|Paul grabbed hold to the essence of his salvation.|
Because of his past persecution of Christians, Paul elaborates in Romans on the great state of grace that we are under. This grace that we are free to receive was bought for us through Jesus Christ's sacrifice. Paul's agenda can be seen as an ultimate sin by some, to harass, persecute and murder those who choose to accept The Christ as Savior. Paul must have felt a great burden when his past came to mind. I believe it came to mind often. How could so infamous of a past not torment the perpetrator. Through his torment and his desire for relief, Paul was able to quickly grasp hold to the spiritual truth of salvation.
Paul's ministry, after he encountered Christ on the road to Damascus, is a large part of the story in Acts. However, though the bulk of Paul's life figures heavily in Acts, he did not write it. At times as we read, we would think that he had. Luke penned Acts, which some feel should have been named The Acts of Paul. If you have read Acts, you may have felt a natural flow to proceed into Romans. This is because Paul wrote Romans, which is actually a letter to friends in Rome. This letter is full to overflowing of the wonderful fact that we are saved by grace, not works. Scripture upon scripture reminds us of this, and is there for whomever will drink of The Living Water of The Word.
Paul grabbed hold to the essence of his salvation. Because of that he was able to obey God and to hold on until the end. God infused him with power and might. The only thing that mattered to Paul was to be able to preach and teach the gospel, whether bond or free, in Jerusalem or Rome, in a jail or hired house, before kings or peasants. He was on a mission on which he could have never conceptualized that he would be. Never would he have dreamed that he would endure a burning and driving desire to speak on behalf of God. He advanced to instant faith, as in scripture, Acts 28:3-6, and he practiced the laying on of hands. He ran headlong into the conflicts which God presented to him with determination and consistency. He never tried to save himself.
Grab hold to the real essence of your salvation, that you therefore do not have to live with a feeling of condemnation about your past, because you are in Christ Jesus. Since you choose to live by the Spirit of God and not according to your fleshly existence, you enjoy freedom from guilt about your past actions, whether they were yesterday, last week or 10 years ago. When those evil memories surface, cast them down with The Word in Romans. Paul wrote it so that you could live free, just as he did.
Dear Father: Bless this reader with a dynamic understanding of your words of freedom in Romans, and in other places in your Word. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
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