Thursday, October 10, 2013

Transforming Grace

by Gregory A. Johnson

By Rennett Stowe from USA (God's Grace  Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsThose who willingly receive God’s grace are forever transformed. They cease to do whatever they want to do and begin to do what Jesus Christ has for them to do. They no longer live for self; they deny self and follow Christ.

There is no better example of this transformation than the one recorded in Acts 9:1-9 of God’s word. A dramatic, definable, and undeniable change takes place in Saul, who would later be named the Apostle Paul.

Saul was living for self, believing in his interpretation of Old Testament Scripture and the prophets. Jesus did not fit Saul’s understanding of what the Scripture said of the Messiah. Saul and his religious buddies believed that the teachings and claims of Jesus were radical and threatened changes to the Law and the Temple. Saul was at the trial of Stephen where the frustrations of the religionists with the early Christ-followers came to a violent climax and ended in the stoning death of Stephen (Acts 6:8-7:60).