Summary: Paul had been a resident of Jerusalem during the earthly ministry of Jesus (some scholars believe that Paul was the rich young ruler of the gospels who refused to give up all he owned to follow Jesus.)
“New Things Have Come”
2 Corinthians 5.14-17
January 4, 2015 CFBC Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A Paul had been a resident of Jerusalem during the earthly ministry of Jesus (some scholars believe that Paul was the rich young ruler of the gospels who refused to give up all he owned to follow Jesus.)
1 At one time, Paul despised Jesus and hated everyone who did love Him. (He had relentlessly persecuted the early church/Christians.)
a He, and most other Jews, were looking for a Messiah who would deliver Israel out of the hands of the Romans, restore David’s Throne, usher in eternal Kingdom . . . Jesus didn’t do that.
b Even worse, Jesus was crucified on a cross, which was considered the ultimate sign of God’s disapproval.
Deuteronomy 21:23 (NASB) 23 his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.
aa Surly this man was no Messiah, itinerant Rabbi from Galilee is not the Savior.
bb Jesus’ outward appearance was a Messianic pretender, sham.
2 Acts 9:1-4 (NASB) 1 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
. . . the rest is history: Paul died on that road to Damascus that day.
a The principles, company, plans, views he once had were dissolved in awesomeness of Jesus.
aa When Paul meet Jesus he had to re-evaluate his view of Jesus (Not just an itinerant Rabbi, threat to Judaism
bb Once Paul’s view of Jesus changed . . . his view on everyone/everything else changed as well.
b It was Christ’s love for Paul that compelled/gripped him to serve the Lord Jesus wholeheartedly, as an act of worship.
B Paul never lost his amazement of Christ’s love for him (and us).
1 Romans 8:35-39 (NASB) 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Galatians 2:20 (NASB) 20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Ephesians 3:19 (NASB) 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
a Even until the end of Paul’s life (beheaded around 66 A.D. during the reign of Nero) he was still amazed of the love that Christ showed him.
2 Timothy 1:13 (NASB) 13 Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
b Christ’s incomprehensible, unbreakable, unconditional love overwhelmed Paul.
2 2 Corinthians 5:14-17 (NASB) 14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
a ETS: Paul’s entire life was changed when he changed his view of Jesus.
b ESS: Where there is a true encounter with Jesus there is always a life that is truly changed.