New Life in Christ

2 Corinthians 5:15, 17

On a sandy stretch of the sun-baked Damascus Road Saul’s life was radically changed so profoundly that he became a new man in Christ Jesus! He joined the sect he had been trying to exterminate.

There on the Damascus Road, his pockets bulging with the High Priest’s deadly documents, he was beginning to grasp the significance of the Lord’s death. Years later Paul was to write to the Corinthians, “And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:15, 17).

Such a sublime perception in all its fullness could hardly have entered his mind as he lay prone on the desert road. It actually took years to be grasped by its full meaning, years of close communion with the Lord, of intellectual struggle, and of arduous experience in the service of the gospel. What Saul saw and heard that day became the secret of his inmost being. It constituted the most unalterable conviction of his soul.

So it is with every authentic conversion, when all life is opened to God’s gracious healing pardon, cleansed by the blood of the Savior on the cross, regenerated by the power of the Spirit.

At a meeting in The Salvation Army’s Mission compound at Chikankata in Zambia, I heard a mother from a very poor family living in a nearby village testify to her conversion. “The preacher preached,” she explained simply, “and the Word of God attacked me in my heart.” By divine grace, through faith, that illiterate mother and the erudite Saul found the self-same Savior. Saul too had been attacked by the Word of God. He too capitulated and became a willing captive; a slave was how he described himself in his epistles.

Indeed, conversion involves so radical a repentance that life is turned completely around. It involves so deep a faith that God in Christ becomes the supreme, most radiant reality of existence so that character, conduct and human relationships are all set moving in the direction of Christlikeness.

Clarence D. Wiseman, The Desert Road to Glory

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