Family Bible Study lesson for Nov. 30: Being Changed by the Gospel : Friday, Nov 14, 2003
November 14 2003 by Mary Fillinger

Family Bible Study lesson for Nov. 30: Being Changed by the Gospel : Friday, Nov 14, 2003
Friday, Nov 14, 2003

Family Bible Study lesson for Nov. 30: Being Changed by the Gospel

By Mary Fillinger
Acts 21:27-22:29

Citizens of two worlds - that is what all believers are. We are citizens of a country here on earth and we have citizenship in heaven. This dual citizenship sometimes causes problems, but we have to live in both realms. Which takes priority in case of conflict? The New Testament answer is clear that obedience to God always comes first. But we should also be good citizens of our country. Patriotism is not necessarily a sin.

Reflecting on the Past

Paul spoke in Hebrew to the people and they became more receptive to listen to what he wanted to say. He outlined what he thinks are the most important points regarding his life. He told about his Jewish birth at Tarsus. He made a short declaration of his former life, proving his calling and doctrine to be from God.

Paul made a point to let the Jews know that he had been raised in Jerusalem and had received his education from the famous Rabbi Gamaliel. Being instructed by Gamaliel meant he had been taught the strict way of the Pharisees. Earlier in his life, the education he received was the source of boasting and confidence. His education had furnished him with numerous arguments against the gospel.

Paul told his listeners that he understood their zeal for God, as he had been equally zealous to persecute believers under an order from the Sanhedrin.

Yet when the grace of God changed his heart, he was better suited to serve God's wise and merciful purposes.

Understanding the Goal

Paul, after capturing their attention, told them what occurred in his life to change his point of view. He explained the change of view was not of his own doing but came with his face-to-face confrontation with Jesus. Jesus had intervened in Paul's life.

Paul told them the effect the meeting with Jesus had him. By whatever method God reveals himself to us, we should be ready to tell others of the wonders of His power and love.

It is evident that the apostle considered his extraordinary conversion as a complete demonstration of the truth of Christian beliefs. When his entire past is considered - the sudden transition from a furious persecutor to a zealous preacher of the gospel - it must convince every candid and impartial person that no rational account can be given of this change, except that salvation is divine.

Lasting Testimony

At the time, truly religious people, even believers in Jesus, were still strict observers of the Law of Moses. Baptism showed to other believers that this person, who had caused great harm, was now willing to be counted with them rather than with the Jewish faith. Paul wanted to be a witness of what Jesus had done through him.

This is still true today. We are to give and live a testimony so others can clearly see Jesus in our lives.

11/14/2003 12:00:00 AM by Mary Fillinger | with 0 comments

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