Sabbath: Paul: Apostle to the Gentiles
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Read for This Week’s Study:

Acts 6:9–159:1–91 Sam. 16:7Matt. 7:1Acts 11:19–2115:1–5.

Memory Text:

“When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, ‘Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life’” (Acts 11:18, NKJV).

It’s not that hard to understand Saul of Tarsus (also known as the apostle Paul after his conversion), and why he did what he did. As a devout Jew who was taught all his life about the importance of the law and about the soon-coming political redemption of Israel, the idea of the long-awaited Messiah being ignominiously executed like the worst of criminals was just too much for him to tolerate.

No wonder, then, he was convinced that the followers of Jesus were being disloyal to the Torah and, thus, hindering God’s plan for Israel. Their claims that the crucified Jesus was the Messiah and that He had risen from the dead were, he believed, rank apostasy. There could be no tolerance for such nonsense or for anyone who refused to give up those notions. Saul was determined to be God’s agent to rid Israel of these beliefs. Hence, he first appears in the pages of Scripture as a violent persecutor of his fellow Jews, those who believed that Jesus was the Messiah.

God, however, had far different plans for Saul, plans that he never could have anticipated for himself: not only was this Jew going to preach Jesus as the Messiah, he was going to do it among the Gentiles!

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, October 1
.

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Sabbath: Paul: Apostle to the Gentiles — 3 Comments

  1. ln sabath afternoon, l would likely say that God prepared paul for a tedious task(preaching the gospel) by allowing him to persecute christians who were in the journey before him, so that during his own time he will not be discouraged while passing through challenges of following jesus.

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  2. It is very interesting to me, that like Paul, we sometimes wrestle with God's desire for our lives where we may actually want to serve Him but primarily base on our interpretation of what we think must be done.

    Isa 55:8-New Living Translation
    "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.

    It is also interesting that Paul's ministry has been reemphasized over and over for inreach or outreach with the emphasize on following his commission to "teach", "baptize" and the "teach" again to those who may have less light than the rest of us. Do we need to reevaluate our mindset on effective ministry and how much we teach ourselves in the church? I do believe that not all churches or members are at the same spiritual level and would need help in moving forward, but how long do we do this.

    I think as we explored this quarter, we may see the "fruits of the spirit" by Paul's work who was filled with the Holy Ghost, where his teaching resulted in something amazing. Would love to see some of those comments are we progress through this lesson.

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