Paul Began Living Passionately in the Name of Christ
Paul was transformed when he responded to God’s call through obedience. He stopped living against the name of Christ. Now he would willingly give his life for the name of Christ (Acts 21:13). His mission and passion had been transformed.
Instead of traveling as a passionate persecutor, God offered him a new way of life—a new passion. God gave Paul his new calling when He said to Paul, “Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles” (Acts 22:21). Paul accepted this calling and allowed the power of God, contained in the gospel of Jesus Christ, to transform him from a passionate persecutor into a passionate preacher and missionary.
Paul discusses this transformation in Colossians 1:24-29. He said that through God he had become a minister after having responded to the call of God. Then he wrote,“To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” (Colossians 1:27-29). He had been given a new focus in life—to take the gospel to the Gentiles. This was a passion that he worked tirelessly for and he made it the mission of his life. What a powerful transformation!
This is the same Paul who wrote, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). Paul now lived in the name of Jesus and encouraged others to do so as well. What does it mean to live in the name of Christ? It means to live your life after the example of Christ, in submission to Christ, and for the glory of Christ. As the writer of Hebrews wrote, our lives are to be “fixed on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2).
Is there someone in your life who has experienced such a powerful transformation? Perhaps you have experienced such a transformation. You used to live as an enemy of God, ignoring him or even fighting against him. Now after accepting and obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ, you have submitted your life to him, living passionately in his name. It is such a beautiful sight to see someone transformed by Jesus. He saves our lives and thus refocuses it. We live with a new purpose and transformed mission. It is a blessing to live passionately in the name of Jesus—just as Paul did.