Discipleship #002

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

 

No, the Apostle Paul was not going around dressed like Jesus of Nazareth.

And Paul was not in the business of cloning and making clones.

The most remarkable part of Paul’s ministry was transformation and renewal of people’s lives.

 

With Jesus as our role model, of course!

 

Paul may not have the charisma of a successful politician.

Nevertheless there was something about Paul which made him attractive.

People were drawn to him in a certain way, even among strangers who later become close allies of Paul.

 

All because of Jesus

 

Paul even had a team of faithful co-workers who stood with him while he was in prison for preaching the resurrection of Jesus.

They were there for Paul not just because of Paul. Everybody was there because of Jesus.

 

Paul was a devout follower of Christ

Jesus Christ was everything to Paul

 

Paul preached about Jesus, talked about Jesus and lived the ways of Jesus and his life endeavor was –

 

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

 

Paul was an apostle, ministry worker, and that was his pattern of following Jesus.

To follow Jesus also means to preach the Gospel of Jesus and to demonstrate the new life Jesus granted to him. That was Paul’s single minded focus and position in handling the Gospel.

In fact Paul was a living illustrator as a follower of Jesus.

 

Towards the last chapter of the Book of Acts, Christianity had spread far and wide.

Paul may be glad Christ is preached everywhere but he wanted to address the intention and purpose of Gospel outreach.

Paul as a Christian minister did have many complaints against him, but it was not the sort of modern day scandals.

The one obvious legally proven complaint against Paul was that he preached about the rising of the dead!

 

Festus procurator of Judea presented the case against Paul to King Agrippa and Bernice ‐“When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed. Rather they had certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. (Acts 25:18-19)

 

Paul was preaching “Jesus is alive” when people thought Jesus was dead.

Paul was so obsessed about preaching Jesus Christ and the resurrection of the dead, that his message outshines politicians and social activists of his days.

In fact Paul’s opponents were jealous.

There was a gold smith who used to made idols, but he became furious that more and more of his customers gave up idol worship and changed to worship a living God named Jesus – because of Paul’s preaching!

In fact Paul was not just preaching about resurrection of the dead, Paul was following in the footsteps of Jesus – to the resurrection of the dead.

 

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

 

Paul as a Roman citizen, he got his free ride to Rome.

Paul as a Roman citizen, he had his rights of appeal to Caesar.

People in Rome got the same message.

 

Jesus is alive

 

Paul demonstrated the key essentials of Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus as an infallible proof of God’s salvation plan and God’s gift of eternal life.

Yes it is true, there is such a thing as eternal life.

There is no price tag to it because it cannot be purchased with cash or gold.

This eternal life can only be received as a gift from God through Jesus.

That same Jesus who was crucified on the cross, died, buried, and risen from the dead.

 

This is the name and the person who will give you eternal life

 

Jesus Christ

 

Paul’s commitment to Jesus made some people very angry, of course.

Because Paul himself was previously a fervent non-believer and served his duty as some sort of a discipline master with regards to Jewish doctrine and belief.

Paul went everywhere in search of these ‘followers of the way of Jesus’ with his own assumption that Jesus was dead.

 

Well, it was about time Jesus decided He should meet Paul in person –

 

And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. (Acts 9:5)

 

Something does not seem right for Paul.

That same Jesus whom he thought was dead, speaking to him!

Paul was a highly educated man, a student of Gamaliel and an expert in Jewish history and this Jesus speaking to him in person and alive does not make sense to him there and then.

Paul’s conscience was pricked.

Paul went into deep reflection, check through every detail he had been taught and learned about Moses and the prophets and the Messiah whom the Jews were waiting for.

Paul finally came to his senses – this Jesus is the Messiah they were waiting for, because this Jesus is the promise of eternal life Moses and the prophets had spoken of.

 

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

 

Paul remembered when Stephen was martyred, he was there.

Paul remembered that dispute the Jews had with Stephen, about Moses and the law.

Paul remembered Stephen’s last words before he was stoned to death – Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:56)

 

Paul realized Stephen was talking about Jesus.

Paul was grieved Stephen died an innocent death.

Paul repented from his unbelief and became one of the most awesome preachers of his times, because he received his new life and identity from Jesus.

Paul was zealous once again, but now for Jesus Christ!

 

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

 

While Paul was charging ahead with the Gospel, he encountered all kinds of resistance as he would have expected.

Paul knew exactly how to deal with that.

Paul devoted himself to much prayers and fasting for the believers.

Paul kept his focus on preaching Jesus Christ, the blood sacrifices of Jesus and His resurrection.

That one thing which Paul practiced in top priority, to be a living example for the believers to follow –

 

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

 

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