July 13, 2021 - Acts 9:20-30
When true conversion occurs in a person, life drastically changes for many. My life was one that changed and went on a trajectory completely different than what I had envisioned prior to knowing Christ as my Savior. I was looking forward to a career in the Air Force and potentially seeing the world with the military. Instead, I have seen the world as a proclaimer of Jesus and His word.
Saul was a changed man after the conversion experience on the road to Damascus. Beforehand he had been terrorizing believers, now he is being fed and taught by those whom he had come to arrest. The focus and desire of his life was now to proclaim the message of his Lord Jesus. Almost overnight, friends and allies become enemies and former enemies are now aiding Saul.
This change was all because Saul accepted Christ as the Messiah and Jesus now had become his Lord and focus for life. The Scriptures that he had spent his life learning and trying to understand now became crystal clear. The positions and stances he had declared as a Pharisee were altered as the prophecies and historical timelines of Old Testament teachings were studied regarding Christ’s life and ministry.
Saul’s years of intense study and preparation made the transition from being a Pharisee to a Christ follower baffling. With such a radical change occurring, Saul is temporarily a man trapped in the middle and in danger! Those who had supported his work of imprisoning people now wanted him dead and those whom he had previously persecuted did not yet believe Saul’s radical change was authentic and permanent.
A revolutionary change in people’s lives raises questions and suspicions. Saul went from a legalist and lawyer of the law to a preacher and proclaimer of Christ as the Son of God (v.20). 2 Corinthians 5:17 states, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” For Saul, and myself, that meant a new career. For others, it has meant a different lifestyle and relationships. In each instance the result is, the old has gone and new activities, relationships, and understandings of Christ’s teachings had begun. As you evaluate your Christian experience, it may not be like Saul’s, but there are clear markers that help you view your world differently. Rejoice and be glad that Christ loves you enough to continue to labor to conform you into His image (Romans 12:2).