EXPERIENCE GOD’S TRANSFORMATION
God’s desire is for you to experience His peace - peace that is found in Jesus when you have a personal relationship with Him. God transforms the life of that person who puts his faith in Christ as his Lord and Savior. In John 14:27, Jesus said “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
In Acts 9:1-2 we see Saul as a man who was obsessed in eliminating the followers of Jesus. The language John Calvin used to describe Saul prior to his conversion portrays him as “a wild and ferocious beast”.
In Acts 9:3, as Saul and his companions were nearing the end of their 150-mile journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. It was so overwhelming that Saul was knocked over and the light blinded him. As he fell to the ground, he heard a voice addressed to him personally and directly saying “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”(v.4) In response to Saul’s query “Who are you, Lord?” the voice answered: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting”.
I. We experience God’s transformation through a personal encounter with the person of Jesus. (v.3-5)
Saul’s conversion shows us that genuine conversion that leads to transformation comes about through a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, and no one else. This reality in salvation or feature of conversion implies that:
First, conversion and transformation begin with an understanding of who Jesus is, what He has done, who we are (being sinners) and what we must do – to repent of our sins and put our faith in Christ alone to save us from our sins. Paul writes about this in Romans 10:17
: “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the word of Christ.
Second, salvation is a demonstration of God’s sovereign grace. God was the initiator of salvation. He desires for us to know him through His Son, Jesus, so we might have life (John 10:10b
We have a choice – to respond to His love or to reject His love, whether consciously or by being indifferent.
II. We experience God’s transformation through repentance, reverence and communion with Christ. (v. 6-19)
When Saul encountered Christ on the road to Damascus, he didn’t know what had hit him and his whole life was turned completely upside-down. He now believes in Jesus whom he previously rejected, he had not eaten or drank anything, he was helpless and blind, and waiting for God’s direction for him.
During those three days of darkness (as he was blind), Saul prayed. Repentance, reverence, and communion with God marked Saul’s conversion and transformation.
III. We experience God’s transformation through submission and obedience. (v.17-22).
Saul of Tarsus was not just introduced to the church and became part of the body of Christ. His conversion led him to embrace a life of submission and obedience.
In the succeeding verses, we read that Paul began to preach in the synagogues in Damascus that Jesus is the Messiah. Since then, Paul lived out his calling as Christ’s apostle to the Gentiles or non- Jews (vv.19-20
Paul’s transformation is radical and encompassing (2 Corinthians 5:17
). There was a complete change in the way he lived, the way he thought, the way he related to the body of Christ, and the way he related to those who were not yet in the faith.
Paul writes about his transformation in Titus 3:3-5
: “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
Perhaps some of you have been seeking real peace. Such peace is possible if you put your faith in Jesus as the Lord and Messiah, turn away from your former way of life, and commit to serve and obey Christ as your Lord and Savior.
If you are a follower of Jesus, like Saul, are you part of a local church? Are you part of a small group doing life on life with other Jesus’ followers?
This COVID-19 may prevent us from meeting in person, but we can use technology to meet via FB messenger, Zoom, etc. There is no excuse for us not be connected with each other during this time. If you are not part of a small group yet, please let us know. Contact us through FB at CCFVancouverBC
, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by just replyig here and someone will reach out to you.
- What was your personal encounter with Jesus like? If you have not come to the point of surrendering to Jesus, what is stopping you? Talk to someone about this.
- Describe what your prayer life is like. How can you improve in communing with Christ?
- Share in what area of your life God has dealt with you lately to cause transformation in your life? In what other areas of your life is He calling you to obedience? What steps are you going to take?
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