To me, the salvation experience of Paul the Apostle is the
most fascinating one in all of the Bible. This guy was the most passionate
enemy of Christ. Formerly known as Saul of Tarsus, he persecuted the disciples
and the Christian church.
But even while Saul was doing this evil stuff, here is what
the Lord said to a man by the name of Ananias about Saul: “He is a chosen
vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the
children of Israel” (Acts 9:15).
After Paul's conversion, the Lord used him more than He used any of His
other apostles. Paul was even taken up to the third heaven, he says, and he heard
things he referred to as being “not lawful for a man to utter” (2 Corinthians
12:4). So what is the significance of Paul’s salvation? Here is what he says about that: “I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus
might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in
him and receive eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:16). I think anyone
familiar with Paul’s story would agree that the Lord was extremely patient with him,
given his persecution of the church and his hatred for Christ.
Moreover, the verse above says that the patience the Lord showed
toward Paul the Apostle is an example for all others who would come to Christ
and receive eternal life. I will be the first to say Amen to that. The Lord was
very patient with me. As a young person, I was interested in everything except
Christ. But He never gave up on me. And when I was ready to accept Him, He
readily accepted me. Perhaps you had a
Secondly, think about how deceived and wicked Paul the
Apostle was. He was not your average sinner. What he did to the Christians of his
day most of us would never think of doing. Still, God radically saved him and
used him like He used no other. The point is that if God can save someone like
Apostle Paul , who referred to himself as the chief of sinners, He can save
anybody. That’s what I see as the significance of Paul’s salvation experience.
Let us proclaim this life-changing message of the gospel to
the world. God does not only save model citizens. He also saves those whose
lives seem to be broken beyond repair. He can make anyone a new creation and use
him for His glory.