“I have fought the fine fight, I have run the course to the finish, I have observed the faith.”—2 TIM. 4:7.
THE man was intelligent and decisive. However, he ‘conducted himself in harmony with the desires of his flesh.’ (Eph. 2:3) He later described himself as “a blasphemer and a persecutor and an insolent man.” (1 Tim. 1:13) That man was Saul of Tarsus.
In time, Saul made radical changes in his life. He put off his former ways and worked hard ‘not to be seeking his own advantage but that of the many.’ (1 Cor. 10:33) He became gentle and showed tender affection for those who would have been victims of his animosity. (Read 1 Thessalonians 2:7, 8.) “I became a minister,” he wrote, adding: “To me, a man less than the least of all holy ones, this undeserved kindness was given, that I should declare to the nations the good news about the unfathomable riches of the Christ.”—Eph. 3:7, 8.
Saul, who was also known as Paul, made outstanding spiritual progress. (Acts 13:9) One sure way to accelerate our personal advancement in the truth is by studying Paul’s letters and the record of his ministry and then imitating his example of faith. (Read 1 Corinthians 11:1; Hebrews 13:7.)