“I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
“In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.
One time there was a big-time preacher that was about to go out and speak to a massive crowd. A guy approached him with a letter talking all about this awful stuff the preacher did just out of high school and he said he had sent it to the newspaper and it would be published the next morning.
The preacher thanked the man and took his copy of the letter right up onto the stage and read it to the crowd. It was awful and incriminating. The preacher didn’t excuse or deny any of those things. Instead, he explained how lost and hopeless every one of us is without Christ. He also showed that we don’t worship any great preachers, but we worship Christ.
Jesus died for all of the sins that preacher committed, and the letter was a testimony to the great saving work of God. When he gave an invitation for people to repent and be saved just like he had done years ago, many people came forward and it was like a revival.
When the newspaper hit the porches the next morning, it was already old news. That preacher’s salvation story was just boosted by the newspaper.
Paul regrets the terrible things he did against Jesus, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more! The story Paul tells serves to build up the abundance of God’s grace towards us. God loves us so much!
So if God can have mercy on me, King Agrippa, Festus, and this court, God can have mercy on you. (Paul doesn’t say that explicitly, but he’s hinting at it!)
Here is a good saying to remember: “When Jesus died for my sins, He died for a lot! But He also died for all of them!”
For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14 What once was earning us condemnation is now not even earning us shame.
Jesus has done it!
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