UNDERSTANDING the SCOPE of our COMMISSION
November 14 Bible Reading: Acts Chapters 25-28
And He said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.' (Acts 26:15-18)
Apostle Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus (9:1–19) was so important to him that he recounted it twice, once before the Jewish crowd in Jerusalem (22:6–16), and again before this mainly pagan audience in Caesarea. Here Paul gives a condensed summary of the commission which was given him by the risen Lord Jesus Christ. He had had this special revelation of Christ in glory because he was appointed to be a servant of the Lord and a witness of all he had seen that day along with all the great truths of the Christian faith.
Paul was sent especially to the Gentiles to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Through faith in the Lord Jesus, they would receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified. H. K. Downie shows how verse 18 reveals four things what the gospel does in the lives of people:
- It relieves from darkness.
- It releases from the power of Satan.
- It remits sins.
- It restores a lost inheritance.
Paul was totally committed to his call to spread the gospel and establish churches throughout the known world. The gospel itself is forever the same, but as Christ’s followers we are called to shape our message to fit our various audiences. Let us understand the scope of our commission, which is similar to Paul, and make sincere attempts to preach the gospel to the lost people around us and also send others with our prayers and financial support!