Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

I am Jesus!



So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ (Acts 22:8 NKJV)


Three times

In Acts 9, Paul’s abrupt meeting with the Lord is recorded for the first time and we read these words “I am Jesus.”  In Acts 22:8 above we read about Paul telling this story to the Jews in Jerusalem and again we read those words, “I am Jesus.”  In Acts 26:15, Paul tells how he met the Lord to King Agrippa.  Again he says that the Lord told him, I am Jesus.”  The Lord introduced himself to a man whose conscience had begun bothering him.  He was persecuting a group of people who were worshiping a man he thought was an impostor.  Yet while he was being violent and trying to destroy those who were of “this way,” they were willing laying down their lives for their savior; and, in Stephen’s case, he prayed for his persecutors.  Paul had hatred in his heart, these people had love.  Paul was being violent, these people were praying for those who hated them.  And now the Lord reveals himself to Paul and says, “I am Jesus.” 


A Complete Change of Direction

Paul was saved by grace and he makes that clear in his writings.  But he was also changed completely by what he witnessed when he heard those words, “I am Jesus.”  Paul was an example of one who was convicted of His sin (in this case the sin of rejecting the truth that Jesus is and was the Messiah), and then he trusted the Lord who was introducing Himself in an unmistakable way to Paul.  This changed Paul’s mind.  This changed His life.  The person who claims to have met the Lord and who does not have it affect his life, is a person that probably never really met the Lord. 


When Paul asked the Lord to tell him what he wanted him to do, the Lord told him to go into the city and it would be told him what he should do.  You will notice that the Lord did tell him what to do.  He was to go into the city for further instructions.  We often want to know all that the Lord is going to ask us to do and we are not willing to just take His instructions one step at a time.  When Paul went into the city, Ananias  told him that he was going to be a special vessel used of the Lord to spread the Gospel to all men, not just to Jews.  But first he needed to be baptized (or immersed) to wash away his sins.  What did Ananias mean?  Surely, he was not saved by being baptized.  Paul in his writings makes it clear that we are saved by grace through faith in the Lord.  We are not saved by ceremonies or by works.  But Paul had publicly sinned by committing Christians to prison and to death.  Now he needed to publicly “wash away” those sins, that is he needed to publicly turn his back on what he once believed and did.  This was the first step in publicly identifying with his new master that he had called Lord on the Damascus Road. This washing had to do with his public testimony, not with his eternal destiny.  He got baptized because He was saved.  He didn’t get baptized in order to be saved.


We all Need an Introduction

Paul was introduced to the Lord by the Lord Himself.  Some of us are introduced to the Lord by others.  But ultimately we have to meet him and hear his voice for ourselves.  We won’t hear it on the Damascus Road.  We will hear it as we read the Word of God.  Meeting the Lord in a personal way is a great experience.  Many people say that they know the Lord but they don’t ever remember meeting Him.  I remember the night that I was trying to figure out how to be saved and, through the words of a tract, I found out that I was waiting for God to save me when He had already sent His Son to the cross to do that.  I immediately realized that I had God’s word for the fact that Christ had died for me and that I was saved.  Yes, I had believed all about that before, but that night I met the Lord and trusted Him.  I still have his word for the fact that I am saved  I met the Savior that night in a much less dramatic fashion that Paul did.  But I can relate to what it meant to him to hear those words, “I am Jesus.” 


There is a song that I love that goes something like this:


If I could only tell Him as I know Him,
My Redeemer who has brightened all my way,
If I could tell how precious is His presence
I am sure that you would make Him yours today.

But I can never tell Him as I know Him,
Human tongue can never tell all love divine;
I only can entreat you to accept Him;
You can know Him only when you make Him thine.

Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of July 22, 2018

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