Act Nine

The Life Changing Church (v.6)


The church is about changing people. Religion attempts to change people from the outside in. Christ changes people from the inside out. If the new birth is not life changing, what is it? “Old things pass away, behold all things become new,” is the way Paul put it. No one touched by grace is ever the same. To think any less, is to think too much of self, while failing to see how serious sin is.

No one was more sincere than Saul of Tarsus. He was commissioned by the High Priest (there was no higher office) to arrest the followers of Jesus (9:2). He was conservative, fundamental, and passionate about his faith. He saw his life as a holy errand. He was wrong. Paul called himself the “chief of sinners.” Compared to others, he was better than they. Compared to the truth he considered himself the worst. When we look at others we are likely to think ourselves better than most. If we look at ourselves in light of the truth we are more likely to see Saul was wrong again, and that “we” not “he”, the chief of sinners.

In verse three of Acts 9 there is a “light from heaven.” Every salvation experience begins the same way. “Let there be light.” Light allows us to see. This light from heaven was brilliant. Saul saw who he was, and who Jesus Christ was. For some people the light comes like a dawn and gradual daybreak. For others, like Saul, it is “suddenly” high noon.

While each salvation experience is different, and not all are on their way to Damascus; we are all startled to discover we were all on our way to hell. Had God not intervened and interrupted Saul’s and our “so called” good intentions, we would have continued on the wrong road and perished.

How has your life changed because you “saw the light from heaven?” How is you life different when it is compared to your “before” you met the risen Christ? What new orders, what new mission, what new direction have you taken?