Many have called the Apostle Paul the greatest Christian who ever lived. Indeed he was a great man. Paul’s greatness however didn’t come easy. There were many lessons Paul had to learn in order to serve Christ. The first lesson was the Importance of the Power of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 9:20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. 21 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? 22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
Paul was a man of great passion. Scripture teaches us that whatever he did, he did it 110%. Before Paul became a follower of Christ, he gave 110% of his effort to persecuting the church. But once he accepted Christ as his Savior, he gave 110% of his effort to serving his Lord.
The passage we have just read says that he immediately went to the synagogues after his conversion and began to preach to them that Jesus was the Son of God. It was Paul’s passion to share the gospel with the entire world. This was especially true for his fellow countrymen – the Jews.
Romans 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
It was his passion to share Christ that caused Paul to go immediately to Jewish synagogues. As he began to preach to his fellow countrymen, something amazing happened. He began to feel himself becoming spiritually stronger. What was happening? For the first time in his life Paul was experiencing the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Before Paul was saved he did not have the Spirit of God. He was spiritually dead. Therefore all of his passion and energy came from himself. But once he received Christ and was born again, the Spirit of God became a part of him and he began to experience the supernatural power of God’s presence.
As the Spirit moved within Paul, no doubt he was reminded of the confidence he had witnessed in the face of another Christian named Stephen. The Bible says that Stephen’s face became like the face of an angel. I’m sure that at the time, Saul of Tarsus wondered where this strange power was coming from. Now he knew. It was the power of the Holy Spirit.