From Paul’s later references to this event (Acts 22:14), it is clear that this was an objective vision in which he not only heard but saw the Lord.
In Acts 9:4 appears one of the profoundest doctrines of Christianity, namely, that Christ is still upon earth in the person of his followers who compose his spiritual body; and that whatever is done to Christ’s church is done to himself!
If Paul had not instantly discerned this, he might have said, “Look, Jesus, I have never even met you before this; I have not harmed you; I am only engaged in killing your disciples!”
The deductions from the truth in evidence here are far-reaching and comprehensive:
- What is done to the church is done to Christ.
- Hatred of the church is hatred of Christ.
- Persecution of the church is persecution of Christ.
- Membership in the church is membership “in Christ.”
- Liberality toward the church is the same toward Christ.
- Neglect of the church is the neglect of Christ.
- Refusal to belong to the church is a refusal to belong to Christ.