- The Ministry of the Apostle Paul
When you hear of the ministry of the Apostle Paul, what do you normally think? Most often we hear and speak of the missionary journeys of Paul. We read of the marvelous conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus in order that Paul might preach the gospel to the Gentiles. The premise of this chapter and the book is that the primary ministry of Paul was to serve as chief editor of the New Testament. Certainly as we in contemporary times look back on what has happened in the approximately two thousand years since Paul, Jesus, and the other Apostles of Christ, the most pervasive influence of Paul has been from his fourteen letters that became fourteen books of the New Testament. In other words thousands more people had read and become Christians from the reading of his letters than have become Christians because of his missionary journeys. You can almost miss this aspect of the ministry of Christ in the reading of his letters. The one single place that it is obvious is in the reading of Colossians 1:25.
“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God…” (Colossians 1:25 KJV)
Notice that: Paul is made a minister in order to fulfill or complete the word of God! That tells me that God had in mind a certain number of books for the Bible and in particular for the New Testament (27), and that the responsibility of the ministry of Paul was to make sure that this number was completed. This Paul did by personally writing 14 out of 27 of those books, and then pass on to John Mark and Dr. Luke manuscripts for the writing of three more books of the New Testament; so that Paul becomes personally responsible for 17 out of 27 of the New Testament books. I would say that is a significant aspect of Paul’s ministry when you consider to how many countries the Bible has gone over the last two thousand years, into how many homes, and from how many pulpits and Sunday school classes the Bible is taught every Sunday. To belabor this chief editor aspect of the New Testament now as related to John Mark and Dr. Luke is somewhat jumping ahead, but I think it is necessary to immediately establish an internal evidence aspect to this claim. Two scriptural facts can quickly lay this foundation.
NOTE: The complete chapter 1 of CHRIST FOR INDIVIDUALS in on the sister website of http://biblecombibleman.com/ChristianFables/whatever-is-good-and-honorable-viral/christ-for-individuals/ . And on that page you can also free download the complete book of 18 chapters.