In Paul’s first letter (Galatians 1:15) and in his sixth letter (Romans 1:1), he speaks of being set apart for a specific purpose. In Romans 1:1-2 he is “set apart for the gospel of God, which He (God) promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son.” Paul is seeing his calling as a divine act that separated him from a former life of persecution to a new life that would be dedicated entirely to proclaiming the “gospel of God…concerning His Son” that was foretold by the prophets.
Paul takes this idea further into the past in Ephesians 3:7-13 by saying that “of this gospel I was made a minister…according to the eternal purpose that He has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Before creation, the gospel was purposed in the mind and heart of God! It is no wonder that Paul goes on to say “in Christ Jesus our Lord in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.” (3:12).
According to Matthew 28:19-20, we also are set apart for this “eternal purpose”, that the gospel should be proclaimed with “boldness” and with “confidence”. Is it any little wonder that Paul went through so many trials and never lost the vision of his calling? What about you and me. Is your calling because of your education or denomination, or is it rooted in God’s “eternal purpose”?
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