The Apostle Paul was not saved by Grace through faith alone. and did not preach the same gospel that saved him. Here’s why.
Anyone who is familiar with Paul the Apostle, and grace through faith would probably think I am out of my head. If they do, it’s only because they don’t understand what grace through faith alone IS.
Bear with me in my folly.
To assume that Paul the Apostle to the gentiles was saved by grace through faith alone is a natural, logical assumption. But there are several things that show it’s just not true.
I’m not saying Paul was not saved. No, that’s not the point here. Paul was saved and sealed by the Holy Spirit. His salvation is not an issue here.
I am saying Paul did not preach the same gospel under which he received salvation, and the purpose of this chapter is to explain why, and to help you understand the difference in grace through faith, and “repent, and be baptized for the remission of sins, and to receive the Holy Ghost”
I suppose the biggest mistake many Christians make about Grace through faith alone is that it, somehow is the only, or unique way of salvation, AND IT IS for this present dispensation, because we do not know Jesus after the flesh.
But Salvation by Grace through faith alone is not the first,or last means to salvation.
My purpose here is to help you understand what makes Grace through faith alone so much different than other means of salvation, and to show the different gospels at different times in God’s plan for man. Once you read this and understand it, you will view the Bible in a totally different light.
In short, the reason Paul was not saved by grace through faith is pretty simple. He had met Jesus in the flesh before his conversion. Logically, it doesn’t take faith to believe in someone you saw with your own eyes, and spoke to.
I use the words “means of salvation”. I’m sure that strikes a note of universalism, but it is not. The key to understanding why Paul was not saved by grace through faith is to look at the book of Acts, chapter 9.
We read where Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus. In verse Jesus asks Saul “why dost thou kick against the pricks. In other words, why are you fighting against your conscience Saul”?
I believe the Holy Spirit was drawing Saul. But his lifelong training and indoctrination with Judaism was a stumbling block to him. Paul was somewhat of a star in Judaism. He excelled far above his peers. He had everything to lose and nothing to gain by accepting Jesus as his Lord and Saviour.
In Acts 9, Paul fell to the earth, looking up, he said “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (repentance, changed his mind), and a few days later, Saul, now named Paul, was baptized for the remission of sins and to receive the Holy Ghost according to the kingdom gospel Peter had preached at Pentecost. Acts 2:38. Many folks preach today that Paul was “the first person saved by grace through faith”. I don’t see how they reach that conclusion, except that they just don’t understand what grace through faith IS.
In short, there is no way Paul could have been saved by Grace through faith. He had met Jesus in the flesh. To be saved by grace through faith alone, Paul would have had to “un see” and “un remember” , completely forget he had ever met Jesus in person, or knew anything about his crucifixion, and resurrection. There is no way Paul could have been saved by Grace through faith. It’s just not possible. BUT, Paul preached grace through faith. Why? The answer is very simple. Paul preached to folks who had no eyewitness of Jesus ministry or resurrection, the Gentile. All they had was faith. All the gentile has is faith. Paul explains faith in Romans chapter four, and in his letter to the Hebrews, again, he offers an explanation “now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”Heb. 11:1
The Jew in Jesus day did not need faith. He had the blessing of Jesus ministry and witness of his resurrection. That is why Peter’s message at Pentecost included the resurrection, and the words “of which ye are all witnesses”.
Paul was saved as much as we are, sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption unconditionally. Paul also has crowns and rewards waiting for him in heaven, just as we do. Paul is a kingdom saint, under the gospel of the kingdom Jesus preached on earth, and the gospel that was in operation at the time of his conversion, Acts 2:38. The Gospel of Grace through faith will expire at the rapture.
Furthermore, when Jesus returns to set up his Kingdom, grace through faith won’t make a whole lot of sense. It won’t take much faith to believe in a man you can see with your own eyes, speak with, and touch with your own hands.
Again, there are several different Gospels in the New Testament. Ours is the gospel of grace through faith alone. For others, who had seen Jesus ministry, and been blessed with his presence were saved by belief unto repentance and baptism to receive the Holy Spirit”, the gospel Peter preached to The Jews at Pentecost. Please remember this in your study.
Why is Grace through faith alone such a blessing?
There are several things that make Grace through faith such a special blessing as compared to other means of salvation through the ages. Allow me to explain.
Let’s look at it like this: it’s basically a matter of TRUST. Trust that God is who he says he is based merely on what you have heard about him, or read about. You have no confirmation for this that you have seen with your own eyes. IT TAKES A LOT OF TRUST to believe God without seeing. As such, he honors that trust with his unconditional salvation.