Tag: God called Holy Ghost sent

We Must Be Faithful to the Truth of God

Faithful Behavior

Book of 1 Timothy 3:1-16

As we know the two Books of Timothy and the Book of Titus teach how the Holy Spirit wants the Church to be organized.

There are only two offices determined by the Holy Spirit and they are Pastor and Deacon even though they may different names in many denominations and many other offices.

In these passages we will learn about the Biblical qualifications for these positions.

The very first qualification of the Pastor is that he is saved and then called of God!

When the Lord Jesus Christ ascended back to Heaven, He began to call those who would serve in the spreading of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”

Eph 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

When God calls a Pastor, God will then equip that Pastor for the work that lies ahead of Him.

There also some other qualifications that must be met to be a Pastor or a Deacon.

*****1Ti 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

That word bishop in our area would mean the Pastor.

That word Pastor means a shepherd who serves according to the Chief Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Joh 10:16 And “other sheep I have”, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

It is those “other sheep” that are to be the work for the Pastor seeking to save Gentiles.

So, then the work of the Pastor is very clear!

He cares for the flock of sheep that the Lord has called for him! He guides them, he guards them, he protects them, and he provides for them.

1Pe 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
**1Pe 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

All the Jewish sheep combined with the Gentile sheep will be the heritage of God.

There is absolutely no one or nothing that can keep God’s heritage from joining Him in Heaven, when He calls us home!

Isa 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

These things are important because it is the work of the Lord!

Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

The heritage of God was purchased by the blood of our Savior!

The work of the Pastor is then a good work because he is stirred to commit his life to the ministry “by the Holy Spirit”.

In the precious words of our Lord Jesus:

Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

So, what are these qualifications?

*****1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

All Pastors must meet the qualifications as laid down in the Word of God!

As we go through these things we must realize that each “Born Again” child of God begins his new life “after salvation”.

All sin before this time has been washed in the blood of Jesus.

All after this time will also be forgiven. The Lord Jesus Christ paid for all the sin in this world past, present, and future for every believer. He said this thing was finished!

Heb_8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Heb_10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Anyone who is capable, and God called, must be blameless, (without fault, above suspicion) since being “Born Again”!

The husband of one wife in the Word of God, which neither means that a Pastor must be married, nor that he may not marry a second wife.

According to the Scriptures, it is just as lawful for Him to do, just as the marriage of his first wife. (1 Corinthians Chapter 7). These Scriptures cannot just be tossed aside in order to fulfill some imaginary law of God!

1Co 7:7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

1Co 7:17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.

Having said these things, it is true that each Pastor must be a person of great Christian character as described here!

We must realize that the first and most important qualification for the Pastor to meet is “that they be called of God by the Holy Spirit”.

This is the most important fact written in the Scriptures!

What we must also remember here, is what Peter found out, “what God calls clean, is clean” and God is no respecter of persons!

We must also say that this “good work” is not about power, not about esteem, not about honor, and not about a profession as many see it today.

The work of the Pastor is totally about the work of the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

How many have forgotten this today, “only those who are false Pastors”!

Those who reject this calling of God, have said no to God! They have missed their purpose in the work God has given us all to do!

The Pastor’s job is to proclaim the true Word of God and not some butchered up version!

The Pastor who is called can verify that calling, when they go to the Lord seeking the meaning of these qualifications in one on one prayer with our Father who art in Heaven!

This thing is not just for the Pastor but for every believer and in every Church.

We will know the meaning of these qualifications, remembering it is always best to accept a literal reading of the Scriptures also knowing, that what God says, He will never contradict in some other passage!

Those who fail to meet the qualifications a Pastor may still have a purpose in evangelism, or teaching.

Pro 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

That Pastor called of God, must be vigilant to watch over and control his own life and the lives of his people being an example to the flock the Lord has given to him.

The Pastor called of God, must be sober-minded, (having a sound mind). When the mind is controlled, the body and behavior is controlled.

That Pastor must be of good behaviour, composed, orderly, and honest.

That Pastor must be given to Hospitality. Showing love for all brethren, being a friend to all believers.

But this does not mean he will open his own house or the house of God to the world!

That Pastor must be apt to teach. He should be able to teach the Word of God as well as Preach the Word of God!

Making sense of the Word!

We must all remember, that our duty to teach the Word of God is not near as important as to live the Word of God!

