conversion of Saul
Genesis 1:26 (ISV) Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, to be like us. Let them be masters over the fish in the ocean, the birds that fly, the livestock, everything that crawls on the earth, and over the earth itself!”
Psalm 115:16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will in any way hurt you.
Matthew 28:18 Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Matthew 7:24 “Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock.25 The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it didn’t fall, for it was founded on the rock.26 Everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.27 The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell—and its fall was great.”
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the multitudes were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he taught them with authority, and not like the scribes.
God has never reneged on this.
The challenge to rise to what the Lord God wants.
The earth belongs to mankind. God will not swoop in and do man’s job.
If there is a problem in the earth, it is because man individually or collectively permits it. It is particularly up to believers to use the authority of the name of Jesus and the Word of God. God will work with believers in accordance with His Word. Believers have a part to play. Everyone is a part of God’s creation, but to be born again, to be a believer in Jesus Christ, is a personal choice.
Mark 16:20 They went out, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.
The Bible is full of examples where different ones or groups receive a miracle or a blessing or walk in the power of God
Does God have favorites?
Acts 10:34 Peter opened his mouth and said, “Truly I perceive that God doesn’t show favoritism; 35 but in every nation he who fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.
Hebrews 11:6 Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists, and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.
Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I come quickly. My reward is with me, to repay to each man according to his work.
What about grace?
A distinction must be made between the initial born again experience, which is by faith, through grace, and then serving the Lord after being born again.
Ephesians 2:8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Paul, who originally was known as Saul and who was persecuting Christians until he was converted, clearly understood that there was something beyond being born again.
This same Paul, who wrote a good deal of the New Testament, wrote this.
Philippians 3:7 However, I consider those things that were gain to me as a loss for Christ. 8 Yes most certainly, and I count all things to be a loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith, 10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death, 11 if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
13 Brothers, I don’t regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do: forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, think this way. If in anything you think otherwise, God will also reveal that to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the extent that we have already attained, let’s walk by the same rule. Let’s be of the same mind.
17 Brothers, be imitators together of me, and note those who walk this way, even as you have us for an example.
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