Purpose and Power

Acts 26  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
God's great purpose is to save and to bless lost, sinful man. This becomes evident when we may least have expected it.
In Acts 26, we read that Saul of Tarsus was stopped on his mission of destruction to Damascus. The Lord appeared to him for a purpose, to make him a minister, and a witness, not of judgment, but of blessing.
A little before that time God's Son had been crucified and rejected from the earth. Messages of grace from heaven by the mouth of the Apostle Peter, and the testimony of the first martyr, Stephen, had been refused. Saul of Tarsus, a witness to Stephen's martyrdom, was of the company of his enemies who had stoned him to death.
What should have been expected after all this? Surely the immediate outpouring of God's judgment. Not so, for "God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world." John 3:1717For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:17). Accordingly, this very Saul of Tarsus was stopped on the journey from Jerusalem to Damascus. He was a chosen vessel, the witness of grace on God's part to man; for God was, and is, intent upon blessing man.
The Lord Jesus spoke from the glory to Saul: "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, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified.”
And Saul went forth, witnessing that Christ had suffered and risen again from the dead, according as the prophets and Moses had foretold, in order to show light to the people and to the Gentiles. For indeed "gross darkness" had set in, since He who was the Light of the world had been put out of it.
Reader, isn't this the very condition the world is in today? It is under the blinding power of Satan, its god. Darkness, gross darkness, pervades this whole scene. God is forgotten; Christ, the true Light, is put out; the whole dark world lieth in the evil one.
But God—at this very time of darkness—God Himself declared what He had done. He who is slow to judgment, who delights in mercy, turned that dark deed of man in nailing Christ to the cross into the occasion of His richest blessing. Christ, the Son of God, was made sin for us that He might bear the penalty of the very sin that put Him there! He "bare our sins in His own body on the tree." 1 Peter 2:2424Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24).
Christ has suffered! He died, was buried, and rose again. Because of His complete work accomplished on Calvary's cross, the glad tidings of life, light and salvation are now presented to you. This is God's power to "salvation to every one that believes." This is God's purpose for blessing to every one who receives. Reader, is He yours?
“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." John 1:1212But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12).