When we talk the talk, we must also walk the talk!

In both methods we are to teach the things of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things “whatsoever I have commanded you”: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

That Pastor must not be given to wine.

*****1Ti 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

We could say a lot of things here but let’s just say what the Lord said:

Pro 23:20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:

Pro 23:29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
Pro 23:30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
**Pro 23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
Pro 23:32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

Even those Jews who drank of wine mixed it two parts wine to three parts water.

A drunkard was considered a disgrace even in the Gentile societies of that day!

That day has come and gone and most societies of today partake of alcoholic beverages.

Grape juice was also mixed with water and was used because the water supplies were so bad.

The Roman army drank of vinegar mixed with water for this same reason.

This is understood, if you have traveled to foreign countries and become sick because of the water supply!

A striker is someone who becomes combative or violent or quarrelsome but not someone who strikes out to injure someone.

The Pastor cannot be someone who is easily aggravated with others!

We already know how dangerous a weapon that a tongue can become.

Jas_3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

And the one we see so abused today, that Pastor must not be a lover of worldly gain or possessions. (This is the true meaning of filthy lucre)

The ministry of the “Gospel” is not to be a profession or a livelihood!

This does not mean that the church is not to support that Pastor, if they are able, for this too is a command of God!

1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1Ti 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

That Pastor is to be patient, gracious, kind and gentle. That word tender also comes to mind.

That Pastor must not be some brawler, because he must be a man of peace!

That Pastor must not be covetous, because every sin of God begins with covetousness. Desiring something worldly in the place of God!

Luk 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

That Pastor is also to rule his own house. When we look at this we should also keep in mind the Christian family with the father the head of that family. These things do not change in the Christian family it is just that the world will have their eyes upon that Pastor!

*****1Ti 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

The Pastor is to rule his own home, but he is not the only one, this rule applies to all the parents in every Christian home.

It is in the home, where we are the most tested, but this is also the place we can best glorify God!

We should be able to see that the Pastor is held to high standards, but these are much the same standards that apply to all Christians!

Remember God, is a God of order and every husband is to be the pastor in his own home and willing to be discipled by that Pastor God has placed in the Church where he brings his family to worship and be discipled.

We must realize that every church that has a bad name aids in the worlds opinion of the world-wide church!

Those that hate God the most, will certainly point out every problem they see in the church, even though they can never have a spiritual understanding of the Word of God!

Here, as much as can be denied, the Bible says a bad parent will make a lousy Pastor.

God is very serious about this thing!

1Sa 3:11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.
1Sa 3:12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.
1Sa 3:13 “For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth”; “because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not”.
1Sa 3:14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.

If we remember Eli was the High Priest of Israel on this day and went about his business knowing that his sons were evil and did nothing to try to stop their evilness.

God expects every Pastor to the head of their own home!

And God says we are never to allow that babe in Christ to be the Pastor of any Church.

*****1Ti 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

We should understand that a newly converted Christian is not spiritually qualified to take on the job of a Pastor.

We should completely understand how Lucifer fell into condemnation:

Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

We can see that “pride” was the beginning of the downfall of Lucifer, best known as Satan or simply the devil!

If we are going to be a child of God, we need resemble Jesus as close as we possibly can, which also means “we must be as far as we can away from the ways of Satan”!

There are always those who are keenly watching the Church, so it would not be good to have such a novice as a Pastor, or really any part of Church functions until some discipling as taken place.

Some Christian babies, will grow at a faster pace than others, but it will still take some time.

We should understand the we are all God’s children and God works on each of to reach maturity but that will only happen when we go home by death or by the Rapture of the Church!

It takes some time to become rooted and grounded in the Lord.
It takes some time to prove a testimony for Jesus Christ.
It takes some time to be able to Pastor any church and disciple others in that church.

The truth is, it does not take much pride to destroy your ability to preach, if you think of yourself exalted above the Saints of God!

Pro_16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

It takes some time to know the “mind of Jesus Christ”!

Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

The next qualification causes harm to many young preachers of today.

*****1Ti 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

A Pastor should have a good report outside the church. We all are just sinners saved by “grace”. God throws all our sin into the deepest part of the sea and He remembers no more but those outside the doors of the church who knew us before we got saved will not be not that generous.

