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The Apostle Paul - a world-changer

Acts 9:10-15; 17-20 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: (…) And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

As we read this biblical text, we can see how the life of Paul was changed. He had launched into a journey against Jesus and ended his life as a true hero of the Christian faith. After Paul repented, he contributed in establishing churches as he preached the Gospel. During his long years of travelling and teaching, Paul established many churches in Asia Minor and in Europe. He wrote letters to these churches to admonish them in the Christian way of living. We can find these letters again in the New Testament. He was a mentor who made disciples and trained leaders. He passionately loved the truth and spread it out. Paul agonized in prayer for souls and for the churches and he was a prayer warrior. (See Romans 9:2-5; Romans 1:9, Galatians 4:19). He was a world-changer. (See Acts 17:6-7)

As an apostle that was chosen by Jesus and sent to the Gentiles, Paul was very prominent, influential and successful in the early Christian church. He encountered a lot of opposition and persecution and died as a martyr according to the early Christian sources. But nothing could stop his zeal for the mission and his consecration to Jesus Christ. He constantly had his calling and his crown in focus. 2 Timothy 4:7-8: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

One of Paul’s advices was to follow him as he himself followed Christ (see Philippians 3:17; 1. Corinthians 4:16; 1 Cor. 11:1 etc.). It pays off to follow Paul because he was completely committed to Jesus. You can read the letters that Paul wrote and learn for yourself. jk

Additional verses to study: Acts 22:1-22; Acts 28:16-30; 1 Corinthians 9:16-23; 1 Corinthians 15:1-10; 2 Corinthians 11:22-30; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Galatians 1:11-2:10

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