[forthright] Read To Be Offered (2)

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2008 07:17:03 -0800 (PST)
Forthright Magazine 
http://www.forthright.net 
Straight to the Cross


Mike Brooks, Tim Hall, Glover Shipp -- names you know,
writing you trust. http://forthrightpress.com/


COLUMN: SQUARE ONE

Ready to Be Offered (2) 
 by Richard Mansel, assistant editor

The Apostle Paul, scarred from the daily spiritual
wars, sought release through the rest Christ promised
(Hebrews 4:8-11). Paul's fervor, fellowship and faith
gave him the impetus to be confident in his eternal
destiny. It explains his self-motivation as he endured
his life of sacrifice.

A MAN OF FELLOWSHIP

Paul's deep and abiding love for his brethren led him
to long for the grand renewal in heaven. It helped
empower his confidence in death.

When his brethren were confused about the end of time,
he told them to see heaven as a "gathering together" of
the saints and a reason for comfort and hope (2
Thessalonians 2:1,17; Philippians 1:3-6).

He loved Timothy like a child (1 Timothy 1:2;
Philippians 2:19-20). He included greetings to a
variety of people in his epistles (Romans 16). They
were his spiritual family.

Paul wrote the consummate chapter on the beauty of
Christian love (1 Corinthians 13). His love for the
church and for souls met in the unity of the brethren.
Paul's desire was to see everyone find salvation.

"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for
Israel is that they may be saved" (Romans 10:1). He
loved the Jews and desperately wanted them to be saved
(Romans 9:2-3). "Therefore it is no great thing if his
ministers also transform themselves into ministers of
righteousness, whose end will be according to their
works" (2 Corinthians 11:15).

Romans is a book where he largely writes to the Jewish
and Gentile Christians to stop fighting one another and
become one flesh. When accomplished, they would find
transformation through the gospel (Romans 12:1-5).

Heaven will therefore be the ultimate fulfillment of
unity. We will all be one as we enjoy eternity in the
arms of our Lord. Unity on earth leads to an eternity
together in the perfection of heaven (Ephesians 4).

A MAN OF FAITH

Paul's fervor also fuels his faith. His faith is a
powerful force that leads him to survive an
extraordinary amount of hardship (2 Corinthians 11:23-
27).

Paul had been a persecutor but discovered he was in
error. When Paul realized what he had done and been
forgiven of, he became a fierce defender of the faith.
God had said, "For I will show him how many things he
must suffer for My name's sake" (Acts 9:16).

Paul knew exactly what he was getting into. He "was
under no misapprehension of what was before him. He
knew what he was to receive in lieu of what he had
given up."/1

When he writes about faith, it is far more than a
mental acknowledgment. It is the core of a life
committed to a cause.

Faith justifies us and leads us to live actively for
the Lord (Romans 5:1-2; Ephesians 2:8-10). Faith
transforms our lives as we walk in Christ (Romans 12:1-
2; Ephesians 4:1). We are also protected from the
schemes of the devil by the shield of faith (Ephesians
6:10-16).

Faith in Christ was enough of a motivation to Paul to
do anything Christ asked. His love for God was so
palpable that he never hesitated to be active in the
fields of the Lord.

1/ A.T. Robertson, Epochs in the Life of Paul (Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1976), 57. 

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