Grace Life Church                                                                                                                     Proclaiming Jesus Christ and the Gospel of God's Grace                                                                                                                                                                

 WHY SAVE SAUL?


"I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ."

Gal. 1:11-12

Why did the risen Lord Jesus Christ reach down from heaven to save His primary human adversary, Saul of Tarsus, and then make him Paul the Apostle who would go on to author 13 out of the 27 New Testament Books? 
   
The answer to this question provides us with great insight into God's wonderful salvation plan in operation today in God's program for us today. The following verses help us find the answer:

"I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them." (Rom. 11:13)

"I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ." (Gal. 1:11-12)

"Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus." (Eph. 3:2-6)

The Apostle Paul was the only apostle called from the glory of heaven by the risen Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord also gave him a different commission than the one given to the other apostles. He was sent to preach the gospel of God's grace to the Gentiles (Gal. 2:1-9). That's us!  

Furthermore, it is important to know that it's primarily in Paul's letters that the believer can most fully learn the "the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding" (Eph. 1:7-8). It is in Paul's epistles that we can understand exactly what God is doing today in the dispensation of grace, or the Church Age. It is the Apostle Paul, who calls himself a servant of the church, who tells us in wonderful detail about our true identity in Christ and the rich spiritual blessings we possess as members of the church, the Body of Christ.

"I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness - the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:25-27) 

Since the day of Pentecost and right up to today, God has been forming the church, the Body of Christ, a spiritual organism that all believers are joined to! Paul received this revelation directly from the risen Christ and in Eph. 3:3 refers to this as "the mystery of Christ" now revealed. In fact, Paul makes it clear that the gospel he preached was not given to him from any person and that he wasn't taught it.

"I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ." (Gal. 1:11-12)

Paul was a unique apostle. He didn't even qualify as an apostle according the clear qualifications found in Acts 1:21-22! God gave him a new gospel to preach. God commissioned Paul to proclaim Jesus Christ "according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known..." (Rom. 16:25-25).

One aspect of "the mystery" that God revealed to the Apostle Paul is that God's program for His chosen people, Israel, had been set aside. It had been interrupted by a new program that was part of God's wonderful salvation plan for the world from eternity past. God’s program for the nation of Israel is separate and distinct from the program in effect today in the dispensation of grace.  

This new "mystery program" started at Pentecost, after Jesus had ascended into heaven, when the Holy Spirit came and filled the Apostles (Acts 2). This was the beginning of the church, the Body of Christ. It was the first time God, through the Person of the Holy Spirit, would come to live permanently inside people. This is the amazing indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit! The spirit of Christ lives in all believers through the Person and presence of the Holy Spirit!   

Understanding this fundamental dispensational issue is the key to experiencing victory in your Christian life. It's fundamental to correctly understanding your Bible. God's wonderful grace program that was instituted through the all-sufficient work of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, is the program and rule of life for the believer today. We live in the age of amazing grace! God’s grace has set us free!

"For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace." (Rom.  6:14) 

"In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." (Eph. 3:12)

It's in Paul's letters that we learn in great detail the amazing truths about what God provides for His children, through His Son, Jesus Christ. Paul wonderfully teaches us about the riches of God's grace to us!

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." (Eph. 1:3)

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Gal. 2:20)

"For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority." (Col. 2:9-10)

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Cor. 5:17) 

You need to know the fantastic news that in Christ God has given you a new identity! The moment you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ and his work at the cross for the forgiveness of your sins, you became a new creation. T
he Bible also says we are complete in Christ. All that God is able to give us He has already given to us who are in Christ! We don’t have to work and strive to receive spiritual blessings from God our Father. He has already given to us all the spiritual blessings He can give us because we are in His Son!  

God wants us to rest in a clear understanding of our new identity in His Son. He wants us to 
rest in His Word to us. His Word tells us exactly how He sees us.

"To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27) 
 

Rather than seeing yourself inaccurately as you may often do based on your fleeting feelings that are unreliable, or how others wrongly see you, why not see yourself as God sees you? Why not rest and rejoice in your new identity in Christ? Seeing yourself as God sees you will radically change your life. Understanding that, as a believer, you possess perfect righteousness because you have the perfect righteousness of the Son of God, sets you free to live the abundant life God wants you to live.

The Apostle Paul was saved completely by God's grace. After his salvation, his apostolic ministry of proclaiming the gospel of grace to the Gentiles as the apostle to the Gentiles, was motivated by God's love and grace to him (2 Cor. 5:14). What a change from the man who, prior to his salvation, aggressively worked to destroy the church! He's a wonderful example to us today of the transforming power of God's incredible grace! Paul's life shows the world that God's grace can reach, save, and transform even the worst of us.

Praise God forever for his love and wisdom!


"Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."
 
Rom. 6:3-4



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