I finally finished reading the book, Paul by N.T. Wright
What a fantastic work; plenty of insights and facts into the great missionary and apostle that was instrumental in sharing the good news of Jesus throughout the known world in his day. It is hard to imagine that one man could have so much influence and impact on so many people. I wanted to share two paragraphs from the end of the book which not only caught my attention but struck a chord in me as I continue to think about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and how to be the kind of disciple that influences others to want to follow Jesus as well. I am certain that I knew this information but like with a lot of things, knowing and believing are vastly different... believing means you take action; believing should alter the course of your thinking and the trajectory of your path. I pray this section of the book impacts you like it has me.
From the book, Paul by N.T. Wright, page 407...
"God has made us what we are; or, to bring it out a different but equally valid flavor of the Greek, we are God's poetry. God's artwork. God has accomplished, and will accomplish, the entire new creation in the Messiah and by the spirit. When someone believes the gospel and discovers its life-transforming power, that person becomes a small but significant working model of that new creation. The point of being human, after all, was never simply to be a passive inhabitant of God's world. As far as Paul was concerned, the point of being human was to be an image-bearer, to reflect God's wisdom and order into the world and to reflect the praises of creation back to God. Humans were therefore made to stand at the threshold of heaven and earth - like an image in a temple, no less - and to be the conduit through which God's life would come to earth and earth's praises would rise to God. Here, then, is the point of Paul's vision of human rescue and renewal ("salvation" in traditional language): those who are grasped by grace in the gospel and who bear witness to that in their loyal belief in the One God, focused on Jesus, are not merely beneficiaries, recipients of God's mercy; they are also agents. They are poems in which God is addressing his world, and, as poems are designed to do, they break open existing ways of looking at things and spark the mind to imagine a different way to be human."