Before Paul Met Christ <Ac 9:1-2>



* The dramatic and supernatural regeneration encounter of Paul.

* Provided important evidence for his subsequent apostleship and service to the gentiles.

* <1 Co 15:8>… I was like one untimely born.

* More than Paul’s outward experience, the Bible emphasizes his inner life transformation.

* Even though we do not have Paul’s kind of outward encounter of regeneration, each of us believers should have an inner experience of regeneration – transformed by the renewing of mind.

* But if we do not clearly know our state before knowing God, that we are in enmity with God, then our lives will not have much transformation.

* Paul’s “passage from death to life” laid the foundation for his continual growth in Christ.

* Paul's “passage from death to life” brought out the truth of his conversion (he was not a liar or a madman).


Read <Ac 9:1-2>


1. Saul’s conversion was completely a result of God’s election.


2. Saul’s entire ideology.

* <Ac 7:58>: Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.

* <Ac 7:60>:  And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. And Saul was consenting to his death. 

* <Ac 8:3>: But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.

* Totally considered Christianity as heresy.


3. Saul’s acts of persecuting Christians.

* <Ac 9:1>: Saul still breathed threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord

* Calvin described Saul as “a fierce and cruel beast”.

* Saul was filled with raging fury. 

* <Ac 26:11>: And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.

* Ponder: Can we use force to destroy the faith in people’s hearts?

* <Mt 10:28>: And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.


4. Saul’s state of mind back then.

* Blind, arrogant, self-righteous.

* Insisted that Christianity was wrong.

* <Php 3:5-6>: I was circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

* After Paul was awakened, he realised he was formerly a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent <1 Ti 1:13>.


5. Saul’s transformation later on.

* Calvin said, “He not only turned from a cruel wolf into a sheep, but he also put on the nature of a shepherd.”

* After Saul was born again, he went through all kinds of sufferings for the sake of the gospel and church.

* The power of the gospel can transform someone who is in complete enmity with God, and turn him into a person who is not only reconciled to God, but also full of Christ’s shepherding heart.

*What is important is there should be a vast difference in our understanding and experiences before and after believing in the Lord.