WAS SAUL A PASTOR, A PROPHET, OR AN EVANGELIST?
by Shawn Brasseaux
Saul/Paul exercised numerous spiritual gifts, not just one or a few.
- APOSTLE. When Paul wrote his 13 epistles, Romans through Philemon, he wrote as “an apostle of Jesus Christ.” See Romans 1:1, 1 Corinthians 1:1, 2 Corinthians 1:1, Galatians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1, Colossians 1:1, 1 Thessalonians 2:6, 1 Timothy 1:1, 2 Timothy 1:1, and Titus 1:1. The God of the Bible, Jesus Christ, directly sent Paul to us Gentiles (Acts 9:15-16; Acts 26:15-18; Romans 1:5; Romans 11:13; Romans 15:16; Romans 16:25-26; 1 Timothy 1:11-16; 1 Timothy 2:5-7; Titus 1:1-3; et al.).
- PROPHET AND TEACHER. Acts 13:1-2 calls Paul a “prophet” and a “teacher.” He was a prophet in that he spoke on behalf of the God of the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 13:2, he claimed to have “the gift of prophecy.” Paul was one of the “prophets” and one of the “teachers” referenced in Ephesians 4:11. He was one of the “prophets” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 2:20.
- PREACHER, APOSTLE, AND TEACHER. In 1 Timothy 2:7, Paul calls himself, “a preacher,” “an apostle,” and “a teacher of the Gentiles.” He was a preacher in that he proclaimed the Gospel of the Grace of God to all nations. As noted earlier, he was an apostle in the sense of being directly commissioned by the ascended Lord Jesus Christ. Paul was one of the “apostles” referenced in 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 2:20, and Ephesians 4:11. For over 30 years, Paul traveled throughout the then-known world, with signs and wonders often accompanying the Word he preached (2 Corinthians 12:12). Paul was a teacher in that he instructed Gentiles in the doctrine of this the Dispensation of the Grace of God. Paul was one of the “teachers” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 4:11.
- PASTOR. Paul was one of the “pastors” referenced in Ephesians 4:11. He was a “pastor” in the sense that he would feed God’s flock. As a shepherd would guide his sheep, the Holy Spirit worked in and through Paul to guide the members of the Church the Body of Christ into the doctrines of grace.
- EVANGELIST. Paul also was an evangelist because he shared the Gospel of the Grace of God with others. He was one of the “evangelists” referenced in Ephesians 4:11.
Paul had a number of spiritual gifts rather than one or a couple. Chiefly, he was an apostle, but he was also a prophet, an evangelist, a pastor, and a teacher. It is important to remember that Paul did not write as an evangelist or a preacher or a teacher. He wrote as an apostle, the highest authority that God gave to the Church the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:28).
It is quite a shock to most that God’s spokesman to us Gentiles in the Dispensation of Grace is not Jesus in His earthly ministry, or Peter or John or Jude. They did not have ministries in our mystery program—their ministry was to Israel first (Matthew 10:5-7; Matthew 15:24; Acts 1:8; Acts 3:24-26). The Apostle Paul had an all-men message and ministry (Romans 1:5,14; Romans 16:25-26; 1 Timothy 2:5-7). Paul was not sent to Israel first. As Israel would turn primarily to Moses, Genesis through Deuteronomy, to learn God’s Word for her, so we turn to Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, to learn God’s information for us. We do not exalt Paul, but rather we magnify the ministry that the ascended Lord Jesus Christ gave him (Romans 11:13). By honoring what Jesus Christ honors, we honor Jesus Christ.
Notice what the Lord Jesus Christ said in John 13:20: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” Now, notice Paul’s testimony in Acts 26:15-18: “ And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.  But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;  Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee [Paul is the “apostle,” the sent one, of the Gentiles; Romans 11:13],  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
Finally, note what the Holy Spirit moved Paul to write in 1 Corinthians 14:37: “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” If we reject the Apostle Paul, then we reject what the Lord Jesus Christ had to say through Paul. What Paul wrote are the Lord Jesus Christ’s words to us Gentiles in the Dispensation of Grace. Dear friends, if we cannot believe these simple truths, or we cannot see these simple truths, we would do well to remove our denominational eyeglasses and toss them out!