What a break! The brilliant, raging young Pharisee named Saul had been on a tear, using his organization’s influence, connections, and money to pursue Christians, have them arrested for their beliefs, fined, imprisoned, property confiscated, and even killed.
And now a wonderful Christian man in Damascus named Ananias had Saul, temporarily blinded and helpless, in his power. Would he do to Saul what Saul had done to other Christians? Whatever revenge fantasies were playing in his mind, what he actually did was love and encourage his “prisoner,” even calling him Brother Saul: “The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name” (Acts 22:14-16).
How could the soul of a persecutor of God’s children ever be washed clean? How could the heart of a stone-cold killer ever be softened? Through the gospel of Christ and the washing of water and the Word, both things happened. Saul was renamed Paul, and the persecutor of Christ now became his most ardent evangelist.
Your baptism has done the same thing for you. Declared clean and pure before God, you are now set free to be filled with his Word and to carry out his agenda for your life.