1 Jan 2000

Why Paul called it my gospel?

Submitted by theshovel
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When I talk to others about Christ I am speaking MY gospel to them. It is the same as Paul's, but it is also mine. The point is that the people in MY world see it as MY message. Most Bible "scholars" will dispute that it agrees with the apostle Paul's message, but it really makes no difference in the long run. Those who are not too familiar with the Bible are usually very surprised that such a message would be found in it based on what they have experienced from religion. All they can really comprehend is that this is Jim's viewpoint (even if I show it to them in the Bible). The fact is that my message of good news really comes from CHRIST, so that when anyone receives it as FROM GOD they are receiving it in truth and NOT because I am right.

The gospel of Christ is the only message that is truly valid in this world because it is not about the one who speaks it, but it is about God Himself. Every other attempt to preach "God's message" to the world that is centered around programs or laws or principles, etc, is not about Christ at all. It is about preaching YOURSELF. Dissect any "message" in the world and you will also discover that it is centered around the person who speaks it. Try it sometime, it's amazing what you will hear!!! :)

Jesus told the Pharisees, "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him." (John 5:43). Preaching Christ doesn't glorify the speaker in any way. It gives me no personal "kingdom" to establish myself by. I'm always left in the same place: IF IT IS HEARD AT ALL IT IS BECAUSE HIS SPIRIT IS MAKING IT REAL TO THE HEARER. I never really know how it's going to be taken ... and that factor leaves me no place to trust my own abilities. That's why you will always notice the tendency for a speaker to add an element in that will "validate" or cause attention to be put upon himself. The truth of the matter is that the gospel goes out and I CAN'T "CLOSE THE SALE" (part of my earlier "evangelical" training) - it is totally the work of God.

Consider this: each of you are taking the message of Christ to your individual "worlds" ... and TO THEM it is YOUR gospel. Remember who it is that you are telling them about. It is a strange message, and unlike any they have heard. Because it's not about YOU but about HIM.

Oh, well, I sure didn't plan on going on like this. hahaha! :)



Can you elaborate? I’m not disputing, just inquiring because it seems like you are positing opposing theses.
theshovel's picture

For me to elaborate on what you hear me positing, it would help me to know what that might be. Perhaps you could give me a hint.


I see Jim saying that this was Paul’s gospel in the perception of others he was involved with or had heard about him.

How do people in your world see it as your message (contrast to people in my world who see it as the message of the “Church” that I mindlessly follow). Then, if it is Christ’s message, how can you still call it your message? Are you saying that it is because you embrace it that it carries the uniqueness of your experience and wisdom? Are you saying he took ownership of the gospel at a place of visceral resonance? For example, did Paul exploit “the blood” because it was already culturally relevant (sacrifices, Mithras, etc.) whereas we might find more traction with Jesus being a put-down enemy of the state in our times of populism?
theshovel's picture

There is only one true gospel, and it is the declaration of the resurrected Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. In Paul's day, just like today, there were those who preached what he called a different gospel, another Spirit, a different Jesus — but they were supposedly preaching the gospel. To differentiate, he came on strong with claims that if someone came preaching a gospel that was not the same as his then they were to be considered accursed. In other words, Paul's gospel was the true gospel, the very truth Jesus Christ gave to him. It's not that no one else was preaching the true gospel, but it had gotten so corrupted so soon. Anyhow, when he personalized it as being his gospel, it was in order to make the distinction in the minds of those he addressed that it had nothing to do with the perverted messages they were being bombarded with. So no, it has nothing to do with the uniqueness of his experience (or mine, for that matter) but with the demand that there is no other gospel than the one he preached. For Paul preached Christ, and only Christ. Others came in the name of Jesus, and yet had a bottom-line message that ultimately contradicted the very essence of Christ. There are many such gospels in the world today, and they are revealed for what they are by being confronted with the true gospel. Those who have disagreed with the gospel that I preach often pass it off as being my version, and to those involved, I will stand up for my version because contrasted with their message, my version declares Christ, and him only. Does that help at all? Jim

So Paul’s gospel was one he could take ownership of?
theshovel's picture

He had been entrusted with it by God himself, and he took that personally and seriously. It's not that he ran around telling everybody that it was HIS gospel, but when the impostors came hawking their wares (their twisted versions) he gave them no wiggle room but challenged their versions to his ... for his testified to Christ.


I really enjoyed this Jim. I can attest to the Gospel, the true Gospel that you ‘preach’. I too had been taught it the same way internally many years before we met. So …there you go.

“The testimony of one is invalid.” Paul had no witnesses which is required by God to establish a matter. So therefore, what he taught was ‘His gospel.’ God gave the revelation of the mystery of the kingdom of God to the 12 apostles, not 13. God also made Peter the apostle to the Gentiles. The church was established by those who were Christ’s disciples and witnessed his resurrection. There are red flags everywhere. Snakes/vipers have scales that fall from their eyes. Jesus called the Pharisees ‘vipers.’ Beware the ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing.’ Paul was of the wolf tribe, Benjamin. “Satan appears as an angel of light.” Saul saw a bright light, those with him did not see but they heard. Another account recorded by Luke, Paul’s travelling companion, says ‘they saw but did not hear.’ All the churches in Asia turned against him, including Barnarbus. IN Revealtion God praises churche at Ephesus for testing those who claimed to be an apostle but found them false. They were told to stop partaking of ‘food sacrificed to idols.’ Paul said it was nothing even after the apostles had confirmed by the HOly Spirit that the new converts should not partake of those things. Paul blasphemed the Holy Spirit. He threatened to put curses on anyone who preached another gospel besides ‘his.’ He had a demon that tortured him. He turned people over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. He said there was no male or female, Jew or Greek in God’s sight then said that women should sit down, shut up, and speak only to their husbands when they got home. He said if you let yourself be circumcised Christ was of no benefit. He circumcised Timothy. He never once spoke about hell. Why would he? He might lose a few member of his kingdom.
theshovel's picture

Similar claims were used against Jesus as well. Although there were witnesses for both Jesus and Paul, many people will never be satisfied by the nature of God's true witnesses. You disregard Paul just as the religious leaders disregarded Jesus, which suggests to me that you misunderstand Jesus even though you seem to approve of him.

