Authentic Ministry

Paul’s ministry was saturated with the Word of God. Fifteen times in chapters thirteen and fourteen the phrases “God’s Word,” the “Word of truth,” the “teaching of the Lord,” the “Law and the Prophets,” and the “Good News” are mentioned.

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Elusive Popularity

Remarkably, though laying lifeless in a pool of his own blood, Paul got right back up and walked back into the city from which he had been dragged and left for dead. I mean, is this missionary determined or what? True grit.

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Tangled in the Tangibles

When Paul was rejected, he didn’t quit. As my good friend and wise mentor, Howie Hendricks, often says, “Where there’s light, there are bugs!” The brighter Paul’s light, the more the bugs.

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A Thorn in the Flesh

Sailors on the high seas understand the importance of securing themselves to something sturdy in a fierce gale. You learn to cling to what’s secure in a storm. Paul learned to cling to what he knew to be true . . .

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God’s Waiting Room

If you go back fourteen years from the time Paul wrote the second letter to the believers at Corinth, that places him at the time he was waiting in Tarsus. Quite possibly, during one of his numerous floggings he received . . . , he lapsed into a semi-conscious state.

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Son of Encouragement

The disciples feared Saul. They couldn’t bring themselves to believe he was a disciple. “But Barnabas . . . ” Isn’t that a great opening? Out of nowhere comes Barnabas to encourage Saul and be his personal advocate.

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Desert Retreat

I’m convinced it was there, in that barren place of obscurity, that Paul developed his theology. He met God, intimately and deeply. Silently and alone, he plumbed the unfathomable mysteries of sovereignty, election, depravity, the deity of Christ.

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A Forgotten Hero

The transformation is stunning. Saul, no doubt with blood stains still on his garment from Christians he had tortured, now stood with arms outstretched announcing, “I’m here to testify to you that Jesus is the Messiah, God’s Son.”

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A Brutal Beginning

We must not forget that as we study the life of the man they called Paul. We must also brace ourselves for some rather gruesome surprises. The first pen portrait of Paul (whom we first meet as Saul of Tarsus) is both brutal and bloody.

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Round One

When bad things happen, they often happen to the wrong person. And when that occurs, we’re always left with that haunting question, “Why?” Somewhere in all of this, there is room for the story of Job.

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