Preached by Rod Benner (00:45)
When you think of the life of Paul, what comes to your mind? Maybe: transformation, mighty servant, passionate, zealous. He’s remembered for transformation and zeal because he once hunted for Christians because they dishonored God according to his understanding of God. At first, Paul had much knowledge about God but he missed the greatest piece of knowledge; Jesus as the Son of God. Although he knew much about God and lived a moral life, he ultimately proved that he didn’t know God because he thought Jesus was an enemy. That all changed when he encountered Jesus as the Son of God. He went from a zealous enemy of Jesus to one of the most passionate friends of Jesus.
The surprising fact is that Paul spent some three years after his encounter with Jesus before he began the work he is known for today. It’s easy to assume that Paul was an effective Christian from the first minute of meeting Jesus. As if he started writing parts of the Bible the minute he received his sight after the Damascus road incident. Yet, even he had to go through a time of basic training and growth before he became known as the great Apostle Paul.
A transformed life takes time to achieve and we often forget that. The transformation process is full victory but also full of failure and mess. As a church, we often expect a person to go from terrible sinner to perfect saint the minute after a prayer is said all the while forgetting that it took each of us many years to get to where we are currently at – still far from perfect practice. There is always a time of reorientation and learning. A transformed life is one built though many experiences that teach humility and wisdom. God walks with each of us on our own specialized learning plan to teach us who he is and how to depend on him. The Christian life doesn’t mean smooth sailing, but it does mean that God is with you and for you.
Scripture References: Acts 9:19-30. see also Galatians 1:11-24; Philippians 3:3-7
*To save to your computer, you may need to right-click the download link and select “Save Target As” or “Save Link As”.