The Responsibility of Apostle Paul
The Apostle Paul felt a deep responsibility towards the people he listened to and ultimately converted, being baptized.
This story is about the responsibility that Apostle Paul felt on his journeys like the journeys to Pisidia.
He is known that at least at 3 of his missions Antioch and Pisidia were on the route.
Those who labor for souls must attain a deeper, fuller, clearer knowledge of God than can be gained by ordinary effort.
They must throw all their energies into the work of the Master. They are engaged in a high and holy calling, and if they gain souls for their hire they must lay firm hold upon God, daily receiving grace and power from the Source of all blessing.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
Titus 2:11, Titus 2:12, Titus 2:13, Titus 2:14.
Apostle Paul in Pisidia
Before pressing forward into new territory, Paul and his companions visited the churches that had been established in Pisidia and Antioch. As they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
Apostle Paul Felt A Deep Responsibility
The apostle Paul felt a deep responsibility for those converted under his labors. Above all things, he longed that they should be faithful,
“that I may rejoice in the day of Christ,”
“that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.”
He trembled for the result of his ministry. He felt that even his own salvation might be imperiled if he should fail of fulfilling his duty and the church should fail of co-operating with him in the work of saving souls.
He knew that preaching alone would not suffice to educate the believers to hold forth the word of life. He knew that line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, they must be taught to advance in the work of Christ.
It is a universal principle that whenever one refuses to use his God-given powers, these powers decay and perish. The truth that is not lived, that is not imparted, loses its life-giving power, its healing virtue.
Hence the apostle’s fear that he might fail to present every man perfect in Christ. Paul’s hope of heaven grew dim when he contemplated any failure on his part that would result in giving the church the mold of the human instead of the divine.
His knowledge, his eloquence, his miracles, his view of eternal scenes when caught up to the third heaven—all would be unavailing if through unfaithfulness in his work those for whom he labored should fail of the grace of God.
And so, by word of mouth and by letter, he pleaded with those who had accepted Christ, to pursue a course that would enable them to be “blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, … as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life.”
Philippians 2:15, Philippians 2:16.
Every true minister feels a heavy responsibility for the spiritual advancement of the believers entrusted to his care, a longing desire that they shall be laborers together with God. He realizes that upon the faithful performance of his God-given work depends to a large degree the well-being of the church.
Earnestly and untiringly he seeks to inspire the believers with a desire to win souls for Christ, remembering that every addition to the church should be one more agency for the carrying out of the plan of redemption.
Moving on to Phrygia
Having visited the churches in Pisidia and the neighboring region, Paul and Silas, with Timothy, pressed on into Phrygia and the region of Galatia, wherewith mighty power they proclaimed the glad tidings of salvation. The Galatians were given up to the worship of idols; but, as the apostles preached to them, they rejoiced in the message that promised freedom from the thralldom of sin.
Paul and his fellow workers proclaimed the doctrine of righteousness by faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ. They presented Christ as the one who, seeing the helpless condition of the fallen race, came to redeem men and women by living a life of obedience to God’s law and by paying the penalty of disobedience. And in the light of the cross, many who had never before known of the true God began to comprehend the greatness of the Father’s love.
Thus the Galatians were taught the fundamental truths concerning God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father. By the hearing of faith” they received the Spirit of God and became “the children of God by faith in Christ.
Galatians 1:3, Galatians 1:4, Galatians 3:2, Galatians 3:26.
Paul’s manner of life while among the Galatians was such that he could afterward say,
“I beseech you, be as I am.”
His lips had been touched with a live coal from off the altar, and he was enabled to rise above bodily infirmities and to present Jesus as the sinner’s only hope. Those who heard him knew that he had been with Jesus.
Endued with power from on high, he was able to compare spiritual things with spiritual and to tear down the strongholds of Satan. Hearts were broken by his presentation of the love of God, as revealed in the sacrifice of His only-begotten Son, and many were led to inquire, What must I do to be saved?
This method of presenting the gospel characterized the labors of the apostle throughout his ministry among the Gentiles. Always he kept before them the cross of Calvary.
“We preach not ourselves,”
he declared in the later years of his experience,
“but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4:5, 2 Corinthians 4:6.
The consecrated messengers who in the early days of Christianity carried to a perishing world the glad tidings of salvation, allowed no thought of self-exaltation to mar their presentation of Christ and Him crucified.
They coveted neither authority nor pre-eminence. Hiding self in the Saviour, they exalted the great plan of salvation, and the life of Christ, the Author, and Finisher of this plan. Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever, was the burden of their teaching.
Look at the Cross
If those who today are teaching the word of God, would uplift the cross of Christ higher and still higher, their ministry would be far more successful. If sinners can be led to give one earnest look at the cross, if they can obtain a full view of the crucified Saviour, they will realize the depth of God’s compassion and the sinfulness of sin.
Christ’s death proves God’s great love for man. It is our pledge of salvation. To remove the cross from the Christian would be like blotting the sun from the sky.
The cross brings us near to God, reconciling us to Him. With the relenting compassion of a father’s love, Jehovah looks upon the suffering that His Son endured saving the race from eternal death and accepts us in the Beloved.
Without the cross, man could have no union with the Father. On it depends our every hope.
From it shines the light of the Saviour’s love, and when at the foot of the cross the sinner looks up to the One who died to save him, he may rejoice with fullness of joy, for his sins are pardoned.
Kneeling in faith at the cross, he has reached the highest place to which man can attain.
Through the cross we learn that the heavenly Father loves us with a love that is infinite. Can we wonder that Paul exclaimed,
“God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”?
It is our privilege also to glory in the cross, our privilege to give ourselves wholly to Him who gave Himself for us. Then, with the light that streams from Calvary shining in our faces, we may go forth to reveal this light to those in darkness.