Jesus chose and called Paul • Jesus: “he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.” (Acts 9:15) • Jesus: “the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they might receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.” (Acts 26:17-18) • “God … called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles” (Galatians 1:15-16) After Jesus ascended … Paul experienced 17 years of spiritual training in the desert regions before really beginning his ministry • “I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after 3 years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter … Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia … Then after 14 years I went up again to Jerusalem … And I went up by revelation” (Galatians 1:16-2:2) The source of Paul’s spiritual information • “But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:11-12) Paul’s ministry • “because of the grace given to me by God, that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God” (Romans 15:15) • “in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God … I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” (Romans 15:19) Yes, Paul was well trained to instruct us in the things that Jesus had taught him. Following are some of the commands and warnings he sent to his churches: • “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1) Choose life or death! • “you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether (slaves) of sin leading to death, OR (slaves) of obedience leading to righteousness … so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness … (if you really are!) slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life … For the wages of sin is (eternal) death …” (Romans 6:16-23) • “those who practice such things are deserving of (eternal) death” (Rom 1:32) • “to be carnally minded is (eternal) death … the carnal mind is enmity against God” (Rom 8:6-7) • “if you live according to the flesh you will die (spiritually)” (Rom 8:13) • “if God did not spare the natural branches (the Jews), He may not spare you either” (Rom 11:20) • “the unrighteous (habitual sinners) will not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9) • “(no one committing these sins) will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor 6:10) • “you are saved, if you hold fast that word … unless you believed in vain.”(1 Cor 15:2) • “godly sorrow (about your sins) produces repentance leading to salvation” (2 Cor 7:10) • “examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith … unless you are disqualified.” (2 Cor 13:5) • “you have become estranged from Christ … you have fallen from grace.” (Gal 5:4) • “those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal 5:21) • “those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal 5:24) • “we should be holy and without blame before Him in love …” (Eph 1:4) • “no (habitual sinner) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” (Eph 5:3) • “let no one deceive you … the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Eph 5:6) • “she (Jesus’ church) should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph 5:27) • “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12) • “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call (not rewards) of God” (Phil 3:14) • “to present you holy, and blameless … if indeed you continue in the faith” (Col 1:22-23) • “warning every man … that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Col 1:28) • “put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, etc.” (Col 3:15) • “because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Col 3:16) • “now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith” (1 Tim 4:1) • “continue (on) … for in doing this you will save both yourself and (others)” (1 Tim 4:16) • “flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience …” (1 Tim 6:11) • “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called” (1 Tim 6:12) • “that they be rich in good works …that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (1 Tim 6:18-19) • “the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life” (Titus 1:1-2) • “lest we drift away … how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation” (Heb 2:1-4) • “if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end” (Heb 3:6) • “lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God” (Heb 3:12) • “partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” (Heb 3:14) • “lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience (as the Isrealites died)” (Heb 4:11) • “it is impossible for (Christians) … if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance” (Heb 6:4-8) • “pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14) • “lest anyone fall short of the grace of God … and by this many become defiled” (Heb 12:15) • “he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently” (Heb 12:17) Paul is saying throughout his epistles, “A lot more is required of you than simply believing!” .