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Summary: Many know the story of Saul’s conversion – but many miss the meaning of it and how it applies to Christians today. (Acts 9:1-19)

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Discipleship Means Total Commitment

Acts 9:1-19

Introduction

- Not all of us have everything together – especially in the church

-- When it comes to dwelling together we often rub each other the wrong way

-- Saul’s conversion gives a unique backstage look into our own lives

-- I want us to see in this text today the marvelous work of Christ in His church

- Jesus is always to be the cornerstone of any church

-- If Christ is not the center; then we are a social club of like-minded people

-- This makes serving inward directed to a point of self-gratification

- Paul had a serious issue with the church because it offended his thinking

-- Everything that he knew; every bit of knowledge he had; centered on himself

-- This is the perversion of a non-Christ centered church and its attenders

-- This is the danger we must fight against and be on guard for - always

- Charles H. Spurgeon wrote, “I believe that every Christian ought to be joined to some visible church; that is his plain duty, according to the Scriptures. God’s people are not dogs, else they might go about one by one; but they are sheep, and therefore they should be in flocks.”

- We are called to join together (see Hebrews 10:24-25)

-- The church is not a temple for the elect; but a sanctuary for messed up lives

- This calling is what brings us here today and what the text reveals about us

-- Many know the story of Saul’s conversion – but most miss the meaning of it

-- This is where we land today … please stick with me – lots to see here today

- Read Acts 1:1-19

Point 1 – When God calls, what do you say? (1-5)

- Saul, a servant of Rome and a well-educated Pharisee is persecuting

-- How do we know he was educated? Galatians 1:14, “I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.”

- Saul is bent on upholding traditions; and he isn’t changing for anyone

-- Much like we see in church today: “this is how we’ve done it and that is that”

-- Paul is a man who is willing to go all out to ensure “his way” is protected

- The bible records that He was specifically targeting followers of the Way

-- Note: Early Believers called themselves followers of the Way

-- Why? John 14:6, “Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life …”

-- Later in Acts 24:14, Saul (Paul) admits he too is a follower of the Way

- So here we see a man who has the permission of Rome to seek out “rebels”

-- Note: Anyone who goes against Rome and Roman law is to be removed

- It is important to note that Rome rules by fear and with a massive army

-- Saul has full support and most likely a whole team of soldiers supporting

- Now, in v5 we see another appearance of Jesus; but look at Saul’s response

- “Who are you, LORD?!?” Saul, Mr. Know-It-All, calls Jesus … “Lord”

- APP: Why? HIS SOUL KNEW ITS CREATOR – just as we should!

-- There was something deep in him that made him realize who’s in charge

- It is amazing that we see here: When God calls, what is your response?

- Saul calls Him “Lord” and on his face – prostrate – cries out in total submission

- This response is what we need to get more of today; we need to submit to Him

- Falling before the Lord is not an act or a show; but it is an act of submission

- Saul asks who He is, and the response is a clear identification to Saul

-- So, when God calls out to us … what do YOU say?

- TRANS: Even better, when God calls out are we even listening?

Point 2 – When God calls, are you listening? (6-16)

- Saul receives clear orders to GET UP (Acts 1:11) and continue on his path

- But notice, he is now blind (v8) and has to be led by hand to the city

- The once pompous, arrogant, and smart man is reduced to a blind beggar

-- APP: What a perfect picture of us when we realize we aren’t in charge!

- Enter into the picture, Ananias (different from Ch 5 of course …)

-- He is a servant, spending time doing the best thing we could ever do: praying

-- God calls Him clearly to do something; and still he has reservations

-- His conversation with God shows us that he has a fellowship with God

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