Jesus commanded to preach the gospel and to live of the gospel. Paul acknowledged this to be God’s commandment, and he taught it, but he ignored it as far as practicing it goes, and rebelled against it.
Matthew 10:9-10 “Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his hire.”
Luke 10:7-8 “And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And into whatsoever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you.”
1 Corinthians 9:7-15 “Who goes a warfare at any time at his own charges? Who plants a vineyard, and eats not of the fruit thereof? or who feeds a flock, and eats not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or says not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, you shall not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads out the corn. Does God take care of oxen? or says he it altogether for our sake’s? For our sake’s, no doubt, this is written: that he that plows should plow in hope: and that he that threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap of your carnal things? If others are partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power, but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? And they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so has the Lord ORDAINED that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.”
Paul acknowledged that ALL of the other apostles OBEYED God’s command to live of the gospel. Only Paul and Barnabas were rebellious against God’s commandment.
1 Corinthians 9:5-6 “Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas. Or I only and Barnabas, have we not power to forbear working?”
Paul claimed that the reason he worked and did not live of the gospel, was so that he would not hinder the gospel. Let us analyze this. If it is a hindrance to the gospel; then Jesus, and his disciples, and his brethren ALL hindered the gospel by living of the gospel. However the very opposite is true. To disobey God’s commandment is to hinder the gospel. To break God’s law is sin. You then teach other people by example to also break God’s commandment, and sin, as Paul did.
Also, Paul had a ulterior motive which he freely confessed openly. “For it is better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.” (1 Corinthians 9:15).
Paul’s motive was to glory, which is pride. This is sin. Almost everyone knows this.
All of Jesus’ disciples were called to do the same thing. Paul taught that each person has a different calling in life. Nearly everyone I have talked to about obeying the commands of Jesus concerning discipleship, have said the same thing. “Not everyone is called to do what you do brother.” Thus they excuse themselves from obeying Jesus’ commands. Jesus had some parables about this very thing, and the end of those people isn’t a good ending.
Matthew 16:24-25 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever shall save his life shall lose it: And whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
Matthew 19:27,29 “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed you: What shall we have therefore? And everyone that has forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”
Luke 8:1 “And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him.”
Luke 9:1-2 “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.”
1 Corinthians 12:14-19 “For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now has God set the members every one of them in the body, as it has pleased him. And they were all one member, where were the body?”
1 Corinthians 12:27-30 “Now are you all the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gift of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?”
John 14:12 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also: and greater works than these shall he do also: because I go unto my Father.”
1 John 2:6 “He that says he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, as he walked.”
Paul says believers are crucified with Christ, and died with Christ, buried with him, and resurrected with Christ. Jesus says believers are to deny themselves, take up the cross, and follow him.
Romans 6:3-6 “Know you not, that so many of us that were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted in the likeness of his death, we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
Then Paul contradicts all of this. He claimed we are crucified, dead, buried, and resurrected unto newness of life.
Then he says, Romans 7:14-25 “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not: but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh), dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me: but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil that I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God: but with the flesh the law of sin.”
Open your eyes, ears, and understanding and see what the Apostle Paul taught. He taught a meta-physical salvation. We are crucified, dead, buried, and resurrected unto newness of life; but only in the inward man or mind. We are in a body of death. We are not responsible for our own actions. It is sin that dwells in us that sins. It is no longer I that do it but sin that dwells in me. For to will is present with me, but how to perform that good I find not. No true repentance that really physically changes you completely, no truly doing good either. Listen to the Apostle John as he counters what Paul taught.
1 John 3:7-10 “Little children, LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU: he that DOES righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose was the Son of man manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God DOES NOT COMMIT SIN; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever DOES NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS is not of God, neither he that loves not his brother.”
Listen to Jesus Christ.
