The conversion of Saul of Tarsus was an amazing event. Saul loathed the very name of Christ. He blasphemed Him and caused others to be tortured so as to compel them to blaspheme that holy name. He led his nation and the world in rebellion against the resurrected, glorified Christ — the world which had already disowned and crucified the lowly Jesus.
But as Saul went to Damascus, still “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1), God did a wonderful thing. Rather than crush the leader of the world’s rebellion, He saved him. Christ broke through the heavens, as it were, to speak words of pity to His greatest enemy on earth. As a result Saul’s rebellious spirit was broken and in one moment the pitiless persecutor became the docile, indeed the devoted follower of Christ.
More than this, Saul of Tarsus, the persecutor, became Paul the Apostle. To him the glorified Lord committed “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:2) and “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). Now he went everywhere proclaiming grace, telling men how God loved them, how Christ had come into the world and had gone to Calvary to pay man’s debt of sin so that believing sinners might be saved.
“The gospel of the grace of God,” found in Paul’s epistles, does not blame anyone for the death of Christ. Rather it presents the cross as good news. It declares that “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7). It says that “God hath concluded them all in unbelief that He might have mercy upon all” (Rom. 11:32) and that “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Rom. 5:20). Thus the vilest sinner may believe and rejoice in the consciousness of sins forgiven.
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.