Monday, September 30, 2013

Gee, Thanks

Judges 7:4 KJV
And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.

When Gideon received the call of God to be a deliverer I can imagine he might have had some particular ideas what that would look like:
  • Perhaps something like a kingdom
  • Probably something like a hero
  • Maybe he at least thought God would give him some helpers in the work
But when crunch time came and the Midianites were slated to be driven out, God told Gideon he had too many followers. God then told Gideon He would try these men for him a pare down the number to those God intended to be serve with him. 

Maybe Gideon's first thought was that he didn't need this sort of help from God. Perhaps, if Gideon were among the Christians of today, he would have felt like he didn't want God doing him these kinds of favors. 

We tend to view blessings, additions and gifts as all coming from God while thinking of trials, hurdles and difficulties as always being of the devil. Truth be told too many of our so called blessings are of the devil and meant to distract us from the way while more of our troubles than we would think are from God and are meant to build us in our most holy faith. 


We can be quick to praise God for what we think is the hand of God in blessings and gifts. We should be as quick to thank God for those trials He does "for us" so that we might truly grow in faith and in our honoring of the Lord. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Certain Disciple

Acts 16:1 KJV
Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:

When Paul got to Derbe and Lystra he ran into this "certain disciple" named Timothy. This young man became a main player on Paul's evangelistic team. As Paul awaited his own execution it was to Timothy he chose to write his final words.  

We never know who that next person we meet might turn out to be. It might seem like such a small thing to shake hands with someone you have never met before, but that introduction could be life changing for the two of you. It therefore is important that we take each encounter with another person as a serious, essential and life changing matter. 


Get to know people. Take time with them. Look them in the face and remember their name. Who knows; this may be the most important meeting you will have in your life. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Dissention, Disputation and Contention

Acts 15:2 KJV
When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

There is a popular and well meaning teaching being promoted these days that any sort of "righteous indignation" or anger is wrong. The teaching seems to make sense in that almost any time we grow angry the results are undesirable. Also, since Christians are here to win the lost and minister to hurting people, growing angry at them seems to be counter productive. The problem is that the teaching is based upon human reasoning and a wrested use of Scripture. It simply is not what the Bible teaches. Here we find Paul embroiled in three sorts of righteous indignation:
  • Dissention
  • Disputation and
  • Contention
Dissention and disputation in Antioch against the Judaizers
The word Dissention means an uprising. There is no way to interpret it as civil. I think the reason the matter was taken to Jerusalem is precisely because it was such a heated event. 

Disputation in Jerusalem
This word is less violent; it means mutual questioning and discussion.  I do notice that Paul did not allow to dispute to prevent him from declaring the conversion among the Gentiles in all the stops between Antioch and Jerusalem. Rather than waiting to hear the outcome of the hearing in Jerusalem he pushed harder to get the word out what God was doing among the Gentiles. 

Contention with Barnabas
One definition of this word is to incite with anger. These two partners in ministry seem to be forever separated over this difference. Though Paul is later reconciled with John Mark, the source of this contention, we never read of Barnabas again. Some think that because Paul later reconciled with John Mark he was wrong in his contention with Barnabas. I doubt that. The Bible gives no such indication. I believe the contention was well founded and, though John Mark got things right with Paul, Barnabas never did. 


We are to earnestly contend for the faith. We are to stand as good soldiers for the cause of Jesus Christ and, while we ought never stoop to hatred of another soul, we must be incited even to anger for the truth's sake. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

No One and Everyone

Acts 14:17 KJV
Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

Though in times past the primary work of God was among the Jews, suffering the Gentiles to walk in their own ways, this does not mean that He was without a witness even among them. He sent did them good and provided those things that fill the heart with gladness. 

This is the answer to the aborigine and other native people who seemed to have died without hope. God has always had a witness for them, should they be of the nature to hear it. The heavens declare the glory of God if a person will but receive it. 

This is also the answer for such a world as we live in today. So much of religion is confusion and chaos that people make the excuse they don't know where the truth is. But it is just an excuse. God has not left Himself without witness and, if a person will but seek the Lord he will discover that God is near enough to guide him where truth may be found. 


