No Need to Excuse or Hide Our Past

After this He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And He said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything, he rose and followed Him. Luke 5:27-32

According to the spirit in which the Gospels were written, the important thing is to lay simple emphasis on the fact that the one called, and made worthy of table-fellowship with Jesus, belonged to the despised and hated company of tax-collectors. Bearing an honored name from the patriarchal period, he had grown rich on his fellow countrymen. In the Christian community there was no need to excuse or to hide the past of even worthy members. For in this community there is repentance [and] forgiveness. The Christian community can speak quite truthfully of the past of its members. For it does not believe in the significant personalities within it. It believes in One to whom it owes everything. That Levi was a publican simply shows the greatness of Christ. (TDNT, IV, 235)

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About Eric Smith

Sinner saved by the grace of Jesus, husband of Candace, father of Coleman and Crockett, West Tennessean, pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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