The Apostle Paul, “as of one born out of due time”
“And last of all he was seen of me [Paul] also, as of one born out of due time.” 1 Corinthians 15:8 (KJV)
Below we have the account of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus.
3 And as he (Paul) journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. Acts 9:3-6 (KJV)
In 1 Cor. 15:8 (above) Paul refers to his experience being “as one born out of due time.” This phrase is from the Greek ‘ektromati,’ meaning Paul was born again “before the due time” for Israel’s rebirth at Christ’s 2nd coming
Thus, here Paul thinks of himself here as an Israelite, but as one whose due time to be born again had not come Nationally, but rather personally.
Paul no doubt knew that the Lord Jesus told the people of Jerusalem, seen here below.
“Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 23:39).
So, Paul’s conversion by the appearing of the Lord from heaven’s glory (Acts 9:3-6 above) was an illustration. It was an instance that occurred for him before the ‘due time’ of the future national conversion of Israel. (See Ezek. 20:34-38; Hos 2:14-17; Zech. 12:10-13:6; Rom 11:25-27)
Paul knew Israel had fallen and God made Paul the unique pattern or model recipient of God’s pure grace. Note how Paul later explains his place in God’s eternal plan for this dispensational age of “the grace of God.” whereby Paul is the “prototype” of the grace age believer, to be the pattern for all men to receive God’s pure grace salvation.
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am
chief (from the Grk., protos, meaning the prototype). 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, (so) that in me first (again the Grk., protos, meaning, the prototype) Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” 1 Timothy 1:12-16 (KJV)
Thus, we have the basis for Paul to exclaim;
“Be ye followers of me, even (that is) as I also am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1 (KJV)
Paul judiciously explains every aspect of the Christian life lived under God’s pure grace in his thirteen epistles (Romans through Philemon), all nestled together in our Bibles.
Here he says we can know what he learned concerning “the revelation of the mystery” (that is God’s long held secret plan) that was revealed to Him for us.
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles (sent ones) and prophets (forth tellers) by the Spirit;” Ephesians 3:1-5 (KJV)