Friday, March 18, 2016
I believe the scriptures are God inspired. I believe that Jesus appeared to Paul just as Luke describes in Acts:
And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. (Acts 9:3-5 KJV)
Jesus knew the answer to His own question, and that Paul was fighting a battle within himself just as he was fighting Christians. I’ve wondered who – if Paul had continued to deny Christ – would have taken his place in God’s plan for the gospel to spread.
Wait – if you think that only Paul could have accomplished the job, you’ve forgotten Esther:
For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14 KJV)
God is not mentioned by name in Esther, but I believe Mordecai was referring to Him and his ability to provide deliverance through another if Esther refused. None of us are necessary for God’s plan to be accomplished, but He is necessary for our lives to be complete.
Completeness is what Paul preached, through more books in the Bible than any other of God’s servants. He knew the difference between meat and milk when it came to understanding God’s word:
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. (1 Corinthians 3:1-2 KJV)
New Christians have a lot to learn, and some things to unlearn. We are carnal – and even that word requires an explanation to a new Christian. It comes from the Greek σαρκικός “pertaining to flesh, that is, (by extension) bodily, temporal, or (by implication) animal, unregenerate.” Nothing spiritual there – and Christians are spiritual – as Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well:
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24 KJV)
Paul addressed this need to teach those who did not know Christ:
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10:13-15 KJV)
Even writing about “All The Counsel” takes me more words than I can fit on one page – join me tomorrow, please. Not for completeness, but for the need for each to grow on their own.