Saul: An Enemy Becomes a Friend
He is called by two names in the New Testament. He is first referred to as "Saul" which is his Hebrew name. But he is best known by his Roman name; "Paul." He was born in Tarsus as a Roman citizen and instructed in Jerusalem under Gamaliel, one of the leading teachers of the day. He was a Pharisee and a leader. He was entrusted with authority as a defender of the Jewish traditions to arrest and imprison any Jew who had converted to Christianity (Acts 22:3,4). He had it all: status, privilege, power, education and the respect of others. His career had great potential, but he blew it. Well, not really, but he did give it all up.
He was also trustworthy, loyal, zealous and noble. He had integrity and had been brought to the humbling, and startling, conclusion that he had been wrong, and that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (Acts 22:4-10). He had to make a choice; do what he knew was right and sacrifice his career and become a Christian, or to keep all his worldly ambitions intact and give up his integrity. Paul chose to become a disciple of Christ.
Saul had seen and talked with Jesus, the risen Lord. He had seen a great light and was blinded by it. He had come to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. He was led to the city of Damascus, and after praying about it all for three days, the Lord sent a disciple to Saul who told him of the plans God had for his life. Then, he said to Saul, "And now, why do you delay? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Acts 22:16). Saul did that, and thus began his life as a believer, a disciple and an apostle of Christ. By God Saul's sins were washed away as he called upon the name of the Lord by His obedient and trusting faith. This happened three days following the blinding incident on the road to Damascus.
By Jon W. Quinn
The Final Page
From Expository Files 14.7; July 2007