Sunday, February 03, 2008

Paul - the beast becomes beast-catcher

At the end of Acts 7 and beginning of Acts 8 Paul, then called Saul, is the beast who opposes the church. He spends his time "ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison." 8v3.
In Chapter 9 Christ knocks him off his horse and he stumbles around blind. This encounter converts him and notice in 9v18 "something like scales fell from his eyes". The beast loses his scales. He then becomes the primary focus of Acts in the second half of the book as the gospel goes to the gentiles. This Jewish beast becomes the key evangelist of the gentile world. Who is the head of the gentile world? Who is the most ferocious beast of all who will so terribly persecute the church? Caesar in Rome. Acts ends with Paul travelling to Rome to tame the beast. Whilst he may have ended up dying there, his ministry and the church he supported there becomes the seed for the conversion of Constantine years later and the formal Christianisation of the Roman world. God in his sovereignty can use the greatest opponents of the gospel and by converting them use them to win over the world.

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