No one is without witness and therefore everyone is without excuse. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

He Does What Religion Can't

Acts 13:39 KJV
And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

The Apostle makes a clear contrast between believing on Christ and trusting the Law of Moses (spell that religion). The Jews had come to practice the letter of the law of Moses without seeing the Saviour that law pointed to. They had become satisfied in their religion. They had come to view their practice as the redeeming thing. 

Far too much of modern Christianity has taken on this Judaistic legalism. Whether we refer to the liberal and modernist churches such as Catholicism and mainline Protestantism, or more rigid denominations that coerce their spiritual practices in their congregations the effect is the same; people are trusting a practice and missing a Saviour. 

I am not recommending a kind of Christianity without standards. Far from it. I am certain that a faith relationship with Christ transforms a person's life as well as his soul. But religion gets the cart before the horse and leaves the would be passenger pulling both the cart and the horse.

Christianity is faith in Christ to redeem and to justify. Christianity gives people a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light. Christianity gives a man rest in his soul that changes the works of his flesh. 


Christ does what religion can never do. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

God Proves His People

Judges 3:1-4 KJV
Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;
Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;
Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath.
And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.

The Expository Bible Commentary has this to say, "It is emphatically affirmed that God fulfilled His design for Israel by leaving around it in Canaan a circle of vigorous tribes very unlike each other, but alike in this, that each presented to the Hebrews a civilization from which something might be learned but much had to be dreaded ... not by undivided possession of the Promised Land, not by swift and fierce clearing away of opponents, was Israel to reach its glory and become Jehovah’s witness, but in the way of patient fidelity amidst temptations, by long struggle and arduous discipline."

God proves His people.

It may be the most difficult aspect of faith for us to make sense of.
  • In our minds it ought to be that God makes the road to faith the most obvious and easy one
  • It seems to us that if a person claims to seek the Lord, God would help him on his quest
We tell the searching soul "Take the first step toward God and He will carry you the rest of the way." But very often the truth is that we find, as Jesus said, the way is strait and narrow. It is strewn with obstacles and trials all intended to weed out the faint of heart and strengthen the child of God. He does not tolerate a Christian who is not experienced in warfare. 

  • It is hard
  • It incurs casualties but
  • It is the truth of the Bible

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Importance of Memorials

Judges 2:7-10 KJV
And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel.
And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.
And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.

It was never Gods intention that people live in a constant state of amazing miracles; Red Sea and Jordan River like experiences. Those types of things happened, but not all of the time. God provided instead memorials like the altar made at the Jordan River and the rehearsing of those miracles in the Bible as a means to teach future generations the truth about God. 

When the generation that followed Joshua came to maturity the Bible says they knew neither The Lord nor the works He had done. This is clearly points out that Joshua's generation had not obeyed the Lord in some very important ways; while they did battle with the Canaanites they neglected to teach their children the memorials. 

I observe a similar problem happening very often in people of faith these days. While we are about the business of walking by faith and learning to trust the Lord we frequently leave our children to fend for themselves in the spiritual realm. 
  • It may be we make them go to church
  • It might be we send them to Christian school
  • We probably allow them to be involved in a youth activity
But do we teach them the Word of God personally? Do we show them what God has done in our own lives so they can come to know the Lord through these visits with their own parents?


If a generation grows up to not know the Lord the blame must be laid squarely upon the shoulders of the parents. They were provided memorials from God intended to be taught to the children. It is a shame if they get so caught up in their own battles they never take time to teach them to their kids. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Work of Loving God

Joshua 23:11 KJV
Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.

Joshua urges the people to watch carefully and guard themselves to love the Lord with all their hearts. The reason such warning is necessary is because our hearts are so prone to the love of this world. 
  • Without realizing it
  • Slowly and subtly
  • In ways that seem innocent
  • With excuses that seem necessary 
The heart embraces the things of the world and the one who would have never dreamed of loving anything more than God finds itself captivated by the allurements of temporal pleasure and comfort. 


To love the Lord requires constant vigilance and never failing maintenance. We slip away from loving God so easily that we must be always fearful of the devouring effect of this roaring lion of worldly lust. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Suddenly

Acts 9:3 KJV
And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 

The story of Saul of Tarsus reads like a representation of what happens to all Christians. 

His conversion to Christ is sudden and unexpected. 
It takes everyone around him by surprise. Yea, it takes him by surprise. 