John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him, when he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
What Paul taught is a lukewarm conversion experience. Half hot and half cold produces lukewarm. Jesus promised that he will vomit the lukewarm from his mouth. How deceived can a person possibly be to take ABSOLUTELY NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN ACTIONS! “It is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.” This is an abomination. This is heresy.
Today the hyper grace doctrine teaches that all your sins past, present. and future, are already forgiven. So no matter what you do, or not do, you are saved eternally and guaranteed to go to heaven. This is an abomination. However this is by far better than what Paul taught. Paul based our salvation on the fact that WE DO NOT COMMIT ANY SIN. IT IS NO LONGER US BUT SIN THAT DWELLS IN US. Not that our sins are all forgiven, but that WE DO NOT SIN IN THE FIRST PLACE! We are not sinners because WE DO NOT SIN. It is sin that dwells in us that does it.
My friend If sin dwells in you and you have no control over your own actions, but sin does it all, I have news for you, you are demon possessed! I say this in all gravity, and seriousness. Paul taught that we can only serve God’s law with our MIND, but with our flesh the law of sin. AND WE DO NOT DO IT BUT SIN THAT DWELLS IN US DOES IT. There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. Your spirit is saved and safe in Christ. What you do here on earth that is evil is not you doing it, but sin that dwells in you does it.
He also tells us that our BODY is the temple of the Holy Ghost and the Spirit of God dwells in us. How can this be if sin dwells in us and has control over our actions?
To the lukewarm Laodicean church Jesus said, “Behold I stand at the door and knock: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20).
Jesus was not even in their hearts! To those who live in sin, Jesus said this, “MANY will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name have done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU, depart from me, you that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22-23).
Only once, about twenty-two years ago, did I hear someone say what Paul taught. “It is not us who sins, but sin that dwells in us.” I knew even then that it was not true and warned people about it. All of you who follow Paul, you need to teach what he taught. Pastors, you need to teach your flock that “It is no more you that sins, but sin that dwells in you does it.” When I hear it, I will call it heresy, and you a false prophet.
Paul taught sinless perfection. If you are saved and safe in Christ, and you NEVER AGAIN SIN, because it is not you who sin, but sin that dwells in you; then you are sinless and perfect. Now you can understand what Paul meant by the following verse.
1 Corinthians 2:6 “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught.”
Philippians 3:15 “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything you be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”
Paul was by his own admission all things to all men. In his epistles, you can find a very large variety of doctrines, many of which contradict each other. Sinless perfection? It is there. Not yet perfect? It is also there. Free from the law? You will find it. You will also find that Paul both quoted and commanded verses from the law on many occasions. Works not necessary? You will find it. Works ARE necessary? You will find that too. Eternal salvation? Yes, it’s there. You can lose your salvation? Yes, it’s also there. Free from sin? Yes. Sold under sin? Yes. Paul condemning Jewish customs? Yes. Paul being found in the temple with his head shaved, undergoing the Jewish rites of purification, including animal sacrifices? Yes, It’s there. Paul was all over the map on his doctrine, and his actions. I sometimes call him Flip-flop Paul because of it. Paul was a hypocrite of the first order.
Here are some of the things that Jesus taught about these things.
Matthew 16:24 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
The concept of Jesus is totally different. Jesus never said that we die or that the body of sin is dead. Neither are we crucified, dead, buried, or resurrected into newness of life. Jesus said to “Deny Yourself.” Self is still very much alive as Paul discusses in great length in Romans chapter 7. So we are to DENY self. Then we are to take up our personal cross (not the cross of Jesus but our own personal cross,) and follow Jesus.
In Roman times once a man picked up his cross he was condemned to die. He was a dead man walking. He was still alive but his life had ended. Although still alive he would never return home, work a job, sit down to a meal, enjoy family or friends, play, relax, sleep, or anything else, ever again. His new life consisted of suffering, pain, shame, regrets, and looking forward to death.
If you want to live forever in heaven, then deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow Jesus. As Jesus said to the rich young ruler who asked, “What good thing shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus told him to obey God’s commandments.