Chris Simpson’s life used to be consumed by hate. After he and his wife lost their first child, he was confused and angry. He directed that anger toward various ethnic groups and covered his body with hate-filled tattoos.
After listening to his son mimic his hatred, though, Simpson knew he needed to change. He watched a Christian movie about courage and began attending church. One month later he was saved and baptized as a follower of Jesus Christ. Simpson is now a new person and is leaving the hate behind him, which includes the painful and expensive process of having his tattoos removed.
The apostle Paul knew something about this kind of deep transformation. He hated Jesus and persecuted His followers (Acts 22:4-5; 1 Cor. 15:9). But a personal encounter and spiritual union with Christ (Acts 9:1-20) changed all of that, causing him to reevaluate his life in light of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. This union with Christ made Paul a new person. The old order of sin, death, and selfishness was gone and a new beginning, a new covenant, a new perspective and way of living had come.
Following Jesus is not turning over a new leaf; it is beginning a new life under a new Master.