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 Was the Apostle Paul A Hypocrite?

Paul said he was the chief of sinners, not because of what he was presently doing, but because he was previously a blasphemer and a persecutor of the Church (1 Tim. 1:13-15).

Paul said that He exercised himself to have a conscience void of offense (Acts 24:16). He could not say that unless he was living holy instead of sinful.

Paul said follow me as I follow Christ (1 Cor. 11:1). He could not say that unless he was living holy instead of sinful.

Paul wrote Holy Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16) which he could not do if he was not a holy man (2 Peter 1:21).

Paul told the Church to banish to incestuous Corinthian (1 Cor. 5:2), but if he was himself living a sinful life he would have been a hypocrite (Matt. 7:5).

Paul said a leader in the Church must be blameless (1 Tim. 3:2), but if Paul himself was living sinful instead of living holy, then Paul himself was not qualified to be a leader in the Church.

Paul's ministry was to call Gentiles to repentance (Acts 26:20) but if Paul did not repent of his own sins, but remained in them still, he was not qualified to call anyone to repentance.

 2009/10/26 17:59
KingJimmy
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 Re: Was the Apostle Paul A Hypocrite?

Hey Jesse. Jesus is alive!


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Jimmy H

 2009/10/26 18:16Profile
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 Re: Was the Apostle Paul A Hypocrite?

I understand the point you are trying to make here, but I would ask you to be more judicious in your choice of thread titles. The current one, though obviously rhetorical, demonstrates poor taste and lack of wisdom.

Our words are being weighed in eternity brethren. Let us not resort to flippancy at the expense of getting our point across.

"Be not many masters, knowing we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in may things we offend all" (James 3:1-2)


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Paul Frederick West

 2009/10/26 18:20Profile
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 Re: Was the Apostle Paul A Hypocrite?

truefaithsav,

Now you are trying to put words in the mouth of the Apostle Paul. No one said that Paul was living a sinful life - he was following Christ to the best of his ability. But he was not without sin - and he would be the last person to claim that he was a sinless man. Unlike you - you seem to be holier than Paul.

 2009/10/26 18:32Profile









 Re:

If Paul was, in his present conduct or character, the "chief of sinners" than Paul was more than a hypocrite, Paul would have been the chief of hypocrites.

But Paul said he was the chief of sinners, even though his present life was holy, because he was previously a blasphemer and a persecutor of the Church.

 2009/10/26 18:55
Compton
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 Re:

Wesley remembered being impressed with the humble Moravians on a sailing ship who were willing to do the filthiest work, because as one elder said, "It does my prideful heart good."

One Puritan understood what Paul meant when he wrote the prayer "I need to repent of my repentance".

Paul's confession was not historical, heretical, or hypocritical...just honest to God about what still was possible in his own heart.

MC


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Mike Compton

 2009/10/26 19:22Profile
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 Re:

Quote:

truefaithsav wrote:
If Paul was, in his present conduct or character, the "chief of sinners" than Paul was more than a hypocrite, Paul would have been the chief of hypocrites.

But Paul said he was the chief of sinners, even though his present life was holy, because he was previously a blasphemer and a persecutor of the Church.



Paul did not say [u]I was[/u], he said [u]I am[/u]:

[i]1Ti 1:15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners —of whom [b]I am[/b] the worst.[/i]

At the time that he said this, he considered himself a sinner. You accuse Paul of hypocrisy because he admitted his sinfulness? Well... either he was a hypocrite, or he was a true man of God and you are a false one. I think I'll side with Paul on this.

 2009/10/26 19:24Profile









 Re:

Yes Paul said I am the chief of sinners. But why? Because of what he was doing? Or because of what he previously did? In context, it was because of what he previously did before His conversion to Christ. 1 Tim. 1:13-15 Just read the context. You must rightly divide the Word of God. The Bible teaches that after conversion Paul lived a holy life Acts 24:16 and Acts 23:1. But because of what he had done before his conversion, he was the chief of sinners.

Paul said, "I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day..." Acts 23:1

 2009/10/26 19:30
KingJimmy
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 Re:

"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of who I am chief" (1 Timothy 1:15, KJV)


If you regularly study the writings of the apostle Paul, you'll find him say some pretty amazing things. Here, like as many other times before, he does not disappoint. He says some things so bluntly and plainly, we think, "surely to God he doesn't really mean that." Often he makes these seemingly random, mother-load sized statements, and simply moves on without so much as offering a simple reflection on what he just said. Though sometimes such proves to be a source of frustration to the student of the Scriptures, in reality, I think I really like that. Instead of looking to dot every "i" and cross every "t," Paul sometimes simply spoke the word that was on his heart, and figured if you didn't understand it, that word would eventually do a work in your life, because that word was nothing other than the Lord's.

