No conversion in sacred history is given so much attention as that of St. Paul. Besides the many references to it, we find three detailed accounts of it in the book of Acts. As Saul of Tarsus, the learned Pharisee, he had led his nation and the world in rebellion against God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
St. Luke says: “As for Saul, he made havock of the church” (Acts 8:3). The believers at Damascus feared Saul’s presence among them, saying: “Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem?” (Acts 9:21). Paul himself later testified: “Many of the saints did I shut up in prison…and when they were put to death, I gave my voice [vote] against them” (Acts 26:10). “…beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it [laid it waste]” (Gal.1:13).
There must have been an important reason why God saved this rebel leader. Clearly it was that He might make Paul, not only the herald, but the living example of “the exceeding riches of His grace” to sinners. Paul himself said:
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord…for…putting me into the ministry; who was before A BLASPHEMER, AND A PERSECUTOR, AND INJURIOUS: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. AND THE GRACE OF OUR LORD WAS EXCEEDING ABUNDANT….This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that CHRIST JESUS CAME INTO THE WORLD TO SAVE SINNERS, OF WHOM I AM CHIEF. HOWBEIT FOR THIS CAUSE I OBTAINED MERCY, THAT IN ME FIRST JESUS CHRIST MIGHT SHOW FORTH ALL LONGSUFFERING, FOR A PATTERN TO THEM WHICH SHOULD HEREAFTER BELIEVE ON HIM TO LIFE EVERLASTING” (ITim.1:12-16).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.