There’s so much meat in the New Testament for the new Christian, but lots of side dishes for the old one too. The Apostle, Paul was a man seeped in the Old Testament and the laws and traditions of the Jewish religion. He was dedicated to persecuting Christians. and determined to nip the heresy of this new form of worship in the bud. He witnessed the stoning of many and stood idly by as they took their last, dying breath.
When Paul was called by God to spread the Gospel, God knew this zealous man was just the right one to accomplish His work. Paul was well schooled in the covenant God had established long ago with Abraham. He knew the traditions – the works righteousness – the empty sacrifices, but God had a different plan for this persecutor of His Son.
Paul had a strong will. He thought he was doing the right things and yet his love for God was driven by his own interests. He’d grown up believing that if he followed the Old Testament laws and did everything according to the Commandments, he’d be fine.
We sometimes think that way as Christians. We go through life believing if we follow God’s rules and do good to others, that’s all we need – but we aren’t really allowing God to do His work in us. There is so much more to it.
God uses us as His instrument for spreading the Gospel. He puts Jesus at the forefront of our witnessing and gives us the confidence we need to do the job. Through Him we are assured of forgiveness. Through Him we have freedom from the laws of sacrifice, because He became the Lamb without blemish when He sacrificed Himself for the remission of our sins. He paid the ultimate price. Through Him we have victory over death. He died so we could live and He rose to life again to prove to us that we would never die. His greatest gift to us is the gift of eternal life.
Our gratitude for His amazing grace should manifest itself in the way we serve Him. We do so with a grateful heart. We are so thankful that we want others to know about the reason for our joy. The way to eternity is insured, so it’s up to us to bring others to that knowledge. Also we should study His Word and follow it’s precepts for a Godly life, not because it will win us a spot in heaven. That’s already assured. We do so because of our love for Jesus and the price He paid.
This is not only good news for God’s people – it’s great news for a world crying for hope. Our zeal for this amazing gift should never die.