So [Paul] said, “Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You.” Acts 22:19
Three times in the book of Acts, Paul’s conversion is recounted in detail. The first account (Acts 9:1-19) is described by Luke. But the second (Acts 22:6-21) and third (Acts 26:12-18) are told by Paul himself. Both Luke and Paul go to great lengths to describe Paul as a persecutor of Christians. Paul traveled from one city to another to find Jewish blasphemers who were worshiping Jesus of Nazareth. It is no wonder that Paul would later describe himself as “chief” of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).
It is interesting to note something about all three descriptions of Paul’s encounter with Christ. In none of the retellings did Jesus list Paul’s sins to him. Jesus never berated Paul for what he had done. He never said, “I will call you into My service when you atone for all your sins. When I am convinced you are sorry, you will receive My love.” Instead, Paul received the grace and love of God in spite of being the chief of sinners. There were no conditions on God’s love for Paul.
We may not have committed sins like Paul’s, but we have sins of our own. Thankfully, we don’t have to become sinless to receive His love.
God loves us not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Unknown