Have you ever put Scripture together in this way....
Ponder the conversion of Paul, the sovereignty of Christ, and what Paul's sins have to do with your salvation.
Paul said that God “set me apart before I was born,” and then on the Damascus road “called me by his grace” (Galatians 1:15). This means that between Paul's birth and his call on the Damascus road he was an already-chosen but not-yet-called instrument of God (Acts 9:15; 22:14).
This means that Paul was beating and imprisoning and murdering Christians as a God-chosen, soon-to-be-made-Christian missionary.
Lord, they themselves know that in one synagogue after another I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. And when the blood of Stephen your witness was being shed, I myself was standing by and approving and watching over the garments of those who killed him. (Acts 22:19-20)
The call on the Damascus road was apocalyptic for Paul. It was not a still small voice.
As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 22:6-7)
There was no denying or escaping it. God had chosen him for this before he was born. And now he would take him. The word of Christ was sovereign. There was no negotiating. Read more...