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Summary: THIS PORTION OF THE BOOK OF ACTS DEALS WITH THE SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION OF ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PLAYERS IN THE SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST – SAUL OF TARSUS. WHAT I FIND OF INTEREST HERE IS THE APPLICATION THIS WONDERFUL EVENT IN THE LIF

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FINDING MEANING FOR US IN THE CONVERSION OF SAUL

ACTS 9:1-19

INTRODUCTION: THIS PORTION OF THE BOOK OF ACTS DEALS WITH THE SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION OF ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PLAYERS IN THE SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST – SAUL OF TARSUS. WHAT I FIND OF INTEREST HERE IS THE APPLICATION THIS WONDERFUL EVENT IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH PROVIDES FOR THOSE OF US SEEKING TO BE FAITHFUL IN OUR SERVICE, OBEDIENCE, AND ACTIVITY FOR CHRIST.

TRANSITION: SO, IN OUR TIME TOGETHER, LET US LOOK AT THE LIFE OF SAUL AS HE IS TRANSFORMED INTO PAUL THE GREAT MISSIONARY OF THE CHURCH. LET US ACCOMPLISH THIS BY ASKING OURSELVES TWO QUESTIONS

I. QUESTION #1 – HAVE YOU REALLY MET THE RISEN CHRIST?

a. THE JOB PAUL DID NOT KNOW HE HAD

i. THE CONVERSION OF SAUL IS SO IMPORTANT THAT IT IS MENTIONED THREE TIMES HERE IN THE BOOK OF ACTS CHAPTERS 9, 22, AND 26.

ii. SAUL WAS PERFECT FOR THE JOB OF PAUL

1. HE KNEW THE JEWISH CULTURE AND LANGUAGE

2. HE WAS FROM TARSUS, SO HE HAD A KNOWLEDGE OF GREEK CULTURE AND PHILOSOPHY

3. HE WAS A ROMAN CITIZEN

4. HE WAS TRAINED AND SKILLED IN JEWISH THEOLOGY

5. HE WAS SELF-SUPPORTING

6. HE HAD ZEAL, LEADERSHIP ABILITY AND INSIGHT

iii. BEFORE SAUL COULD BE USED FOR THE JOB SET ASIDE FOR PAUL HE NEEDED TO BE TRANSFORMED.

1. WE NEED TO TAKE A MOMENT AND REMEMBER THAT WE ALSO MUST BE TRANSFORMED IN ORDER TO BE USED FOR THE JOB GOD HAS FOR US.

2. WE HAVE BEEN TRANSFORMED THROUGH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:17 THEREFORE, IF ANYONE IS IN CHRIST, HE IS A NEW CREATION; THE OLD HAS GONE, THE NEW HAS COME!

a. WE ARE NEW IN FORM, QUALITY AND NATURE

b. IT IS A QUALITY THAT HAS NOT BEEN WORN OUT

3. OUR TRANSFORMED LIFE IS OUR DEFAULT CONDITION. WHAT WE DO WITH IT IS WHAT WE DO WITH IT – EMBRACE IT OR DENY IT.

4. PAUL EMBRACED HIS NEW CONDITION AS SEEN IN HIS ACTIONS.

5. WE NEED TO EMBRACE OUR NEW CONDITION AS SEEN IN OUR ACTIONS.

WE ARE IN A CHURCH THAT HAS SUFFERED THROUGH TURMOIL, TRAUMA, HURT, NEGATIVE ATTENTION, AND NEGATIVE INTENTION.

OUR NEWNESS IN CHRIST NEEDS TO BE SEEN – RIGHT NOW IN OUR ACTIVITY. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO IN LIGHT OF ALL THAT WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH?

RIGHT NOW WE SEEM TO HAVE CRAWLED UP INTO OUR SHELLS HOPING THAT THIS WILL PASS.

WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS GET IN FRONT OF GOD AS A CHURCH AND SEEK HIS FACE, ACKNOWLEDGE HIS SUFFICIENCY, AND FIND OUR STRENGTH IN HIM.

iv. THE MOVEMENT OF SAUL TO PAUL

1. SAUL HAD A REALLY BAD ATTITUDE THAT GOD WOULD DEAL WITH

a. “STILL BREATHING” – V ERSE 1

b. THIS IS REFERRING BACK TO THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER WHEN HE ENCOUNTERED STEPHEN.

2. PAUL WANTED TO STOP THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY (THE WAY)

a. THERE WAS STILL AN ASSOCIATION WIT JUDAISM

b. HE WANTED TO SEIZE THOSE WHO HAD FLED

c. HE WANTED TO AVOID ANY RETRIBUTION FROM ROME

3. PAUL WAS SINCERE IN HIS BELIEF THAT HE WAS DOING THE WORK OF GOD.

4. SAUL’S MISCONCEPTION IS MADE EVIDENT ON THE DAMASCUS ROAD

a. HE IS STRUCK DOWN

b. HE SEES THE RISEN CHRIST

c. HE IS TOLD THAT IN PERSECUTING THOSE WHO TRUSTED IN CHRIST THAT HE WAS PERSECUTING GOD HIMSELF!

WE NEED TO ASK OURSELVES IF WE ARE REALLY SERVING GOD!

PAUL THOUGHT HE WAS, AND FOUND OUT HE WAS NOT

WHAT WAS THE CHANGE? THE DAMASCUS ROAD MOVED PAUL INTO A RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST HE HAD NEVER HAD.

PAUL SAW CHRIST

PAUL STARTED A RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST

PAUL SURRENDERED TO CHRIST

NOW THE FIRST TWO COME EASILY. WHEN WE MEET THE LORD IN SALVATION WE COME INTO A RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.

WE CANNOT AND DO NOT SERVE HIM UNLESS WE ARE SURRENDERED TO HIM. SURRENDERING TO HIM BRINGS SENSITIVITY TO HIM.

WHAT HURTS THE LORD HURTS US.

I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT GOD NOT KNOWING ALL THAT HAS HAPPENED, EVEN JESUS WEPT KNOWING THAT HE WOULD RAISE LAZARUS FROM THE DEAD.

CHRIST IS CONCERNED WITH WHAT WE WILL DO WITH WHAT WE KNOW.

THE MOMENT SAUL UNDERSTOOD THAT AS SINCERE AS HE WAS, HE WAS NOT SERVING THE GOD HE CLAIMED TO SERVE, HE CHANGED.

LISTEN CHURCH, WE, FOR THE MOST PART ARE NOT SERVING THE GOD WE SAY WE AR SERVING.

LISTEN BELIEVER, YOU ARE NOT SERVING THE GOD YOU THINK YOU ARE SERVING BECAUSE YOUR LIFE IS NOT SURRENDERED TO HIM.

IF WE WERE SERVING GOD THE WAY WE THINK WE ARE SERVING GOD THEN WE WOULD FOLLOW THE SCRIPTURE WHEN IT SAYS:

PROVERBS 24:16 FOR THOUGH A RIGHTEOUS MAN FALLS SEVEN TIMES, HE RISES AGAIN, BUT THE WICKED ARE BROUGHT DOWN BY CALAMITY.

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