For Saul of Tarsus, Israel’s God was in a class of his own. All other gods were actually no gods at all. This belief was expressed through whole hearted devotion to his God. He aimed to be faithful to the Lord offering total loyalty to him alone. However, Jesus encountered Saul personally turning his life around. And from that moment on he offered this same total devotion to Jesus.
How did this happen? Did he come across evidence showing that Jesus is God? Did he spend many hours working things out? No! He spoke about God revealing his Son in/to him. The Father unveiled Jesus, as divine Lord by the Spirit and that turned Saul’s life around. All his religious achievements were now counted as nothing compared to knowing the Lord Jesus. He now summed up his whole life as “for me to live is Christ.”
Saul (now known as Paul) was a learned Jew who was dedicated to persecuting those who contaminated the Jewish faith with “mistaken” ideas about Jesus. But God changed him by breaking into his life to reveal who Jesus is. That encounter was a surprise and a shock, resulting in a complete change in direction. No one would have predicted this. Nor could anyone explain it. This dramatic change can only be explained by divine revelation.
We also believe that Jesus is Lord. We do so, only because God has revealed Jesus to us through his Spirit. And as the Spirit continues making Jesus a living reality to us and in us we too may say, “For me to live is Christ.”