Ephesians 2:11-22 & 2 Corinthians 11:23-29

The Apostle Paul received a special calling from God to take the message of salvation to the Gentile world. Not only was he sent to the Gentiles but he was also sent with a new message that had not previously been revealed, namely that Jew and Gentile now form the new humanity, the new man (Ephesians 2), which is the church the Body of Christ. This new message also heralds the beginning of a new dispensation, the offer to Israel of the promised Kingdom is no longer extended as it was in the first portion of Acts, but now God has inaugurated the new era of the Body of Christ.
A calling from God as Paul experienced is certainly a remarkable privilege and commission. Along with such a commission comes the call to obedience and commitment. From the first, Pauls commission was one that included suffering and hardship. At his conversion, the message is given I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name (Acts 9:16) and then in 2 Corinthians he recounts all the hardship he has suffered for the sake of the gospel (2 Cor. 11:23-29) and we are reminded both of his faithfulness and the reality of Gods promise at his calling.
We are called today to carry on this tradition of commitment and faithfulness. While we may not suffer physically today we know that many of our brothers and sisters in the world are being persecuted. We may suffer rejection and ridicule from even family and friends, but the gift of Gods grace is also the call of faithfulness. The new work that God began with the raising up of the Apostle Paul is the same work that we are part of today, spreading the good news and inviting all to become a part of the new man, the Church the Body of Christ.Scripture references required – cited properly