Saul’s Outward Life: As a young man, Saul put confidence in his “flesh” or “self” to show that he was good (Philippians 3:4). Saul’s parents started his religious path when Saul was a baby (“circumcised the eighth day” Phil. 3:5). Saul was from “the stock of Israel” (from the right nation). He was “of the tribe of Benjamin (from a good tribe). He was “an Hebrew of the Hebrews” (from a good family… both parents and all grandparents were Jews). Concerning law, Saul grew up to become a “Pharisee” (3:5). As a Pharisee, Saul was full of zeal (“persecuting the church”). As for self-righteousness, Saul said that he was “blameless” (3:6). Like other Pharisees, Saul wore long robes, made long prayers, gave gifts, and drew attention to self. In talking, there was a lot of “I, Me, My, and Mine.” Saul did good works “to be seen of men” (Mat. 23).
Saul’s Inward Life: Jesus knew what Pharisees loved. Saul (like other Pharisees) loved recognition, greetings, and titles (Matthew 23:1-12). Saul showed “good works” on the outside, but covered sin in his heart. Jesus said that Pharisees were “hypocrites,” they were not going to Heaven, and they kept others from going to Heaven. Jesus said that Pharisees were “blind,” “fools,” “full of hypocrisy,” and “full of iniquity” (Mt. 23:13-39).
*Two Lives: Saul had two lives. On the outside, he was fake. Everything was “Great!” “Wonderful!” “Perfect!” “Couldn’t be Better!” But on the inside, he was different. Everything was “Hate!” “Kill!” “Destroy!” “Couldn’t be Worse!” Saul imprisoned and killed Christians.
From Two Lives to One: On the Damascus Road, Saul traveled to persecute Christians. Jesus shined a blinding light onto Saul. Jesus spoke, and Saul changed. Saul confessed his sins and trusted Jesus as Savior. He set out to live one honest life. He would be the same, inside and out (Acts 9). Saul no longer needed to look good. He became good … through Jesus.
Application: Don’t be a fake! Let your love, marriage, and family be real – today!
“God Never Made You to Be a Fake.”
Remember—Obey God’s Word—Together!