On further reflection he can see that there has been some goading toward Christ for some time
Though no one else likely saw it and he secretly kicked against it, the Lord had been dealing with him since the death of Stephen. His conversion was simply the supernatural response to the goading of the Holy Spirit if God. 

The greater part of the story happens after his conversion. 
The conversion itself happens surprisingly quickly in the chapter. The rest of the chapter, indeed, the rest of the book of Acts, chronicles the working of the Lord after conversion. 

So it is in our lives:

  • We may not recognize the ministry of the Spirit toward salvation until well after we are saved
  • Our salvation experience is sudden and very often unexpected. It was the last thing we thought would happen on that day
  • The ministry of God happens for the rest of our lives as He leads us, teaches us, corrects us and uses us for His service until we go home to heaven. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Prevailing

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

Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against His church but he did not promise persecutors would not make havoc of the church. Such havoc Saul of Tarsus committed. He spared neither the men nor the women but was merciless and tireless in his efforts to eradicate his world of the "heresy" of preaching Christ as Saviour. 

However, no matter the effort he put into his persecution, and no matter how successful he was in binding men and women into prison he was unsuccessful in prevailing against the church.
  • Where one Church was dissolved many sprung up in its place
  • Where one Christian was killed, others soon converted to believe in and preach this same Jesus

In the end, the very one who had made havoc of the church, far from successfully prevailing against it, found its Saviour prevailed against him. 


What a blessing to be a part of such a blessed work!

Friday, September 20, 2013

No Worse Sinners

Acts 7:2 KJV
And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,
Acts 7:51 KJV
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
Acts 7:60 KJV
And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

I am interested in the relationship Stephen represents himself having with his detractors here:
He begins by associating himself as one of them
Men brethren and fathers...
As the message progresses (his answer to their question is to declare to them the message that he had been accused of preaching) he identifies himself as, like they, the children of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. He refers to the great names in Jewish history as "our fathers".

But then a serious change takes place in verse fifty one
"Ye stiffnecked...as your fathers did..."
Here he separates himself from them. Their fathers were no longer his fathers. They had aligned themselves with those who had killed the prophets and he would no longer claim them. 
It was at this point they grew so angry as to stone him.

When Stephen saw Jesus, he began to pray for his persecutors. 
...Lord, lay not this sin to their charge...

No longer was he identified with them as Jews but he did identify with them as sinners. They were about to kill him but he could hold no animosity against them. They were, after all, no more in need of a Saviour than he had been. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

We Worship Him

Acts 6:13 KJV
And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:

See the idolatry that had set in Israel. Their concern was for the place and not the Person of God. Stephen had not spoken any blasphemy against the law of God, but the very Word of God speaks of the destruction of both Jerusalem and of the Temple there. 

The Jews had taken their religion to a level never sanctioned by God; they had turned the place and the things used in worship as objects of worship. 

What sin we are so capable of when we make things the object of our worship! Even sanctified instruments of God may become the tools of terrible idolatry, leading to gross sin.
  • We worship God alone
  • We hallow His name alone

We worship Him and the truth He has given us; not a building, a place or any other object of human creation.

An Unexpected Blessing

Acts 5:13 KJV
And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.

Unlike so much of what is called Christianity today, the Bible is as interested in who it keeps out as in who it allows in. There is some debate over exactly who is referenced in the phrase "the rest". Regardless of what group these are:
  • Unbelievers in general
  • Unbelieving rich or even
  • Influential church members trying to use wealth to gain power
The lesson is the same; God isn't interested in building a body through simple inclusiveness. He has standards
  • For salvation
  • For membership and
  • For leadership
I note that this obviously exclusive mentality did not hinder those who were truly converted from being added to this church. Believers were, in fact, the more added because of it. 


We do not harm the work of God to expect high standards of the people of God. We do not hinder the ministry by excluding those who do not like our convictions. God's work is progressed through convictions and standards. Exclusivity produces inclusivity of the right sort. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Result of Filling

Acts 4:31-33 KJV
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

When they were filled with the Holy Ghost the result was
  • Boldness
  • Selflessness
  • Power and
  • Grace

I am reminded that even in the midst of this movement of the Holy Spirit there was Ananias and Sapphira. The work of God can be perfect even when people in it are not. 
Boldness
To speak the Word of God despite the pressures and fears of the repercussions and persecution.

