Understanding Pauline Differences to Christ’s Teachings


Paul the Apostle, by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn c. 1657

Acts 9:15-16 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

Paul is a chosen vessel of Jesus Christ to bear His name before gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.

John 4:21,23-24 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. ..But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Deut 12:13-14 “Take heed to yourself that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every place that you see; but in the place which the LORD chooses, in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.

Exod 23:17 “Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD.

If it wasn’t by Paul, we may have end up following the law, which Jesus hinted about. For example, Jesus only hinted that true worshipers will cease worshiping in Jerusalem, which is a direct violation of the law.

Paul in his God given wisdom, had explained several things from Scriptures and opened the eyes of many. However, some Christians had taken Paul’s teachings to extreme even to exalt it as Scripture to reject Christ’s teachings as “works salvation heresy”. The other end of the spectrum consider Paul as a false teacher.

The rule of thumb is, any teaching or doctrine that is contrary to what Christ taught be thrown away. As said earlier, God used Paul mightily to expand His kingdom but Paul is not Christ nor his words equal to or supersedes Christ’s.

As Jesus said, there are weightier matters of the law (Matt 23:23). Father’s words will never return to Him void (Isa 55:11). Heavens and the earth pass away but the words spoken by Son will never pass away (Matt 24:35). This is why all parts of the Bible are not equal and do not have equal authority. It would be a mistake in our part to exalt a man’s letter which is not a prophecy nor spoken by God, to exalt it equal to God’s spoken words. It also does not mean we are to disregard the teachings of Paul. We need to discern everything using His Word and Scripture. E.g., Matthew Chapter 2 is wrong about birth of Jesus even though it was written in all good intentions. In this blog, we will look into the top 25 contractions between Paul and Jesus to discern them.

The green tick next to title shows that Christ agrees with Paul. The red cross mark shows Christ disagrees with Paul.

1. On the time of the coming of the Lord correct

Paul says:
Rom.13:12 the night is far gone, the day is at hand.

Jesus says:
Luke.21:8 Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name,
saying, . . . `The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them.

Here, Paul is not referring to the time of the coming of the Lord.

1John 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

Paul is simply speaking using a common terminology to be prepared just as John was speaking. Hence, there are no contradictions here.

2. On the source of the Truth and the true gospel correct

Paul says:
1 Cor 2:13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit.
Gal 1:12 For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Jesus says:
John.17:14 I have given them thy word;
John.17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth.

Paul isn’t saying anything contrary here.

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

1 John 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

What Paul said is in agreement with what Jesus and John taught. Hence, there are no contradictions here.

3. On the God of the dead correct

Paul says:
Rom 14:9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Jesus says:
Luke 20:38 Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living;

When Jesus was referring God as not the God of the dead, He was referring to resurrection of the dead even through they died long back.  But when Paul is referring to Christ being the Lord both of the dead and living, he was not referring to those who are not worthy to attain the next age, but only those who die to the Lord who will be resurrected in the last day. Hence, there are no contradictions here.

4. On the sum of the commandments correct

Paul says:
Rom 13:9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Jesus says:
Matt 22:37-14 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.

Paul is just summing up the second greatest commandment. There isn’t any contradiction here.

5. On whom God has mercy wrong

Paul says:
Rom.9:15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So it depends not upon man’s will or exertion, but upon God’s mercy. So then he has mercy upon whomever he wills, and he hardens the heart of whomever he wills.

Jesus says:
Matt.5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

What Paul said is a direct quote of God the Father. As we saw in the parable of conditional grace (Matt 18:23-35), the King had all authority over the debtor to imprison him or have mercy on him. Jesus however, revealed the nature of God in the parable that if we are merciful, we will also obtain mercy. This means, we need to look into why and how Paul is using the old testament passage (Exod 33:19).

Rom 9:16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.

Looking into the context, Paul is rejecting any human desire or effort for receiving God’s mercy while Jesus says, we will receive mercy if we are merciful. Here, Paul does clearly contradict Jesus and we need throw away any teaching that contradicts with Jesus’ teaching.

