Growing up as a fervent Jewish nationalist and Pharisee, Paul’s early life was marked by an extraordinary religious zeal. Already as a child, Paul was sent to Palestine to learn from the famous rabbi Gamaliel. He learned to master Jewish history and how to dissect Scripture. Later in his life, he even became a member of the Senhadrin – the Jewish Supreme Court. As a defender of the law, Paul was already inclined to persecute those who would break it – including the Christian community that began to spread. Thereby, Paul’s early life was marked by brutal violence, and the relentless persecution of the early church. But on the way to Damascus, then, Christ appeared to him in a bright light which let to a dramatic conversion in Paul’s life. This encounter turned upside down all of Paul’s priorities. His realigious credentials, achievements and zeal were replaced by the surpassing worth of knowing Christ.
Join us this Sunday, as we study Paul’s letter to the Philippians, in which he reveals more about his dramatic conversion and reveals his foremost concern.