"I am an apostle to the Gentiles..."
Text: Romans 11:13
APOSTLE TO THE GENTILES
Paul found himself needing to defend his apostleship time and again. Let us look at some of the references he made to his apostleship.
1. Defence of apostleship (Cf. 1 Corinthians 9:1-2)
2. Declaration of apostleship to the Gentiles
a) To the Galatian churches (Cf. Galatians 2:8-9)
b) To the Romans (Cf. Romans 11:13)
c) In his epistle to Timothy (Cf. 2 Timothy 1:11)
THE NEED FOR DEFENCE
The following are the reasons Paul felt it necessary to speak of his apostleship to the Gentiles. Two important reasons may be highlighted:-
1. Confirmation of the ministry to the Gentiles
The ministry to the Gentiles was fraught with difficulties. Many unbelieving Jews opposed the idea of preaching salvation to Gentiles!
2. Construction of a Church where Jews and Gentiles were equals
This was an important concept that needed to be carefully developed. If this was not done well, the Church could suffer irreparable schism!
SPEAKING OUT AS AN APOSTLE TO THE GENTILES
Paul made use of his platform as an apostle to the Gentiles to make the following declaration.
“For I speak to you Gentiles;
inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles,
I magnify my ministry, if by any means
I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh
and save some of them.”
1. Magnifying the ministry of being an apostle to the Gentiles
Paul was not ashamed of his ministry to the Gentiles. This ministry was not something that anyone should despise. Far from it! Paul chose instead to magnify his ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles.
2. Ministering in hope to reach the Jews
Would the Jews be jealous of God’s blessings outpoured on the Gentiles? If that would cause them to seek God for His salvation, that would please the apostle Paul well!