APOSTLE PAUL – Curriculum Vitae
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Raised at the feet of Gamaliel
Revelation from the Holy Spirit
1. Persecutor of the Christian faith
As a zealous Pharisee, I spearheaded a campaign of persecution and terror against those who followed ‘The Way’. One highlight in this role was the stoning of Stephen, a devout follower of the way. If you doubt my credentials, just read the Book of Acts, chapters 7 and 8.
2. The road to Damascus
This is where it all changed for me. Life was never the same after a dramatic encounter with Jesus Christ, the One I was persecuting in my zealous ignorance. After this day, everything changed. Name and all!
3. First missionary journey
Barnabas and I went from Antioch to Cyprus to Anatolia and back to Antioch. One highlight of this trip was my encounter with a magician called Elymas. God’s power flowed through me and blinded him! It was on this missionary trip that John Mark abandoned Barnabas and I. On one occasion, we preached in a synagogue and I showed my fellow Jews the revelation of Christ in the scriptures but they rejected my teachings. My mission from God became clear to me on this trip. I was to focus on preaching the gospel to the Gentiles.
4. Second missionary journey
I remember this journey with mixed feelings. Barnabas and I had to go our separate ways because our views differed radically on the issue of being abandoned by John Mark in our earlier trip. Barney being a constant encourager still wanted us to take him along but I refused. Silas later joined me on this missions trip. We visited Tarsus, Derbe and Lystra. I also recruited a young man named Timothy, who ended up being a God-send. This trip turned out to be one of the most dramatic in my experience as an apostle. I say this because we encountered a spirit of divination in a slave girl and moved by the Spirit of God, we cast it out. This really angered the business men who were exploiting the girl. We were both thrown in jail that day. What happened next gave me a deeper revelation of who God is and that never left me till the day I passed on to glory. Whilst in jail, we meditated on how God had so far blessed our missions trip with an amazing number of souls being saved. As we rejoiced and praised God, there was an earthquake that shook the prison cell and broke our chains! This incident was so powerful that the jail keeper gave his life to Christ as a result. On our travels, we also met Aquila and Priscilla, who ended up planting one of the most thriving churches of that era at Ephesus.
5. Third missionary journey
I travelled around the regions of Galatia and Phrygia to strengthen and rebuke the believers there. I stayed at Ephesus for three years. God performed wonderful miracles through me. It was an amazing time in ministry for me. I was humbled that God would use me this way. However, I was dismayed by what I heard was happening in Corinth. I had to send some stern letters their way. We finished this trip with a stop at Caesaria, at Philip the Evangelist’s place.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, I wrote 14 epistles in the New Testament. Some of these were written whilst I was imprisoned but rather than feel sorry for myself, I knew I had a task to fulfil for my Master. Time was of the essence.
A SHORT DESCRIPTION OF MYSELF
I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. 10 For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” (1 Corinthians 10).
I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. 5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (1 Corinthians 12).
For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. (Philippians 3)
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4).
God saw my CV when all I had on it was proud persecutor of Jesus Christ and His followers. He saw beyond what others saw. He saw me, loved me and gave me a new beginning. I know that if I applied for a job as a Senior Pastor at your church I may not have been given the role. Just remember that God sees the heart where man looks outwardly. Aren’t you glad that God does not call the qualified but He qualifies the called? I certainly am! Your CV is good enough for Him.