Paul’s Defense of His Apostolic Authority to the Galatians -- By: Alan Askins

Journal: Conservative Theological Journal
Volume: CTJ 02:6 (Sep 1998)
Article: Paul’s Defense of His Apostolic Authority to the Galatians
Author: Alan Askins


Paul’s Defense of His Apostolic Authority to the Galatians

Alan Askins

Th. M. Student
Tyndale Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, TX

The Attack on Apostolic Authority

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and He who receives Me receives Him who sent Me (John 13:20)

The elder stood before the pastor crying and shaking over what had just happened in an elders’ meeting. A man who had requested to speak to the elder board had challenged her position on the board because she was a woman. He cited the qualifications presented by Paul to Timothy and Titus concluding that he could not accept her as an authority in the congregation. She was unable to answer the charge scripturally and instead erupted into a red-faced temper tantrum: “How dare you try to prevent me from serving my Lord the way I want to!,” she shrieked. She ran out of the meeting sobbing. The pastor, who was absent from the meeting, comforted her as she admitted she did not know how to defend her presence on the board because of what the Bible says. The pastor responded saying, “Paul was a bigot. He lived in a patriarchal society and he wrote from his own experience and perspective. His words hold no authority for us. His words are for his time only. In this church, we only follow the words of Jesus found in the gospels and Jesus never said a woman could not serve as an elder in the church.”

In yet another church, new teachers arrived and from the outset cast aspersions on the congregation’s simple message that a person is saved by God’s grace simply by trusting in Jesus and His atonement. These teachers agreed that grace is the source of salvation, however this grace has to be merited. “Christ did His part, now you must do yours.” By performing works of the law, you share in the work of salvation. The people resisted though, saying, “This isn’t what we were taught.” The response of the new teachers was, “You were not given the full gospel message. You were given a portion of the message, we are here to give

you the rest. Your previous teacher had no right or authority to withhold this part of Jesus’ message.”

The two situations above are real events separated by some 1900 hundred years in time. Despite the centuries that have passed, the root cause is the same: the sinful desire to satisfy personal appetites and agendas vicariously through the institution of the Church, requiring an outright rejection of apostolic authority for success. The former case I personally witnessed, the latter is attested to by the epistl...

You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
Click here to subscribe
visitor : : uid: ()