6. On forgiveness of trespasses correct

Paul says:
Eph 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace
Rom 4:25 who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

Jesus says:
Matt.6:14-15 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

The blood of Jesus is poured out for the forgiveness of sins.

Matt 26:28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Paul isn’t saying there is forgiveness even if we didn’t forgive. He is simply referring to our redemption in the blood of Jesus, the forgiveness of our sins. Hence, there isn’t any contradiction here.

7. On being justified correct

Paul says:
Rom 3:24,28 they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, .. For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law.
Rom 5:9 Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.

Jesus says:
Matt 12:37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

Paul is speaking about justification for all our sins through the blood of Jesus.

Luke 18:10-14 Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men–extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Paul’s message of justification is identical to what Jesus said in the above passage where the tax collector was justified by being humble. Since grace is given to the humble (Prov 3:34; 1Pet 5:5; Jas 4:6), there is nothing wrong is saying, we are justified by His grace which is a gift, apart from the law. This is because the Pharisee who did everything as per the law was not justified but the tax collector was justified by being humble. Paul’s conclusion is correct, he did skip the requirement of being humble to receive grace which is a big mistake.

Matt 12:36 “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.

However, Jesus in the above passage was speaking about His judgment, more specifically for idle words, the sins which are not yet justified that requires an account. Therefore, by what we speak, we will either be justified or condemned. Hence, there is no contradiction here.

8. On the cost of eternal life wrong

Paul says:
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus says:
Matt 19:29 And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.
Luke 14:28,33 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? … So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Paul clearly contradicts Jesus on the cost of eternal life. It is not just the above passage but based on several parables and teachings Jesus spoke, it can cost our entire wealth (Matt 13:44-46), all our relationships (Luke 18:29), our body parts (Mark 9:43-48) and even our own life (Mark 8:35). Jesus nowhere hinted that eternal life is a free or easy to get. He also said, we must be worthy to attain it (Luke 35-36). Here, Paul clearly contradict Jesus and we need throw away the doctrine or teaching that contradicts with Jesus’ teaching.

9. On what is honorable among men wrong

Paul says:
2 Cor 8:21 for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of men.
Rom 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all men.
Rom 14:18 he who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.
1Cor 10:33 just as I try to please all men in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

Jesus says:
Luke 16:15 But he said to them, You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
Luke 6:26 Woe to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

Jesus Christ never tried to please any men but always pleased God the Father.

John 8:29 “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”

John 5:41 “I do not receive honor from men.

He even rebuked people boldly and openly that offends them directly.

  • Hypocrites (Matt 23:15)
  • Serpents, brood of vipers! (Matt 23:33)
  • Fox (Luke 13:32)
  • Whitewashed Tombs (Matt 23:27)

Jesus even took a whip and drove the money changers inside the Temple. Here, Paul clearly contradict Jesus and we need throw away the doctrine or teaching that contradicts with Jesus’ teaching.

10. On Dying correct

Paul says:
I Corinthians 15:31 I protest, brethren, by my pride in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!

Jesus says:
John 11:26 and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.

While Jesus is speaking about real death, Paul is using a figure of speech. Paul cannot literally die every day and still live in this world. Hence, there is no contradiction here.

11. On the basis of judgment correct

Paul says:
Rom 2:12 All who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.

Jesus says:
John.12:48 He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.

What Paul is referring here is those who have sinned without the law, referring to gentiles and pagans, will die without the law. God didn’t punish Abraham for marrying Sarah who is his half-sister (Gen 20:12) which is clearly a violation of the law of Moses (Lev 18:9) and an abomination (Lev 18:29). However, those who lived under the law, will be judged by the law, just as Jesus was under the law and took upon all the punishments of the law on Himself to redeem those who are under the law by becoming a perfect sacrifice to God (Ezek 16:63).

Deut 18:18-19 ‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.

Jesus however, is referring to what God the Father spoke in the law for not listening to Him. Hence, there is no contradiction here.

12. On the commandments and eternal life wrong

Paul says:
Rom.7:9-10 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died; the very commandment which promised life proved to be death to me.

Jesus says:
Matt 19:17 And he said to him, Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.