Here we have such a statement by Paul. After giving some practical pastoral exhortations to his fellow apostle Timothy, Paul recalls his life before he met the Lord. Specifically, he recalls how he acted out of ignorance and unbelief, and persecuted the Church of the living God. Paul then recalls how the Lord touched him and showed him mercy. Paul then goes onto say that the Lord came into this world to save sinners, of who he is chief.

Such a statement offends many. So much so that some preachers and commentators attempt to explain such a statement away as something Paul was simply saying about his past. And, contextually speaking, I can see how one might arrive at such a conclusion. But his statement about being the chief of sinners is not in the past tense. It is present. And this truth, unfortunately, has caused many preachers and commentators to draw unfortunate conclusions. Paul here, in his present tense confession, is not confessing to continually struggling with besetting sins in his life, or knowingly living with some skeletons in his closet.

Rather, I see it different. Paul's confession to being the chief of sinners is not simply a statement about his past, nor is he admitting to regularly sinning in his life. Rather, his confession to being the chief of sinners is made by a man whose eyes have seen the Lord, and based on this revelation, has come to understand that he is the greatest sinner he knows. Indeed, for anybody who has truly had a revelation of the holiness of God, one cannot help but see the monster they actually are.

They in fact, become the greatest sinner they know. This knowledge is not based on comparing one's personal sin record with the sin record of any other person. Rather, this knowledge comes from a personal and experiential knowledge of God, whereby when one gazes upon Him in his holiness, they cannot but help have an Isaiah 6 vision of God and cry out "Woe is me! I am undone!" When one truly sees the Lord high and lifted up, sitting upon His throne, one is not overly aware of who other men are in relation to God. One only sees God, and as a result of seeing God, they see themselves, and the ugly monster they really are.

Today I stood in Church and testified, I am the greatest sinner I know. Have I ever, or am I presently living in gross immorality? No, not at all. Even when I was unsaved, I still lived a relatively good and moral life. I have never killed anybody, done drugs, or slept around. Comparatively speaking, I can think of a lot of other people who have done far worse things than I have ever done. Yet even armed with this knowledge, when I stand before God, I see who the Lord is, and I see who I am and what I am capable of doing.

What I believe Paul ultimately wanted us to see in his statement, is what I have come to see of myself. I am utterly and entirely dependent upon the grace and mercy of God for my salvation. For apart from that precious grace and mercy, in and of myself, I have come to see the depths of my own personal depravity. I have come to see, like the apostle Paul, that I am the greatest sinner I know. Indeed, in me there is no good thing. Only rot and filth. But thank God, the Lord did come to save me, and as a result of His saving me, I can now be a demonstration of His perfect patience, and an example for others to see of God and His saving work. After all, if the Lord could save me, the greatest sinner I know, then He can surely save others.

Taken from: http://iamadisciple.blogspot.com/2009/08/greatest-sinner-i-know.html


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Jimmy H

 2009/10/26 19:37Profile
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 Re:

truefaithsav,

Please stop deceiving yourself, because we will not be deceived by you. Look at the context and discern properly:

[i]1Ti 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.
1Ti 1:13 Even though I [b]was[/b] once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I [b]was[/b] shown mercy because I [b]acted[/b] in ignorance and unbelief.
1Ti 1:14 The grace of our Lord [b]was[/b] poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
1Ti 1:15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners e —of whom [b]I am[/b] the worst.

Notice that in 1 Ti 1:13-14, Paul used the past tense, indicating that his life as a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man was in the past - before he was appointed by the Lord Jesus to his service. In fact, in verse 14 Paul, using the past tense, narrates how the grace, the love, and the faith that was in Christ Jesus was poured out on him at that time. The common thread of thought that started in verse 12 ends in verse 14, and an entirely new train of thought starts with verse 15. Otherwise, if these were still connected, Paul would have said "of whom I was the worst", to be consistent with the previous verses.

But he does not say "[b]I was[/b]" because in verse 15 he was no longer referring to his life before he met Christ. He said "[b]I am[/b]", and the meaning of that is abundantly clear to those who are willing to learn.

 2009/10/26 19:43Profile





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