Selflessness
To see to the needs of others, especially but not restricted to their spiritual needs. 

Power
Upon the preachers to testify concerning the resurrection and its impact in this world. 

Grace
To see God blessing and using each Christian in the way that He pleases. 

There was still to be trouble:
  • Internally, Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Ghost
  • Externally, Saul of Tarsus would breath out threatening a and persecution

But the grace of God saw the ministry progress for the cause of Christ.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Repent and Be Converted

Acts 3:19 KJV
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

Acts 3:26 KJV
Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

There is little question that Peter's focus in this message has to do with sin and not heaven. 
  • Repent
  • Be converted
  • Blot out sins
  • Turning from iniquities
Peter said God sent His Son for the purpose of turning us from our iniquities.

Modern Christianity focuses on heaven and hell and leaves sin practically out of the question. We urge people to ask Christ to come into their hearts and take them to heaven when they die. Peter would have urged them to turn from their sins and place faith in Christ to blot out their sins. We ask people to get saved; Peter called on people to be converted. 


Heaven is the final chapter. When once we see where this world ends, heaven is where the Christian finds rest and peace. But today we have a work and a life in earth. Today's call is to repent and turn away from our sins; to be converted through faith in Jesus Christ. In other words the emphasis now is on being that new creature. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fear Drives Fighting

Joshua 10:2 KJV
That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty.

It was because these five kings feared the Jews that they fought the Jews. 

Very often the force driving a man to fight is his fear. It may appear to be
  • Arrogance or
  • Egotism or even
  • That he claims he has a cause
but the truth is that he is afraid of the consequences if he doesn't fight. 

The men at the Alamo were afraid if what would happen if they did not fight. 
Afraid of loosing their property
Afraid of losing the fortunes
Afraid of losing their dignity
Afraid of losing their freedom
Once under siege by Santa Ana they knew that to surrender would mean to be executed. They were afraid not to fight. 

When the Philistines learned that the Jews had brought the Ark to the battle, they were afraid and fought that much harder. 

Many times those who pick a fight with us who are Christians it is because they are afraid of what Christianity represents
  • That they are indeed sinners
  • That their sin will indeed send them to hell
  • That their family heritage and tradition is wrong
  • That loved ones, if the faith of the Christian is true are eternally condemned
They fight Christianity because they are afraid that it is true. 


And they need to be won, not defeated. They need Christians to patiently reach out to them and befriend them. They need us to suffer violence if necessary rather than to strike back so that we might rescue them from their own fears. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Tale of Two Fools

Joshua 8:14 KJV
And it came to pass, when the king of Ai saw it, that they hasted and rose up early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at a time appointed, before the plain; but he wist not that there were liers in ambush against him behind the city.

Chapters seven and eight chronicle the foolishness of both Israel and Ai. 
Israel was foolish in not waiting on God 
Their failure in the first battle for Ai was not in taking too few men or even in having a cocky spirit. Their failure was in not waiting on The Lord. Had they done so they would have learned that Achan had sinned and they would have had opportunity to correct the sin before the battle. 

Ai was foolish in supposing that Israel could be beaten at all

They had successfully defended their city the first time but that was an anomaly. God was teaching his children a valuable lesson. They would not need the lesson a second time. God's will is always accomplished even in this untoward world. It may appear otherwise as God allows setbacks in order to teach His children but the outcome is pre-cast. God is the victor. It is foolishness to believe we can fight against God and win. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Because

Joshua 6:17 KJV
And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.

The Bible says that Rahab was saved because she hid the spies. This should not be taken to mean that the act of hiding them saved her, but what is demonstrated and represented in the act. 

The act demonstrated faith
·         There was faith in the God of the Jews
·         There was faith in the word of the these men
·         There was faith in the protecting hand of God 
She believed that the God of the Jews was not only able to defeat the enemy but to save her alive in the midst of the storm. She believed that God would not only bring condemnation upon sinners but forgiveness upon repentance

The act demonstrated change of heart
The cup of their iniquity was full and hers had contributed to that fill. Her lifestyle, her habits her manners had all been poured in to the cup of Jericho's iniquity. But 
·         She had heard of the God of the Jews
·         She had believed the word concerning Him
·         She had accepted that condemnation was just
·         She had hoped in salvation and
·         She had then received it
Even though in this passage the salvation is a promise and not effected as of yet, God was making provision for her actual salvation. 

