Acts 9 is the chapter where we see the debut of Saul of Tarsus, aka Paul the apostle, into the kingdom. He was approaching Damascus with letters from the high priest giving him permission to capture and transport Christians back to Jerusalem. A light from heaven flashes around him and he falls to the ground and hears a voice say, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" Paul responds, "who are You, Lord?" And Jesus says, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting." The story continues.
At the time of this event, Jesus was already crucified, resurrected and at the right hand of the Father, so the only persecution that He was experiencing was that toward His body on the earth. The amazing thing to me is that He considered the body (ekklesia) on the earth to be literally His body. It isn't a figure of speech. Study the language yourself.
Years ago, I remember asking the Lord how I could love Him, since I couldn't see, touch, or hear Him with my natural senses. He showed me by His Spirit that I was to love Jesus in His people. Just as He was literally persecuted as His body was persecuted by Saul of Tarsus and others, He is literally loved as His body is loved. Consider how you love, value, appreciate, serve, etc. His body. That is how you love, value and appreciate Him. What a wonderful thought!
Early last Sunday I was reflecting about passion in the lives of believers. I looked back through my own life and realized that there was a passion that was evident even when I was a child, and that my life had been moved and directed by that passion. Some (maybe all) of the major decisions that I’d made in my life had been influenced by that passion. Sometimes the passion had led me into some really bad decisions, that resulted in relational and financial problems. Sometimes I was led into sound decisions that had good results. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always passionate.
The New Testament word edify and its various forms is based on the Greek words oiko and domay or domeo, depending on the form used. Together they mean "to build the house" or "house builder." Remember that the OT house of God was the tabernacle and later the temple, but the NT house of God is His people (you are the temple of the Holy Spirit.) We’ll take a brief look at the OT picture and then develop an in-depth view of the NT perspective.
Let's DO Life!