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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: January 25, 2024

If you are an unbeliever, the conversion of St. Paul is a problem for you. If you’re an atheist who thinks that all religions are just attempts of unenlightened people to explain the world around them, well, St. Paul thought he had everything figured out. He had the system, the Law of Moses, the pharisaical tradition. The path of righteousness that he thought he’d discovered, he was walking it exceedingly well. And then he threw it all away to follow Christ.

If you’re a skeptic who thinks that organized religion is just people trying to get rich off of the uneducated, well, Paul gave up a life of riches and wisdom and honor to be beaten, betrayed, imprisoned, and murdered for the sake of Christ. If you’re a Muslim who believes that Paul corrupted the true teachings of Jesus, well, again, Paul was doing pretty well in his life believing that Jesus was not the Son of God. And then he embraced a life of sorrow and suffering to say that Jesus is, in fact, God in the flesh.

You see the trend here. You can’t hand-wave away the Conversion of St. Paul. You can’t treat it as though there’s no there there. It’s massive, monumental. A man fiercely and fully dedicated to wiping out the Christian Church becomes the Christian Church’s great apostle to the gentiles. A man who once rejoiced at the death of Christians went to his death confessing Christ. These things don’t just happen. It reveals something.

And what it reveals is God’s love for you. Why did Paul give up everything to follow Jesus? Because it’s all true. Because Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for your sins and rose from your justification. Because Jesus Christ is the Savior of this world who has never met a sinner He did not hunger to save and who will never tire of His desire to welcome you into His kingdom. The Conversion of St. Paul shows that Jesus Christ would not rest until he struck the scales from Paul’s eyes and opened those eyes to gaze upon the righteousness that now clothed him. Jesus would not rest until He took the chief enemy of His church and transformed him into a child of God. Likewise, Jesus would not rest until He did the same to you. And in the waters of Holy Baptism, He has.

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