For the sake of his own name, God sovereignly chooses and single-handedly changes people who ignorantly and actively oppose Him.

And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. — Galatians 1:14 (ESV)

“Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: ‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.’ For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.” — Matthew 13:14,15 (ESV)

1. God Chooses

“Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.” — 1 Corinthians 1:1 (ESV)

“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent” — 1 Timothy 1:12-13 (ESV)

“And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. But when he who had set me apart before I was born and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son [in] me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;” — Galatians 1:14-16 (ESV)

2. God Changes

  • a. Joined to community
  • b. Driven to prayer
  • c. Commissioned for service

“Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down. . .to make your name known to your adversaries.” — Isaiah 64:1-2 (ESV)

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” — Psalm 63:1 (ESV)

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father’.” — Romans 8:14-15 (ESV)

“Your steadfast love is better than life” — Psalm 63:3 (ESV)

3. God Commissions

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