Besides the Lord Himself, no man in Scripture better demonstrates the forward-looking faith with hope and with the strength in love that should be ours other than the apostle Paul. This man who described himself as the, “chiefest of sinners and unworthy to be called an apostle” we remember as the great apostle to the Gentiles.
So, here is an example for us in that if God could show His marvelous grace to Saul of Tarsus by forgiving his sins, he can surely forgive any sinner who repents. That is what Saul (Paul) told Timothy (1 Tim. 1:12-16). From God’s point of view, Paul is an example of the limitless extent of diving love.
Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee, the persecutor of the church, zealous beyond all his contemporaries, became the Apostle Paul. This man then suffered innumerable hardships and persecutions for Christ’s sake (2 Cor. 11:23-28), counted all his human achievements as refuse for Christ’s sake (Phil. 37‐11) and forgave his enemies as the Lord has done and commanded (2 Tim. 4:14-18). From the human standpoint, Paul is an example of the power of God to change character and reshape human lives for good.
So, what was the key to Paul’s success as a Christian? Sometimes we have made the same mistake as the people of Lystra in thinking Paul was more than merely human (Acts 14:8-15). But, he was not. Sometime we think that his miraculous powers gave him an advantage along this life. But, those gifts brought him more trials and difficulties (Acts 16:16-24). So, what was the secret of his success? The answer is that he was totally convinced that Jesus was God’s Son and that judgment was coming and that God had forgiven his sins through Christ. His epistles mention these things over and over.
Paul believed fervently that Jesus was the Son of God. This meant that judgment was certain (Acts 17:30‐31). But, Paul was ready to face the judgment. Though not perfect in his own life, Paul was ready to face God in the righteousness of Christ that, “Righteousness which is of God by faith” (Phil. 3:9).
Paul was committed to Jesus as God’s Son and sought to obey the Lord in all things. Because he knew the judgment was coming, he tried to tell every human being that did not know the facts.
So, are you totally convinced that Jesus is God’s Son? If not, you will never be an effective Christian. Do you really believe that Judgment is coming? Unless you do, your life will likely be careless in God’s service. Do you understand the good news that you are completely forgiven and accepted by God because of your relationship with Christ? The Key to all this is the new life (Rom. 6:3‐4).
Paul was not superman. He was human. But, he was totally sincere in his Christian faith and was committed completely to Christ. Are you?