Paul’s message to the Gentiles given by God
After a large group believed on the Lord Jesus as recorded in the eighth chapter of John, the our Lord said to them, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” In other words He made a distinction between believing and living. Between their salvation and discipleship. If they were going to be his disciples they were going to have to “continue in the word.” He said the same thing in the fifteenth chapter of John in the parable of the vine and branches when He said that for a successful Christian life, we must “abide in Him.” When Paul the apostle gave his testimony before King Agrippa he testified of the heavenly vision on the road to Damascus and how God told him that he was to be a witness to the Gentiles. His words were exact as Dr. Luke recorded in Acts Chapter twenty-six. Those words were as follows:
Act 26:13-19 – At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
God Himself made a distinction between between justification and sanctification, between heaven, which is a free gift, and the inheritance which is the Kingdom or His thousand year reign. Paul also said the same thing to the Ephesian Elders at Acts 20:32-when he met with them for the last time on his way to Jerusalem for the last time. “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”
At the Baptism of Jesus, as the Spirit in the form of a dove came down upon him, the Father spoke from heaven and said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And on the Mt. of Transfiguration the Father said again that he was his beloved son and commanded them to “hear him.” If they were to hear the Son, who are we to say that we will not hear Him. If Paul made a distinction between justification, then who are we to ignore this message today?
Dr. Greg J. Dixon