Friday, May 22, 2015

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178. Saint Paul. Part Three

 

He was guided by Holy Spirit and Jesus. Here is what he said:

 

“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace”. (Acts 20:22-24)

 

20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:19-20 )

 

He worked for his living and was not a burden on society. Here is what he declared:

 

“I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”( Acts 20:33-35)

 

He asked a very important question, which had and has puzzled humanity for ages :

 

“ Well then , you might say, ‘Why does God blame people for not listening ? Haven’t they simply done what He made them do?’

20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” ( Romans 9:19-21)

 

There was a great confusion amongst the new Christians who were originally non-Jews (Gentiles) as to what foods they were supposed to eat or not eat. For instance Jews did not eat pork but other nations ate pork. Jews who converted to Christianity like St Peter and other Apostles did not eat pork. St Paul clarified the matter ( same problem was about circumcision ). He has mentioned it in many of his letters. Let me quote:

14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.             (Romans 14:14-17)

 

This mote believes in one God. Christians have Holy Trinity. I would like to quote what Paul said:

6 But for us, “There is only one God, the Father. Everything came from him, and we live for him.
There is only one Lord, Jesus Christ. Everything came into being through him, and we live because of him.” (1 Corinthians 8:6)


St Paul had the power to perform some type of miracles. Here is one mention of it:

11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. (Acts 19:11-13)

St Paul and the Apostles had a very hard life. What kept them going? St Paul gives a moving answer:

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of[b] faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-18)