Saul of Tarsus Converted
Acts 9:3-19
And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:…

This event, which happened on the Damascus road about the year was truly one of the most momentous of history. The meaning of this remarkable occurrence reaches out a long way. Indeed, since the New Testament is the final revelation for the Christian Church on earth, the power of Saul's' conversion must be felt to end of time.

I. Its meaning first, of course, CONCERNED HIMSELF.

1. He was convinced of the truth of Christianity. By Christianity we mean the doctrine that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. By what sort of an argument was Saul convinced of the truth of Christianity? The reasons for his becoming a Christian were both external and internal. The miracle was double, and whatever any one of any school of thought might require as a sufficient ground for such a tremendous change as was brought about in Saul is actually supplied in his case. He became a Christian really and rationally.

2. By this change Saul was led into an entirely new kind of life, not only in his heart, but in his work. Christianity was not only his creed, it was his business. Saul was to abolish Judaism as a half-way step to Christianity; he was to preach salvation to the Gentiles as Gentiles. To this change, planned by God to be brought about through Saul, our conversion is due. This work was to be done through a life of unusual obedience to Christ. Its type is presented to us at the very opening of Saul's Christian career in the question, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?"

3. And how was all this brought about? Wholly of the grace of God. Saul did not convert himself, did not designate his work to himself, did not characterise it With suffering, did not furnish his own spiritual equipment for it. All was from God.


1. It showed them that God's care was over them.

2. It showed that God's power was behind His care. It is not enough to watch unless one is able to help. God knew and God was able. If He could make a man like Saul of Tarsus over into a follower of Jesus He could do anything; for this was the impossible, ordinarily speaking.

3. Saul's conversion showed the early Christians that God would use means for their blessing and the furtherance of His work such as they had not expected.


1. In the line of Christian doctrine it has force. Saul's experience was not in a dream or in a vision. It was in broad daylight, under normal conditions. Thus he beheld Christ in glory. Christ then is alive, He is glorified, and His glory is not spiritual alone, but of such a kind that it can be apprehended by other ways than by thought upon His character. He can be present wherever He chooses in His glorified body, and can reveal Himself when He likes. The doctrine of the existence and work of the Holy Spirit is touched upon in the story of Saul's conversion.

2. Saul's conversion has immense value in the department of apologetics — the defence of Christianity. There is a problem here which mere naturalism has never been able to solve. Saul presumably was able to know either a stroke of lightning or a sunstroke if he had experienced it. An attempt has also been made to explain Saul's conversion on psychological lines. Because at once (ver. 5) he addresses Christ as Lord (Kyrie, which in this place is nothing more than the ordinary word of salutation to a superior), and because Christ (ver. 5) says it is hard for him to kick against the pricks (which means only that opposition to Christ is useless), it has been thought that Saul's conscience had been troubling him and making him wonder if perhaps Jesus were not the Christ, and so preparing him to be converted on a slight occasion. But the record gives not a hint of any such psychological preparation. Out of deliberate and bitter antagonism Saul was converted to Christ. The conditions were as unfavourable to his conversion as they could be made. No stronger evidence for the miraculous, supernatural character of Christianity could be offered. If Saul did not see Christ, then the strongest convictions of the clearest minds cannot be respected, and no thinking whatever is ever worth anything.

3. Saul's conversion has an especial relation to Christian mission. There are some special notes worth making in addition to these, in connection with the conversion of Saul.

(1) All men need conversion. Saul was a good, moral, even godly man before he became a Christian.

(2) No one is too hard a subject for a possible future Christian.

(3) The outline of the soul's progress in conversion is the same for all.

(4) Grace is the only means of our salvation. All is from God.

(5) There is a work for everyone who is made Christ's. We are elected to work.

(6) Our work is accomplished through suffering. What we gain we pay for. Let us not grudge the cost.

(D. J. Burrell, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

WEB: As he traveled, it happened that he got close to Damascus, and suddenly a light from the sky shone around him.

Saul Meets with Jesus
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