Friday, January 25, 2008

The Conversion of St. Paul

Here's the man:

"While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, recieve my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.
And Saul was there, giving approval to his death."

[Nasty man]

"On that day a great persecution broake out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephan and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison."

[And no, they didn't get cable TV.]


"Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or woment, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice from heaven say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

[Talk about shock! Though, as I think about it, Saul shouldn't have been terribly surprised.]

"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.
"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."

[As Pr. S. never fails to point out, Jesus didn't just tell Saul the Gospel and make him an apostle then and there. Nope! Instead our Savior tells him to go where he can get the Gospel preached to him and be baptized BY A MAN.]

"The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!"
"Yes, Lord," he answered.
The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.""

[So, if Paul was praying, and prayer arises from faith, then Paul had faith before Ananias came to him? {yells} "Pastor. Question!"]

""Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest al who call on your name."
But the Lord said to Ananias,"Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord - Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming her - has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.""

[New Question: Now Ananias calls Saul, "Brother". What does that indicate? And we see that Saul was not yet filled with the Holy Spirit. Just wait, baptism's coming up.]

"Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength."

[Anybody have any ideas about what "food" that was?]

"Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, "Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?" Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ."



TruthQuestioner said...

Triumph! I found my answer!

Yes, Paul was literally converted when Jesus appeared to him.
He underwent three days of penitence during which he did not eat or drink.(Similiarly, Jesus spent three days in the tomb before rising to life.)

[convert: 1.To change (something) into another form, substance, state, or product; transform: convert water into ice.
2. To change (something) from one use, function, or purpose to another; adapt to a new or different purpose: convert a forest into farmland.]

Note that conversion is always done TO the thing being converted BY SomeOne else.

[Much of this comment has been a flagrant case of plagiarism. Thank you Pr. Grobien and I apologize it I have not stated it quite right.]

Dat One Splatted Mag said...

Maybe the food was pizza.

Pizza's good.


Somebody make me go to bed.

TruthQuestioner said...

"someone make me go to bed"