Message Based on The Life of Paul, Acts 9
Change is a tough word. It’s all around us in technology, nature, and culture. Yet I think we fail to understand the most powerful change of all which happens in a human soul that meets and trusts Jesus.
Paul had things going for him quite well. He had ascended to power and prestige. He had the authority of the Roman government to go and arrest Christians for treason and heresy, but Jesus confronted him.
The four things God did in Paul’s life, He does in ours as well…
1. God confronts us with His Son.
Paul said, “Who are you?” But he already knew it was Jesus. He was really saying, “I’ve been struggling to figure you out, now are you the Messiah?” Jesus doesn’t really answer the question directly, but reveals it in the form of getting right down to Paul’s heart, where questions had been burning since the death of Stephen.
2. God convinces us of His truth.
Paul had been struggling with the possibility of Jesus being the Messiah. The zeal of the early Christians, the gracious way Stephen handled his own death, and his vast knowledge of the Old Testament all led him to one conclusion: Jesus is Messiah. And God convinced him of that.
3. God convicts us of our sin and our need.
Jesus asked a peculiar question, “Why is it so hard on you to kick against the goads?” Goads were spikes used to drive oxen forward. If they kicked, it would cut into their flesh and hurt them. Jesus’ question was essentially rhetorical… “Paul, why do you think it is that it keeps hurting you so much to reject me?” Paul was convicted of His need to submit to Jesus as Lord.
4. God converts us and changes us from the inside out.
The change in Paul was both dramatic and immediate. He shouted out, “Lord, what would you have me to do?” He had been the persecutor and was now willing to endure persecution. He was going to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah no matter the cost. What a dramatic turnaround!
God has you in checkmate. It’s time to surrender to His will.