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Rising Up From The Dust
The Pharisee Saul was a violent, arrogant Christian killer (see Was Paul Among Them? and Violence). Then one day, while he was on one of his Christian hunts, Jesus Christ knocked the swaggering, self-righteous thug (an accurate description of the man's as-yet unrepentant loser behavior, not the man) onto the ground. Instead of "breathing out threats," Saul was breathing ditch dirt.
"9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
"As Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life"
Saul's life, as he was living it, ended that day. When he rose up from the dust on that road of death, it was a figure of a resurrection to a new life as a Christian. Paul, as he would thereafter be known (see Paul's Ministry), was then baptized (Acts 17:9-17 KJV), itself moreover symbolic of the death and burial of an old dead-end way of life and the resurrection to a new life, the true way of life - as Paul later wrote.
"6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? [see Grace Into Licentiousness] 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by Baptism [see also Baptism Of Fire] into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Paul's rising up after "hitting bottom" in the dust, and his figurative death and burial in baptism, did not mean that he was "born again" (see Born Again, How and When?). Those events were just the beginning of Paul's journey to the time when all will be fulfilled.
"4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep [see What Happens When You Die?].
Fact Finder: Why are there two different resurrections coming, one to spirit, one physical? Why will it seem to many that Christ will have returned "now"?