Paul, referring to the church in Corinth as “God’s building”, likened himself – as an apostle – to a “skilled master builder” (2 Cor 3:10). The Greek word for “master builder” is architekton, reflecting that the builder in the Greco-Roman world functioned as both architect and builder, Paul functioning as both.
Not only was he an apostle, but more significantly the apostle to the Gentiles (Gal 2:8-9). He was uniquely the architect of God’s plan to redeem and re-create the earth; to bring all nations to the “obedience of faith” through the Gospel (Rom 1:5; 16:26); and thus, to subdue all Christ’s enemies (Ps 110; 1 Cor 15:25; Eph 1:22; Heb 2:8), filling the whole earth with the knowledge of God’s glory (Eph 4:10; Num 14:21; Hab 2:14).
Paul was God’s chosen instrument to lay the apostolic foundation for God’s earth-purpose, universally—for all times and all places. He was thus the proto-typical apostle.
Consequently, we must recover Pauline theology and practice – Paul’s architecture – if we are to lay the foundation of Christ and thereby prove to be instrumental in global transformation.
It is thus imperative that we recover the Pauline message, mission, and mode: his theology, his assignment, and his method. All three are discovered in his epistles and Luke’s record of Paul’s mission to the nations.