Sunday, December 25, 2022

SAUL OF TARSUS

'Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.' - 2 Corinthians 5 vs 17

Greetings dearly beloved of God in Christ. I trust God to bless you immensely with the blessings of the Gospel as you read through these words which I now bring to you. This publication is a revelation of our Salvation in Christ. Be blessed. Patiently read.

The man Saul, who is presently now known and referred to as Paul (the Apostle) is one in whose life, one can see the explanation and definition of the Salvation which is in Christ.

'And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 
And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 
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 vs 1 - 5 {KING JAMES VERSION}

This is Saul; a man who persecuted the Church, he killed Christians, made many homeless, made many widows and widowers, Saul! See what he said of himself;

'For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it...' - Galatians 1 vs 13 {KJV}

The Good News Bible translation further simplifies this text. Let's take a look at it;

'You have been told how I used to live when I was devoted to the Jewish religion, how I persecuted without mercy the church of God and did my best to destroy it.'

This was Saul! He destroyed men (Christians), then he meets the Lord! And at once, he encounters Salvation in Christ, and he is born again. Glory to God. Now, I want to show you something, it's sensitive. After Saul who is called Paul has come into Christ and is now born again, he goes back to the churches he persecuted and begins to preach to them. Uhmm! One time, see what he said about himself after his Conversion;

'Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.' - 2 Corinthians 7 vs 2 {KJV}

'Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one; we have ruined no one, nor tried to take advantage of anyone.' - 2 Corinthians 7 vs 2 {GNB}

He asked that the church received him (them); he said he had wronged no man, he said had not ruined any one. Wait! But this was the same Paul (Saul) who we read about that ruined people, but here he speaks Saintly! Yes! See Paul's understanding/mentality;

'And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith...' - Philippians 3 vs 9 {KJV}

'and be completely united with him. I no longer have a righteousness of my own, the kind that is gained by obeying the Law. I now have the righteousness that is given through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God and is based on faith.' - Philippians 3 vs 9 {GNB}

Paul didn't speak on the basis of his own righteousness, no! Paul stood on the righteousness which is given by faith in Christ, Paul's confidence was on the grace of God in Christ!

  • And be found in Him not having mine own righteousness

Paul knew he had no personal righteousness to stand upon, he just gave us his records!

'You have been told how I used to live when I was devoted to the Jewish religion, how I persecuted without mercy the church of God and did my best to destroy it.' - Galatians 1 vs 13 {GNB}

You see... Hence, he held on to the righteousness which is freely given by faith in Christ. Standing upon that righteousness, a man is completely guiltless, because it is God that has called him righteous. This is Salvation, a free gift! - Selah

'For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)' - Romans 5 vs 17 {KJV}

Here we see THE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. There is a righteousness that is based on what a man does or don't do, and there's a righteousness that's freely given by God. When a man came to Christ, God gave him the gift of righteousness, whereby before God, his perfection, sanctification, holiness and right standing will not be based on what he has done or what he does, but by his believing (faith) in what Christ has done for him. Hence the Bible says;

'Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.' - 2 Corinthians 5 vs 17 {KJV}

  • If any man be in Christ
  • He is a new creature

A new creature! Hallelujah! That means he is not the man you knew before! This is another creature! My friend, this is the Gospel, this is the Truth, the truth that sets free!

Apostle Paul therefore having knowledge of these things, spoke in accordance to who he is in Christ, and not according to what he was! - Think about it

'Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.' - 2 Corinthians 7 vs 2 {KJV}

Ooo this is just exciting! Paul didn't speak with any sense of guilt or condemnation, he spoke according to the righteousness which he has become in Christ, and he was right! I have wronged no man! I have ruined no man! Glory to God!

'Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.' - 2 Corinthians 5 vs 16 {KJV}

This is the same Paul teaching the brethren not to judge men according to the human point of view. The Good News Bible translation puts it simpler for understanding. Let's see it;

'No longer, then, do we judge anyone by human standards. Even if at one time we judged Christ according to human standards, we no longer do so.'

  • We don't judge anyone by human standards

This was when he went further to say;

'Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.' - 2 Corinthians 5 vs 17 {KJV}

'Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come.' - {GNB}

Oo Hallelujah! This clearly explains to us that who we are as Believers is not what we did in the past, but what Christ has achieved for us in His death, burial and resurrection.

Therefore beloved, what have you done in the past? Does it haunt you even till this day? Know today that who you are is what Christ has made you, and not what you did in the past. Be inspired by the story of Paul and live in absolute peace.

God loves you, never forget that. God wants you well, and wants you to be at rest.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

- Jenning U. Angel

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