Paul clearly contradicts what Jesus taught. As we can see, Jesus clearly requires everyone to keep the commandments to enter life. Paul is not only rejecting what Jesus said, but looking at his own life to set the standard and even trying to prove Jesus was wrong.

Jesus did not just say commandments to have any lose ended conclusions. He actually mentioned it.

  1. You shall not murder
  2. You shall not commit adultery
  3. You shall not steal
  4. You shall not bear false witness
  5. Honor your father and your mother
  6. You shall love your neighbor as yourself
  7. Sell your earthly treasures and give it to the poor

Note that the Sabbath is missing. Did Jesus forgot the 10 commandments? Absolutely not. He missed it purposefully so that we will not have any lose ended conclusions.

Here, Paul clearly contradict Jesus and we need throw away the doctrine or teaching that contradicts with Jesus’ teaching.

13. On your father wrong

Paul says:
1Cor.4:15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
Phlm.1:10 I appeal to you for my child, Ones’imus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment.

Jesus says:
Matt.23:9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.

Jesus is saying, not to call any man as a father. This does not mean we aren’t supposed to call our earthly fathers as father. What Jesus is referring to is about a spiritual father who guides and chastens us in the path of righteousness. Paul calls himself as a father in Christ, clearly contradicting what Jesus taught.

14. On qualifying for eternal life correct

Paul says:
Rom 5:21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus says:
John.5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

The above refuting is incomplete with referring to what Jesus calls as believing in Him.

John 3:18-21 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.

Jesus is saying, all those who hear His word and believe in Him, which is to depart from practicing evil and do the truth. But Paul is speaking the overall message of how Jesus Christ atoned for our sins. However, Paul suggests the grace of God reigns through the righteousness of Christ, which could imply we don’t need any righteousness or not of our righteousness which is wrong.

What Jesus preached is that we must keep God’s commandments for us to get eternal life (Matt 19:16-22). Our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees and scribes (Matt 5:20) to enter His Kingdom, which is to cleanse the inside of our hearts (Matt 23:26) by cutting off anything that causes us to sin (Matt 18:8-9).

Here, Paul isn’t saying anything wrong here by saying Christ’s righteousness made Him a perfect sacrifice acceptable to God providing the only way to the Father and eternally live with Him. This does not mean we don’t need to be righteous. Hence, Paul doesn’t contradict here.

15. On the destiny of the creation (heavens and earth) correct

Paul says:
Rom 8:21 because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Jesus says:
Matt 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away,

Paul isn’t saying the earth will always remain. He is simply saying the creation will be set free from it’s bondage to decay, referring to how it will be in the new heavens and earth.

2 Tim 4:18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!

Although not explicitly, Paul’s in his second letter to Timothy, he was referring to the heavenly Kingdom indirectly referring to the earthly ones passing away. Hence, there seems to be no contradiction here.

16. On the destiny of the Law and the Prophets correct

Paul says:
Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified.

Jesus says:
Matt 5:17-18 Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.

Christ came and fulfilled the law. By fulfilling the law according to the old covenant, He created a new covenant. All who have faith in Jesus come under the new covenant, it is the end of the law for them. This faith however, is a living faith or faith including works as James puts it. Hence, there is no contradiction here.

17. On the number and identity of teachers correct

Paul says:
1 Cor 12:28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third, teachers,
Eph 4:11 And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,
1 Tim 2:7 For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
2 Tim 1:11 For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,

Jesus says:
Matt 23:8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren.

Paul is not wrong here. When Jesus is saying you have one teacher (G2519 καθηγητής kathegetes), He is referring to a leader or guide, as one who instructs in the way one should go. When Paul is referring to teacher (G1320 διδάσκαλος didaskalos), he is referring to a teacher or instructor, not a leader or a guide. Different Greek words referring to different meanings. Do not let the language mislead you.

Matt 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

In fact Jesus Himself said to teach (G1321 διδάσκω didasko) which means to just teach not lead. Hence, there is no contradiction here.

18. On the number to be saved correct

Paul says:
Rom 11:25-26 Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brethren: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in, and so all Israel will be saved; as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.

