Tag Archives: Apostle Paul

What we can learn from Paul’s meeting with Jesus.

Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—  and all the brothers and sisters with me,

To the churches in Galatia.’  (Galatians 1v1-2)

Okay, today we starts a new series investigating what the Book of Galatians can teach us about how God’s Holy Spirit works in the lives of individuals. In particular the life of Paul who is not your typical convert to Christianity as he initially comes to destroy it.

Those who know the story of Saul’s conversion from henchman seeking out Christians to  Apostle of the faith for Jesus will know his conversion was anything but ordinary.  That is why he opens in v1 with the words:

Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.’

Initially, Saul – as he was known then – was sent by the Jewish authorities to round up those who had converted to christianity with orders to put them into prison with the possibility of death (as with the stoning of Stephen where Saul held their cloak). However, it was months later, as Saul approached Damascus to arrest more followers of the (Christian) Way, that a Light – bright as the sun – causes him to fall to the ground and the accompanying voice questioned Him. “Saul! Saul! why do you persecute me?’

Confused, Saul asks ‘Who are you Lord’ and the Light replied, ‘I am Jesus whom you persecute.’ (Saul did not realise that persecuting the followers of Christ was tantamount to persecuting Jesus Christ.’ Blinded by the Light he is led into Damascus and later converts to Christianity as a man (Ananias) prays for him and he receives his sight – not just physically but spiritually, Saul’s eyes are open as to God’s plan to place his Holy Spirit in every person who will receive his Holy Spirit and so his mission as Paul – a convert – begins as he sent not from men (in Jerusalem) or a man but by God Himself as revealed in the person of Christ! An exciting mission of taking the gospel to the world at great cost to himself and for the glory of God.

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Upside down world?

‘For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.’ 1 Corinthians 13v12

It took me a couple of seconds to work out which feet belonged to the person and which was the reflection. Of course, I wasn’t expecting the picture to be upside down with the reflection at the top and the actual feet below.

The Apostle Paul in describing spiritual realities and the Kingdom of God compares the imagined reality to the actual reality by likening it to an image seen in a mirror in which one is clear and one is blurred. For us, who have never seen the Kingdom of God, our imagining of what it’s like is going to be at best dim or blurred compared to the reality. Why? Because we have yet to see it and, try as we might, it goes beyond our human comprehension.

In 2 Peter 3v16, the Apostle Peter observes of Paul that:

he writes the same way in all his letters…and that his letters contain some things that are hard to understand.’

This has to be one of the great understatements of the Bible.  As Paul himself implies, our best attempts at imaging what God and His Kingdom are like, will always be beyond us. That is, until the day we meet with God face to face.  Until then, we live with the uncertainty in the promise that what we now know in part; we shall know fully, even as we are fully known.

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