In fact, many a man of God cannot be a Pastor of the local church in the neighborhood of his raising. God will send them somewhere else and maybe some time later they can return home.

What did Jesus say?

Mat_13:54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
Mat_13:57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

Many in this world do not accept conversion nor repentance simply because they do not know how to forgive!

There is no one, besides the Lord Jesus Christ, that is not capable of falling into some snare of the devil and mocked by our enemies!

A good testimony before the world is essential for every Christian but especially for the Pastor and even the elders of the Church.

God has this saying that just keeps coming true:

Num_32:23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.

Remember, the world cannot have any voice in the selection of our Pastors, but that Pastor must be respected in their day to day acquaintances.

And finally, we see this thing about Deacons.

*****1Ti 3:8 “Likewise” must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
1Ti 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

That word deacon means to be a servant in the church body. The first deacons were appointed to help the Pastor in day by day duties of the Church, to give that Pastor time to prepare his sermons.

Act 6:2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, “It is not reason that we should leave the word of God and serve tables”.

The function of the deacon is to relieve the Pastor, so he can give his time to the study of the Word of God and to prayer.

Likewise, the Deacon as the Pastor, must have a good report from those in the world and those in the church:

Act 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
Act 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

The number of deacons should be according to the size of the congregation.

A deacon should be someone who is qualified, and who is honorable, who is looked upon as a solid respectable Christian, keeping in mind God is no respecter of persons!

The true deacon will be committed to the Lord Jesus Christ and not go astray of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!

The true deacon will next commit to the church and the mission of the church!(the mission of the church is to make disciples)

The true deacon will assist the Pastor but must never be a hindrance to the Pastor, who is the shepherd just under the true Shepherd.

The true deacon will never be double-tongued and will never be involved in church gossip, as they are to be involved in the work of the church.

The true deacon would be available in every way to the Pastor!

The true deacon will be a man of integrity!

Jas 1:16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Jas 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

We should also notice here that God will good gifts, but He will never send bad gifts!

A deacon must be steadfast in “faith”, holy in his heart, like Christ in his life!

A pure conscience is a conscience that is free from all immorality!

A deacon must be proved!

The way we do this is to bring them before church in an actual vote, so it does not happen on the buddy system.

*****1Ti 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

The faith claimed by a deacon must also be tested, their knowledge of the Scriptures must be consistent, as much as possible they must be involved in the ministry the “Gospel”.

They must cling to basic Bible truths!

The deacon must cling to the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ is the God of the Bible!

The must be found blameless in every situation that involves the church and the world.

The deacon must be available to perform the duties of a deacon established in these passages from the Book of Timothy!

The deacon must also fulfill his family obligations!

*****1Ti 3:11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
1Ti 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

In other words, a deacon who has a wife who lacks the same qualities that are required of him, should not be chosen!

That word slander comes from the Greek word “diabolos” which means a false accuser, a devil. This wife is to honorable just as her husband.

This wife must be faithful in all things of the church and all things of the home!

Just so we know, a deaconess is the wife of a deacon and not some woman who has been chosen to be a female deacon!

The pure truth of this passage means, that when the deacon must respond to the needs of women, then his wife would be with him, as someone who would have the same message as her husband and to keep down false accusations.

A good example would be Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist and wife to Zacharias.

Luk 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
Luk 1:6 “And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless”.

In none of these things, do we see that God does not see the male and the female on equal standings, it is just that there will be a certain order in the Body of Christ, where Christ Jesus is the Head of the church and Christ Jesus is the Head of the home!

Again, back to the deacon.

*****1Ti 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
1Ti 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Do we not see repeatedly that the church must be based upon the godly family?

Every man should be able to hold the offices of the church, except for the Pastor who must be called of God. Every woman should the same as that wife who had a husband that would be a deacon.

Here again we are presented with the ideal situations about a man being married, or a man having had a divorce and having remarried.

We all know that the things that happened before we were “Born Again”, God has forgiven, and he has chosen not to remember any more so why should those who are in the same congregation.

The same man (the Apostle Paul) who was inspired to write these Scriptures by the Holy Ghost was also inspired by the Holy Ghost to write 1 Corinthians Chapter 7.

Much prayer and meditation should be spent in answering these qualifications of the elders of the Church.

Remember even the teachers must be God called.

There is no perfect church just as there is no perfect family, but these are to the goals and the laws we are to reach for to be perfect before God!

