When people read the writings of the Apostle Paul, they are often overtaken by his articulate wisdom. God chose to gift him with an ability that was put to great use for the body of Christ. However, the man that God called was not the man who wrote the epistles and preached the gospel to the gentiles. Paul was a changed man. An earlier iteration of him was responsible for heinous crimes against the early church, and it is in this context that we can see Paul’s struggle and his heart. His past as a persecutor of the church greatly informs his love for it, his passion for it, and his angst about it. Firstly, Paul tried to destroy it. This is a gift he can never give correct and it is a prime reason why he feels he is unworthy to share the gospel. Secondly, sharing the gospel gives him the ability to bolster the church against any future attacks. This won’t fix the damage, but it can be preventative. Lastly, he is unworthy to spread it and yet this makes him its perfect representative. Because he can’t claim to be its protector (he hunted its people down), its savior (he killed those he could find) or its best advocate(he is a criminal against God), this forces the message that Paul gives to be accepted on its own merits. It also drives Paul to be honored and to teach us to be humbled. Like all of us, Paul understands the true reality. In truth, the first thing that brings us together is not our salvation, but our need for it. We are all criminals against God. This is how we can all be saved through Jesus. The fact that we can even have redemption is amazing grace. The fact that we inherit and participate with his gospel in our sanctification is astounding. We should all feel privileged. This is part of the reason God chose Paul to spread the message of salvation. No one really understood it better than him. No one felt as indebted to it, or so thankful to participate in it.
Published by Josh McGary
MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy. https://sleek.bio/joshmcgary View more posts