Paul was a great example of the power of God to change lives. He experienced what it meant to be fully submitted to God through the power of Jesus Christ. He was not always righteous in the sight of God, although he was trained as a Pharisee to believe that he was. He had all of the qualifications of a good Pharisee. If salvation were about the perception of right deeds, and meticulous observances, Paul, whose name was Saul of Tarsus, would have been the poster child for self-attained salvation.
Beginning at the point on the road to Damascus, when Jesus confronted and converted Saul of Tarsus to Paul the apostle of Jesus, he began to understand the power of God to change lives. He knew that even at that juncture, he was about to persecute Christians, and God arrested his attention, changed his life, and gave him a new mission. It was the power of God, demonstrated in the resurrection of Christ that Paul experienced. The same power utilized to raise the adopted humanity of Jesus from the grave, quickened Paul, and raised him to a totally new standard of holy living.
What is this power of the resurrection that Paul spoke of so passionately? “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” John 10:17, 18. Jesus spoke to His disciples concerning the mystery of His nature. He spoke of His obedience to death on the cross. Although Jesus assumed the flesh of humankind, He did not cease to be God. His adopted humanity died, and then rested in the tomb. Deity does not sleep. Deity cannot become tired, weak, or weary. Since this is the case, the power of the resurrection is clearly seen in Jesus’ underived ability to take up His life again. No human took it away from Him; He willingly yielded his life for our good. The same power Jesus used to take up His own life one Sunday morning, is what He uses today to save people from sin. Just as it is a mystery how Jesus could take up His life in His own divine strength, so it is in discovering how He can convert sinners into saints.
Let us worship the Lord who created the heavens and the earth. Let us worship the Lord who re-creates people destined for condemnation into those who share in eternal life. “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100.