The Conversion of Saul - Acts 9

The Conversion of Saul

Acts 9:1-43

Jesus said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."  Matthew 18:3.  To be converted is to be changed.  The most dramatic and unexpected conversion in the Bible is found in the conversion of Saul.

He was a one man wrecking crew, who wrought havoc in the church in Jerusalem, causing Christians to run for their lives.  Some had fled to Damascus, so Saul received legal documentation to bind them and bring them back to Jerusalem.

"As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him."  He closed his eyes, and fell to the ground.  Then he heard a voice addressing him by name, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"  Dumbfounded and afraid he asked, "Who are you, Lord?"  The Lord answered, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting."  Can you imagine what must have been going through his head?  "So he, trembling and astonished, said, 'Lord, what do You want me to do?'"  He was told to arise, and go into the city, where he would be told what to do. 

It was a different man who arose.  He opened his eyes, but saw no one.  He was blind.  This ferocious  persecutor of Christians was now led like a little child by the hand and brought into Damascus. 

God had great plans for Saul.  He revealed them to a disciple named Ananias, saying, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.  For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake."  Ananias went to Saul, and laid his hands on him.  Immediately Saul received his sight, and was filled with the Holy Spirit.  He was baptized.

Most conversions are nowhere near as dramatic as that of Saul.  The vast majority of people will go through life without being blinded by a light from heaven, or hearing the voice of Jesus.  However, some things are true of every conversion.  We are changed from something to something.  This man, who was miraculously converted on the road to Damascus, explained his call to the ministry and the conversion experience this way: The Lord said to him, "I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified (or set apart) by faith in Me."  Acts 26:17, 18.

The evidence of conversion is a changed life.  It's a certain change that only God produces, when we believe in Jesus Christ with a child-like faith and pass from death to life.

 

Heavenly Father, thank You for revealing the Way to us, and for turning us around to follow Christ.  Continually open our eyes that we might see You at work.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!

 

Cornelius the Centurion - Acts 10 

 
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