Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Mystery of The Gospel - Final

Act 22:1 "Brothers and fathers, hear the defense that I now make before you."
Act 22:2 And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew language, they became even more quiet. And he said:
Act 22:3 "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day.
Act 22:4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women,
Act 22:12 "And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there,
Act 22:13 came to me, and standing by me said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight.' And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him.
Act 22:14 And he said, 'The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth;
Act 22:15 for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard.
Act 22:16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.'

The crowd listens intently to him as he tells his story. If you continue to read no where does it state that they became inflamed at him for teaching about being in the presence of the risen Yeshua. So that shows that they were willing to hear of Yeshua.
Look at 22:14, Ananias tells him that 'The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth...'. He calls Yeshua the "Righteous One" and that Saul was given this opportunity to hear Him by the power of "The God of our fathers'. And this did not get the crowd upset. So what was it that got them so inflamed?

Act 22:17 "When I had returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance
Act 22:18 and saw him saying to me, 'Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.'
Act 22:19 And I said, 'Lord, they themselves know that in one synagogue after another I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you.
Act 22:20 And when the blood of Stephen your witness was being shed, I myself was standing by and approving and watching over the garments of those who killed him.'
Act 22:21 And he said to me, 'Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'"
Act 22:22 Up to this word they listened to him. Then they raised their voices and said, "Away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live."
Act 22:23 And as they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air,

Saul was given a a direct commission by the "Righteous One" to go to the Gentiles.
Bringing the Gentiles into Israel, through the Messiah of Israel, was the offense of the gospel to the Jewish crowd. Saul made this argument in Galatians 5:11.
Gal 5:11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.

Saul's view that the offense of the cross is the Gentile inclusion in Israel.
The offensive idea of Gentile inclusion is the "offense of the gospel" that Saul is being persecuted for. Saul was not arrested for preaching Messiah but for "the Mystery of the Gospel" preaching Gentile inclusion through Messiah.

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