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Archive for June 8th, 2013

 11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother. 20 (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.

“…reveal His Son to me…” He did not reveal the Gospel to Paul on the road to Damascus, but His Son. The Lord was pleased to do that.  He is pleased to save sinners.  He rejoices with all His angels over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:10).   Jesus Christ is Himself the content, the form and power of the good message, the good news, the Gospel.  The Gospel is not a bromide or advice but the power unto eternal life, as Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and the life. What happened to Paul on the road to Damascus was not his conversion but it was the Lord’s revelation to Paul. Paul would be converted when he was baptized (Acts 9:16-18).

 Paul uses the verb and noun, reveal/revelation twice.  The Greek word for revelation is “apocalypse”.  The Lord invaded Paul’s life with His eternal life by apocalypse.  We think of apocalypse as the end of the world.  It is! When Christ Jesus, His crucifixion and resurrection is preached, there is forgiveness and repentance.  Yes, the world ends.  The world of  sin, death and the power of the devil has been conquered by Christ Jesus upon the Cross and through the tomb.  This is by no means “man’s gospel”. Man’s good news is who won the lottery, the diagnosis was good or it will be  sunny tomorrow for the church picnic.  Christ Jesus’ good news is He died for sinners like Saul, like us all. 

O Lord, Father of all mercy and God of all comfort, You always go before and follow after us. Grant that we may rejoice in Your gracious presence and continually be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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