GLORY OF GOD
A journalist of a popular national magazine stated that St. Paul must have been a much better evangelist than Jesus Christ. After all, the journalist reasoned, St. Paul reached and converted people by the thousands, whereas, Jesus stayed in Palestine and he only converted several hundred to his new way. It was also stated that if it was not for St. Paul Christianity would have died out.
Saint Paul in Galatians 2:20 declares, ďI have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.Ē
What this journalist failed to understand is that it was [and is] Jesus Christ who was working through Saint Paul because Saint Paul opened himself up to Godís grace. So, it is not that we are looking at either Jesus or St. Paul, but rather what we are considering is Jesus Christ, and what Jesus Christ does through and with St. Paul. By cooperating with the promptings of Godís grace Saint Paul allowed Godís glory to be made manifest in his own heart and in his life and in his works of evangelization.
So, what St. Paul did does not take away from the glory of God. St. Paul and his evangelistic works neither add to nor subtract from Godís glory. Rather, they are a manifestation of His Glory because it is Godís grace working through and in St. Paulís good works from beginning to end.
Unfortunately, one misguided preacher claimed that the quotation from Galatians above should be understood to mean that when Saint Paul was doing good works that is was all Godís doing and only Godís doing. He claimed that Saint Paul really had no active part in willing to participate and cooperate with Godís grace. For example, he claimed that when Saint Paul was writing Books of the Bible that he must have been in a trance or some unconscious state. Actually his description sounded like Saint Paulís state of mind was something like ďa mindless zombieĒ while the Holy Spirit took over. Sadly, this view point robs God of some of His greatest glory.
God is a gentleman. He does not violate our Free Will. Furthermore, Sacred Scripture shows that the human will was still active in those who were blessed by God to write those Sacred Books that were included in the Bible. For example, Saint Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:12, ďTo the rest I say, not the Lord ÖĒ [Also see Daniel 9:2, and 1 Corinthians 1:16.] Godís creation is magnificent and it certainly points to His glory; however, His new creation in Jesus Christ is even greater. It is His new creation that creates in our hearts a certain holiness as we will to repent of our sins and choose to live in Him and according to his plan for a holy and virtuous life. This is a far greater work that He does. And it is this work that most manifests His Glory.
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