Summary: God’s Grace to save

Blinded by Grace

Grace gives Hope to the Hopeless Acts 9:1-8

Grace gives Help to the Helpless Acts 9:9-30

Grace gives Peace to the People Acts 9:31

Slide 1

We are continuing on in Acts today.

We have been studying the book of Acts for the past couple of months. Today I want us to end this section of Acts looking at the powerful work God can do through His amazing Grace.

As far as the church goes,

after Stephens Martyrdom, and

the persecution that followed,

things don’t seem to be very great.

Sure there is anecdotal evidence of God’s grace in reaching

the Samaritans and

the Ethiopian Eunich,

but there is also those with a False faith that infiltrate the church like Simon the Sorcerer who is only interested in how to exalt himself.

The church not only has to deal with this, but they have Saul pursuing them relentlessly to put them in prison or see them killed.

It doesn’t seem like a great time to be a Christian.

But often times, that is when God does some amazing things.

Maybe you have come to church today, feeling like

this is a terrible time to be alive.

Or this is just a terrible time to be you.

My life is just too hard.

My circumstances are miserable

My future looks awful.

I have no hope.

It is just such a time as that, when there seems to be no hope, that God pours out his grace into our lives.

We are going to be looking today at the

blinding brilliance of grace and the

effects it has on

the lives of individuals it touches and

the church that those individuals make up.

Turn with me to Acts 9:1-31 (p. 777-778).

Slide 2

We are going to be looking at

Saul’s encounter with the Living Christ and

the transformation that takes place

because of the encounter and because of the Grace poured out on him.

Acts 9:1-31

1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

5 "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.

"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. 6 "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."

7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!"

"Yes, Lord," he answered.

11 The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight."

13 "Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."

15 But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."

17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord-Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here-has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, "Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?" 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.

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