A Thorough Persecutor Who Became a Thorough Witness

December 12, 2011

Acts relates how Saul of Tarsus fiercely persecuted the church prior to his conversion (8:1-3). Luke specifies that Paul was thorough in his persecution of the church: “As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison” (8:3). Saul was entering “every house” (Gk., kata tous oikous) and dragging away both men and women to jail. Given his intense hatred of believers, we should understand that he was assaulting them as thoroughly as possible.

Interestingly, Luke uses essentially the same expression (Gk., kat’ oikous) to record Paul’s thoroughness in witnessing after he had been converted: “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house” (20:20).

This comparison shows that Paul was a thorough persecutor who became a thorough witness. His zeal against Christians was transformed into a zeal for Christ that made him one who evangelized both publicly and “from house to house.”

Learning from his example, we should continue to engage systematically in “house to house” evangelism as long as it is possible.

Rajesh

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