HOW PAUL BECAME A BELIEVER
After the religious Jews seized Paul in the temple, the Roman commander arrested Paul to calm the situation and tried to understand the situation. However, the charges against Paul by the religious Jews were not consistent. Realizing that Paul was a Roman citizen, the Roman commander allowed Paul to speak to the crowd. Paul then shared his testimony in the Jewish language. He first shared about his upbringing. He was born in a Jewish home and born in Tarsus in Cilicia. He was educated under one of the most prominent teachers at that time. He was trained in Jewish laws and customs. He was very religious about honoring God and became the persecutor of the Christian church. He was there when Stephen was stoned to death. He possibly put many Christians in jail. However, when Paul was going to Damascus in Syria, the Lord Jesus showed himself to him and became blind. He realized then that Jesus was Lord and directed him to go to the city of Damascus. While there, Ananias came and prayed for him, and he regained sight. (Acts 22:1-13).
Although Paul was very religious, he did not know God. He studied the Law of God, including the first five books of the Law, yet he never knew God. The reason was that the Law of God could only be completely understood by believing in the Lord Jesus. The Law of God points us to Jesus Christ because only our Lord Jesus Christ can fulfill the Law of God for us. When Jesus came to this world, He came to save us from the judgment of God because we could never fulfill the Law of God on our own. The penalty for breaking the Law of God is death. So Jesus came to die on the cross on behalf of us. Paul tried to get close to God through the Law, and he thought the Christians were a threat to the Law of God. However, he didn't realize he was against the God he wanted to worship and honor. By God's love and grace, our Lord Jesus revealed Himself to Paul and saved him.
Paul was lost in his religious ways, yet God revealed himself to Him and saved Him. Likewise, we were lost in our sins and perhaps in our religious ways, yet God revealed Himself and saved us. Our sins blinded us, but now our eyes have been opened to His truth. Let us not take for granted our salvation. Let us live our new life in the Lord Jesus for His glory and honor.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through carefully and meditate on the questions while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speak to you) Why did Jesus come to this world? Can my religiosity or being good draw me close to God? What must I do to be saved and be close to God?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, I am saved not because I know about you but because of my faith in the Lord Jesus. I am not saved nor forgiven if I do not believe in the Lord Jesus, and my faith in the Lord Jesus means surrendering my life to Him completely. Would you please help me not take this wonderful salvation you have provided me for granted? Please help me to pursue your righteousness and experience your freedom in my life. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.