1 From Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus. God called me to be an apostle and chose me to tell the Good News.
2 God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets, as it is written in the Holy Scriptures.
3 The Good News is about God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. As a man, he was born from the family of David. But through the Spirit of holiness he was appointed to be God's Son with great power by rising from the dead.
4 - 5 Through Christ, God gave me the special work of an apostle, which was to lead people of all nations to believe and obey. I do this work for him. . . . .
16 I am proud of the Good News, because it is the power God uses to save everyone who believes-to save the Jews first, and also to save those who are not Jews.
17 The Good News shows how God makes people right with himself-that it begins and ends with faith. As the Scripture says, "But those who are right with God will live by trusting in him." (New Century Bible)
The Apostle Paul came from a background of strict religious observance, and he was one of its chief exponents.
He was violently opposed to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Good News of being put right with God through Jesus Christ.
Then this happened:
1 In Jerusalem Saul was still threatening the followers of the Lord by saying he would kill them. So he went to the high priest
2 and asked him to write letters to the synagogues in the city of Damascus. Then if Saul found any followers of Christ's Way, men or women, he would arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem.
3 So Saul headed toward Damascus. As he came near the city, a bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around him.
4 Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me?"
5 Saul said, "Who are you, Lord?"
The voice answered, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
6 Get up now and go into the city. Someone there will tell you what you must do."
7 The people traveling with Saul stood there but said nothing. They heard the voice, but they saw no one.
8 Saul got up from the ground and opened his eyes, but he could not see. So those with Saul took his hand and led him into Damascus.
9 For three days Saul could not see and did not eat or drink.
10 There was a follower of Jesus in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to Ananias in a vision, "Ananias!"
Ananias answered, "Here I am, Lord."
11 The Lord said to him, "Get up and go to Straight Street. Find the house of Judas, and ask for a man named Saul from the city of Tarsus. He is there now, praying.
12 Saul has seen a vision in which a man named Ananias comes to him and lays his hands on him. Then he is able to see again."
13 But Ananias answered, "Lord, many people have told me about this man and the terrible things he did to your holy people in Jerusalem.
14 Now he has come here to Damascus, and the leading priests have given him the power to arrest everyone who worships you."
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! I have chosen Saul for an important work. He must tell about me to those who are not Jews, to kings, and to the people of Israel.
16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."
17 So Ananias went to the house of Judas. He laid his hands on Saul and said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus sent me. He is the one you saw on the road on your way here. He sent me so that you can see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
18 Immediately, something that looked like fish scales fell from Saulâ€™s eyes, and he was able to see again! Then Saul got up and was baptized.
19 After he ate some food, his strength returned. (New Century Bible)
That day, Paul gave up the fish scales of inner blindness, and took up faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who loved him despite his opposition.
Father in heaven, if I have any scales of inner blindness keeping me back from faith in Jesus Christ,
I give these up and instead I open up all of me to faith in Jesus Christ, my Saviour and Lord,