Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

The Amazing Story of Paul

The story of the Apostle Paul is a very intriguing one in the Bible. We are introduced to Paul (Saul at the time) when he is the foremost opponent of the followers of Christ. His is a violent, unrelenting opposition, which extends even to participating in the murder of Stephen.

 

In fact, Paul’s so called conversion takes place as he travels to Damascus for the expressed purpose of imprisoning disciples of Christ there. Rather than Paul following the conversion path or procedure that the present day fundamentalist, evangelical churches prescribe, i.e. accept Jesus as your Savior by praying the sinner’s prayer or repenting, confessing, and being baptized, he has a direct, personal message straight from Jesus. Paul does not seek out Jesus at all; Jesus seeks him. Then additionally, when Paul is baptized, who is the baptizer? A devout Jew. Why would one who baptizes a new believer in Christ still be a practicing Jew?

 

Nothing in this account is in accordance with the salvation procedures taught by any of the dominant fundamentalist, evangelical churches today. There was no earthly preacher involved. Paul did not make a decision for Christ; Christ made a decision for him. Paul did not repent, confess, walk the aisle, pray a prayer, or even get baptized by a Christian, much less a preacher. This is the same Paul who wrote most of the New Testament, and yet he would not even be judged a Christian based on the current day church standards of many. He just didn’t do things correctly according to their doctrine.

 

One can only wonder why Paul was “saved” by the direct intervention of Jesus without any effort on his part, but the salvation message propagated by the church always includes what I must do to secure my own salvation. Was Paul just a special case, so Jesus decided to make it a sure thing; or was his case more typical of how Jesus ultimately operates, by irrevocable election and inalterable promise?

 

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