Femi Aribisala: Paul was NOT a disciple of Jesus

by Femi Aribisala

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 Paul was not one of Jesus’ disciples during his ministry.  He never heard Jesus preach and he displays unpardonable ignorance about Jesus’ doctrine in his epistles.

The good news proclaimed in the churches today is false.  It is different from the one Jesus preached.  Today’s good news is the one declared by Paul: “the good news of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24).  This says: “Rejoice: Jesus died for our sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).  Accordingly, Christians insist Jesus carried away all our sins at Calvary.  In exchange, he is alleged to have imparted to us the righteousness of God.

If this were true, it would be wonderful news indeed.  It would mean once we answer the altar-call and declare that Jesus is our Lord and Saviour; we are automatically “born again.”  We become heaven-bound because we believe and trust in “the completed works of Christ.”  Whatever happens; Jesus has done it for us.  We are saved by the magnanimity of God’s grace and not because of any works of righteousness on our part. (Ephesians 2:8).

However, the problem with this good news is that it is one big deception.   It is actually contrary to the true good news that Jesus delivered.  Paul was not one of Jesus’ disciples during his ministry.  He never heard Jesus preach and he displays unpardonable ignorance about Jesus’ doctrine in his epistles.  Bereft of the discipleship of Jesus, Paul fabricated his own Christology.  His epistles ignore Jesus’ life while focusing exclusively on his crucifixion.  Thus, Paul says disingenuously: “I decided to concentrate only on Jesus Christ and his death on the cross.” (1 Corinthians 2:2).

 

Kingdom of God

However, the good news Jesus proclaimed has nothing whatsoever to do with his “death” on the cross or with any sacrifice for sins.  This is because Jesus and his disciples preached their good news before his crucifixion.  So doing, not once did they say he would die for our sins.  On the contrary, their good news requires everyone to carry his own cross and do away with his own sins.

Jesus says: “The time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15).  This shows Jesus’ good news is about the coming of the kingdom of God.  If it was about him taking away our sins, there would have been no point in asking us to repent for the same sins.  What would be the point of repenting if Jesus has taken or will take away our sins?

Indeed, if Jesus has really taken away our sins, how come Christians are still so sinful?  How come “sinless” priests are still raping young boys?  How come “sinless” pastors continue to swindle the gullible poor of their meagre savings?  If, according to Paul, Christians are now new creatures in whom “old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17); why are we still stealing, cheating, telling lies, fornicating and committing adultery?

 

Enticing words

Don’t be deceived by enticing words.  The true good news is not about the unmerited grace of God.  If it were, there would be no need to repent for repentance is by works and not by grace.  The true good news is about the coming of the kingdom of God.  Moreover, compulsive and unrepentant sinners are not welcome in God’s kingdom.  Entry into the kingdom is also by works and not by grace.  Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who DOES the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21).

For this reason, John the Baptist was sent as a forerunner of Jesus.  He came “preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” (Mark 1:4).  Accordingly, Jesus’ good news requires a penitent response.  If we believe the good news that God’s kingdom has come down to men, then we should repent of sin so that we can enter and secure our inclusion in the kingdom.

I repeat: the true good news is that Jesus brought the heavenly kingdom of God down to earth.  The evidence for this is right there in his superlative ministry.  Jesus raised the dead; signalling the triumph of life over death.  He healed the sick; announcing the end of human suffering.  He multiplied loaves of bread; pointing to the satisfaction of all physical need.

He stilled the storm; heralding the emergence of peace on earth.  He forgave sins; proclaiming the dawning of righteousness.  He cast out demons; demonstrating the overthrow of the kingdom of Satan.  Therefore, he said to his Jewish opponents: “If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.” (Luke 11:20).

 

Children of God

The true good news is also that what used to be the exclusive preserve of God has now become available to men through Jesus Christ.  It is now possible not only to be like God, but actually to become children of God.  That is why John exclaimed: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”  Therefore, he counsels: “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3).

Those who have this hope in them do not fool themselves that Jesus has taken away their sins by sacrificing himself.  Those who have this hope in them purify themselves.  They are purified by hiding the words of Jesus in their hearts, and by repenting of sin and abstaining from sin.  In short, the good news offers a narrow gate that leads to life; while the deceitful news offers a wide gate that leads to destruction. (Matthew 7:13-14).

Those who are disciples of Jesus receive the power to become children of God. (John 1:12).  We are indwelt by the Spirit of God and can do the wonderful works of God.  Jesus says: “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:7-8).  This is most certainly good news.

