“For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it.” – Galatians 1:13
Consider the following attributes and accomplishments:
- Apostle of Jesus
- Wrote 1/3rd of the New Testament
- Preached sermons resulting in thousand’s of people coming to Christ
That is quite the resumé This person, most of us would think, has devoted their entire life to the gospel of Christ, but as we know, that is far from the truth.
This person I speak of is the Apostle Paul, formerly known as Saul. Before he met Jesus he looked far worse than any of you reading this do, ever have, or ever will. In fact Paul knew this when he wrote,
“…Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost.” 1 Timothy 1:15
Paul was a murderer of Christians, persecuting the church and doing everything he could to destroy it. To put it bluntly, he hated the church. However, while he was involved in such hatred, God had another plan to completely transform him.
God not only changed his heart but also gave him a new name so that there would be no question as to the transformation that had taken place in his life. Paul understood that God had transformed him into an apostle, but he also understood just how far removed he was from the sins of his past.
Paul knew that he no longer had to be defined by his past. The things that he did a few short years before were so far remove from him that they were part of his former life. He was a new creation.
You no longer have to be defined by your past. You no longer have to feel the guilt and shame associated with those things. Take comfort in the fact that Jesus died to save sinners, and you are not foremost.
The task that The Lord has give to us is too big for us to be weighted down by past failures.
“Let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1
Choose today to lay your past aside. The truth is that those things are a part of who you were, but not who you are.
You’re a new creation, friend. Embrace it!