“And after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, ‘Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?’ Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.” Acts 9:19–22 (NIV84)
Once again we talk about change. The Greek word is “metanoia.” The word means “a complete change in thought and attitude.” You see, Christianity isn’t just a philosophy. It’s not just an ideology. We all have thoughts and facts that may or may not influence our lives. I know there are speed limit signs everywhere, but rarely do they have an impact on my life. It takes flashing lights in my rearview mirror to get me to adjust my driving. Becoming a Christian is more than an intellectual pursuit. It is the type of knowledge and insight that has a direct impact on our lives.
Just look at the change in Saul (Paul). A few days prior to our verses for today, he was breathing murderous threats upon Christians and was on his way to wreak havoc on the Christians in Damascus. He believed with all of his heart that Jesus was a false prophet. But not now! In our text for today, the people of Damascus are amazed to find Saul (Paul) defending the Christian faith and proving through persuasive arguments that Jesus is actually the promised Messiah.
Now, I would describe that as a “complete change of thought and attitude.” The Holy Spirit completely changed the heart of Saul. God made him born again. That same Spirit also works in our lives to make us new. He continuously works in us to make “a complete change of thought and attitude” in our hearts, minds and souls. We can assist the Spirit of God in this work by meditating on the Word of God, through which the Spirit works. We need to continually be in God’s Word and in prayer so that metanoia will occur in us.