“Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office.”
“And last of all He was seen of me also, as one born out of due time. And I said, Who art Thou Lord? And He said, I am Jesus Whom Thou persecutest. But arise, and stand upon thy feet, for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee: Delivering thee from the people and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee.”
“My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own Nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. And He said unto me, Depart for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. Therefore I have pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee: Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.”
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious; but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly, in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners: of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting.”
“But by the grace of God I am what which was bestowed in vain; but I labored they all; yet not which was with me.”
“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.”
“Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter: (for He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles). And when James, Peter and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship: that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.”
“And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law. To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. For Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the gospel; not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, that I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. Yea, so have I strived, to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation.
According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon.”
“Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons. Serving the Lord! with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. But now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord, Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
“And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain. I am clean, from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles. According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.”
“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God: Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things nevertheless I am not ashamed; for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep my deposit that which He has committed unto Him against that day. That good deposit which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. And the things that thou hath heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also. Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.”
“Brethren, be ye followers together of me. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no more flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Whereof I Paul am made a minister: who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His Body’s sake, which is the Church Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill (complete) the word of God: Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you the hope of glory.”
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to youward: How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery (as I wrote afore in few words. Whereby, when you read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ). Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ: And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God. According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. And for me, that utterance may be given me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel. For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. This thou knowest that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me. At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.”
“Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened, me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom; to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.”
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.