24, John 15:26-27 and John 16:13-15.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I have said to you.” John 14:24
26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 “And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” John 15:26-27
13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. John 16:13-15
Jesus spoke these words to the apostles. Paul declared that the church of God is built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, with Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. So the apostles wrote about Jesus Christ and believers were built up upon their Holy Spirit inspired doctrine. Otherwise, Paul could not have joined what the apostles wrote with what the prophets wrote.
19 Now , therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22
Paul included himself as an apostle of God through the divine call of God upon Him in numerous passages in the New Testament Scriptures. Before those are quoted realize that Luke bore testimony of Jesus Christ’s call upon Paul in Acts.
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake. Acts 9:15-16
10 “So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, “Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’ Acts 22:10
11 But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.” Acts 23:11
14 “And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 “So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. 17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. Acts 26:14-20
Here are just a few of the verses where Paul declares his apostleship given to him by God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God Romans 1;1
Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
1 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother 2 Corinthians 1:1
11 I have become a fool in boasting, you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles, though I am nothing. 12 Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds. 2 Corinthians 12:11-12
Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), Galatians 1;1
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: Ephesians 1:1
Finally, John declares the preeminence the apostles have in sharing the gospel, that their message is the truth concerning Jesus Christ, and that what they have written is given to them by God in 1 John.
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life-2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us-3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. 1 John 1:1-4
18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come by which we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. 1 John 2:18-19
26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 1 John 2:26
5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:5-6
John here is opposing what the antichrists and those of the world have to say about Christ, with what he and the other apostles have to say about Christ. What the apostles told the believers of their day about Christ was given to them by God and so is the inspired, inerrant, infallible truth of God. That it is written down for believers to read in the first century he has already born witness to in the first and second chapters of 1 John. By God the Father’s mercy, grace and sovereign preservation we have the Word of God handed down to us for our edification and faith today.
Finally, here is the testimony given to us in Hebrews about the faithful transmission and preservation of the gospel message given to us by God Himself.
1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? Hebrews 2:1-4
It is ludicrous to wrest the writings of Paul from the New Testament. He bore witness to Jesus Christ and relied heavily upon the Old Testament writings to confirm the revelation given to Him by Jesus Christ our glorious Lord and Savior.
One of these false brethren, a woman, discounted God’s declaration that the epistles of Paul are Scripture through His apostle Peter in 2 Peter the third chapter. The epistles written by Paul that were recognized by the church, during his lifetime, through authentication by the Holy Spirit as God’s Word are indeed on par with the rest of the Scripture. They are God-breathed.
14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation-as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:14-18
It is necessary to look at this passage and comment upon it verse by verse to overthrow this wicked workers attempt to pervert what God has clearly stated through His apostle Peter regarding His chosen vessel Paul.
What things are we to look forward to, the new heavens and the new earth in which righteousness dwells. We must be diligent to be found in Christ, in peace without spot (any sin or error) and blameless (serving the Lord and others with love and lowliness by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit). The fact that Jesus Christ hasn’t judged this wicked world yet means there are still sinners to be brought to repentant faith in Jesus Christ and His glorious gospel. Paul, the beloved brother, wrote about the salvation of Jesus Christ for sinners and the longsuffering patience of our Lord toward the lost with the wisdom given to him by God the Holy Spirit. Some things which he wrote in relation to God’s patience with sinners and commanding all everywhere to repent and believe the gospel for salvation are hard to understand which those who have not been taught by the Holy Spirit through God’s Word taught to them by faithful believers, twist and distort to their own eternal destruction. They do this with the rest of the Scriptures, distorting and perverting the crystal clear communication of God to His own, because they do not belong to Him. We have been warned and are to beware of those who twist Scripture so that we won’t be led away with their wicked error and fall from our confidence in Christ and His word. We must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by listening to His sound doctrine correctly taught by godly men full of the Holy Spirit and by our own reliance upon Him through prayer, obedience and study of His wonderful word, the Bible.
This portion of Peter’s epistle clearly contrasts the false teaching of those who twist the Scriptures with the holy teaching of Paul, who communicated God’s Word as He was led by the Holy Spirit. What he wrote is Scripture!
Beware of those who attack Paul as an illegitimate spokesman for God. They are attacking Jesus Christ and His gospel which He revealed to our beloved brother Paul. Beware of those who try to remove the inspiration of the books of the New Testament away from the time period when they were written to the time when they were “officially recognized”. Those who do so have an evil agenda to try and subvert and overthrow our confidence in the New Testament books handed down to us as the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God. I believe they strive to do this to make it easier for those who are immature and untaught in the Scriptures to unwittingly believe that God accepts homosexuals and their wicked lifestyle. We must stand for the truth of the Word of God and turn away from all wicked attacks upon its authenticity and authority as the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God.
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel that what you have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. 11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 for I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ…1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. 2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel with I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain… 7 But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter 8 (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles) 9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I was eager to do. Galatians 1:6-12; 1-2; 7-10