1Pe 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
1Pe 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
1Pe 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
1Pe 3:11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

It is the Holy Ghost who will lead us in the ways of Jesus Christ. He will never take us down a false path!

Those who have held the office of deacon with that wife for support, will be recognized as those who can be trusted to the others in the church!

*****1Ti 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

In the days of the apostles that word purchase meant to win, to acquire, and not because it was a bargain.

In many denominations there are offices for men to fill above the office of deacon. At the Church that I attend the office of deacon is normally only 3 three years and others are voted in to replace those.

There also offices in places that a local government may require, and the qualifications of these men should be nearly the same as that of the deacon.

Those who have served in the office of deacon will learn to respect the functions of the working church!

Each one who has held this position in the church do earn a certain respect from the other members and the number of deacons should reflect the membership of the church.

We now see that the apostle Paul felt he would be released from his bondage.

*****1Ti 3:14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
1Ti 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

The most important thing that each member of the church should know is, how to behave in the House of God.

This extends from those babes in Christ as soon as they understand the Word of God and go all the way to the Pastor.

We see then that these “Pastoral Epistles” begin with how believers should behave in their relationship to God the Father, through His Son, and by the Holy Spirit.

Not only this, but also how to deal with each other in the church body and to all believers in this world at any one time.

Paul wanted to join Timothy, but the Holy Spirit said no!

We must clearly understand that the church is the household of God, but these words do not refer to a building.

The church is the “Body of Christ”, a group of people who have committed themselves to a family centered on God the Father and His relationship to God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Church is the family of God, built around the Holy Trinity or better said the Triune God!

The Church is a group of people who have committed themselves to live for the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Church is a group of families who take their stand upon the truth of God and will continue to stand!

The Church is a group of families who base their beliefs upon the sure promises of God!

The Church is to be filled with the adopted family of God!

Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Remember all the lessons of the Book of Ephesians in how we learned about of the perfect family, we are to put those lessons in place in the church.

1Jn_2:13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

Mat 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

The church is the assembly of God, which means, those believers who gather together, who have been called of God, the Living God and not some sack of bones still in the grave!

The Church is the pillar and ground of the truth of God!

The True Church proclaims the truth of God to an evil and dying world without be ashamed of God’s Word!

The Church holds the truth of God up for a world that misbehaves and dies but who do not have to if they would only repent and turn to the truth of God!

So why do we do these things as believers? Because we know the truth!

*****1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

The truth is never a mystery!

A mystery spoken of in the Scriptures is the something in the Old Testament that was pointed out in the New Testament!

What is another truth, all man-made truths end in the grave?

The truth of God cannot die because God is eternal, so His Words are eternal!

It is this truth, written here in these Scriptures, that explains the entire life of Jesus Christ our Lord and our Savior!

God actually became man, Jesus the Messiah, still a stumbling block for most of our world today!

God was 100% God and !00% Man the entire time He was upon this earth!

By His human side He experienced all the trials and sufferings of humanity.

Because Jesus Christ was a “sinless” man, He was able to take away all the sin of humanity that has lived since His death.

Heb 2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
Heb 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Heb 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

It is a fact, that God came to this earth many times but at the appointed time, He came as the Messiah (the Christ).

Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

When Jesus walked upon this earth even He proclaimed this truth and verified it by God the Father.

Heb 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
Heb 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

The Father allowed the Son to be murdered but the Father, by the Holy Spirit, would not allow the Son to stay dead!

Rom 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

How are we to be saved?

We must truly believe on the work of Christ Jesus for our salvation!
We must rest our past, our present, and our future upon Him!
We must give Jesus the control of our souls!
We must totally give our lives to the Father by Him!

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Salvation is not a mystery because it is just the truth of God!


Let’s Pray!

The Call Of God

Book of Galatians 1:13-24

What is the call of God?

The call of God is an invitation given to each of us by God to accept salvation into His Kingdom through the Lord Jesus Christ.

This invitation is given outwardly by the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This invitation is given inwardly by the Holy Spirit, who will lead us to Jesus.

These two things will happen at the same time.

This first call must be answered before God can call us into some part of His ministry.

It is up to each of us to accept or reject the call of God.

The Apostle Paul preached to the Corinthians that “now is the acceptable time” to accept the call of God because now is the time of God’s Grace.

