The Gaius Dilemma
The Question below has been posed to attempt to derail the idea that Peter & the apostles of Israel’s Kingdom Program and Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles did not have separate ministries, along with different messages.
“Why would John write to Gaius (3 John) (a convert of Paul’s)? What could he have to offer Gaius if John is ministering to the little flock and Gaius is part of the body of Christ?”
In Addressing the issue of Gaius, I must sternly say, this is a week objection. Using one verse to try and combat tons of others is not a strong tactic. But on this note, notice that Gaius was apparently a very common name among the Romans. In Acts and in the epistles there are five persons of this name.
1.) Acts 19:29, called a man of Macedonia, and Paul’s companion in travel.
2.) Gaius of Derbe, a city of Lycaonia, mentionedActs 20:4.
3.)Gaius with whom St. Paul lodged at Corinth, and called his host,Acts 16:23.
4.)One of that name, whom the apostle had baptized at Corinth, mentioned 1 Corinthians 1:14, who probably was the same person with the Gaius last mentioned.
5.)A Gaius to whom John wrote this epistle, who is clearly a different person from all those above mentioned; because the apostle claims to “father” him and the others with him , 3 John 1:4; he could not say this of the Gaiuses mentioned above.
Notice how intentional Paul is about not building on another man’s foundation, or in other words, taking individuals who have already received a dispensation of information from God and try to persuade or change them. (This is not to say that Paul did not speak to or minister to those of the “little flock.” Paul even laid hands on individuals who had only heard John the Baptist’s gospel in order to get them up to speed with what God was doing.)
Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation: But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.
I believe it is more than fair to conclude that Peter would not have tried to “build on another man’s foundation” either.
It is more than important to understand that Peter and Paul, by God’s design and choosing, preached different messages to different audiences. Read it clearly:
But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
Did you notice in the verse above where it says “grace that was given unto me (Paul)?”
1 Corinthians 3:10
According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1 Corinthians 9:17
For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
Not only was Paul given a special dispensation from God, he was also deemed at the “masterbuilder.” Paul was the foreman, contractor, and overseer of the dispensation of grace.
This argument is one that hopes to catch off guard and debunk the real issue. There is so much negativity toward Mid Acts Dispensationalism, but with every conversation I have with those who object, I see that the real issue is not with the facts not lining up… But rather, it’s the refusal of something that’s not “mainstream” or popular Christianity.
When one learns to rightly divide, he or she no longer has the need to make excuses for the Bible. Rather, the Word of God can speak clearly and boldly for itself. Do you trust your Bible? I hope so… If you do, learn to study it the way God prescribed. Learn to make distinctions between Law and Grace, Israel and the body of Christ, and the messages of Peter and Paul.
Come study with us, Grace Bible Fellowship, every Thursday night at 7 and on Sundays at 10 and 11. We meet at the Rogersville, AL Senior Citizens Center.
Christ is our Foundation. The death of Jesus Christ for sins and ressurection for justification is our message. Seeing the lost saved and teaching faithful men, who strive to understand the mystery and know how to rightly divide, who are able to teach others also is our mission.