Boaz Baptist Chronicles
|Posted on October 10, 2014 at 2:35 PM|
Did you ever wonder why, even though God gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, that He (God) called Paul to carry on the work that Peter started? Since God gave Peter both "keys" (one for the Jews and the other for the Gentiles ~ Matthew 16:19), one would think that He would have continued with Peter presiding over His church as the great under-shepherd (I Peter 5:4) of the whole flock. Why would God go elsewhere and pick a second leader?
Obviously, both Peter and Saul/Paul were loyal Jews, who both became eyewitnesses to Christ's "majesty" (Peter at the Mount of Transfiguration ~ Matthew 17:1-8 and Paul directly from Heaven itself ~ Acts 26:13-18), but why did Paul carry on what Peter started (Acts 15:7 ...look for the words ..."by my mouth..." and Acts 15:13-18 ...look for the words "...at the first.." in verse 14)?
I submit to you, it was because Peter wasn't willing to let go of his Jewish heritage like Paul was.
Even though Peter said that the Gentiles could be saved like the Jews (Acts 15:11), when push came to shove, he none-the-less became hypocritical over how the Gentile Christians should live. What was the issue? He wanted the Gentile Christians to live like the Jews. Read it for yourself...
"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?" (Galatians 2:11-14)
Now back to my original question...
"Did you ever wonder why, even though He gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, God called Paul to carry on the work that Peter started?"
The answer that the Lord gave me is this...
Even though Paul was concerned for the salvation of his brethren, his "kinsman according to the flesh..." (Romans 9:3 also see the lengths he would go to to see them saved, in Acts 21), he still called a spade a spade. He knew that his "religion" (see Galatians 1:13-14) was no match for the "excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ..." (Philippians 3:8), furthering the revelation that was needed in the body of Christ as God turned from the Jewish "religion" that Peter so embraced onto a (primarily) Gentile body that would certainly make "increase" of itself (Ephesians 4:16) and excel throughout the world.