Paul’s Calling, Teaching and commentary, chapter 1

To: The Scattered, called to be Spiritual Israelites, atOne with Jesus. 3/2/19, God’s 12th month 25th day of Adar 1, year 5,779 until sunset.

We can’t improve on Jesus’ inspired teaching principles through His apostles. Jesus’ apostle Paul was inspired to define God’s love. (See 1Cor 13) May we except, seek and apply His Love principles to ourselves. Doing this honestly requires holy spirit guidance. Without it’s guidance, words roll off our tongues in fleshly mode from our inherited “get way” nature. If our inherited from Adam nature isn’t miraculously altered God’s promised result is “eternal death.” However, thankfully, God the Father through God the Son “Jesus” calls a people to repentance, alters their inherited fleshly nature to a new spiritual nature, He referred to as “born again.” It begins when God calls, revealing Jesus and our self serving “get way” nature and its result. Such gifted belief IN Jesus leads to one’s gifted desire to be atOne with God the Father and God the Son, “Jesus” wherein is inherited immortality. It’s a “birth from above” “born again” or “fathering” event, likened to the wind’s blowing and makes it’s recipient literally “a child of God.” God calls people to convert to His Way and Jesus calls them “brethren.” Jesus explained to Nicodemus. (John 3:5-8; Jesus answered, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must all be born from above.’ (8) The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”)

Such conversion was gifted to Paul in route to Damascus. Jesus inspired doctor Luke to write the gospel titled, “Luke” and “Acts of the Apostles.” Dr. Luke was a traveling companion of Peter and Paul. Dr. Luke tells of Jesus’ resurrection, appearances, ascension and then Pentecost when Peter explains what people were seeing and experiencing on that third annual holy Sabbath. That Pentecost was a partial fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy through His prophet Joel. That particular Pentecost marks the birth of Jesus’ New Covenant with His Church, a people who’d be “spiritual Israelites.” God’s “chosen by promise people, desiring to be atOne with Jesus and God the Father.”

Chapter 7 is about persecutions, Believers IN Jesus people scattering, deacon Stephen’s sermon and his murder. Saul whose name was changed to Paul was there condoning the murder. Acts 10: is about Peter being called to visit the home of gentile, “Cornelius” that family’s conversion and Peter selling the “Jerusalem Church of God” on the fact that, “God also calls out gentiles for His purpose and gifting eternal life as to Israelites.

Under authority of Judaism’s High Priest, “Pharisee Paul” was arresting followers of Jesus and in route to Damascus to do more. (Acts 9:1-22; “Meanwhile Saul, still breathing out threats to murder the Lord’s disciples, went to the high priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, either men or women he could bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

(Acts 9:3-9; As he was going along, approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? So he said, “Who are you, Lord?” He replied, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting! But stand up and enter the city and you will be told what you must do.” (Now the men who were traveling with him stood there speechless, because they heard the voice but saw no one.) So Saul got up from the ground, but although his eyes were open, he could see nothing. Leading him by the hand, his companions brought him into Damascus. (9) For three days he could not see, and he neither ate nor drank anything.”

(Acts 9:10-16) “Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias,” and he replied, “Here I am, Lord.” Then the Lord told him, “Get up and go to the street called ‘Straight,’ and at Judas’ house look for a man from Tarsus named Saul. For he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and place his hands on him so that he may see again.” (13 But Ananias replied, “Lord, I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to Your Saints in Jerusalem, and here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison all who call on Your name!” (15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, because this man is My chosen instrument to carry My name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of My name.

(Acts 9:17-22; So Ananias departed and entered the house, placed his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came here, has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, his strength returned. For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “This man is the Son of God.” (21) All who heard him were amazed and were saying, “Is this not the man who in Jerusalem was ravaging those who call on this name, and who had come here to bring them as prisoners to the chief priests?” But Saul became more and more capable, and was causing consternation among the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.”) As with each individual, particularly those whose names are written in, “the Lamb’s Book of Life” God knows each better than they know themselves. Paul’s lawlessness against Jesus’ Way people was bad, but “Jesus saw a moldable chosen instrument.” The remaining “Acts of the Apostles” chapters are mostly about Jesus’ gifted nature at work in His apostle Paul.” Paul began realizing what he must suffer “for having Jesus’ nature gifted to him” and disrupting people way of living was dangerous.

(Acts 9:23-25; “Now after some days had passed, the Jews plotted together to kill him, but Saul learned of their plot against him. They were also watching the city gates day and night so that they could kill him. But the disciples took him at night and let him down through an opening in the wall by lowering him in a basket.”) Followers of Jesus naturally have a protective nature toward one another.

