“But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.”
Saul, also known as the Apostle Paul, increased in strength after he got saved. Saul never sat through a discipleship class; neither did he have to wait for the church authorities to approve whether he meant what he did; he just increased in strength. If it were not for those in the early church understanding how people grow spiritually, the Gentile world might have never been saved. Imagine if Saul lived in our modern-day church; there would probably be no Apostle Paul because of the small-sightedness of those around him.
The growth of young believers, as well as more mature believers, is done the same way. Though it may seem as though I am against people being “discipled” or grounded in the truth, I AM NOT. I just believe that we have stunted the growth of many new believers because of how we feel people need to prove themselves to us before they can do anything in the church. I believe there should be high requirements for people who hold the Scriptures and teach them, but I’m afraid we expect everyone to get to where we are overnight.
One of the greatest reasons we are not turning out more Apostle Paul’s in our day is because we are wasting the initial excitement of the person who just got saved. Paul was excited about his salvation, just like everyone who gets saved is excited. What we have to do is use that excitement to help them increase in strength. There has been a statement throughout the years that is mostly true that says, “The new believer has to backslide in order to get to the level of the rest of the believers.” I know this is a strong statement, but I’m afraid it could be true.
There is one action that caused Saul to increase in spiritual strength that every person must do if they are going to grow spiritually. It says about Saul in verse 20, “And straightway he preached Christ…” Hold on, you mean the first thing he didn’t do was to sit in a discipleship class? NO! The first thing he did was to preach Christ. In other words, the first thing he did after he was baptized was to go soul winning. WOW, this must not be true because this is not what we hear of how people are to grow spiritually. My friend, the reason Saul increased in strength was because he immediately started giving out. Though he did not know it, Saul was following Christ’s model after He led people to Himself for salvation. Jesus, immediately after people got saved, would say to them, “Follow me.” It is the act of giving out that causes people to grow. The Luke 6:38 principle of giving “and it shall be given unto you…” is vital to people increasing in strength. This is the secret to people increasing in spiritual strength, whether they are new believers or more mature believers. The secret is giving out of what you have by preaching Christ through soul winning, and God gives back more to the one who gives out of themselves; thus, they increase in spiritual strength.
Let me ask you, are you giving out of yourself so that you can increase in strength? Are you allowing those you lead to Christ to “straightway” preach Christ through soul winning? Yes, people need to be grounded in Scriptural doctrine, but the Scriptures make it clear that nobody will increase in spiritual strength without giving out of themselves through preaching Christ, and the easiest way for the new believer to do this is through soul winning. Let’s let people increase in spiritual strength instead of holding them back.