2 Corinthians 5. Forum Discussion

Paul's life before and after the road to Damascus

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

That will be our focus scripture for today.

Paul is a great example of what this scripture is talking about. Everything changed for Paul on the road to Damascus.

Let’s do a quick refresher on what happened on the road to Damascus:

“As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him;  and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”  And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,  but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.”  The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.  Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus.  And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”  And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying,  and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.”  But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem;  and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”  But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;  for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”  So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized;  and he took food and was strengthened.

Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”  All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, “Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?”  But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ.” – Acts 9:3-22

Paul’s life would forever be divided into two parts:

  1. Everything that happened before the road to Damascus.
  2. And everything that happened after.

Before the road to Damascus, Paul brutally persecuted Christians for following Jesus.

After Damascus, Paul himself became a follower of Jesus. His love for the Lord was so strong that Paul immediately knew that he wanted to devote the rest of his life to serving Him. In good times, and in some really bad times too.

That can happen to us as well. All of us will have a “Road to Damascus” moment. A time when we have to choose if we are going to follow Jesus.

Our eternal salvation depends on how we answer that question.

If we say yes and decide to follow Jesus, that will forever be our, “Road to Damascus” moment.

Paul’s story should encourage us to make God the priority in our lives. His example of not letting anything stop him from following Jesus is something we can all strive to follow.

Thank you for joining us today. Please join us again tomorrow as we look at 2 Corinthians 6 and the blessings that Paul received while serving God. May God’s blessings be upon you until then. Amen

Comments

Michael

I think it is helpful to share our stories about how we came to follow Jesus. Everyone has a story. Knowing that others have come before us and have made the decision to follow Christ, for me, makes me feel like I am not in it alone.

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Marco

For Saul, the change was dramatic. After all he not only encountered Jesus but felt His power. I think for many of us the change is gradual, graded, advancing and retreating. It requires us to not only struggle with the negative messages coming from the media...the challenges to faith that are so often presented whereas the answers are suppressed. Also the devil plants doubts in our mind especially when we are weak, spiritually or physically. Despite deep prayerful thought that leads to the conclusion that it is irrational not to believe in God and then to conclude that Jesus is the only real answer, the frequent attacks by prominent figures seed doubt. Without great care these seeds grow into weeds that strangle the good wheat plants of faith, plants struggling to grow and produce the fruits expected of us as Christians. Thus I believe that most of us struggle to become and remain a "new creature" in Jesus and to truly shed the "old things". As Paul said, the spirit is willing (for us perhaps most of the time) but the flesh is weak (probably almost all the time).

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