The Formation of Paul's Worldview
May 22, 2005
INTRODUCTION: It has been said that the Apostle Paul picked up where Stephen, the Martyr, left off. It was said of Stephen, in Acts 6:10, "And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke."
The first words of Paul's message in Damascus made it clear that there had been a major transformation. He is definitely not the man he used to be. He is now preaching the One he used to persecute. He is now blessing the One he used to blaspheme.
Shortly after Paul was changed by direct divine intervention, he repented (changed his mind) and began preaching, living, and challenging others with his new-found life. Somewhere between verses 21 & 23, the Lord led Paul to Arabia for three years of training. It is here that Paul forms a good bit of his world-view.
Galatians 1:11-18, "But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days."
God so convinced Paul of truth (absolute moral truth) that those that opposed him wanted him dead. William Barclay said, "It is also a witness of the effectiveness of Paul's preachi ...
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