Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bad Kool-Aid: Paul's Lordship Salvation Testimony

If you don't know what I mean by "Bad Kool-Aid" please read the introduction to this series. 

On occasion it is said that the Apostle Paul was saved through submission to the Lordship of Christ when he was famously stopped by the Lord on the road to Damascus.

Acts 9:1-9 are cited in support of this, verses 3 - 6 form the basis of the argument. 
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” 
It is said that Saul (who would later take the name Paul) submitted to the Lordship of Christ immediately, bowing down and asking what he could do for his Lord. 

This is Bad Kool-Aid for a couple of reasons. First, the Lord blinded him and he had to be lead by the other men with him. The Lord wasn't looking for service from Saul, He wanted him to believe that He (Jesus Christ) is God, and that He is alive again after having been crucified. This brings us to the second reason, and I would have you remember Paul's explanation of how faith comes about in a person;

Rom 10:17
So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ
Paul retells the events, including what happened at Damascus;

Acts 22:6-16 
6 “Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ 8 So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ 9 “And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. 10 So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’ 11 And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus. 12 “Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, 13 came to me; and he stood and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that same hour I looked up at him. 14 Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. 15 For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’ 
Here we see that Ananias witnessed to Paul at Damascus; he spoke the word of the Lord to him. Just like  Paul (and Silas) later did with their jailer Acts 16:25-34 when he asked them what he must do to be saved - believe on the Lord Jesus Christ they told him, and then they witnessed to him by speaking the word of the Lord to them. Acts 16:32

What is this word of the Lord? It is the Gospel that Paul declares in 1Cor 15:1-11 Look at what Paul knew about Jesus Christ by the time that Ananias implored him to be reconciled to God 2Cor 5:20-21- Jesus is the Just One who died for our sins, was buried and rose to life again, and that by this we can have our sins washed away. 

Saul (Paul) wasn't saved on the road to Damascus. He was not saved by submitting to the Lordship of Christ.  God made sure he knew it didn't work like that by immediately blinding him so he couldn't consider his getting to Damascus his service to the Lord. He was taken to Damascus, he didn't "go obediently." Saul was saved when he received the Gospel as preached to him at Damascus. Then and only then were his sins washed away! 

Link To This Answer!

If you encounter someone spreading the Bad Kool-Aid of  "Paul's Lordship Conversion Testimony" please link them and their audience to this post. Here's a TinyURL to use:

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