Grace-Full Living ~ The Apostle Paul
The Apostle Paul
I am fascinated by the apostle Paul. His life is such an example of life under the law contrasted to the abundant life that Jesus talks about in the gospel of John. His early life was filled with devotion to the Law, studying at the feet of Gamaliel. He was proud of his heritage, his family tree. He was filled with zeal for the things of God, a Pharisee who prided himself on keeping the law faultlessly (Philippians 3:4-6; Acts 22:3). In other words, he was very religious. His zeal, however, was so misspent, that he persecuted the followers of Jesus.
And then he met Jesus and experienced grace. Imagine how he must have felt to know that Jesus had come to give him all the things that he had tried so hard to earn. On second thought, you don't have to imagine how he felt. Page after page, book after book in the word of God, letters he wrote to individuals and churches explode with emotions of gratitude and amazement. There weren't enough adjectives to properly express his feelings. For instance, in writing to the church at Ephesus, Paul wrote:
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever, amen.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment--to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession--to the praise his glory.
This is a man who is excited about the gift of God's son, and the grace he has been given. Perhaps, you have spent years trying to please and never feeling like you could do enough, only to find a Heavenly Father with His arms wide open ready to lavish his grace upon you and do immeasurably more than all you can think or imagine!
Welcome to Grace-full Living! I'm glad you are here!