Fully surrendered to Christ, Paul was a “new creation”. This motivated him to willingly follow Christ and His Word. He saw himself as a bond slave under Christ’s orders. Paul received the revelation that Christ had set him apart and given him a mission: to be an apostle to the Gentiles.
Our present-day word “missionary” comes from Latin; Paul’s word “apostle” comes from Greek. Both mean “one who is sent”. Paul and the twelve were set apart and sent out as apostles (missionaries).
In Jeremiah 23:16, 21 we read that not all prophets are sent: “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied.’”
Paul knew he was “called”. God chose him, equipped him with His Holy Spirit, and then sent him out. Knowing this, Paul could speak with Christ’s authority.
The true work of God in any human comes only after separation, but we cannot separate ourselves from the world. Each of us has to completely abandon ourselves to Christ. Then, and only then, can He separate us from all that opposes Him.
Many “Christians” are narrow-minded and cantankerous because they have been trying to give things up instead of giving them to Christ. They go after “Christianity” from the wrong end – believing if they give up things, they will be separated from the world. This thinking is based on human will, not on Christ. If we give up things and do not fill the vacuum with Christ, we will be filled with despair and bitterness.
Look at the “Christians” around you, and you will discover two groups. One group will rub you the wrong way by boasting of their good deeds as proof of their spirituality, yet they are not living the Christian life. No one likes listening to them. The other group fills you with admiration. You perceive their good motives, peace, humble spirit, and loving kindness. Their very presence lifts your hope and draws you to Christ.
Those in the second group have replaced their emptiness with Christ, and they are full of His nature. To them, separation means a new center, Jesus Christ.
Choate Baptist Church is located at 6355 State Hwy 239, just 8 miles southeast of Kenedy. We welcome you to join us on Sundays for Sunday School at 9:45 a.m., Morning Worship at 11 a.m., and Evening Worship at 7 p.m., and on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Brother Odom’s message can also be heard on Radio KAML 990 AM each Sunday morning at 8:30.