2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Paul was preaching from the prophecy of the Messiah:

Isa 49:8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

Before Paul became an Apostle of Jesus Christ, Paul, then called Saul, was one of the most religious Jews of his day.

Paul had dedicated his life to the Law as taught by the Pharisees.

And, Paul relentlessly persecuted the Christian Church.

It was Judaizers who had brought a false message to the Churches of Galatia but before Paul became a Christian, he was much more zealous for the Law than these that had come from Jerusalem with this false message.

Paul had been even more sincere in his zeal to stop the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” but Paul had been very wrong and he now knew this.

When Paul met the Lord Jesus Christ on the Damascus Road there was a change in his life.

Salvation brings a change in the believer!

If there is no change then it is hard to see that salvation has taken place.

Before, Paul had used all his energy to destroy the Church, but now after meeting Jesus, Paul used all his energy to build the Church.

So Paul begins, “I know you have heard all these thing from my past”.

*****Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

The Bible does not try to hide anything and we can clearly see the change that Paul went through by comparing Paul’s former life to his life as an Apostle of Jesus Christ.

We can be sure that each of the Apostles went through some drastic changes.

We know some things about Peter, and John, and even a little about Matthew, James and Thomas but the Holy Spirit decided that we needed to know more about the Apostle Paul.

***Paul had been the greatest persecutor of the Church before his conversion besides Satan himself:

Act 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
Act 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
Act 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

All those that think that they can persecute the Church without God knowing them personally are in for a real surprise, for they will one day come face to face with our Living God!

No one persecuted the early Church more than Paul.

We also know that God had allowed this persecution so the Church could grow.

The early church had not been obedient to the commands of the Lord!

The Lord had said “go” but the early church had just “stayed” in Jerusalem.

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

God will always take something that is bad and make something good come out of it!

God also showed the Apostle Paul that it is impossible to stamp out the Church.

God will remove His Church individually or all of it at one time at the Rapture but until that time there will be a functioning Church upon this Earth and there is nothing this world can do to stop it though they continuously try!

Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mat 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

We should all have a testimony after salvation and this was part of Paul’s testimony.

Act 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

***God had used these things to humble Paul for Paul had also been a supreme example of self-righteousness.

Paul had boasted how he had made a great profit not only in finances but also in prestige by being so zealous of his Jewish heritage.

We must love all the Jewish people and they are still God’s chosen nation but Christianity is not an offshoot of Judaism.

Christianity comes by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!

To be a Christian is to have Jesus as your example.

*****Gal 1:14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

Before Paul became an Apostle of Jesus Christ, Paul’s intent was to use any means he could to advance Judaism. In fact Paul was so intent upon doing this that he did not hesitate to cut down all those who opposed his religion.

Judaism is a religion that still rejects Jesus Christ.

This puts us in mind of the acts of those of Radical Islam who today are using every means at their disposal to cut down and destroy all religions but Islam, especially Judaism and Christianity. They in fact will try to destroy anyone who disagrees with their beliefs or they make tributaries of them.

Like Judaism, Islam is also a religion that rejects the Lord Jesus Christ as do all other religions!

There may always be some things in our past that should remain in our past but here Paul had to make these Galatians see that he knew as much or more about Judaism as anyone that came from Jerusalem.

Remember Paul had studied under Gamaliel who was the authority on Judaism in all of Israel until his death.

Paul was explaining to these Galatians that it took more than any mere man to change his ways and to change his beliefs. It took the “Good News” of Jesus Christ.

Php 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
Php 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

We can also see from Paul’s testimony that he had even been more zealous of the traditions of Judaism than the written Word of God.

This is great problem in all religions, people listen to what men teach and ignore what is written down in the books they use in their own religion.

Even Christians depend on the pulpits more than they depend on the written and infallible Word of God!

Now Paul had come to know the truth.

Paul had spent much time in the scriptures and had realized the truth of the Word of God, all the way back to the Book of Genesis.

*****Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,

Paul understood Creation by the design of God.

Paul also understood that God had a purpose for his life all along.

Paul realized that just like Jeremiah, God is involved in our lives from the day we are conceived in the womb of our mothers.

Jer 1:4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Paul had persecuted the Church but since the time of Stephen’s death, God had been working on Paul and in a time of God’s “Grace”, God had called on the Paul and made him an Apostle!

