Praise the Lord.
Finally, I’ve figured it out.
If you can discredit the Apostle Paul and his ministry, it’s free sailing from there on.
After all, he was the one that opposed so many things that today, the world has said is not so bad.
Wow! Funny thing is, you would then have to completely overlook what God, Jesus did just to get Paul to convert in the first place. Remember, his name was Saul in the beginning and he persecuted the Jews, all Christians, putting them to death at just his spoken word. He felt justified because his orders came from the Sanhedrin Counsel, the High Order at the time, so all was good. Well until is Damascus Road experience.
Acts 9:1-19Amplified Bible (AMP): The Conversion of Saul
9 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord [and relentless in his search for believers], went to the high priest, 2 and he asked for letters [of authority] from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any men or women there belonging to the Way [believers, followers of Jesus the Messiah], men and women alike, he could arrest them and bring them bound [with chains] to Jerusalem.
3 As he traveled he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him [displaying the glory and majesty of Christ]; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice [from heaven] saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting and oppressing Me?”
5 And Saul said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He answered, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, 6 now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 The men who were traveling with him [were terrified and] stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.
9 And he was unable to see for three days, and he neither ate nor drank. 10 Now in Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he answered, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called [d]Straight, and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul; for he is praying [there],
12 and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come in and place his hands on him, so that he may regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many people about this man, especially how much suffering and evil he has brought on Your saints (God’s people) at Jerusalem; 14 and here [in Damascus] he has authority from the high priests to put in chains all who call on Your name [confessing You as Savior].”
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is a [deliberately] chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; 16 for I will make clear to him how much he must suffer and endure for My name’s sake.” 17 So Ananias left and entered the house, and he laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came [to Damascus], has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit [in order to proclaim Christ to both Jews and Gentiles].”
18 Immediately something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized; 19 and he took some food and was strengthened.
And so his ministry begins.
So, question? If his ministry was of no real significance, why did Jesus go to such incredible lengths to convert him and use him when He had access to all the disciples at the time?
Why not one of them?
Fact of the matter, none of them went through as such a great initiation to be used by Jesus.
So if there is one that we should mostly follow in teaching, it should be Paul, the one that wrote the MOST books of all, writing one half of the NT, which by the way actually starts with the Book of Acts. Acts 2: 38 starts the process whereby which you become adopted into the body of Christ to become joint heirs.
The main reason his teachings and ministry are not accepted by many is because he was a no nonsense straight, no chancer kind of teacher. He was to the point and there was no sugar coating or watered down tap dancing.
Next week I will get into more detail as to what he encountered and why it is more important than ever before to engulf yourself into his writings, but start with Acts 2 so that you will develop a more complete understanding of why he wrote in the manner in which he did. He starts later in Acts but you need to develop the foundation that we say is the beginning of the NT church.
Till next week,
Rev. Dr. Robert L. Harrison, PhD