The conversion of Saul is told in Acts 9:1-19; 26:9-18; and here in 22:1-16. He gave us many details about what happened on his trip to Damascus to persecute Christians. We should study carefully what the Bible says about conversion and not be swayed by our preconceived ideas. Saul was wrong religiously, but he was sincerely trying to serve God. He followed his conscience, which sadly had been taught wrong. He was religious but religiously wrong, sincere but sincerely mistaken.
God sent Ananias to tell Saul what he must do to be saved. God does not tell people directly how to be saved. Those that have already become Christians deliver his message to others. When Ananias came to Saul he asked, “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). Saul was a believer in Christ that had repented of his sins and now he needed to be baptized into Christ.
After Saul’s conversion he became an apostle to the Gentiles. The Jews listened to Paul until he said the word “Gentile.” “And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live” (Acts 22:22). National prejudice is a sad and destructive thing. The anger of the people caused the chief captain to assume Paul had done some terrible crime. He threatened to beat Paul until he found out that Paul was a freeborn Roman citizen. The captain did not seem to respect God, but he did respect the law of the land. Paul was willing to suffer and to die for Christ but if his Roman freedoms could prevent his suffering he would thankfully use that citizenship.
Let’s live our life in such a way as to be fit to live with God in eternity!
Walnut Street church of Christ