Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
God does the impossible all of the time!
Saul’s Conversion, found in Acts chapter 9, provides us with his transformation to the Apostle Paul and is one of the most remarkable examples of God’s Divine intervention for humanity. Saul did not make it his goal to seek and kill Believers based on hatred. No, this was not an emotionally driven mission. He was completely aware of the Plan of Salvation and what the “Lord’s followers,” believed.
- The Christians that Saul desired to eliminate were the persons that accepted Jesus Christ as the Son of God and believed that Salvation could only come through Christ.
- They also believed that Jesus, the Son of God died, was resurrected, and is in heaven. 9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-12
Saul was aware of the revivals and the increasing commitment of those in the early churches. There is a biblical mention of Saul holding Roman citizenship and having the status of being an educated man with wealth. Recall that the Day of Pentecost is recorded in Acts chapter 2; 3,000 individuals repented of their sins, accepted Salvation, and received baptism by immersion. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on that day was well-known by everyone, even if not accepted.
Saul possessed theoretical knowledge of God in heaven, and Jesus, the man who performed many miracles and dedicated His life on earth to witness. But Saul, a Roman citizen refused to accept the Plan of Salvation, or acknowledge Jesus Christ as God’s Son. However, there were many individuals regardless of citizenship that did believe and experienced transformation. Whether or not, Saul used spies to seek out Christians, it was his intention to carry out the Roman law to persecute all Christian believers and hasten their deaths.
But God had other plans for Saul!
As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” 5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. Acts 9:4-5
Yes, Saul possessed knowledge that God and Jesus Christ, His Son, existed, and that is why he respectfully asked, “Who are you, lord?” On the road to Damascus, God revealed the truth that Saul previously disregarded. The voice from the heavens was speaking directly to him, but who was it that was speaking? Could this be Jesus Christ, the Son of God? At that moment, Saul acknowledged that God existed, but still had the doubt that Jesus was His Son and in heaven. God knows the heart. Saul’s conversion happened as soon as he asked the question, “Who are you, lord?”
The men that traveled with Saul also observed Saul’s life-changing experience. “Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus.” Acts 9:8. God’s Divine power was demonstrated to include Saul’s companions who heard a voice and witnessed Saul get up from the ground completely blind. He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink. Acts 9:9
In reading the miracles performed by Jesus, He always made certain that witnesses were present. In biblical times, communication was not an electronic process based on an email or leaving a voice mail, which can often lead to a misunderstanding due to the receiver’s perception. It was by the word of mouth that Believers told others about the transforming power of Salvation. God further demonstrated His power by anointing disciples with the ministry of healing.
Can you imagine using direct contact as a method of witnessing? The Plan of Salvation would be preached to all, and we would be living in the New Heaven and the New Earth. Even now, we can pray and ask God to give us safe methods to spread the good news to others.
Would you agree that Saul had inner conflict? We hear many truths in life, and if we choose to disregard them, our decision does not change the fact that the truth is the truth. But there is something about hearing the truth, even if you do not accept it, you cannot forget because God will always let the truth prevail. Jesus was aware that all Saul required was proof that He was the Son of God. With witnesses present, Jesus replied, “I am Jesus…” At that moment, a spiritual transformation took place within Saul’s heart, and he obediently followed the commands that were given to him.
And we know the rest of the story, Saul of Tarsus was transformed by God and was given a new name and a new life in Christ Jesus. The Apostle Paul, who began his ministry immediately, witnessed until his death. God anointed Paul to write 13 books of the Bible:
Galatians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans
Ephesians, Philemon, Colossians, and Philippians (Paul wrote these during his first Roman imprisonment)
1 Timothy and Titus
2 Timothy (written during Paul’s second Roman imprisonment)
In reading his letters to the churches, the Apostle Paul always gave credit to the Holy Spirit for the inspiration behind his writing. The early church and the apostles accepted his letters as words from God. Paul’s writings, which are part of the New Testament still provide valuable instruction relevant to all Believers in Christ Jesus.
Most of us do not have the reputation that Saul of Tarsus possessed. Can you imagine the transformation that would happen if we asked, “Who are you, Lord?” Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity Godhead, our Heavenly Intercessor, would receive the invitation to enter our hearts, and we would welcome the Holy Spirit as those on the Day of Pentecost. Sin is so heinous to God that the Plan of Salvation required the death of Jesus Christ, His only Son. It was Jesus who said, “Yes, Father, I will die for all of humanity.”
Without Jesus’ death, we would not have the opportunity to receive redemption for our sins. It was an unselfish act for Jesus to give up His divinity for 33 years. He lived a life of poverty and suffering while on this earth, knowing that He would have to hang on a cross. But, the story doesn’t end there; God, his Father honored his Son’s sacrifice, Jesus was resurrected and is still pleading on behalf of everyone who accepts the redeeming Plan of Salvation.
If you need a life-altering change, ask the question, “Who are you, Lord?” The Invisible God will become visible. Be prepared for a new way of thinking and receive an abundance of love, grace, and mercy. We do not have to look at redemption from an analytical viewpoint. Will our lives be perfect? I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33. Even so, life with God provides hope, which is a better option than life without God.
We have the opportunity to live faithfully in preparation for Jesus’s Second Coming. He has promised us a perfect life in the New Heaven and New Earth. And He has promised never to leave us or forsake us in our time of need. The least we can do is to accept our gift of Salvation by believing and receiving all that Jesus offers.
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each one according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” …Revelation 22:12-13
Bible Reading: Acts chapters 1-3
God, we thank you for the Plan of Salvation. We confess and ask you to forgive us of our sins and shortcomings. Please give us a Day of Pentecost life-changing experience and teach us to be faithful until your Son, Jesus, comes again. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.