New PerspectivePosted October 26th, 2011
Richard Clark Jr.
It must have been mind-bending for the apostle Paul to realize that the prophecies and promises of Scripture he had studied from childhood, and then as a Pharisee, were fulfilled by a Man whom he despised.
Paul had fiercely persecuted the Christians before Jesus appeared to him and led him to conversion. But afterward, Paul had to view the “Law and the Prophets” from a new perspective, his whole identity drastically changed. Undoubtedly, He spent much time pouring over God’s word, seeking understanding and guidance for his new life as a Jew who had met his Messiah.
In his letter to the Believers in Rome, Paul said, “Whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15#4, NKJV). As Paul sought a solid foundation for his own new faith, he must have received the profoundest encouragement in the things that were “written before.” The Scriptures provided continuity between his Jewish heritage and his faith in Jesus.
In another place, Paul said that the stories of the Old Testament “were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10#11). And like the early Christians in Rome, you and I may also read the things that were written before to gain instruction, bring us comfort, and give us hope.