I am amazed at just how deeply Paul was transformed by his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Even though his crimes against Jesus and the Church had been so heinous, Paul never seeks to punish himself. He is a man who lives free, his sins cleansed. It is not a partial transformation, but an entire conversion. He considers himself the worst of sinners, but he does not consider his sufferings a result of his sin. His sufferings for Jesus are never portrayed as a consequence of his earlier atrocities. Paul simply says that he once persecuted Jesus, but because of God’s forgiveness and grace became one who was persecuted for Jesus. (See Acts 9:17-18; 22:16; 26:14-18.)
Author: Ken Castor
After thirty years of next-generation ministry, Dr. Ken is balding in his hairline but still bold in his faith. He is the Family and NextGen Pastor at Wooddale Church. He served as the Professor of Youth Ministry at Crown College for over a decade and in nextgen ministry for two decades before that. Ken is the “Blue Letters Editor” of the Award-winning Jesus-Centered Bible, and has authored numerous discipleship resources like Grow Down and Make a Difference. He’s also a nerdy Cubs fan, the founder of NEXT Ministry Conferences, has several Chuck-Taylors, and enjoys living in Minnesota with his brilliantly witty and slightly freezing family.