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Author Topic: Acts 9--Paul's conversion
phillip tidwell
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Granted we are all a product of our environments to some degree. But that doesn’t mean we can’t change, so it’s not an excuse. Consider Paul. How could a person change so much, especially such a well-educated, respected, and self-assured person?
I heard a great lesson on this topic that challenged us to think of Paul’s conversion whenever bad behavior is defended with a remark like “We’ll, that’s just the way I was brought up.” Sorry it happened, but it’s neither an excuse nor a justification, especially if we are born again Christians.

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Carol Swenson
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Hi phillip

I agree. Some people have emotional scars from an abusive past, so they may need more time to heal. But we all start changing when we give our lives to our wonderful Lord and Savior.

Philippians 1:6 (NLT)

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.


I find it especially heartening to note that, after all Paul went through, the Lord made Paul's letters 50% of the New Testament, and they have instructed and encouraged Christians for centuries!

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phillip tidwell
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Thanks! Your observations are an excellent complement to what I was trying to point out. Even though we may be born anew, we’re still a work in progress. I have to constantly remember Matthew 7:3:
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

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KnowHim
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Question?

When reading about Paul after his conversion did you not see the complete change in him?

He did not continue in sin but was changed and started living a different life.

No one can come to see Jesus and stay in the same old sinful life style. They will change if they have truely come to know Jesus Christ.

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Carol Swenson
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Hi KnowHim

I think our behavior should change immediately. If we are living a sinful lifestyle, such as persecuting Christians, we stop immediately when we meet Christ as our Lord and Savior. And we immediately start doing those things which please Him, such as studying the Bible.

But the human heart, the character of a person, I think it takes time for these to change. I don’t know anyone who claims to be perfect. Paul wrote letters to his people who were being led astray by false doctrine, people who were quarreling, people who allowed sin in their group. Paul wrote that we are being changed little by little, from glory to glory, and that he himself had a thorn in his flesh to keep him humble. I believe that sanctification is an ongoing process. We all make mistakes, and are forgiven when we repent and ask forgiveness. Our wonderful Lord disciplines His children to help us learn and grow.

So, what we can change, we should change immediately, but those inner qualities that are difficult to change need more time and the help of the Holy Spirit.

Does this sound right?

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phillip tidwell
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Interesting question and you make some great points Carol, especially in reminding us of the thorn in Paul’s side. Personal experience is an initial dramatic change followed by a more systematic growth or learning process (just as you describe sanctification). Recalling some of the comments KnowHim shared much earlier, I find the more I seek, the more revelation I’m allowed and vice versa. It strikes some of my friends as a little odd when I say I look forward to being chastened. It’s humbling, but needed for growth and is reassuring even when it hurts to realize my failures.
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becauseHElives
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good discussion...

great points Carol...

while I believe there will be an immediate change in behavior when a person is born again, I also know there now exist a war in the human heart that did not exist before...

the Apostle Paul by his writing and his life showed the extent of how serious he viewed this....in how he disciplined his life....

the war is more serious than most believers understand in my understanding of scripture...

in understanding the Apostle Paul's conversion, we must understand that he was serious about serving Yahweh, when he was killing Christians it was from a heart that thought he was doing Yahweh a devotion...when Yahshua arrested Paul on the road to Damascus...Paul already really did think he loved Yahweh...

phillip said...
Granted we are all a product of our environments to some degree. But that doesn’t mean we can’t change, so it’s not an excuse. Consider Paul. How could a person change so much, especially such a well-educated, respected, and self-assured person?

the only way anyone can change is by yielding to Yahweh and dieing to self....

Yahweh changed Paul by stopping him in his tracks...but Paul realized that Satan does not give up as long as a man or woman is in this human body

--------------------
Strive to enter in at the strait gate:for many, I say unto you will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. ( Luke 13:24 )

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KnowHim
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Yes I do agree with this. I said what I did because now a days it seems a lot of so called Christians think they can be gay, live with someone, cuss all the time, do as they please and they still call themselves Christians. If they have come to know Jesus Christ this activity will stop. It may take weeks or months, but not years. If the change does not happen they are not Christians regardless of what they say and have never had a Damascus road experience and are not saved.

Watch this video. Christians in Hell

Don't watch it if cursing bothers you because it has it in it. But it shows things in more reality.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=zmpLUaj0wW0

http://lostinchurch.com



quote:
Originally posted by Carol Swenson:
Hi KnowHim

I think our behavior should change immediately. If we are living a sinful lifestyle, such as persecuting Christians, we stop immediately when we meet Christ as our Lord and Savior. And we immediately start doing those things which please Him, such as studying the Bible.

But the human heart, the character of a person, I think it takes time for these to change. I don’t know anyone who claims to be perfect. Paul wrote letters to his people who were being led astray by false doctrine, people who were quarreling, people who allowed sin in their group. Paul wrote that we are being changed little by little, from glory to glory, and that he himself had a thorn in his flesh to keep him humble. I believe that sanctification is an ongoing process. We all make mistakes, and are forgiven when we repent and ask forgiveness. Our wonderful Lord disciplines His children to help us learn and grow.

So, what we can change, we should change immediately, but those inner qualities that are difficult to change need more time and the help of the Holy Spirit.

Does this sound right?



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phillip tidwell
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Interesting that you should choose that video clip to emphasize your points. Too often, what advertises itself as a church presenting Christianity is averse to discussing topics like sin, its consequences, hell, and (what I describe as) the exclusivity of Christianity. My wife Shelley is not a Christian. Last night, as we were watching the movie “King David”, I was trying to explain how King Saul had been disobedient in not following God’s commandment to utterly destroy Am’alek by destroying every living thing. She said, “Isn’t that a little contradictory?” Regrettably, my only response was “No, not at all.”

I honestly felt a little confused about where to begin, so I left it at that for the evening. Non- believers and nominal Christians alike have such a knowledge gap, it really is hard to know where to start filling in, especially since they so often recoil at the full truth of belief AND repentance. Almost everyone likes to think of a God of love. Hardly any like to consider the same God will banish the unfaithful to hell.

Our witness is dangerously diminished if it doesn’t include the need for repentance and the consequent dangers.

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