Summary: Paul made some important discoveries that day on the road to Damascus about the inescapable One whom he was kicking against.

Acts 9:1-9

"It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks"

Jesus seems to be saying that fighting against him

and his Gospel results in self-injury

In a cathedral in New York is a gallery that is

surrounded by a series of panels. Each panel represents a

Christian century and bears the name of the person who,

from the view of Christianity most profoundly influenced the

life and thought of their century. Concerning some of the

names that appear in these panels of honor there was much

difference of opinion; but when it came to the choice of a

name for the first panel of NT Christianity there was

complete agreement among those who were consulted.

Who was this man? Was He among those who were

first to receive Christ as Saviour? No! In fact He was once

violently opposed to Christ and bitterly opposed to the

Christian movement. He once made it his business to

persecute Christians and waste the church of God, but all

this was before His Damascus road experience. The part

which Saul played in the horrid work of persecution of the

early church is often underrated. However, if one would

study the verses that deal with Paul’s persecution of the

church, I am convinced that one would be astounded and

shocked at Paul’s cruelty. In his persecution of the Church,

Paul acted just as brutal as the Nazis, Communists, and

other vile people and nations in their barbaric treatment of


It is no wonder the saints were hesitant to receive

Paul into their midst after His conversion.

This morning I want us to look at one part of Paul’s

conversion that is probably too often overlooked. It is found

in the words, "It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks."

In these words we have a suggestion of the conflict that had

been raging for some time in the soul of this persecuting


Kicking against the pricks was a good way to describe

Paul’s problem. This figure of speech came from a practice

in eastern countries where farmers get oxen to do what they

are bidden. A prick was a nail anchored in the end of a stick

used to goad reluctant oxen along as they plowed. Deviation

to the left or right would result in some pain. Sometimes the

animal would kick at his master, and wound up kicking the

prick and injuring itself. Even a very stubborn ox would soon

get tired of this and settle down to work.

Jesus seems to be saying that fighting against Him

and his Gospel results in self-injury.

In our text it is as though Jesus was saying to this

proud Jew, "You are trying the impossible. You have been

trying to escape me, but you can’t. I am the answer to your

problem. I am the inescapable one. Paul, you are going to

have to deal with me."

Paul made some important discoveries that day on

the road to Damascus about the inescapable One whom he

was kicking against.

I. Paul discovered that if he ever wanted to

REALIZE righteousness before God, Jesus

was the only answer.

Paul had religion. He was saturated with religion. He

was a Pharisee who went to the temple to pray, fasted

twice a day, gives tithes of all that He possessed. He kept

the law and traditions perfectly as far as men were

concerned. "Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of

Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews;

as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal,

persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is

in the law, blameless."

How could a sincere man like Saul of Tarsus be so

wrong? The answer is simply that he was using the wrong

measuring stick. Saul of Tarsus was looking at the outside

and not the inside. He was comparing himself with

standards set by men, not by God. As far as obeying

outwardly, Paul was a success, but he was did not stop to

consider the inward sins of the heart he was committing.

There are sinful attitudes and appetites as well as

sinful actions. When he looked at himself or looked at

others, Saul of Tarsus considered himself to be righteous.

But on the road to Damascus, he saw himself as compared

with Jesus Christ. It was then and there that Paul changed

his evaluations and values, and abandoned works

righteousness for the righteousness that comes by Jesus.

Paul discovered that day on the road to Damascus

that if a man was going to be right with God, Jesus was a


See Acts 13:38,39.

The greatest day in Paul’s life was when got over his

religion! Salvation is not religion; it is JESUS CHRIST.

See 2 Corinthians 5:21.

II. Paul discovered that if he ever wanted to

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