15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.” (Acts 9:15)
The LORD would fulfill His prophecy concerning Saul of Tarsus, as recorded in Acts 9:15. Saul of Tarsus would become the Apostle Paul: apostle, evangelist, pastor and teacher, and author of 13 New Testament Epistles.
Acts 16:11-12 says, “11 So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days.”
Luke recorded that Paul, Silas, Timothy and he himself set sail from the city of Troas across the Aegean Sea to the Island of Samothrace, and then to the cities of Neapolis, and then Philippi. Luke mentioned that Philippi was a leading city in the district of Macedonia. It was also a Roman colony. He recorded that the team remained in Philippi for some days.
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes that, “Phillip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, had established a large Greek colony here and named it Philippi. This status (being a Roman colony) bestowed on Philippi by Octavian (who became Caesar Augustus) and Marc Antony meant that Philippi’s citizens had Roman citizenship and its privileges, including due process in Roman courts and exemption from taxation.”
Dr. Thomas R. Schreiner writes, “It is crucial to see that Paul’s role as a missionary to the nations fulfills Old Testament prophecy. In “the fullness of time” God sent forth His Son, Jesus Christ (Gal. 4:4). Christ’s ministry, death, and resurrection fulfilled the salvation predicted in the Old Testament. It was never God’s intention, however, that the saving message would be restricted to Israel. When God chose Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He emphasized that all nations would be blessed through them (Gen. 12:3; 18:18; 26:4; 28:14). This promised universal blessing did not become a reality during Old Testament times. Indeed, the Lord did not intend for the nations to be saved on a large scale until the coming of the Christ, for the glory of Jesus is maximized when the peoples of the world are saved by calling on His name and knowing the great salvation He accomplished.”
This is the Gospel message that the LORD has also entrusted to our stewardship. May He also find us faithful as He did the Apostle Paul.
Soli deo Gloria!