A serious matter to ponder:
Paul was a criminal BEFORE Yeshua opened his spiritual eyes … which is why Paul was forgiven.
Note, I said BEFORE his spiritual eyes were opened ... which means, Paul was forgiven through the blood of Yeshua who died to absolve us of our PAST sins.
Once Paul's eyes were opened, he repented and turned from his previous life of sin YHWH knew that, and that is why He caused Paul to become an Apostle.
Now – had Paul become an evil murderous lunatic AFTER he was given the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit), that would have been a different story. Instead of being exonerated for his sins, he would then have had to give up his “Apostle” title, because he would no longer have qualified to be any kind of an “Elder”. (Titus 1:5-9, 1 Tim. 3:1-7, 1 Peter 5:1-4).
Truth is, since Yeshua died to forgive our PAST sins (Colossians 2:13-14; Ephesians 1:13-14; Hebrews 10:26, etc.), then Paul’s intentional PRESENT sins would NOT be covered by “the blood of the Lamb” (because there is no sin sacrifice for continued, deliberate, intentional sins by Believers (Hebrews 10:26).
You see - to take away any of Paul’s PRESENT sins, Yeshua would have to come back and die AGAIN!
It is imperative to remember that, like the animal sin sacrifices seen in Leviticus, Yeshua martyred himself for our PAST sins. Like those animal sacrifices, which had to be done annually (Yom Kippur) to cover one’s sins for the year, Yeshua’s blood only atoned for what we have done in our past, to enable us to be clean enough to enter into YHWH’s Presence in the Holy of Holies, to pledge ourselves to Him.
That is why – when the head of a congregation (i.e., pastors and rabbis) or any of his Elders today commit deliberate sins (i.e., adultery, intentional murder, stealing, defrauding, etc.), they MUST relinquish their titles …. because they NO LONGER qualify to be “Elders” or “teachers of the Word”….
No matter how wonderful their sermons or teachings are, and no matter how much people have “forgiven” the one who sinned - if they are guilty of, and tainted by, DELIBERATE sin after receiving the Ruach, according to Scripture, they are NO longer qualified to shepherd others, and MUST step down from their posts.
Nowhere in Torah do we see anyone who committed deliberate sins AFTER having been a Torah observant believer in YHWH, being leaders of any kind. YHWH has always expected HIS leaders to be spotless.
Unintentional transgressions – yes - they can be forgiven (i.e., those that Moshe committed, for instance, by hitting the rock instead of talking to it, as instructed (Numbers 20:2-11) ). But NOT those which are devious and intentional after one has accepted the redemptive gift of the Messiah Yeshua….