And continuing in verse nineteen he says, “And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: (20) And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.”
Paul tells of his past but he does not glory in it.
3. PAUL DOES NOT PROMISE A LIFE OF EASE TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE
“ It’s Sunday AM and you’re "channel grazing" through the TV channels. Your attention is drawn to a popular "Christian Talk Show." The Host (immaculately dressed, hair perfect) is all smiles--"Today is a special day for the Christian Health & Wealth Show! We’re going to have a very special guest! He has done more for the cause of Christ than any other man! Ladies and gentlemen, would you please welcome ... Saint Paul the Apostle!"
The audience is stunned. There is silence except for a few isolated PTLs & Hallelujahs -- slowly the audience musters a dazed applause. The camera focuses in on a rather small man, dressed in a ragged tunic. Face is sunburnt & wrinkled. Looks like someone who’s spent a lot of time out-of-doors. All eyes follow him as he slowly walks across the set.
1) HOST: "It’s a real thrill to have you on the show, Paul; or should I call you Saint or Apostle? Which do you prefer?"
2) PAUL: "Just Paul would be fine."
3) HOST: "Very well, Paul. We’re all eager to hear what you, a great servant of the Lord, might have to say to us! Tell us about the wonderful things that happened to you when you invited the Lord Jesus into your life!"
4) PAUL: "Well, let’s see. First I was struck blind. I got over that but then somebody tried to kill me and I had to escape in a basket. Then they stoned me, threw me in jail, beat me with rods ..."
5) HOST: "Uh, Paul, heh, heh, I think you misunderstood. Tell us, what has the Lord done for you?"
6) PAUL: "That’s what I was doing! Then the Romans arrested me, I was shipwrecked--a night and a day I spent in the deep ..."
7) HOST: "Uh, excuse us folks. It’s time for our first commercial break."[Roddy Chestnut. “What Has God Done for You.” Acts 26:15-19 Sermon Central (Sermon ID = 9656 & Contributor ID =380)]
Paul tells his listeners that being saved changed his life, but he does not tell them that it was that things have always been great since he was saved. He did not say, “I just wanted to tell you how the Lord has blessed me materially. My tent making business has never been better.” He does tell them;
4. IT IS THE POWER OF CHRIST THAT MAKES US DIFFERENT.
Every conversion story is as dramatic as that of Paul, but every testimony is a “before and after” account of the transformation of a human life by Jesus Christ. Paul described the man that he was and the man that Christ had enabled to him to be. Paul was not saying how good he was, or what he had done, but how good Jesus was and what he had done. All though his witness he clarified that it was Jesus who had changed him. In verse six he says, “And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. (7) And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? (8)