Sunday, October 2, 2016


by Russel S. Miller

"But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, To reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood" (Gal. 1:15,16).

From the moment of his birth, Paul, like Jeremiah (1:5) of old, was selected by the Lord to "preach among the heathen" (Gal. 1:16). But unlike Jeremiah, Paul was not called to be a prophet. In Romans 11:13 he states the reason for which God had called him:

"For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office" (Rom. 11:13).

In Ephesians 3:8, we read these words concerning his ministry:

"Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ."

The Lord was in Paul’s life from his birth, working behind the scenes in his early training, his schooling, being also "brought up in [Jerusalem] at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers" (Acts 22:3). In other words God had Paul, and this dispensation of grace, in mind all the while and "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph. 1:11).

It was at Damascus -— upon the conversion of this Saul of Tarsus -— that Christ began to reveal Himself unto him! Acts 9 marks the beginning of "the revelation of Jesus Christ" in Paul’s life (Gal. 1:11,12; Acts 26:16-18; I Tim. 1:15-16).

"And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus" (I Tim. 1:14).

Thus, we discover that both before and after Acts 28 the Apostle’s afflictions were on account of his God-given call to minister the gospel of the grace of God.

"Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh, for His Body’s sake, which is the Church; WHEREOF I AM MADE A MINISTER, according to the dispensation of God WHICH IS GIVEN TO ME for you, to fulfill the Word of God; Even THE MYSTERY which has been HID FROM AGES AND FROM GENERATIONS, but has NOW been made manifest to His saints" (Col. 1:24-26).

It was concerning THIS call and ministry of grace that Paul wrote Timothy: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" (II Tim. 4:7).

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