God called both Abraham and Paul….
If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. Phil. 3:4b-6 (NIV)
3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. Acts 22:3(NIV)
Who was Saul? • Confident • Very religious • Highly educated • Both Jewish and a Roman citizen
Acts 7:57-8:3The stoning of Stephen • Saul watch their clothes while it happened. • Saul was giving his approval. • Saul began to destroy the church. • Going house to house he dragged off men and women to prison.
What can get out of control? • Addictions… • Greed or power… • Pain or emotions…
7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ… Phil. 3:7-8 (NIV)