Working Effectively

“(for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles),” (Gal. 2:8) NASBU

Just what we’ve been saying, isn’t it? Paul brings God into it. God is the He of this verse. God worked effectually in the spreading of the good news (apostleship) among Jews was just as effective working with Paul in his apostleship to the non-Jews. The key word here is effectual. This seems to give us the idea that whether Jew or Gentile, the gospel as taught by Peter and Paul would do what God intended it to do. The good news was effective in changing the lives of people regardless of their race or country or any other division.

God saved the Jews who believed and obeyed the gospel taught by Peter. God saved the Gentiles who believed and obeyed the gospel taught by Paul. Same gospel, same results. Peter preached it to the Jews on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2. Those who heard the gospel were baptized. Peter preached it to the Samarians and when they heard the good news they were baptized. Peter preached it to the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8 and the Eunuch asked for baptism. Ananias preached to Paul and Paul was baptized. Peter preached to the household of Cornelius as recorded in Acts 10 and when he was finished preaching he ordered them to be baptized.

Beginning to see a pattern here? The gospel is preached, people believe, people obey. Is this an accident or a mere coincidence? Are is this what Jesus ordered done before he went back to heaven. Here are his words, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15, 16)

This is what Jesus told Peter and this is what Jesus told Paul and this is what Jesus told Ananias and this is what he told all who would be his messengers to the lost world. Now here is a very important question that every person who has heard of Jesus needs to ask. “Why did Jesus put belief and baptism together as the means of salvation?” This is a major question that needs to be answered by every person who believes in Jesus but believed they were saved without baptism. This quote from Mark was not a mistake. Matthew gives a similar quote in chapter 28:18-20.

I want to add them up for us. Jesus ordered preaching the gospel to the world and that those who believed the gospel should be baptized in order to be saved. Peter told people repeated to believe and be baptized in order to be saved. Ananias told Paul to be baptized to wash away his sins which is the same thing as being saved. Paul teaches that the new birth is a result of baptism (Rom. 6:3-7). Pretty impressive I think.

Task for Today: Let God work effectively in your life. First, let the gospel that His Son taught bring about an effective forgiveness of your sins. Second, when you teach the gospel to others make sure it is the same one that God used to good effect through Paul and Peter.

 

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