The preaching of the Apostle Paul
As reflected in his epistles, his writing was distinctive.
The Old Testament, as well as the gospel, accounts up to Jesus’ crucifixion, looked forward to the cross.
The death burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, together with the gift of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost in Acts 2, initiated the church period wherein the work accomplished by Jesus became effective in the early Christians. This experience of Jesus’ finished work is narrated principally in the book of Acts.
The revelation given to the Apostle Paul was that the finished work was (Ephesians 3:9-10), “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ. To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.”
The Lord gives preliminary teaching concerning this future entity, principally with regard to the work of the Holy Ghost, who would come at Pentecost. With the coming of the Holy Ghost, the church was formed and began its existence. However, all through the book of Acts, the precise doctrine that would govern the church was unrevealed.
The doctrine, position, walk and destiny of the church appear in his writings alone. This was given him by divine revelation. These letters give full instructions concerning the unique place of the church in this age and in the counsels and purposes of God.
The central message of the apostle is the church as one body (1st Corinthians 12:13). “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body whether we be Jews or Gentiles.”
This ministry of the Holy Spirit of baptizing became historic in (Act 2:37-39).
“Now when they heard this they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the Apostles. Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and to you children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
The baptism of the Holy Ghost, according to Paul, places one “in Christ.” This vital organic oneness of the people of this age with Jesus and with one another in him (Romans 6:3-6). Know ye not, that so many of us were baptized unto 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 the newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall also be in 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.
The mystery “hidden in God,” according to the Pauline revelation, was a divine purpose to make of Jew and Gentile a wholly new thing.
“The Church,” which is Christ’s Body, formed by the baptism of the Holy Ghost in which the earthly distinction of Jew and Gentile disappears (Ephesians 2:14-16).
“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, for to make himself of twain one new man, so making peace. That he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.”
The Apostle Paul brought Salvation through the word to the Ephesians these were already disciples (Ephesians 19:1). He asked if they had received the Holy Ghost since they believed they said no, he asked how they had been baptized, they said unto John’s baptism.
Paul told these disciples they needed to believe in Jesus Christ, when they heard this they were baptized in Jesus name, Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came on them and they spoke with tongues and prophesied, there were about 12 men there.
Jesus stated in Acts 1:8 that the Apostles would receive power after the Holy Ghost come upon them, and they would be witnesses unto him to the most utter parts of the earth.
Peter in Acts 2:38 said that it is a gift in verse 39. This gift is a promise to everyone who wants it. Paul in Acts 19 proves this is true.