Daily Devotional

“For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.” - Galatians 1:13-14

Saul – Part One: Life Before Christ

Everyone has a story.  If you have lived life any length of time, you have a story.  The majority of people have a one-part story.  Today, let’s look at part one of Paul’s story.  Paul begins his story by talking about his former life in Judaism.  Now understand that Paul was not like many of our Jewish friends here in America who are Jewish by birth, who are ethnically Jewish, but really don’t have much interest in their religion or the practice of their religion.  Paul was very serious about the practice of his religion. Today, we would call him orthodox.

Saul (who later became Paul) was actively seeking to destroy the followers of whom he saw as a misguided, blasphemous heretic by the name of Jesus Christ. In Acts 22:4, he says, “I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and putting both men and women into prisons.”  Now, at this point Christianity is known as the Way.  Why?  Because Jesus Christ says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except by me.”  And Saul was doing all he could to eradicate what he felt like was a heresy.  Saul was a classic, religious terrorist.

Now in a day and age in which we live with so many religious terrorists, you need to understand that these people believe passionately and zealously that what they are doing is right and is pleasing in God’s eyes.  Why?  To eradicate what they see as false teaching about God.  It’s not just a motivation of hate.  Yes, it is diabolical evil that is occurring, but for the religious terrorist, there is this blind self-righteousness that what they are doing is right.  And Paul had that kind of mindset.

This is really a description of his life in part one before he met Christ. Everybody in the history of the world has part one of his/her story. Now some of you that are misguided and delusional and think, “There’s never been a time in my life when I wasn’t a Christian!”  Well you are delusional.  The Bible is very clear—no one inherits Christianity.  All of us at some point have to make a decision in our life that we are going to trust Christ and follow Him.

Saul represents the majority of mankind in Part One of his story.  Most never get to Part Two. But, Saul did.  Part Two deals with an amazing, miraculous transformation. You don’t want to miss it!

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