 

Life or death

Jesus’ birth brought the good news and not his “death.” (Luke 2:10-11).  Jesus came that we may have abundant life. (John 10:10).  Therefore, we are required to emulate his exemplary life.  Indeed, those who followed Jesus did so because of his life.  But because of Paul’s ignorance about his life, many who follow Jesus now do so because of bogus claims about his death.

Paul says: “If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty.” (1 Corinthians 15:14).  However, Jesus’ resurrection is not part of the good news.  On the contrary, the resurrection is “a sign of Jonah;” reserved for those who do not believe.  Jesus says: “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” (Matthew 16:4).

Without Calvary, Zacchaeus received the good news of the kingdom and Jesus declared that salvation had come to his house. (Luke 19:8-10).  As a matter of fact, in one of Jesus’ stories, Abraham de-emphasises the resurrection by saying: “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.” (Luke 16:31).  

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (6)

  1. I agree wit ur write up on some of d valid points such as Paul nt being a disciple of christ and d fact dat he focused less on d life of christ and dat he also deviated a little from d style of Christ’s message. Bt in d long run, ur points were lost as u misinterpreted d whole notion. I am also of d opinion dat Paul’s writings contribute largely to d division and cofusion experienced in d christian world 2day. However, I dnt think d problem lies in d content of paul’s message. I think d problem lies in misinterpretation of his messages by zealous minds dat didn’t take tym 2 study it well. Any bible scholar wuld notice d difference in tone and general style of preachin btw paul and Jesus(and oda apostles). While Jesus preached in a gentle manner dat allows for individual conviction and personal effort, paul preached wit a persuasive fire and zeal. As such, his write ups were emphatic and open to many erroneous interpretation. These erroneous interpretations are caused either by a total misundastandin of his concepts or by assuming wrong ephasis on certain aspects of his preachings. This is d reason y so many people end up preaching doctrines dat are almost opposite to what Paul teaches in his writings. So, yes Paul preached more on grace and d benefits of Christ’s death and resurection 4 us christians bt he did nt in anyway negate d importance of personal efforts to achieve a state of holiness, neither does his work demean d essence of Christs teachings.

  2. I know Mr Segun Aribisala will fall, because his motive of preaching is canal, selfish, criticism, public show of knowledge, puffed up, never with love and pure heart, not waiting on Holy Ghost, full of letters…kicking and sinning against Holy Spirit. How great is your fall! what a pity!May God have mercy on you in Jesus name.

  3. You forget that your you miss the whole point. Jesus death, manner of death and resurrection is everything, ad a master of fact is life was only a means to an end, the end being is death and resurrection.

  4. Please Mr femi, stop saying what you don’t understand. Are you saying that the Holy Spirit who compiled the scriptures is stupid to have allowed a man you are claiming not to be part of Christ to author more than half of the new testament? If you don’t believe in Paul then you are simply saying the Bible is false and that means even the Christianity you claim to believe in is false. What your problem is sir, is you don’t understand the scriptures, please go on your knees and ask God explain what Paul is saying to you. It’s true that the question of grace and law are always contradictory but Paul is only echoing what Jesus Himself taught, keeping of the law, without a relationship with God is useless. Grace, when truly understood points a man to God, striving to keep the law produces hypocrites and pharisees. I’m not a teacher like you, but I am a true seeker of God and I know that the law can’t make me know Him, but Jessus’ death break a barrier my so-called righteousness cannot do. Sir, no matter how you keep the law, you can’t be perfect, but a honest seeker in grace can walk with God and be at peace. And to correct you sir, grace and Jesus dying for us is no license to sin, it is the promulgation of a new law-the law of partaking and substitution. God bless you sir

  5. Hi there, I enjoy readijng all oof your article post.
    I wanted to write a little commennt to support you.

  6. All the while u were actually talking grace even mor than Paul himself.and in one single swoop you nullified all of the essence of Christ death.are u aware that His death saw more souls won over than when He was alive,soul winning was a major reason God was birthed a man according to John 3:17.all of those healings u talked abt,most of these people actually did not deserve them yet Christ went ahead and healed them in there thousands,that is Grace,1corinthias 15:9-10 says, “am at the least of the apostles,that am not meet to be called an apostle,because I persecuted the church of God.but by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was nt in vain;but I laboured more abundantly than they all;yet not I,but the grace of God which was with me.” It is clear from Paul teachings that grace does nt exclude work,as grace is important so also is work,Peter also attest to the workings of grace in the book of Ephesians when he said,”should we continue in sin that grace might abound,No! God forbid.” The coming of Christ(grace) brought an abrupt end of the Law,rather than discriminate against those acting against God’s will,we v being charge to save as was written in Luke 19:10. The saving of the woman accused of adultry,the harlot that washed Christ feet etc,r all perfect illustrations of the grace of God.Paul is definitely speaking the mind of God.

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