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Defending the great Apostle Paul

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The great Apostle Paul labored intensely after his conversion as a faithful servant to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Obeying the Lord and preaching the Gospel to Gentiles.

Yet in recent times I've noticed an increasing trend to discredit Paul and his work with various heretical claims which I will not repeat out of honor and respect for the Gospel. Some days ago a chat with a Muslim turned out to be surprising when he voiced these heretical accusations about the great Apostle to me. His argument centered around the view that Christian practices have no relationship to Jewish (Old Covenant) laws which he has clearly seen recorded in the Bible, and that Christianity doesn't keep these laws nor, as it appears to him have any laws. He also based his argument on observations of Christian culture and/or behavior. His statements could have caused a young believer not grounded in scripture, to question and waiver and fail to meet the challenge. His stance would have certainly discredited Christianity to a non-believer.

The incident took me aback. I was put to the test. I realized more how Paul's writings are a radical departure from the Old Covenant laws and ordinances. After regaining composure I realized how this was just another 'sign of the times' and a reminder to me to keep firmly planted in Faith and fluent with Biblical scripture, God's Word. In a way the experience gave me a mild glimpse of things to come for followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The verses mentioned below from the Old Testament were quoted to counter the false accusations and give evidence that God's plan of salvation included the New Covenant and Paul had God’s anointing on him to deliver it to Gentiles.

Jeremiah 31:31:
“Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah"

Isaiah 42:6:
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness. I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles”

The Muslim gentleman was somehow anticipating a debate on Paul and his writings, however the Holy Spirit pointed me to these verses from Old Testament prophets which brought the discussion to a halt.

The Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword! Allelujah
 
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I would have given them Paul's rebuke of the Galatians. They were going back into to the law. Under a similar conviction I suppose to what prompted the Muslim to raise this with you.

Gal 2:11-21

[COLOR=rgb(41, 105, 176)]11 But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him in public, because he was clearly wrong. 12 Before some men who had been sent by James arrived there, Peter had been eating with the Gentile believers. But after these men arrived, he drew back and would not eat with the Gentiles, because he was afraid of those who were in favor of circumcising them. 13 The other Jewish believers also started acting like cowards along with Peter; and even Barnabas was swept along by their cowardly action. 14 When I saw that they were not walking a straight path in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you have been living like a Gentile, not like a Jew. How, then, can you try to force Gentiles to live like Jews?”[/COLOR]

[COLOR=rgb(41, 105, 176)]Jews and Gentiles Are Saved by Faith
15 Indeed, we are Jews by birth and not “Gentile sinners,” as they are called. 16 Yet we know that a person is put right with God only through faith in Jesus Christ, never by doing what the Law requires. We, too, have believed in Christ Jesus in order to be put right with God through our faith in Christ, and not by doing what the Law requires. For no one is put right with God by doing what the Law requires. 17 If, then, as we try to be put right with God by our union with Christ, we are found to be sinners, as much as the Gentiles are—does this mean that Christ is serving the cause of sin? By no means! 18 If I start to rebuild the system of Law that I tore down, then I show myself to be someone who breaks the Law. 19 So far as the Law is concerned, however, I am dead—killed by the Law itself—in order that I might live for God. I have been put to death with Christ on his cross, 20 so that it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. This life that I live now, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me. 21 I refuse to reject the grace of God. But if a person is put right with God through the Law, it means that Christ died for nothing[/COLOR].
 
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