My friend, your objections reveal that you are looking for a fleshly validation. Jesus didn't accept the validation from man that would satisfy you, either. Every one left him as well ... just as he told them they would. It took the Spirit of God to give them insight into the true validation of God. Until your religious sensibilities are offended by Jesus Christ, as they obviously are by Paul, you are listening to some other voice.


Speaking of wolves…the recent ‘visitor’ post seems to postulate removing any part of the Scriptures attributed to Paul from the canon! Aside from possibly mishandling the rest of Scripture, that person is falling into the trap of ‘the quest for the historical Jesus’ and going in the face of what we understand of early church history from the material remaining from folks who were far closer to the events than we are. Selective picking and choosing of ‘Scripture’ is a slippery slope which doesn’t go in a good direction!

“Until your religious sensibilities are offended by Jesus Christ, as they obviously are by Paul, you are listening to some other voice.” <~theshovel

wow!  AWESOME!  so true!  :)


When Paul speaks of "my gospel" he is talking about the gospel that he received from the resurrected Christ. It is defined in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 as Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was resurrected. He elsewhere defines that Christ was resurrected for our justification, and that we are made righteous by Christ's faith (Galatians 2:16). This is not the same gospel that Peter was given, and nowhere in Acts 2-7 do we find that Peter told any of those believing Jews that Christ died for their sins. Paul's gospel was mystery until it was revealed to, and through, Paul.

theshovel's picture

Good morning, Keith. :)

No doubt Paul referred to that which was given to him, but don’t let “doctrinal purity” create conundrums that were not there. For if Paul’s insistence that there is no other gospel than that which he preached and that any “other” gospel was a perversion, then how do you imagine he was okay with Peter, James, and John taking “their” gospel to the Jews?

But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you. But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)–well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. Galatians 2:4-9 NASB

In much of what I have written, it should be obvious that I reference Paul’s writings more than any others. For none other declared the truth of the gospel in such simplicity and power. It is a mistake, however, to fall into the conclusion that Peter and the others did not preach the one and only gospel. The gospel they preached was to the religious mind of the Jew, and being so there were many things assumed and left unsaid, as well as much not even considered beyond the scope of their Jewishness.

Believe me, I have struggled and debated and objected to many things written by Peter, James, John, Jude … and even that which was spoken by Jesus. I gravitated from one rationalization to another in hopes of “harmonizing” the scriptures! LOL. I will still find statements that make me question those other guys. But then again, I also find numerous things written by Paul himself that appear to contradict his own “gospel” message. Just because I might not see how Paul’s own words can fit together with his own dogmatic insistence on the one and only gospel that he preached, then perhaps I’m misjudging how he extended the “right hand of fellowship” to THEIR gospel …. without having made a stand right then and there that they were preaching ANOTHER gospel (for he clearly stated that there was no other).

Jim :)

Hi Jim,

If I may, I'd like to poke my head in for a second. I read Keith's post and then I read yours once. Part of what I think I hear you saying brother is that the same Spirit proclaiming the Good News[The "Gospel" of course means Good News]through Peter is the same Spirit that moved Paul as well.

Though the news may have been filtered through the Jewish mind set of Peter and others, it was still working in them. To what extent that Jewish mind set came into play is mostly a guessing game on our part because of the nuances that any one of us may or may not be able to pick up on being two thousands years removed.[and a whole foreign dialect and culture and period OF that culture]

When reading ACTS to get a feel for what Peter and maybe others were preaching, it gets difficult to see how some of the things they conveyed matched up with the things Paul said. Only because Paul seemed to have long drawn out PERSONAL letters that went into great explanation of his revelation. His wording also I think probably fit with the people he spoke to often times. He often used examples to explain the miracle of Christ in us, from the mixture of cultures that were before him.[ see 1 Cor.9:20]

Maybe there is a big temptation to 'doctrinalize' all that they said and when it all doesn't fit together in an understandable way, we get scared and start studying more until we think we have grounds to stand on. I get that. But in that process we get our eyes off of the miracle that lives in us by getting so focused on the understanding of all the right words.

I guess much of the time we get away from our sense of freedom provided by the Spirit living in us and back into getting it all down on words written in ink. Is this the point your making or something else?


theshovel's picture

Yes, you caught my meaning, Adam, and I’d like to add that you make some excellent points in what you wrote.

Just to make it clear, I don’t want to discourage Keith or anyone who recognizes the amazing insight God gave to Paul who was sent outside the confines of the Jewish community. There is no doubt in my mind that he say way beyond what the others did and that the others were encouraged and strengthened in their own understanding because of him.

I will also say that those who hold Paul’s gospel in contempt while claiming that the other apostles preached the true gospel not only misunderstand Paul’s message, they also misunderstand the “gospel” of freedom preached by Peter, James and John. Yeah, I think Peter, James, John and Jesus would be shaking their heads in wonder at the crap that has been preached in their names.


For sure, Paul had amazing insight into the grace of our Lord Jesus and his words have been greatly encouraging to all in Christ Jesus. More importantly his labors of love have worked almost as if they are a timeless, ongoing blessing in the lives of Gods children year after year century after century. His sacrifices are what made so much of this possible. He would of course attribute it to Christ working in him.

I have not been exposed too much to the camps that steer away from Paul and into the arms of the other Apostles so i can't comment too much on that.

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