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Page 192


 

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

And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?

And he said, Who art Thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

And he trembling and astonished said, Lord what wilt Thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

And Saul arose from the earth and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

- Acts 9:3-9

To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

- II Timothy 1:2,5

 


Read the conversion accounts of Lydia and the Philippian jailor. Can you find references to misery, deliverance, and thankfulness in each?

Why might God have placed both of these accounts together in Scripture? What lesson can we learn from this?

many undeserved blessings from the Lord) he more and more experiences his failures, sin, hopelessly depraved heart, and great guilt. This brings him to the same place as described previously - that of a sinner cut off from self-hope and expectation. In this way, place and room are made for the great Substitute and Mediator, Jesus Christ.

Note that in both the more legal and evangelical experiences of conversion, the same elements are present and the person is brought to the same point - he becomes a lost, undone, and condemnable sinner before God who can only plead upon God's mercy. Law and gospel are active in both conversion types; however, a difference in emphasis is experienced: the law and God's righteous justice in the former; the gospel and God's longsuffering goodness in the latter.

2. Personal conversions vary according to emotional accompaniment. Paul's conversion took place in a most dramatic, intensely emotional, and instantly powerful manner. For three days, he was blind and did not eat or drink. Timothy's conversion took place with far less notable emotional accompaniment, yet Paul speaks of him as a true spiritual son.

    In Acts 16, we read of two different conversion experiences in the same chapter; both were true conversions, but with very differing degrees of emotional accompaniment. Read the following accounts of the conversion of Lydia and of the Philippian jailor.

Lydia

    And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

    And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

    - Acts 16:14-15

The Philippian Jailor

    And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

    And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

    But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

    Then he called for a light,

    and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

    And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

    And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    And they spake unto him the Word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

    And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

    - Acts 16:26-33


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