“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God, which He promised before through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for his name, among whom you also are the called of Christ;”
Romans 1:1-6, NKJV
Pastor James Montgomery Boyce details a story in his Roman’s commentary of two nineteenth century Barristers, Lord Lyttleton and Gilbert West. Both were unbelievers and decided to disprove Christianity. It is interesting to note that the two main bulwarks of the Christian faith they chose were the resurrection of Christ and the conversion and apostleship of Paul. West would investigate and write against the resurrection and Lyttleton would disprove the factuality of Paul’s life and ministry. They would then prepare books. In the midst of their study, West contacted Lyttleton and said there was evidence he needed to share. Lyttleton also stated his need to talk with West. When they finally communicated their hearts, Lyttleton told West, “Gilbert, as I have been studying the evidence and weighing it by recognized laws of legal evidence …I have become satisfied that Saul was converted and that Christianity is true.” West said he likewise was convinced the resurrection was true. Both books endorsed the resurrection and the conversion and ministry of Paul.
I find it fascinating that these two men who set out to denounce and disband the Christian faith, chose Saul’s life. A careful reflection helps us to understand the reason. Paul constantly emphasized that all believers were “in Christ.” Destroy Paul’s conversion and eventually his writings and the growth of Christianity are broken from the beginning. The wonderful fact is that all who are saved are in Christ.
All who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior are in Christ. All who are outside of Christ are lost, condemned, and have no hope for the future.
QUESTION: Who comes to your mind that is outside of Christ? What will you do to reach them?