“When I think of all this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit of you Gentiles. . . assuming, by the way, that you know God gave me the special responsibility of extending his grace to you Gentiles. As I briefly wrote earlier, God himself revealed his mysterious plan to me. As you read what I have written, you will understand my insight into this plan regarding Christ. God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets. And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus. By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.”
Ephesians 3:1-7 NLT
Paul, the intelligent Pharisee who was rising among the ranks of the most prominent religious leaders of the Jews, is now being thrown in prison and threatened with death for preaching the good news of Jesus to the Gentiles. God had totally transformed this man's understanding. He was convinced that Judaism (the Jewish religion) was the truth. There was only one problem. Judaism was only pointing toward the Cross. Learning and practicing the statutes of the Old Testament Law was empty and void without knowing the purpose it was given. Everything in the Old Testament Law and Prophets was a type, shadow, and road signs to the cross. Simply put: man was incapable of curing his disease called sin. The Law and Prophets showed the Holiness of God. To attempt to achieve the Holiness of God was impossible. Man had to have an atonement (reparation of wrong, reconciliation). There was no way to achieve this on our own. However, God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ, lived a sinless life, was qualified to be the substitution for the sins of man, and died on the cross as our atonement.
Paul, now, fully understood this truth. He was convinced, called, and consecrated to share this "good news" (gospel) to Gentiles. He was the last person anyone would have thought would be preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, but God had hand crafted him for this purpose. Paul wrote 13 of the 27 books in the New Testament. His writings, given to him by the Holy Spirit, have literally educated and instructed the New Testament believer in the truth of Jesus and the Cross. Can you imagine what the world would look like today without such revelation? God, in His infinite mercy, has transformed the world through Jesus Christ. WOW! Through Him we are complete and accepted of God whether Jew or Gentile. Nothing more. Nothing less. Hallelujah!!!
Rev. Curtis Norris