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The Reformation Herald Online Edition

The Gospel in Galatians

Paul’s Conversion and Call
Paul’s Conversion and Call

Acts 9:1–18 relates the powerful history of how Saul of Tarsus experienced an amazing encounter with the Light of the world—Jesus Christ. That momentous event marked his conversion from being a persecutor of Christ’s followers to an apostle of the Christian faith.

Made blind that he might see

“What a humiliation it was to Paul to know that all the time he was using his powers against the truth, thinking he was doing God’s service, he was persecuting Christ. When the Saviour revealed Himself to Paul in the bright beams of His glory, he was filled with abhorrence for his work and for himself. The power of Christ’s glory might have destroyed him, but Paul was a prisoner of hope. He was made physically blind by the glory of the presence of Him whom he had blasphemed, but it was that he might have spiritual sight, that he might be awakened from the lethargy that had stupefied and deadened his perceptions. His conscience, aroused, now worked with self-accusing energy. The zeal of his work, his earnest resistance of the light shining upon him through God’s messengers, now brought condemnation upon his soul, and he was filled with bitter remorse. He no longer saw himself as righteous, but condemned by the law in thought, in spirit, and in deeds. He saw himself a sinner, utterly lost, without the Saviour he had been persecuting. In the days and nights of his blindness he had time for reflection, and he cast himself all helpless and hopeless upon Christ, the only one who could pardon him and clothe him with righteousness.”1

The divine commission

“At the gate of Damascus the vision of the Crucified One changed the whole current of his life. The persecutor became a disciple, the teacher a learner.”2

“Paul was baptized by Ananias in the river of Damascus. He was then strengthened by food, and immediately began to preach Jesus. . . . His arguments from prophecy were so conclusive, and his efforts were so attended by the power of God, that the opposing Jews were confounded and unable to answer him. Paul’s rabbinical and Pharisaic education was now to be used to good account in preaching the gospel and in sustaining the cause he had once used every effort to destroy.”3

“Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) and all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:1–3).

“ ‘Grace be to you.’ We owe everything to God’s free grace. . . . Although by our disobedience we have merited God’s displeasure and condemnation, yet He has not forsaken us, leaving us to grapple with the power of the enemy. Heavenly angels fight our battles for us, and cooperating with them, we may be victorious over the powers of evil. . . .

Grace is an attribute of God shown to undeserving human beings. We ourselves did not seek after it, but it was sent out in search of us. God rejoices to bestow this grace upon all who hunger for it, not because we are worthy, but because we are so utterly unworthy. Our need is the qualification which gives us the assurance that we shall receive this gift.

“God’s supply of grace is waiting the demand of every sin sick soul. It will heal every spiritual disease. By it hearts may be cleansed from all defilement. It is the gospel remedy for everyone who believes.”4

God chose this world to be the theater of His mighty works of grace. . . . The remnant people of God, who keep His commandments, will understand the word spoken by Daniel, ‘Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand’ (Daniel 12:10).”5

1 The SDA Bible Commentary, [E. G. White Comments], vol. 6, p. 1058.
2 Education, p. 65.
3 The Story of Redemption, pp. 273, 274.
4 In Heavenly Places, p. 34. [Emphasis added.]
5 This Day with God, p. 84. [Emphasis added.]