Saul, before Receiving Salvation
Before Saul received salvation, he had heard the Christians say, “Jesus was crucified on the cross and resurrected after three days.” Saul had the heart, “Those are just lies to deceive naïve people. How can a dead person come back to life? That makes no sense!” In his heart he thought “I should seize the bad guys who lie.” So he captured the people who preached the gospel and put them into prison to be beaten and tortured.
One day, Saul was on his way to Damascus after hearing that there were many Christians there. While he was nearing the city, suddenly a light came down from the sky and shone upon him. Then, he heard a voice.
“Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?”
“Lord, who art thou?”
“I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you have persecuted.”
With the Heart of Jesus Christ
Saul was completely shocked. “Ah! I persecuted the Christians thinking that the resurrection of Jesus was just a hoax without even verifying the facts. But, Jesus did indeed come back to life!”
Saul now knew exactly how foolish it was to live believing in himself and his own judgments. From then on, he did not believe in his own thoughts.
In the book of Philippians, Saul, who had then become the Apostle Paul said, “For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.” Paul cannot love the saints of Philippi with his own heart. Jesus loved them; therefore, with the heart of Jesus, Paul said that he loved the Philippian Church. He knew precisely that Jesus had come into his heart and was leading him.
Two Kinds of Hearts
I have been going to church ever since I was young. However, I gradually fell deeper and deeper into sin as I became older. I was so afraid that I would go to hell because of my sins. Early every morning, I would go to church to confess my sins and make the same resolution over and over again thinking, “I will not sin today!” However, in spite of myself, I would lie, hate someone, and at times get into fights. It was then that I felt, “The thoughts that come out from inside of me are not good. They are really evil, dirty, and wicked.”
Later on, I received salvation and accepted Jesus into my heart. Since then, I have often felt I had a new heart that I didn’t have before. “I didn’t have such a generous heart before. . . .” “I didn’t have such a good heart like this before. . . .” Also, I often thought, “This isn’t my heart! It is the heart given to me by Jesus after He came into my heart!” There were only dirty, evil, and wicked things that came out from me. However, the heart that came out from Jesus was completely different.
When I look back on those things that I did when