This week we will be looking at Acts 9-11, specifically at the moments immediately surrounding the advance of the Gospel into the Gentile world.
Paul’s own insight into this advancement is recorded in several letters he wrote to various churches. When he wrote to Ephesians for instance he reminds them, and therefore us, that it is a mystery that “the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel (3.6)”.
Sadly today we seem to have lost some of that mystery. It seems neither mysterious nor new nor exciting to think that Christianity is for more than the Jewish people. In fact, quite the opposite, it would seem that many would say that this is the way it was always meant to be and there is nothing mysterious about that.
Just because it was always God’s plan of mercy to save you however does not change the mystery of it. In fact, God’s planning the mystery from ages past only adds to the mystery. That the Father from eternity past knew and orchestrated life such that HE would one day sacrifice HIS own Son to save you – who were born not HIS people is a true mystery. That the Son for eternity knew and accepted and embrace the knowledge that HE would one day veil HIS eternal glory and come to HIS creation as a pauper. HE would live and move in relative obscurity only to be falsely accused and executed all for the sake of saving you from your own sin is a mystery. That the Holy Spirit – from eternity – knew and accepted that HE would apply and work out your salvation even as you continue to struggle with and against your own desires to rule your own life is a mystery.
Let us never become unmoved by God’s salvation. Let us never cease from being amazed by God’s grace. May we embrace the mystery of our own salvation and consider the salvation of our neighbors neither something more nor less than the mysterious salvation God brought on each of us. And as Paul applies this mystery to life let us do the same. “Let us live with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”