God's Covenant To Paul the Apostle
Saul of Tarsus was a vicious man who was entrusted by his Jewish leaders to fulfill the mission of obliterating Jesus' early followers.
Yet, the unexpected happened. On the road to Damascus something happened to Saul that changed him and the course of history forever. On the road to Damascus, Paul was blinded by a divine light and so weakened that he could not eat for three days or nights. (Acts 9:3-9)
Shortly after arriving at Damascus, the Lord sent Ananias to Saul to place his hands to return Saul's sight. (Acts 9:10-19) In this healing, Saul's strength was returned and the Lord gave a vision as promised to Ananias:
Almost immediately Paul (who was previously Saul) began preaching and proving that Jesus was the Christ as promised in the Old Testament, to the astonishment and wrath of the local Jews. Here one of their most trusted had become an advocate for their perceived adversaries, and so they plotted to murder him. Thus Paul was sent packing back to his home town of Tarsus. (Acts: 9:20-30)
If we look at the change in Paul and his ministry from only an earthly political interpretation, then this is the end of the matter. You either are of the faction of Jesus, or you are not of the faction of Jesus. For those who did not see in Spirit, Paul's shift to becoming an apostle for Jesus was seen from the Old Testament Jews' perspective as abandoning God's people.
However, what this limited interpretation overlooks is Paul's own perspective in the matter. Now in the early days of Paul's apostolic ministry, his own internal motives might only have been articulate orally to a few close confidantes. However, if we look at Pauls' later writings, we see clear evidence of God's divine revelation, and God's ultimate plan for reconciling not just the gentiles but also the Jews. In fact, we see evidence that God entered into a covenant with Paul that included both the gentiles and the Jews. For example
Paul explores this more fully in Romans 11 , where he explains that:
Paul then goes on to reveal God's plan for reconciling both Jew and Gentile, and thus the covenant by which Paul moved to redeem not just the Gentile but also the Jew:
Paul then continues that God's covenant covers more than the Jews and gentiles churches, but all the peoples of all the nations:
Thus God's vision covers all of all humanity: male and female, young and old, weathly or poor, sick or healthy, black or white. God is not limited to the artibitrary human divisions of race, colour, nationality, denomination, gender, political alliances, cultural history. God does not see reconciliation through our works or our history, but rather through our faith and willingness to keep his Sabbath and abide within His covenants.
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