555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

370. Do the Pauline Epistles Contain All that Is Essential to Salvation?




It is quite proper to lay special emphasis upon the writings of Paul, because he was especially chosen of God to interpret the life and death of the Saviour to the hearts and minds of men, particularly of those who were not Jews. Furthermore, Paul was authorized to show that the requirements of the ceremonial law, as recorded by Moses, were done away with by the sacrifice of Christ. In this way it is easy to see that the explanation of the salvation wrought by the atonement is of more spiritual value than the precepts of the old law of sacrifices and ceremonies, which are no longer in force. The tremendous value of Paul's writings lies in the fact that he shows men the practical, immediate way of receiving salvation, not by the keeping of commandments, but by faith in the crucified Saviour. Granting all this, however, it is great folly to say that the other parts of the Bible are unimportant. The Pentateuch is full of flashes of God's presence and God's will, containing holy principles which are eternal, and recording the experiences of men who knew'God; the historical books show God working in the life of a nation; the poetical and wisdom books give us inspiration and instruction for daily living; the prophetic books give us glimpses of the coming Saviour and are pulsating with direct, personal messages from God to the human soul; the Gospels help us to get acquainted with the Redeemer and to understand the kind of life he wants us to live and his hope for the world; the Acts give us clear pictures of men who were impelled by the power of the Holy Ghost and challenge us to let the risen Christ work through us as he worked through them; the other epistles are full of spiritual help, and the book of Revelation gives us visions of the life to come. All are important; all help us to know Christ better; all lead us to God. We must not slight these other books, even while agreeing that Paul is the direct messenger to us Gentiles to show us the way ef salvation by faith.