Encouraging, Living, Reaching

A Man to Follow Part 3: Paul’s Early Commitment

A Man to Follow Part 3: Paul’s Early Commitment
May 02 Tags: Paul | 2 Responses Print Save as PDF

Previously we saw Ananias giving a warm introduction by saying, Brother Saul. It is very touching Ananias would find him on his knees praying. This was the start of what became a lifelong experience for him. Reading through his epistles how often he prayed and some of them are recorded.

It is vital young believer and older ones to do what our Lord commanded go into your room and shut the door, pray to your Father in secret and He will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:6 NKJV) Saul was now in communication with the Throne in Heaven. Will you take sometime today to do likewise?

His public confession

After Ananias laid hands on Saul, he received the Holy Spirit and was given his sight back again. The next thing he did was rise up and was baptized (Acts 9:18).

The question is often asked, how did he know about baptism? He was familiar with what the new disciples were doing when he was enraged against them. Those new converts were willing to put their lives on the line by identifying with the crucified risen Lord in baptism.

Perhaps Ananias told it would be expected of him. After all, the mandate given was to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you even unto the end of the age. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

Take the initiative with new believers

We often leave it to new believers to find the truth of baptism and wait until they ask for it. It is very clear we are to baptize those newly come to the faith. In the early church it was done almost immediately! Sadly many Assemblies link baptism with reception and it is a totally separate matter.

While it is true baptism precedes fellowship in an Assembly it is not an automatic door to it. However it’s a good thing when one follows the other in close succession.

Dear reader, if you are saved by God’s grace have you been baptized? If not why not? Don’t be afraid to talk with someone who will help you in this matter. There are many other aspects to the teaching on baptism which is a subject in itself.

A changed life

Saul now joins himself to the disciples at Damascus spending time in the Synagogues preaching that Christ is the Son of God (Acts 20:22) No wonder they were astonished for he is preaching the despised name he once hated.

This fired up the Jews causing him to flee and now he comes to Jerusalem. You can imagine the fear and skepticism in the assembly hearing he was coming among them.

His new companionship

We must thank the Lord for Barnabas. Declaring to them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and had spoken to him, and how he preached boldly at Damascus in the Name of Jesus. (Acts 9:27) So began a new cycle in his life for he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. (Acts 9:28)

The Assembly at Jerusalem was going to be a major part in developing this young man for the task before him. The Lord had said, “He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” (Acts 9:15)

Starting at home

Maybe there is a young believer thinking about the Mission Field. You must start first at home. The best way to learn is in your local Assembly being active and learning from every brother and sister in it. We will follow Saul in what happens to him before he became a missionary.

Jim Paul

Jim was commended to the Lord’s work from Scotland in 1981 and has served in NewFoundLand and Ontario preaching and teaching. He is an evangelist who loves sharing the gospel and has led many to the Lord. His burden is to see others take up the great commission and win souls for Christ.

2 Responses to A Man to Follow Part 3: Paul’s Early Commitment

  1. Avatar
    N.J. Abdy

    I like how you show that baptism should come soon as someone comes into the faith. But I was confused about what you said, that “Assemblies link baptism with reception and it is a totally separate matter” It was unclear to me what you mean by reception. What is being received?

  2. Avatar
    Jim Paul

    Thanks N.J for your comment but I did say many Assemblies (not all). Baptism in the Acts followed almost immediately after conversion sometimes on the same day. It is clear from Acts 2:42 it came before the formation of the local churches. However since local churches are now established it is important a person is saved and baptized before being received into the fellowship of a local Church. Baptism does not give that person the automatic right to fellowship. For instance many have been baptized at camps and in swimming pools but took a little while before meeting with the elders to learn what is the privilege and responsibility of being committed to the local Assembly. Baptism and reception are two different issues which does not necessarily happen at the same time. However the best situation is when after baptism association with an Assembly should come as soon as possible.

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