The New Testament Church
Systematic and Biblical
“A New Testament Church Ministry’s Perspective of the Apostle Doctrines”
Bishop J. L. Payne, DD ThD
Christian Theology over the last three or more decades:
There has been a revolutionary breakthrough in New Testament understanding of the Apostle's Doctrines throughout the Christian Church. The 21st Century holds an even greater breakthrough. There has also been new understanding regarding the teaching and preaching of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Academic minds in the Christian world has re-examined the teaching of the Apostle. One clear truth has emerged, that is the understanding and teaching of the Doctrine of the Kingdom of God. Theological debate has been very few in relationship to this study and it unveiling. The facts are evident through the New Testament teaching of the letters of the first-century Apostle to the Gentiles, Paul of Tarsus. We now recognized that the Apostle Paul was not merely engaging first-century challenge to Judaism on its own terms, certainly not in the context as Protestant-Catholic debates of the sixteenth century. A new historical perspective on the meaning of Paul's position for and against the Jews, which occupies so much of his recorded correspondence in several of his earlier written epistles, is based on the perspective that the recognition that he gives to Judaism is not a religion of self-righteousness whereby humankind seeks to merit salvation before God. So many Christian minds interpret it in this manner. Paul's argument with the Judaizers was not about Christian grace versus Jewish legalism. Rather, his argument was more about the status of Gentiles in the church. Paul's doctrine of justification, therefore, had far more to do with Jewish-Gentile issues than with questions of the individual's status of Judaizers before God and their interpretation of the law as it applied to Christ. With this new perspective on the challenge Paul brings to the first century church (the beginning of the New Testament Church), we are now able to: . Better understand the Apostle's Doctrines, teaching of Paul, the Apostle and the early church leadership; . Be able to reconcile contemporary biblical thought with a working and practical Christian theology for today; . Above all we can build a common ground between all faiths of Christ, Catholics, Jews and Protestants; . Improve dialogue between Christians and Jews; and find a flesh theological foundation for our faith and the social existence and justice between us as universal followers of Christ of all faith throughout the world. We must recognize the Christian banner we carry and the universal faith we embrace for all men and women to be saved.