(Acts 9:26-30; “When Paul arrived in Jerusalem, he attempted to associate with the disciples and they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe that he was a disciple. (27 But, “apostle” Barnabas took Saul, brought him to the apostles and related to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. So he was staying with them, associating openly with them in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. He was speaking and debating with the Greek-speaking Jews, but they were trying to kill him. When the brothers found out about this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.”) As Paul communed with these apostles, “they discerned through his gifted message that he was spirit led.” Mature Believers IN are gifted with a like insight.

(Acts 9:31; “Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria experienced peace and thus was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, the church increased in numbers.”) (Within about 40 years Jude was compelled to write about the apostasy he saw taking place, “a renunciation of the faith that’s now world wide.” Soon afterward believers IN were forced to flee from persecutions. The rest of chapter 9 is about Peter’s travels, Jesus healing Aeneas through Peter and people of Lydda and Sharon turning to the Lord, and Peter going to Joppa where, “Tabitha - Dorcas” had died, “Jesus resurrecting her to physical life through Peter.” (Acts 9:43; “So Peter stayed many days in Joppa with a man named Simon, a tanner.”)

Jesus’ spiritual resurrection looks forward to “Believers IN being in the first and spiritual resurrection.” While Jesus’ resurrecting Lazarus to a physical life, people resurrected from their graves after Jesus’ resurrection and Jesus resurrecting Tabitha through Peter, look forward to future physical resurrections and restorations of Israel to the lands promised Abraham.

(Matt 27:51-53; Just then the temple curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks were split apart. And tombs were opened, and the bodies of many Saints who had died were raised. (They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.) (See Rev 2:11, 20:6, 20:14, 21:8, compare with Ezekiel 37:) All Israel is yet to be resurrected and delivered to the lands promised through Abraham.

After Stephen’s Murder

Acts 11:19-26; “Now those who had been scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen “Stephen’s murder” went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the message to no one but Jews. But there were some men from Cyprus and Cyrene among them who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks too, proclaiming the good news of the Lord Jesus. The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. (22 A report about them came to the attention of the church in Jerusalem and they sent “apostle” Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with devoted hearts, because he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith, and a significant number of people were brought to the Lord. (25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught a significant number of people. Now it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.”) Encouraging people who are God gifted with a desire to remain true to the Lord with devoted hearts is our mission too. “Paul taught, “God gives us the desire.” (Phil 2:12-13; “Continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence, for the One bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort – for the sake of His good pleasure – is God.”)

People can’t conjure it up, God gives the desire to know Him as He’s manifested to be in the holy scriptures and only He can cause us to desire Godly love. The outgoing unselfish desire to seek and be atOne with God is supernaturally gifted as is “born again.” The nature we inherited through Adam is, “a self serving get way” a created fleshly love of, “me, mine and ours.” Normally that fleshly love is somewhat hypocritical. Now Jesus’ apostle Paul teaches us how to identify Godly love. (We take liberty to add “Godly” to the text.)

(1Corinthians 13:1; “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have “Godly” love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”) When we aren’t gifted with Godly love, “our self serving, self righteous mentality inherited from Adam comes through our thoughts and eventually words.”

(1Cor 13:2; “And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have ‘Godly” love, I am nothing.”) Godly love looks forward to what’s best for others’ long term benefit.

(1Cor 13:3; “If I give away everything I own, and if I give over my body in order to boast, but do not have “Godly” love, I receive no benefit.”) It’s vanity and self love for me, mine and ours. No room for loving an enemy!

(1Cor 13:4-7; “Godly” Love is patient, “Godly” love is kind, it is not envious. “Godly” Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”) Godly love doesn’t use others for self serving gains. Godly love doesn’t gossip or repeat half truths in an attempt to shape opinions or fill self gratifying needs.

(1Cor 13:8-11; “Godly” Love never ends. (It’s perpetual like God’s own.) But if there are prophecies, they will be set aside; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be set aside. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when what is perfect comes, the partial will be set aside. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways.”) Without gifted Godly love, no one can grow in the grace and knowledge of God, no one can be spiritually matures. Altruistically defines Godly love, “even for one’s enemies.”

(1Cor 13:12-13; “For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and “Godly” love. But the greatest of these is “Godly” love.”) Without gifted love through the imputation of God’s spirit of truth, “fleshly love waxes cold, jealousy erupts and a lack of trust grows.

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