“But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” (Acts 26:16–18, AV)
While I attended Drexel University, I would work in the summers in what was called a Co-Op job. The university required this with the idea that students would gain practical work experience in an engineering field. I had various jobs during these summers. I worked at the U.S. Steel Corporation in various parts of their operation.
In one of my positions, I had completed all of my assigned projects. With nothing to do, I sat with my feet propped up on my desk twiddling my keyring around my index finger. Unfortunately, my boss walked by the office I was in and saw me. He stated that they did not hire me to sit around and do nothing. Moreover, he was correct. I then found some work to do.
In this passage, Paul is presenting his case before King Agrippa (v2). In this, he recounted his Jewish background and that of a Pharisee. He told of the hope for which the Jews longed. He indicated that he persecuted the church. Most importantly, he recounted the experience he had with the risen Lord on the road to Damascus.
In Paul’s Damascus Road experience, Paul received a calling from the risen Lord. This calling was twofold. First, the Lord called Paul to faith. He was to quit fighting against the will of God. This required that he would trust in Jesus as the Savior.
However, Paul’s calling was for more than salvation. The Lord called him to be a servant. He was specifically called to be a witness to the grace of God in Christ the Lord. In Paul’s conversion experience, he first saw the light and then he was to take the light to others. This is the same for every believer in Jesus. Look at what Paul wrote to the Ephesians.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8–10, AV)
God has saved every believer to serve by doing good works through which we witness to God’s saving grace. Jesus also stated it like this, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16, AV).
Based upon the Scriptures, it is impossible to make a case that certain Christians can stand by while others do the work of shedding the light of the gospel (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).
We must realize that Paul’s commission is similar to ours. The difference has to do with the location of our ministry and our specific positions in the corporate institution of the church. Like Paul, we have seen the light. Christ has turned us “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.” We have received“forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith.” Moreover, like Paul, Christ sends us to make this glorious truth known to those around us.