Was Saul Saved on the Road to Damascus?
 
Saul of Tarsus was a persecutor of God’s people, those known as “the way” Acts 9:2. Saul was present during the stoning of Stephen Acts 7:58.  In Acts 9:1-2, Saul went to the High Priest and asked for “letters” (authority) to go to the synagogues in Damascus and bring back those who belonged to “the way” as prisoners to Jerusalem.
 
As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven, Acts 9:3.  We learn from Acts 22:6 this happened around noon. “Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me”.  In Acts 26 Paul is before King Agrippa telling him what happened while on the road to Damascus. Verse 13, “At midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around”.  We learn here the light was brighter than the noon day sun.
 
Now let’s look at the conservation between Jesus and Saul in order to determine if Saul was saved there on the road. Jesus spoke first. Acts 9:4, “Then he (Saul) fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”  Saul spoke and asked, Acts 9:5 “Who are You, Lord?” This question indicates Saul desired to know who is speaking to him. The use of the word “Lord” means Saul understood the one speaking was greater than himself.
 
Jesus identified himself saying, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting”. Now Saul knows who is speaking to him. Saul is now a believer, that is, he believes that this is Jesus, the one that was crucified.
 
Acts 9:6 Saul asked the question, “Lord, what do You want me to do”. Even though Saul was a believer, he felt there was something he needed to do in order to be right with God, to be forgiven of his sins.  Jesus answered his question, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do”.
 
Let’s notice some things about the Lord’s answer to Saul’s question.
1st:  The Lord did not tell Saul the answer to his question, but told him where to go to receive the answer.
2nd: What Saul would be told …..he
must do.
 
I Cor.1:21 says, “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe”.  Jesus stayed with this plan; he sent Ananias, a preacher, to Saul, 9:10.

Notice the word must, not “should do” or “ought to do” but must do. Consider this thought question: Saul must do something in order for what to take place? We find the answers in Acts 22:16.  Here Saul told of his conversion. Ananias told Saul what he must do. “Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins”.  So we see that Saul was told what he must do (be baptized) in order to have his sins washed away. Therefore, Saul was saved after being baptized, not on the road to Damascus.
 
In Acts 26 Saul, now known as Paul, stood before King Agrippa and told of his conversion. Paul stated in verse 19, “O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision”. Someday we all will stand before the King of Kings. Will we be able to say as Paul did? “Lord, I was not disobedient to that heavenly message.  I arose and was baptized to have my sins washed away”
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