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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 9 - Verse 6

Verse 6. And he trembling. Alarmed at what he saw and heard, and at the consciousness of his own evil course. It is not remarkable that a sinner trembles when he sees his guilt and danger.

And astonished. At what he saw.

Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? This indicates a subdued soul; a humbled spirit. Just before he had sought only to do his own will; now he inquired what was the will of the Saviour. Just before he was acting under a commission from the sanhedrim; now he renounced their supreme authority, and asked what the Lord Jesus would have him to do. Just before he had been engaged in a career of opposition to the Lord Jesus; now he sought at once to do his will. This indicates the usual change in the sinner. The great controversy between him and God is, whose will shall be followed. The sinner follows his own; the first act of the Christian is to surrender his own will to that of God, and to resolve to do that which he requires. We may further remark here, that this indicates the true nature of conversion. It is decided, prompt, immediate. Paul did not debate the matter, Ga 1:16; he did not inquire what the scribes and Pharisees would say; he did not consult his own reputation; he did not ask what the world would think. With characteristic promptness—with a readiness which showed what he would yet be—he gave himself up at once and entirely to the Lord Jesus; evidently with a purpose to do his will alone. This was the case also with the jailer, at Philippi, Ac 16:30. Nor can there be real conversion where the heart and will are not given to the Lord Jesus, to be directed and moulded by him at his pleasure. We may test our conversion, then, by the example of the apostle Paul. If our hearts have been given up as his was, we are true friends of Christ.

Go into the city. Damascus. They were near it, Ac 9:3.

And it shall be told thee. It is remarkable that he was thus directed. But we may learn from it,

(1.) that even in the most striking and remarkable cases of conversion, there is not at once a clear view of duty. What course of life should be followed; what should be done; nay, what should be believed, is not at once apparent.

(2.) The aid of others, and especially of ministers, and of experienced Christians, is often very desirable to aid even those who are converted in the most remarkable manner. Saul was converted by a miracle: the Saviour appeared to him in his glory; of the truth of his Messiahship he had no doubt; but still he was dependent on a humble disciple in Damascus to be instructed in what he should do.

(3.) Those who are converted, in however striking a manner it may be, should be willing to seek the counsel of those who are in the church and in the ministry before them. The most striking evidence of their conversion will not prevent their deriving important direction and benefit from the aged, the experienced, and the wise in the Christian church.

(4.) Such remarkable conversions are fitted to induce the subjects of the change to seek counsel and direction. They produce humility, a deep sense of sin and of unworthiness; and a willingness to be taught and directed by any one who can point out the way of duty and of life.

{a} "What will thou have me to do?" Ac 16:30

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