It is obvious that God is working in our lives long before He calls us to the work of Jesus Christ.

God had told the Jews all along to quit listening to false preaching and take the time to study the scriptures.

Deu 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
Deu 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deu 6:8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

In fact God teaches us all to do the same.

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Paul realized that he was undeserving of any favor of God and he had only been saved by the “Grace of God”!

We cannot be saved by the “Grace of God” until God reveals the work of His Son Jesus within us!

*****Gal 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

God knows by His infinite wisdom that we cannot make Christ Jesus known to others until we know Him on a personal level ourselves!

2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Paul was called to preach.

Our Pastor, Preacher Sam was called to preach.

BUT, we are all called to witness for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul was told to seek the “Gospel” not from men, but from God Himself!

This does not mean we are not to study the “Gospel” from other men who know the truth of Jesus Christ but it does mean that we are not to proclaim some man-made gospel, we are to proclaim the “Gospel of God”!

1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

The “Gospel of God” is the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”, the “Gospel of Grace”!

Jesus Christ freely gave Himself for us so that we could be saved!

We must realize that God will forgive our past life but God may use some the things we learned in that life to bring glory to His Son.

We must realize that there is nothing in our past life that cannot be forgiven!

We must also realize that when we surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ we must walk away from our old life, there must be a change!

We must realize in order to be a benefit in the work of our Lord Jesus, we must consult with God!

And we cannot consult with God with sin in our lives!

Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

We must get alone with God in prayer and in the Scriptures!

If we cannot begin our new life with God on a personal level, then we will never walk with Him in peace in this life!

*****Gal 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

All those that had made accusations toward Paul had come from Jerusalem so Paul insisted that the “Gospel” he preached was not out of Jerusalem.

Paul was proving to these Galatians that his message came directly from God Himself!

As we follow the next few verses we will see how God would direct the life of His new Apostle in order to show how salvation can change even the vilest of men.

Paul’s conversion was the most dramatic experience he had ever had.

Paul had been full of religion.

Paul had observed all the rituals and traditions of his religion.

Paul had believed that it was these things that made him righteous in the eyes of God.

BUT, all these things had only deceived Paul and everything Paul believed, he found out to be false.

Paul’s religion had not brought peace and satisfaction but only hatred toward all those that did not believe the same as he believed.

Paul had studied the Scriptures from an early age but he had allowed false teaching to pervert the truth of those Scriptures.

Paul did not need to return to Jerusalem to those that had taught him all his life.

Paul did not need to return to Jerusalem to confer with the government on what to do.

Paul did not need to contact the Apostles to get their advice, they would not have trusted him anyway.

Paul needed some time alone with God!

Paul knew about God but Paul did not really know God!

If we get alone with God in sincere prayer and study the Word of God as He says, we can come to know the truth!

1Jn 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

We find that Paul spent three years in a place that only Gentiles dwelled.

Paul spent three years in the Arabian desert at the feet of Jesus, just as the other Apostles had done.

After this time Paul returned to Damascus.

Before Paul was converted he had gone to Damascus to stamp out Christianity, so Paul now went to Damascus to right that wrong.

Paul was seeking forgiveness for what he had done!

One of the hardest things we must do after salvation is to try to make things right to those we have hurt.

Upon receiving the forgiveness of God, we are to forgive all others.

Mat 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
Mat 5:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

We know that Paul was not well received but he had at least tried.

Act 9:25 Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.

Paul had to escape Damascus to save his own life.

AND, next Paul knew he had to return to Jerusalem to face his past.

*****Gal 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

Paul had been well know in Jerusalem. So, there was no better place for others to see the great change in the life of the Apostle Paul.

Paul had been a Pharisee.

Paul had been an official of the Sanhedrin Court, somewhat like our own Supreme Court.

Paul knew all his old associates would now be his enemies but after all, Paul had a new understanding of the Word of God.

Mat 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Paul spent three years with Christ Jesus, despite all the education he already had in the Scriptures just as the other Apostles had done.

There can be no doubt that Paul witnessed for Jesus during this time but Paul also knew he had a ministry that could not begin until some other things came first.

It is foolish for any new convert to believe they can immediately preach the Word of God without spending some time alone with God in the Scriptures.

It seems that three years may be an example of an appropriate time.

Paul also knew that if he were to trusted by the Church, he would need to convince Peter of his conversion.

