2 Corinthians 5:14-21
By Charles F. Baker
Christian missions have to a large extent, been unmindful of the distinctive message and ministry of Paul, and have sought to establish a missionary program upon the commission and the methods of the Kingdom of the Heavens, as set forth in the four Gospels and as developed in the first half of the book of Acts. They have supposed that apart from Matthew 28:19-20 and Mark 16:15-16 there could be no such things as missions. They refer to these words as the last spoken by our Lord and plead the incumbency devolving upon us to know His last expressed wishes, apparently forgetful of the fact that He afterward spoke many things to the Apostle Paul from Heaven, and that, not merely to confirm what He had spoken while upon the earth, but to reveal an entirely new dispensation of things which had been KEPT SECRET from all preceding generations.
We affirm that Paul’s epistles contain a complete system of doctrine for the present dispensation, including the commission, message and methods. The counterpart is also true, that the Scriptures dealing explicitly with the Messianic Kingdom of the Heavens also contain a complete system of doctrine. The commission, message and methods for the earthly kingdom differ in many respects from those given to members of the Body of Christ. Therefore it is of utmost importance that we propagate Paul’s message by Paul’s commission and not Peter’s. And of course what is even more important: we should not use methods which are of mere human origin.