Paul’s Footsteps #88

Footsteps #88

Being that the gospel is such good news and is free, why would anyone resist or fight against it? The answer is simple: accepting the gospel calls us to set aside confidence in self and in worldly things such as money, power, and sexual attractiveness. Money, sex, and power are good things when submitted to the will and ways of God. But when people cling to these trivial matters that substitute for the assurance of the gospel, the gospel and those who proclaim it become a threat. 

Paul and Silas had entered Thessalonica in pain, their bodies bearing the cuts and bruises they had received from their heavy beating and confinement in Philippi. But tokens of the mighty power of God had encouraged their hearts (Acts16:16-36). They boldly entered the synagogue at Thessalonica, in spite of their pain, and spoke again of the Messiah, who had changed their lives and sent them on a mission to preach the good news in places where it had not been heard before. 

As shown in Acts.17:2-3, Paul walked the Jews of Thessalonica through these Messianic Old Testament texts and together explored the significance of the 2 strands of Messianic prophesies (The royal conquering texts and the suffering servant texts.) From the OT it had been unclear as to whether these two strands would occur together. The apparent confusion regarding the first advent of Jesus should make us vigilant about the confusion that can be apparent regarding the second advent if we are not seeking to understand what the Bible actually teaches. 

For Paul, the priority of suffering before glory was written into the prophecies long before they were to have occurred.   

The capstone of this New Testament conviction is found in the most widely quoted Old Testament text in the New Testament: Isaiah 53. The Suffering Servant of Isaiah was despised, rejected, and sorrowful (Isa.53:2-4). Like a sanctuary lamb, He was slaughtered on account of our sins (Isa.53:5-7), according to the will of the Lord (Isa.53:8-10). But, “After the suffering of his soul” (Isa.52:11), He would justify many and receive a powerful inheritance (Isa:53:12).


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