The act demonstrated a new kind of being

This was completely out of the character of one of her character. Her previous occupation proved that her natural inclination was to do what was convenient and easiest to make a buck. She had always taken the low road heretofore. This act represents a different direction in her life. She did the dangerous and difficult thing. She did the thing that was difficult immediately in anticipation of receiving that which was greater eventually. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Stand Firm

Joshua 3:17 KJV
And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.

The priests were the first to enter Jordan while it was still flooding. They were the last to leave and while the people passed through, they stood firm. 

I see in this a tremendous picture of the minister of God
He must first immerse himself in God's Word. He must stand firm through the challenges of ministry as he watches people pass by him. He is not one of them. They can go right on. He must stand firm. 

I see a picture of the godly parent
He provides for his children a safe passage to heaven because he stands firm with conviction. He does not force his will upon his kids but lives an exemplary life that his children will ask him about son that he may teach him truth. 

There is also a picture of the day to day Christian

He is, according to the Bible, the New Testament priest. He is to be the one who stands firm in the midst of the flood and by doing so, makes a way for others to see Christ and be saved. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Why Goals Can't Be Met; Finding the Will of God

Joshua 2:5 KJV
And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.

The soldiers of Jericho made a terrible mistake and one we would do well to learn from. They were busy about their work but:
  • They for ahead if their goal
  • They quit too soon
Through the urging of Rahab they pursued after a prey that had not yet left the city. As quickly as they would race ahead, they would never catch these two because they were behind them. And then, before finishing their duty, they quit the chase and returned home. True, they would never have caught the spies running ahead of them but neither did they catch them by quitting. 

Christians are frequently frustrated in their call because they get ahead of the Lord. He has
  • A plan
  • A will and
  • A place of service
for these Christians but because they are so anxious to be in the Lord's place of service; they serve God, never getting to where He truly called them. Then, frustrated with not finding the will of the Lord they make a second great error, they quit. 


If the soldiers had just continued their search; if they had just slowed down a bit and kept at their duty, the spies would have been found out. So it is with the believer. Wherever we find ourselves today, if we will but slow down to listen to that still small voice of God and keep at the pursuit of the plan of God, we will no doubt find ourselves right in the middle of the will of God. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The World's Great Powers

John 19:10 KJV
Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?

There are two great powers visible here and another, unseen but still active:
  • The one, the power of government
  • The second, the power of heaven
  • The third the power of Satan

Pilate believed he wielded all the power. In truth he had but little. 
  • He worked for Rome
  • He was responsible to keep peace
  • The Jews would only be peaceful through his compromise. 
This man was completely at the mercy of his superiors, his peers and his charge. The situation drove him. He had not power at all to speak of

Satan has always thought he is a power. 
  • He lords over his kingdom abusing those in his grasp. 
  • He revels in the pain and suffering he creates
  • He blinds, binds and betrays those whose allegiance belongs to him

These two powers appeared to have won the day over the final of the three. 
  • It was Christ who was captured
  • It was Christ whose life was being debated
  • It was Christ the crowds jeered and called to die

  • Pilate believed he was in control
  • Satan thought he had defeated God

But Jesus was sovereign over it all.
  • The power of Rome fell
  • The kingdom of Satan was delivered its death blow and
  • Heaven's doors flung open for Christ and His followers 
all because the power at work on Calvary 

  • Was not Pilate's
  • Was not Satan's but
  • Was that of Jesus Christ

Monday, September 09, 2013

Followship

John 18:22 KJV
And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?

When they challenged Jesus' response to the High Priest He fairly ignored the office and simply continued with His topic. I am reminded of the Apostle Paul who stood before the High Priest years later and was also challenged for his response to the High Priest. Paul did not back from the truth but did acknowledge the authority of the office. 

In the contrast we see the difference between a great man, Paul and God/man, Jesus. Christ did not express submission to the High Priest as His office is above that of the Priest. Paul submitted to authority; Jesus gave authority. 

I see in this a lesson concerning "followship". We are to be followers of Jesus Christ. Paul was truly a great man but he is not the hero of our faith. That is Jesus alone.


And it is Jesus whom we must lift up as our one and only hero.