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From Thug To Influential Leader: A Movie Review

By March 20, 2018January 27th, 2023No Comments

Is it possible for a thug to be transformed by the grace of God? Is God strong enough to redeem the evilest person? Does God’s grace extend to every person?

These are some of the questions the new movie, Paul, Apostle of Christ, wrestles with. With full disclosure, Lev3l Digital contacted me to consider promoting the movie as a Picture Featured Contributor, #PaulMovieL3. After reviewing the trailer and other content, I’m happy to do so. If you’d like to promote on your blog, please click this link for all the information.

This statement by Eric Groth, Executive Producer, captured my attention:

“Nobody is beyond the reach of the grace of God.”

What a profound statement.

No one.
Even a thug.

Do you believe this statement is true?

In light of current events in our world and country, it is hard to believe that love is the only way to overcome evil. Yet, this is the message of the gospel of Christ.

It is also the message of this movie. As several of the characters in this film struggle with the lunacy and cruelty of Nero’s Rome, Paul, once the persecutor now the persecuted, encourages Luke and other believers, that the only way to overcome this evil is with God’s love.

Paul, a thug whose life mission it was to eradicate the Christ-followers, experienced God’s transformative grace and forgiveness. Thus Saul now turned Paul, never forgot how it felt to be forgiven and redeemed. He, the self-proclaimed chief of sinners, could do nothing less than consistently proclaim this same grace to everyone he met.

Grace in the face of evil.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? We see so much evil in our world. Yet, the gospel of Christ remains the same. Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. These were not words written in isolation or safety. These were words written during intense injustice and persecution. Jesus’ own words recorded by His disciples. Each one experienced God’s grace through Jesus. They witnessed the hideous crucifixion of Jesus. Then they saw, touched, and walked with the risen Jesus. They saw the wounds on His hands and His side. They experienced His grace over and over and over.

Paul, the Apostle of Christ, releases in theaters this Friday, March 23.

Perfect timing. Palm Sunday is March 25, the beginning of the most important week in the Christian calendar.

It is the week when believers all over the world remember how God, in the person of Jesus Christ, gave His life to save His created ones—you and me. Not because we deserved it, but because of His grace and love. He paid sin’s price with His once for all death of one man for all of humanity.

I rarely recommend any movies, but this one seems like it will be worth seeing. It is the story of God’s redemptive grace. A grace I’ve experienced in my own life. It is a grace the whole world needs to hear about as well.

Want a chance to get two free tickets to the movie?

Simply share this post and email me a screenshot as proof. You get an entry for every share. Just make sure to email me the proof. I’ll draw the winner’s name on Thursday, March 22, and email you the digital codes. You can then go to the Fandango app or the website to redeem your tickets.

Paul, the Apostle of Christ might be a unique way to start the conversation about God’s grace with your family and friends. What thug do you know whose life has been transformed by the grace of God?

If you need help, please reach out. I promise to listen without judgment and help you take the next step.


  • Kirsten D Samuel

    I empower Christian wives to discover they are seen, loved, and heard. These women find the freedom to be who they are beyond their partner’s struggles, and find hope that there is a life worth living.