As far as Paul was concerned, Peter was the head of the Apostles.

If the Apostle Peter accepted Paul then Paul knew he would be accepted by a majority of the Church.

Remember Paul was writing in defence of his apostleship to these Galatians.

Paul was not saying he went to Peter to see if he was preaching the truth.

That had already been settled by the Lord!

Paul said that he spent 15 days with Peter so that was not enough time for Paul to get some new “Gospel” message.

Act 9:26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
Act 9:27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
Act 9:28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.

It was only after Peter had been convinced that Paul felt he could move in and out of Jerusalem but many in the Church were still wary of Paul and remained afraid of him.

So Paul also met with the Pastor of the Church at Jerusalem.

*****Gal 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.

There are many including the Catholic Church that deny that the Lord Jesus had any brothers by Joseph and His mother Mary but what do they do with this verse?

James was the presiding elder, or the Pastor of the church at Jerusalem.

Gal 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

It is this same James who also wrote the “Epistle of James”.

Jas 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

It is this same James that the Apostle Paul says was also the half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The half-brothers of the Lord did not believe the Lord while He was alive but when they saw Jesus walk out of that grave, they became believers.

Joh 7:5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.

Act 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

There is also the “Epistle of Jude”. Jude was also a half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jud 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

And then Paul adds, “these things are the truth as I stand before God”.

*****Gal 1:20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.

What Paul is saying to these Galatians was, “that if you hear anything that differs from what I am telling you then that thing would be a lie”!

What have we learned so far?

We need to become witnesses to all our old friends and our own family.

We need to allow unbelievers that knew us before we were saved see that knowing the Lord Jesus Christ will make a noticeable change in our life.

We need to seek help from the Church and the Church leaders before we begin a ministry for the Lord.

And most important we need to get alone with God and spend some time with Him!

1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

And it is only after these things that Paul went home to witness to his family and his friends from his early life as a child.

After all, the family can be the toughest to win over to the Lord, even Christ Jesus knew this was true.

Mat 13:57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
Mat 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

*****Gal 1:21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;

Tarsus is where Paul was born and where his family resided. This would be the area where Paul’s childhood friends were located.

Paul had a desire to share the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” with all those he had ever known.

Tarsus was the capitol of Cilicia but Cilicia was now part of the area called Galatia.

Tarsus was also near the border of Syria and the chief city of Syria at that time was Antioch of Syria.

Later when Barnabas came after Paul, he did not have to go very far.

The roads from Lystra and Iconium ended at Tarsus.

Paul was well acquainted with this region.

Paul had a new outlook on life and he wanted all the world to know!

Paul had a new understanding of those Scriptures he had studied all his life!

Paul finally understood the words of Jesus Christ.

Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Paul had changed so much that he was unrecognizable to the churches that had been established in all Judea.

*****Gal 1:22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:

We must remember the intent of this testimony of Paul was to show these Galatians that he was saved by the “Grace of God” and not by any teaching that had come from the Apostles or from the home church in Jerusalem.

We also know that it was the Church of Antioch of Syria that had approved of Paul’s missionary work and not the Church of Jerusalem.

Paul’s point to these Galatians was that his ministry was recognized by people who had never seen him.

These Galatians had seen Paul, they had heard his message and believed and been saved by God’s Grace, without works but now had been turned around in doubt of the truth by false teachers of a false doctrine.

What was Paul’s reputation in Judea?

*****Gal 1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.
Gal 1:24 And they glorified God in me.

Here we can see the results of a God centered life after salvation.

There should be a noticeable change after accepting the “Grace of God”!

Those that think they have to do some work in order to pay the debt of those wages of sin, will all their lives seek to pay a debt that they never had the ability to pay to begin with!

The Lord Jesus Christ paid a debt that we could never pay!

1Jn 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1Jn 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

One of our best witnessing tools is our testimony of a God-centered life which can encourage others to see the truth of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!

People want to see living examples of “Faith”!

It is those who create imaginary works in their own minds trying to please a God, who saves only by His Grace that give Christianity a bad name!

If our testimony is not for God, then it is against God!

If your life is not an example of the life of Jesus, then we need to be working on it!

Joh 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

And Jesus added:

Joh 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

What is the greatest ordinance of the Christian?

To be a servant, surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ!


Let’s Pray!