Galatians 1:23 they only heard it said, "He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy."24And they glorified God because of me.
We live in an age were words donít mean much, because people will say anything to get what they want. People are paid a lot of money to tell us to buy this or to buy that, and words donít mean much, because if someone else paid them more to sell another product, theyíd tell us that this was now the best. Wordís donít mean much, because we donít trust them, not because they lack power. For even if we donít trust the words we hear, they still have power.
We live in an era, where it is said, that you canít teach an old dog new tricks. People are the way they are, and will not change, some believe that they cannot change. Yet every day we are changing, if nothing else, each day we are one day older, but we do change.
We live in a time of doubt and cynicism. We look for something solid to trust it. But all around us nothing remains the same, and little is as we thought it was. If we could only find something as solid as the rock of Gibraltar, something that we can trust, something that does not change.
And it is in to the mix that God comes. God, the same, yesterday, today and forever. God comes to us, not in might, not in power, not in glory, but in humility, God comes to us in His Word. God comes, not as a king, not as a general, neither wealthy nor powerful God comes to us as a baby, born in a small town, God took on human nature and lived among us. God came among us in a way to draw us to him, in a manner that would not frighten us. And Jesus grew up, and became a man, and he began to teach the way of salvation, and he called people to follow him, and learn from him, and listen to His Word. They listened and they wrote down what they heard and saw. And so we learn of Jesus preaching the good news of the kingdom of God, of his healing the sick, raising the dead, and casting out demons. And then Jesus was betrayed, and he was handed over to die, to die for all people, and Jesus accepted this. Jesus suffered and died for all people, even for us today, that He might give us the forgiveness of sins, by paying our debts, and by giving us life. So Jesus died for our sins, and on the 3rd day rose from death. 40 days later, he rose from earth to heaven, where he sits at the right hand of God.
And there was a man named Saul, who did not believe that Jesus was the Christ, and he persecuted those who did believe. He was solid as a rock, convinced he was right, and convinced that nothing could stand in his way. And on the road to Damascus, Jesus came to him, and spoke to him, asking him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? The Word came to Saul and he was changed. Changed from rock solid against the church, to rock solid for the church, and for the Gospel, and for Jesus Christ, who that day, he saw, that Jesus was his savior. God in Christ changed Paul, changed him by the power of the Word. God in Christ changed Paul, through Baptism, Paul became a new creation.
All this would only be an interesting tale, if it werenít for the fact that the same Word of God is active and alive today. And in the same way that Saul was changed, and became a new creation, so God in Christ would change us. We are not too old, we are not too set in our ways, we are not too far down the wrong path, that God through the Word cannot reach us, and change us, and make us what He intended us to be. Sometimes the change is dramatic, sometimes it is a change of little by little, but the Word has power, and God has given us the promise of a new creation, by grace through faith in Christ Jesus.
And while this is good news for us, for we long to have peace with God through the forgiveness of sins. It is not just good news for us, but in our hands is a power to change people, even our enemies, and so we bring them the Word, so that enemies might become friends through the grace of God and the forgiveness of sins , and the new creation, and the life everlasting, which all come to us through the Word. In Christ, we need not accept the world as it is, but by bringing the Word to the world, we bring a change from death to life in Jesus Christ. Some may we glorify God for the change he is working in us, and the change he would work in the world around us, and may we ever be working to bring the good news of Godís favor in Christ. For this is a Word with much power.