Not Until the Apostle Paul was Salvation Apart from the Law
Salvation has always been by God’s grace through faith. Hebrews 11 makes that clear. But it wasn’t until the apostle Paul is chosen (Acts 9:15) by God to be the “apostle to the Gentiles” that there was a message of salvation apart from the law and salvation to the Gentiles.
From Abraham to Moses there was no message of salvation to the Gentile world. Likewise from the time God gave the law to Moses around 1500 BC right up to Paul coming on the scene. There is NO command or revealed message of salvation to Gentiles!
Why Does It Matter?
Because Gentiles were never under the law. Anything and everything pertaining to Temple worship and the Mosaic Law was given to Jews for Jews only.
You Can’t Mix Law and Grace
The problem is that Christendom has chosen to mix law and grace in both the salvation message and doctrine for the Church. This mixing of Christ earthly ministry, which was all under the Mosaic Law and Temple worship. With the message of the gospel of grace, that the risen Lord gave to Paul 11 years after the cross has led to a great division in the Body of Christ.
So the importance of knowing when salvation was apart from the law should be self-evident but unfortunately, it isn’t. Because most in Christendom refuse to believe what Christ revealed to Paul. That we are not under the law but under grace.
We must know what the gospel message is for us today. It is a must that we know doctrine for the Church today! The salvation message and doctrine for the Body of Christ (Gentiles and Jews) was given to the apostle Paul. It is in Paul’s writing alone that contain the gospel of the grace of God and the doctrine for the Church today.
The Mosaic Law
God gave the Mosaic Law to Israel through Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20). The Mosaic Law was God’s moral, ceremonial, and civil law to govern a Jew’s daily life. Before the Mosaic Law, morality was “written on the heart” (Romans 2:14-15) in man’s conscience.
The Ten Commandments or moral law reflects the nature and character of God and is eternal
There is no Scripture record of God commanding Moses, Aron or any other Jewish prophet to preach or teach the Mosaic Law to the whole world! You’d have to be a pretty good liar to make the Word of God say something it doesn’t.
Prior to God choosing Paul to be the “apostle to the Gentiles” salvation was faith plus keeping the Mosaic law.
What Paul wrote was revealed to him by the risen and glorified Jesus Christ Himself eleven years after Pentecost. Through Paul’s teaching, we learn truth’s never before revealed about the Mosaic Law and salvation in relation to the Gentile world.
- The Mosaic Law was given to Israel, not to the Gentile world. (Exodus 20.1-17, 22; Romans 2.14-15, 3.19, 9.4; 1 Corinthians 9.20-21; Ephesians 2.11-12)
- There was no message of salvation to the Gentile world until the risen Lord Jesus Christ revealed the gospel of grace to Paul. (Eph 2:11,12; Matthew 10:5-7)
- There was no salvation apart from the law until the risen Lord Jesus revealed to Paul that mankind is no longer under the law but under grace. (Romans 2:14-15; 3:21,28, 6:14; Galatians 2:16)
*being a proselyte isn’t a message of salvation to Gentiles.
The passages below reveal Biblical truth’s not known to Peter and those at the Jerusalem Church. It was Paul that told Peter and all at the Jerusalem Council how it was going to be moving forward. Because he was given new revelations from the resurrected Lord Jesus Himself. Peter, James, and John agreed.
Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days.
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;
I Corinthians 9:19-20
So the logical question is when was salvation available apart from the law?
No 2 Samuel 5-8
No Luke 1:26-33
No Matthew 10:5-7
No Acts 10
At the time of the Jerusalem Council around 51 AD, Temple worship and the Mosaic Law are still being practiced by Peter and the Jerusalem Church.
Temple Worship and the Mosaic Law Still in Effect in 51 AD
There is no doubt that Peter and the 11 apostles and all at the Jerusalem Church were still practicing the law and observing Temple worship at the time of the “Jerusalem Council”. (Acts 15:1,5)
So When was Salvation Apart from the Law?
Salvation apart from the Law came on the scene only after Paul spent three years with the Lord Jesus in the desert of Nabatean Arabia. The apostle Paul spent three years with the risen and glorified Lord being prepared for his ministry to the Gentile world.
It is during these three years with Jesus that Paul is given the gospel of grace (Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 15;1-4) and the doctrine for the Church. The apostle Paul and Paul alone received these new revelations directly from the Lord Himself. (Galatians 1:11,12; Romans 2:16; Ephesians 3:3-5; Romans 16:25; 1 Corinthians 15:3)
It was around 37 AD when the Lord Jesus confronts Paul (who was Saul at the time) on the road to Damascus. (Acts 9:3)
After the visit by Ananias, Paul then goes to Arabia and returns to Damascus where he spends 3 years with the risen Lord Jesus. (Galatians 1:17-18 and Acts 9:22-23)
Paul returns to Jerusalem with Barnabas after his 3 years with the Lord, to meet with Peter and James the Lord’s brother in Jerusalem for 15 days (Acts 9:26 and Galatians 1:18-19)
After meeting with Peter and James Paul goes up to Syria and Cilicia the area of his home town of Tarsus. (Galatians 1:21; Acts 9:30)
It Is All Grace or Nothing At All
So the approximate date when Paul left the Lord in Arabia with new revelations is 40 AD. Paul preached the gospel of the grace of God for almost 11 years before the Jerusalem Council. In those 11 years, Paul established multiple Churches preaching the gospel that was given to him by the Lord in Arabia. That salvation was now available to both Jew and Gentile, APART FROM THE LAW.
It is at the Jerusalem council were Paul shares with Peter, James and all of the Jerusalem Church the new revelations the risen Lord gave to him. (Galatians 2:2; Acts 15:1-4)
Then Peter makes his grand statement in support of this new message of salvation to both Jew and Gentiles APART FROM THE LAW.
But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.
It is at this time (51 AD) in Biblical history that the salvation message changed from salvation to Jews only through faith plus keeping the law. To the new message that now and from this point, forward salvation is available to both Jew and Gentile by grace through faith alone apart from the law.
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;
I hope that this article has helped to clarify what has been so badly distorted. If you have any questions or comments please provide them below.
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Mesa Bible Study
“It’s all grace or nothing at all”