Pastor Vince Giardino was teaching once again on the Life of the Apostle Paul at Adult Sunday School. A handout was passed around to the class titled “Similarities in the Book of Acts”. It provided an uncanny list of parallel events between the apostles Peter and Paul within the book of Acts. It clearly demonstrated that the manner by which God used these men, Peter to the Jews and Paul to the Gentiles, was the same.
1 Thess 5:14 was cited as a checklist given by Paul: “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” A few verses later, Paul writes, “Prove all things” 1 Thess 5:21, exhorting the saints to be set for the defense of the gospel. Certainly, given Paul’s education and his acquaintance with the arguments of the day, he was more than equipped and ready to defend the Word. Some aspects of Paul’s ministry were given as follows:
- Paul’s Power – Power to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul was always saluting Jesus Christ, Pastor G. said. Paul understood that the power in his possession was not from himself, but from God. Concerning his prayers to rid himself of his “thorn in the flesh”, Paul said Jesus answered saying, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9. Other verses cited were Rom 1:16, Rom 15:19, I Cor 1:24, and I Cor 9:12, 18.
- Paul’s Passion – His passion was for prayer. Paul travailed in prayer, our pastor said. Phil 1:8-11 was read as an example of Paul’s prayers.
- Paul’s Prophecy – Paul was waiting on Christ, setting his eyes on Jesus’ return. Pastor read I Cor 15:51-54 and 1Thess 4:14-17.
- Paul’s Miracles – Paul’s miracles in the book of Acts were not to fight a physical battle. He was confirming the Word to Israel with signs in order to lead them to the gospel. Acts 19:11-12 was read as an example.
Brenda D. continued with her New Testament walk-through at the giant white board in front of the class. She would come to tears as she progressed through Revelation. The passages that told of the fate of the lost poignantly reminded her of loved ones who faced that very same fate.