Saul was no stranger to religion. He grew up in a religious household. He was a devout Jew who was born in Tarsus (Phil. 3:5) and inherited his Roman citizenship from his father. So when people began talking about this man named Jesus and claiming that He was the promised Messiah, Saul was defensive.
Saul believed strongly in the Jewish faith of his ancestors. He violently persecuted God’s church and tried to destroy it. (Gal. 1:13-14) He dragged believers from their houses and put them in prison. He approved of the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Saul thought he was doing the right thing by defending Judaism, but God’s purposes could not be stopped. As Saul was on his way to arrest believers in Damascus, the Lord stopped him in his tracks.
Jesus revealed Himself to Saul, and Saul was never the same. He was struck blind and led into Damascus, where a believer named Ananias placed his hands on Saul. Suddenly, Saul could see again. Saul was convinced that Jesus is Lord. Saul later described the experience as being like dying and receiving a new life. (Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 5:17)
God had a purpose and a plan for Saul. He had set Saul apart before Saul was even born. (Gal. 1:15) God said, “This man is my chosen instrument to take my name to Gentiles, kings, and Israelites” (Acts 9:15).
Jesus changed Saul’s life. As you share with your teach, clarify that conversion happens when a person recognizes his sin, repents, believes in Jesus, and confesses Jesus as Savior and Lord. Jesus changes a person’s heart, and as a result, his life is changed too.
Jesus appeared to Paul and changed him inside and out. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15) Jesus called Paul, who was once an enemy to Christians, to spend the rest of his life telling people the gospel and leading them to trust in Jesus.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
- Babies and Toddlers
- Paul did not love Jesus at first.
- Jesus came to Paul.
- God changed Paul’s heart to love Jesus.
- When we trust in Jesus, He changes us from the inside out.
- The church worships God.
- Jesus saved Paul from his sins.
- Why does the church exist? The church exists to glorify God.
- Jesus saved Paul and chose him to spread the gospel.
- Why does the church exist? The church exists to glorify God by worshiping Him, showing His love, and telling others about Jesus.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE
- Colossians 1:18
- “New Life in Jesus” (Colossians 2–3)