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Scripture Reading: Acts 9:1-6
The Conversion of Saul
1. The great persecutor is forever changed: Saul goes from faithless to faithful, from persecutor to preacher, from antagonist to apostle.
2. Saul’s conversion is remarkable and a pattern for all, 1 Tim. 1:12-16.
3. The church continued to grow and have peace in the midst of trial.
I. SAUL ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS, Acts 9:1-9.
A. Saul Continued Persecuting the Disciples, 9:1.
1. A man of zeal without knowledge, Saul persecuted saints to the death, Acts 22:3-5; 26:9-12 (Phil. 3:6).
2. His teacher’s counsel went unheeded by this arrogant young man, Acts 5:39 (1 Tim. 1:13).
B. The Personal Appearance of Jesus to Saul, Acts 9:3-7.
1. Visible and audible phenomena, 9:3-5 (7).
2. Jesus challenges self-examination and identifies Himself, 9:4-5.
3. Saul is brought to faith (9:6).
4. Commanded to go into Damascus to be told what he must do, 9:6.
II. SAUL IN DAMASCUS, Acts 9:10-25.
A. Jesus Sent Ananias to Saul, Acts 9:10-16 (22:12).
1. Like Philip, the Lord sent the preacher to the sinner.
2. Ananias’ faith is tested, 9:10, 13-14. cf. 2 Tim. 4:2-5
3. Why the Lord sent him to Saul:
a. Restore sight, 9:17-18,
b. Baptize, 9:18; 22:14-16,
c. Be filled with the Holy Spirit, 9:17.
B. Jesus Selected Saul to be an Apostle, Acts 9:15-16; 22:14-15; 26:16.
1. Chosen vessel: Divine implement to spread the gospel, 2 Cor. 4:7.
2. Bear my name: Gentiles (kings) and Israel.
3. Saul would learn humility in service and suffering for the Lord.
C. Saul is Saved when he Obeyed, Acts 9:6.
1. Repentant believer (fasting), Acts 9:9.
2. Praying, Acts 9:11. (Prayer is not “calling on name of Lord”, 22:16)
3. Sinner 3 days later and until washed away, Acts 22:16.
D. The Next Three Years: Paul Preaches Christ, Acts 9:19-25; Gal. 1:16-18.
1. Spent some days with the disciples in Damascus, 9:19.
2. Immediately preached Christ, Acts 9:20; Gal. 1:16-17.
-Came through revelation, Gal. 1:11-12 (16); Eph. 3:3-4.
3. Went to Arabia and returned to Damascus, Gal. 1:17 (cf. Rom. 15:20-21).
4. Was in Damascus many days, Acts 9:23 (Gal. 1:18).
a. Jews plot to kill Saul, Acts 9:23.
b. Escaped, Acts 9:24-25; 2 Cor. 11:32-33.
III. SAUL IN JERUSALEM, Ac 9:26-30; 22:17-21; Gal. 1:18-20 (15 days).
A. Living Down a Bad Reputation, 9:26-28.
1. His past sins made the brethren suspicious and fearful, 9:26.
2. Barnabas vouched for his genuine conversion – accepted, 9:27.
-God’s forgiveness is complete – Ours must be, too!
3. Hellenist Jews tried to kill Saul, Acts 9:29.
-Wanted to stay…delivered by the Lord, Acts 22:17-21 (9:30).
4. Important to identify ourselves with a local church, 9:26.
-Right to identify with a local church and for that church to verify your faithfulness, cf. Acts 18:27.
5. An example of forgiveness and unity in Christ, 9:27-28.
B. Lord Sent Saul Away to the Gentiles, Acts 9:30; 22:18, 21.
IV. THE CHURCHES THROUGHOUT PALESTINE, Acts 9:31-43.
A. Christ’s Strategy for Peaceful Unity and Growth, Acts 9:31.
1. Edified (in truth): Teaching the word and living it.
2. Walking in fear of God (Matt. 10:28). Reverent lives and worship
3. Walking in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, 2 Cor. 1:3-5 (He. 2:3-4). Encouraged by the assurance of truth caused them to trust it.
4. Multiplied even during time of forceful persecution. (Acts 8:4)
B. Peter Preached and Worked Miracles in Judea, 9:32-43.
1. Lydda: ~35 mi. NW of Jerusalem; Aeneas healed and people turned to the Lord.
2. Joppa: ~45 mi. NW of Jerusalem; On the coast (modern Jaffa).
a. Death of Tabitha (Dorcas): Full of good works and charity, 9:36; 1 Tim. 2:10.
b. Peter brought to Joppa; Raised Dorcas from the dead, 9:40-41; cf. Matt. 17:19-20.
c. Many believed when they heard of the miracle, 9:42.
d. Peter lodged with Simon, a tanner, 9:43.
-The most scrupulous Jews regarded tanners as unclean. Peter evidently didn’t hold this prejudice. But, he would object to eating unclean meat on the man’s housetop (Acts 10:10-16).
-“The lodging with the tanner was a step on the road to eating with a Gentile” (Furneaux, cited in Robertson’s Word Pictures).
1. Acts 9: Saul begins his life of faith and sacrifice, Phil. 3:4-7.
2. Although he faced great resistance, Saul prevailed in Christ, 2 Tim. 4:6-8.
3. Let us follow his example. Gal. 2:20
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: July 5, 2013