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Acts 26:14  (King James Version)
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<< Acts 26:13   Acts 26:15 >>


Acts 26:14

Christ seems to be saying, "Saul, why are you beating your head against the wall?" Paul was zealously persecuting God's church, all the while thinking he was part of the true religion, but at that point, he did not even know the true God! God called him dramatically to change the source of his belief system so that he could guide the Gentiles in changing theirs from Satan to God.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The First Commandment (1997)



Acts 26:14

Before conversion, the apostle Paul was certainly well-schooled in the Scriptures, as far as the Jews could teach him. The Bible says he studied at the feet of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). He was very intelligent and incisive of mind, a man of conviction and determination. Yet, this same man God had to physically blind and thoroughly humble before he could see Him. Even though Paul had a command of the Scriptures that few people have ever had at their calling, he could not see God working in the infant Christian church.

Christ, in a mild rebuke, says to Paul on the way to Damascus, "It is hard for you to kick against the goads." We should take this reproach to heart as well because it teaches us that the carnal mind will reject the evidence that God gives, even though it is suffering and in pain. Thus, God's calling and His predisposing us to see spiritually and to identify with His Son are of no avail unless His Word becomes integrated within us.

How are we hearing God's Word? Disinterestedly? Skeptically? Cynically? Critically? Indifferently? Eagerly? Remember, "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). Hearing starts the processing of the revelation of God, and we must consciously work at it. It includes what we are "hearing" this moment, as well as what we have heard over the last six months, the past year, the past decade, and the whole time of our conversion! How are we listening? Do we follow through on the things that we hear? Unless we do, we are not hearing - and we will not truly see God!

John W. Ritenbaugh
Do You See God? (Part One)



Acts 26:12-19

This passage provides us with an example of how misled a sincerely wrong person can be. Paul, despite his zeal, did not know the true God even though he was sincerely religious. He was sincerely deceived. Jesus basically asked him, "Paul, why do you continue to beat your head against the wall by following the path you are on?"

Can we hear in that question His expectation even of the unconverted? There is in the unconverted some minimal level of understanding and repentance that enables them to see that their values are wrong and to change to those coming from a different, far better Source—Him. If He expects that of them, what does He expect of us whose minds have been opened?

Paul's conversion led to many being given the opportunity to change their values more fully. However, the fact remains to this day what king David wrote and that Paul later quoted in Romans 3:11, "There is none who seeks after God." Carnal people are so imbued with their own systems that they will not change unless essentially forced to.

Satan has the world so deceived (Revelation 12:9) that God is veiled from the eyes of their understanding, so Satan is the god of this world (II Corinthians 4:4) and the source of its ways of living. He is worshipped and responded to by all of mankind. Unless God moves to change our values (John 6:44), we rarely change for the better. When God does move, He demands repentance of us and then loyalty to Him in our lives from then on.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The First Commandment


 
<< Acts 26:13   Acts 26:15 >>



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