Jesus says:
Matt 7:13 Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Looking into the full context of what Paul said, he wasn’t suggesting that many will be saved but the contrary as we see the preceding verses.

Rom 11:20-22 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.

Also, Paul is quoting the prophecy of Isaiah and also defines who is a true Jew.

Isa 45:17 But Israel shall be saved by the LORD With an everlasting salvation; You shall not be ashamed or disgraced Forever and ever.

Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh

This means, only God’s people, who walked through the narrow gate and difficult people are called as Israel. The gentiles are the other sheep and they will become as one flock under one Shepherd who is Christ (John 10:16). Hence, there is no contradiction here.

19. On the number and identity of pastors (shepherds) correct

Paul says:
Eph 4:11 And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors (shepherds) and teachers,

Jesus says:
John 10:16 And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.

Jesus is referring to a future event when Christ will be the only Shepherd and one flock.

Rev 7:17 “for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Jesus Christ will be as one Shepherd in the New Jerusalem.

1Pet 5:2-4 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

Peter explains it well in the above passage. Hence, there is no contradiction here.

20. On the number and identity of leaders correct

Paul says:
1 Cor.4:15 For though you have countless leaders in Christ . . ..

Jesus says:
Matt 23:10 Neither be called leaders, for you have one leader, the Christ.

Paul is not wrong here. When Jesus is saying you have one teacher (G2519 καθηγητής kathegetes), He is referring to a leader or guide, as one who instructs in the way one should go. When Paul is referring to instructors (G3807 παιδαγωγός paidagogos), he is referring to like a servant whose office it was to take the children to school, by implication a tutor and not a leader or a guide. Different Greek words referring to different meanings. Do not let the language mislead you. Hence, there is no contradiction here.

21: On total depravity wrong

Paul says:
Rom.3:9-10,22-23 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all; for I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; … For there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, . . ..

Jesus says:
Matt.12:35 The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.
Luke.6:45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Matt.23:35 that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechari’ah the son of Barachi’ah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.

Paul is referring in Scripture, “None is righteous, no, not one”.

Ps 14:1 THE fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.

Ps 53:1 THE fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; There is none who does good.

Eccl 7:20 For there is not a just man on earth who does good And does not sin.

Job 15:14 “What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous?

But, God’s Words supersede Scripture and none of the above are from God. The first two psalms where people are singing about fools and corrupt people who deny God. The book of Ecclesiastes, which may or may not written by Solomon, speaks about worldly wisdom and vanity. The same book speaks about not to be overly righteous because we may die in our righteousness a few passages above (Eccl 7:15-16) which is in contradiction of what God revealed to Jesus through John in the book of Revelation (Rev 22:11). The last is Eliphaz accusing Job, who is not an authoritative person to quote.

What does God say?

Gen 7:1 Then the LORD said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.

Ezek 14:14 “Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord GOD.

Gen 18:32 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten (righteous).”

God not only expects righteous people to spare a city, He Himself called several people righteous. Hence, Paul is wrong to use verses contrary to what God spoke about certain people being righteous.

22. On unconditional election wrong

Paul says:
Rom 9:16 So it depends not upon man’s will or exertion, but upon God’s mercy.

Jesus says:
Matt.7:21-22 Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ [23] And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.

As we saw in point 5, On whom God has mercy, Paul is rejecting any human desire or effort for receiving God’s mercy while Jesus says, we will receive mercy if we are merciful. As Christ said, entering into the kingdom of Heaven depends on everyone’s effort doing the will of God.

Matt 7:13-14 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Christ is not going to push anyone into the narrow gate and drag through the difficult path. Hence, Paul does clearly contradict Jesus and we need throw away any teaching that contradicts with Jesus’ teaching.

23. On sacrifices to God correct

Paul says:
1 Cor 5:7 For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed.
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Jesus says:
Matt 9:13 Go and learn what this means, `I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’

The point used to refute Paul’s use of Passover lamb is completely wrong.

Ezek 16:63 “that you may remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth anymore because of your shame, when I provide you an atonement for all you have done,” says the Lord GOD.’ ”

As prophesied in Ezekiel, God the Father had provided His Son as an atonement for all Israel did.

