The God of My Forefathers

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, a beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,” (2 Timothy 1:1-3 – NKJV – emp. mine)

Have you ever caught what Paul said right there before? Contrary to what so many critics today say about Paul “making up Christianity and following after a different God” Paul tells the young Christian preacher, who was raised by a Jewish mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5; Acts 16:1), that the God he served is the exact same God that his forefathers served. He had no doubt about it, his conscience was clear, and he encouraged Timothy to carry on in the family tradition of placing his faith in the God of his own forefathers as well.

Paul preached and partook of the fruition of the seeds that God had planted before the beginning of time (2 Timothy 1:9-10). He was following in the line of faithful men and women who responded to the call of God positively. He was following after and placing his faith in the promise that God made to Abraham, his forefather, to bless all the nations through his seed (2 Timothy 1:11-12; Galatians 3:8-9, 16, 26-29).

The God one reads about in the New Testament is not a different God from the one we read about in the Law, Psalms and Prophets (Luke 24:44-47). The New Testament purchased through the blood of Jesus the Christ (Matthew 26:28) is the fulfillment of God’s word and promise made to Abraham (Titus 1:1-4). To say that Paul served any other God than the one we read about in the Old Testament letters is to (1) have a lack of understanding about the hope of salvation that Paul’s forefathers had and (2) have a lack of understanding concerning the purpose of the scriptures in leading one to the salvation of Jesus through faith (2 Timothy 3:15).      

My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know. They knew me from the first, if they were willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.  And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?…Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come – that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.(Acts 26:4-8; 22-23 – NKJV – emp. mine)

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