“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
The greatest conversion recorded in the Bible is when a man named Saul met the living Christ on the road to Damascus. The story of Saul’s conversion is told in Acts 9:1-19 and retold by Paul in Acts 22:6-21 and again in Acts 26:12-18.
When Jesus appeared to Saul and his companions, they were struck down by a blinding light and Saul heard a voice that said, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Acts 9:4 NIV As the story unfolds, Saul is given a new name, Paul. Paul’s life-changing experience on the road to Damascus led to his baptism and a new identity in Christ.
When God brings a person to faith in Jesus Christ, He already knows how he wants to use that person for the purpose of advancing His Kingdom. Sometimes we are slow to understand God’s plan and in some cases, we may even resist.
It is comforting to know that a person’s past does not matter to God, He is more interested in a person’s future. Even though Saul had been an enemy of Christians, his conversion proves that God can call and transform anyone He chooses, even the most hard-hearted. As God’s Word states, “He who is seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Rev 21:5. Saul’s dramatic conversion was the beginning of an incredible journey.
Although our conversion from our old self into our new identity in Christ may not have been as dramatic per se, it certainly was and is a life-changing experience. The same Jesus who rose from the dead and transformed Saul into the Apostle Paul, wants to work in our lives too. We wonder what Jesus could do through us if we surrender and give him complete control of our lives.
One of the best quotes I have cherished throughout my walk with the Lord came from a missionary named Jim Elliott. His words, “he is no fool to give up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose,” is a testament to a life that has been changed by the Grace of God.
1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”