The Berean Expositor
Volume 21 - Page 202 of 202
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Paul was pre-eminently one who suffered for his Lord. Can we then, as we read that
list of sufferings, drawn from him with so many apologies (II Cor. 11: 22, 23), can we
speak of him as a mere doctrinaire, a pedant, a theology-monger, a splitter of hairs?
His own words in Gal. 1: equally emphasize the Person of the Lord:--
"When it please God . . . . . to reveal His Son in me that I might preach Him"
(Gal. 1: 15, 16).
Once again the revelation is concerning "His Son", and not a barren doctrine; the
preaching is concerning "Him", and not an empty argument. Gal. 2: will provide
another illustration:--
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in Me:
and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, Who loved me,
and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2: 20).
Here, the whole epistle to the Romans, the whole doctrine for which the apostle stood
and suffered, is expressed without one technicality or purely theological term, but in
burning, personal, affectionate words that revolve around the glorious Person of the
Saviour, "Who loved and Who gave Himself". Take the words of Phil. 1: 20, 21:--
"As always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether by life or by
death. For to me to live . . . . . Christ."
One word, one Person sums up Paul's doctrine, preaching and life, viz., Christ. His
prayer, too, in the same epistle is, "that I may know Him". And when at last, forsaken
and condemned, with the heart-break that is so often the only mead of self-denying
service, viewing "all Asia" turning from him, finding himself deserted at his trial by all
but God, he can still cling with unbroken faith and simple loyalty to that blessed Person,
the Rock beneath his feet, and the Crown and Goal before him.
"Nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know WHOM I have believed" (II Tim. 1: 12).
From Acts 9: to II Tim. 4:; from conversion to martyrdom; Paul's one ambition,
one aim, one message, one all-consuming love and constraining motive, was the living,
personal, Christ.
May spiritual perception be granted to all readers.