Acts 26:14 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJ) And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Other translations use the word goads which is a noun whereas pricks is an adverb. A goad was used to turn oxen as they were driven in their work. Pricks is the feeling that resulted in the act of using the goad which had sharps that could pierce the hide of the ox.
In connection with yesterday’s comment, the pricking of our conscience is not unlike what Saul experienced. We can see that Saul was a zealot for the Law of Moses in which he was driven by his strict interpretation of the law as he was taught. What Saul did not understand was that while He was driven by our Lord he was going right while the Lord was trying to get him to go left.
That is a form of rebellion. Saul did not know that until he was confronted by Christ Himself.
The same goes for us when we violate the law of love, we are confronted by Christ Himself.
“That was not me loving those people, it was you acting alone and failing.”
That comment was not biblical, it was experiential. When we are confronted by our Lord it is a personal moment, not meant for anyone else but ourselves. We might have similar encounters based on our own actions but we must never assume that everyone else must adhere to our own personal convictions.
Paul is relating his experience in Acts 26:14. The next thing he shared was the Lord showing him the purpose behind this encounter. Since we are all different and all have a personal relationship with our Lord, it is our responsibility to discover the purpose behind the pricking of our conscience.
Ephesians 3:14-19 English Standard Version
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Nowhere in any version of the bible can the exact phrase “law of love” be found. This is not a plea to create new doctrine but to see the active component of love that dwells in our hearts.
We have a sense of what law is because of the demands placed in scripture and the resulting punishment for disobedience, death. Since we learned from our Lord that we were dead in our sins before we were reborn, and the life we now live in Christ has a new nature. Since Christ is our Lord and He dwells in our hearts, then we must unravel the mystery Paul speaks to in the opening verses of this chapter.
If we are to be filled with this love that is perfect then we should come to know its nature, how it acts, and the power that it contains to change lives. The law of love should be seen as the nature of love, how love acts and how it changes our lives by His presence in us.
We have been given 1 Corinthians 13 to understand how love acts. When we fail to live up to that standard of love we have violated the law of love. Unlike legal laws, the punishment for violating the law of love is not death, it is conviction. Our conscience is pricked just as Paul’s was when he was knocked off his high horse on the road to Damascus.