The Apostle Paul -- By: Harvey Farmer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 092:367 (Jul 1935)
Article: The Apostle Paul
Author: Harvey Farmer

The Apostle Paul

Harvey Farmer

Secretary, American Auxiliary, The North Africa Mission

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an Apostle, separated unto the Gospel of God” (Romans 1:1).

These are the words of one who had been designated a chosen vessel, a minister and a witness by the ascended Lord who had appeared to him on the Damascus highway. Transforming grace was so triumphant as a result of this appearance that the zealous-hearted young pharisee, who had been exceedingly mad against the saints, became the channel of superabounding streams of mercy to perishing multitudes with whom he had contact by lip or letter. A countless host will be in the Father’s house from every clime, country and circumstance, who were saved and satisfied by the regenerating Lord as a result of this elect vessel’s ministry and witness, which was ever marked by the unction and urge of the Holy Spirit.

He became as enthusiastic for the Lord as he had been against Him previously. No untoward circumstances could ever avail to deter him from declaring the whole counsel of God, even though it meant bonds and imprisonments. The thought of compromise was altogether abhorrent to this Spirit-controlled convert, stones and stripes notwithstanding. Indeed, his passionate devotion to the Lord found expression in the deliberated determination to know nothing among men but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and to be willing very gladly to spend and be spent out in love for the souls for whom Christ died. Perils, persecution and poignant pain could not move him from his courageous loyalty to Christ, who had done for him so much more than tongue could tell.

He had been a blasphemer and a persecutor, but had obtained mercy. He was the chief of sinners, to whom had come an experience of the exceeding abundant grace of our Lord. He was less than the least of all saints, and yet to him had been given the inexpressible privilege of preaching among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.

Grace had so triumphed in his heart as to enable him to take pleasure in infirmities, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake for when he was weak, then was he strong. His allegiance was inalienably pledged to the King of Saints in whose service he spent thirty strenuous years. And when the executioner’s block comes into view he is still radiant as he recalls the past and reflects upon the future. We feel today the thrill of his last unaffected utterances: “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept t...

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