Matt 12:3-4,7 But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? …  But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.

However, what Jesus said about desiring mercy and not sacrifices, is about not rejecting mercy over obeying God’s commands, as Jesus described by giving David as example. This has nothing to do with actual sacrifice. Hence, there is no contradiction here.

24. On remuneration for preaching the gospel wrong

Paul says:
1 Tim.5:17-18 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching; for the scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.
1 Cor.9:11-12 If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more?

Jesus says:
Matt.10:7-8 And preach as you go, saying, `The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay.

Paul is right in 1 Tim.5:17-18, where if an evangelist comes to preach, not giving him anything is not the right thing to do.

Matt 10:9-11 “Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food. Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out.

Jesus also said the laborer deserves his wages and the wages he mentioned is food. Remuneration must not be confused with helping poor and needy. A gospel preacher doing God’s work may be poor and needy and we must help him apart from the remuneration of food. Failure to meet his needs may even cost entry to eternal life (Matt 25:31-46).

However, Paul in 1 Cor.9, Paul’s letter is open ended implying wrong conclusions.

1Cor 9:13-14 Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.

Paul is giving the example of altar and mentioning food as a remuneration exactly as Jesus said. However, verse 14, is open ended giving an opportunity to have a living from just preaching the gospel which Christ did not say.

1Cor 9:18 What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.

Even though Paul lived correctly as Jesus taught, his teaching to have a living from preaching the gospel is incorrect. Hence, Paul seems to contradict Jesus on the remuneration for preaching the gospel.

25. On how one becomes a child of God wrong

Paul says:
Rom 8:23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Gal 4:5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Jesus says:
John 3:3,6-7 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is begotten from above,* he cannot see the kingdom of God. … That which is begotten of the flesh is flesh, and that which is begotten of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, `You must be begotten from above.*

* John 3:3 and 3:7 are the author’s translations. These differ from the RSV only in the expression “begotten from above” that replaces “born anew’ in the RSV. “Born anew” does not represent the fullness of what Jesus is stating here, and does not correspond to the literatal translation of the Greek, anothen (a()nwqen).

Paul is using a different terminology ‘adoption as sons’ not used by Jesus or His disciples.

  • Jesus used born again (literally born from above) – John 3:3
  • Peter used born again – 1 Pet 1:23
  • John used born of God – 1 John 3:9

Hos 1:10b And it shall come to pass In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There it shall be said to them, ‘You are sons of the living God.’

Rom 9:26 “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.”

Paul’s argument comes from the prophet Hosea on how we will be adopted as sons of the living God.

Luke 20:35-36 “But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

Matt 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.

Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.

Jesus does refer those who are worthy to attain salvation as sons of God. He also mentioned that the peacemakers and those who love/being kind to their enemies will be called as sons of God. But Jesus never said anything about adoption but born of God or born from above. To be born of God, we must be never sin (1 John 3:9) or become free from sin  (John 8:34-35) to abide in God’s house. We cannot enter the kingdom of God without being born of the Spirit (John 3:5).

Gal 4:5-7 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Paul however, introduces a new doctrine of adoption as sons, not taught by Jesus. One can become a son by two ways.

  • Born – Jesus says we must be born of God
  • Adopted – Paul says we are adopted by God

The implications are dangerous because, being adopted means, it is not something we can do to get adopted but being born means, we must cast away very sinful things from our lives to be sinless.

John 3:10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?

Paul is expected to know these things as a Pharisee just like Nicodemus but messes up. Here, Paul does clearly contradict Jesus and we need throw away any teaching that contradicts with Jesus’ teaching.


Paul is a vessel used mightily by God for His purpose. This does not make Paul equal with Christ or his letters equal with Christ’s teachings. It is important for us to understand that Paul does not know many things what Christ taught during His ministry and relied on Peter and James. This is why, few teachings of Paul contradicts with what Jesus taught. Christ’s teachings always supersedes Paul’s letters. We are called to build our lives on Christ’s sayings which must be our foundation for us to be called wise, then build over it using Paul’s letter and not the other way around. Most importantly, never reject Christ’s teachings in favor of Paul’s letters.

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