3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: verse by verse through Acts

[2] Through the first eight chapters of the book of Acts we’ve seen some amazing things happen in the early church. We’ve seen thousands of people get saved. We’ve seen incredible miracles happen through the hands of the apostles. And we’ve also seen intense opposition to these Christians by the Jews and by the Roman government. Opposition that rose to murder as they killed Stephen, who was one of the church’s first deacons.

Now this all happened under the supervision of a man named Saul who was one of the church’s fiercest enemies.

[Read Acts 7:58-8:1.]

This Saul was a Jewish man who had risen to prominence in Jerusalem and had become a Pharisee of Pharisees. A man of great power and a man of great passion. [3] But because his passion was on the wrong side of reality he caused many Christians great pain.

[Read Acts 9:1-2.]

Christianity had spread so rapidly that it reached 160 miles north all the way to Damascus. Saul believed that Christianity was heresy and even blasphemy so he wanted permission to head north and imprison everyone he could find who belonged to “the Way”.

You see Saul thought he was serving God as he attempted to forcibly keep Judaism pure. But Saul was on the wrong side of reality.

Have you ever been there? Ever been on the wrong side of reality?

[I thought the world was black and white, no 911, no God examples.]

But you know what? No matter how smart we are; No matter how passionate we are; And no matter how powerful we are. If we’re on the wrong side of reality we will be living wrong. We’ll be living in the dark. We can’t overcome being on the wrong side of reality.

Maybe today you find yourself living that way. Your life isn’t what it should be. Your life isn’t what it could be. You’ve denied the reality of God and it shows up in your life. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

[4] We can live on the right side of reality and have the life we were born to have. Even a life filled with scars can be healed if we’ll simply get on the right side of reality. Now, what is that reality? The reality that Jesus is God! A reality that Saul would learn firsthand as he’s confronted by Jesus Himself. [5]

[Read Acts 9:3-7.]

Saul is on his way to Damascus to fight for what was right in his mind and throw some Christians in prison. But he was visited on the way by God Himself.

Now as God revealed His presence a bright light brought Saul to his knees and he rightfully thought it was God revealing Himself to him. Saul said, “Who are you, Lord?” Saul thought that Jehovah God was about to talk to him, and he was right.

But what Saul had refused to believe before was the fact that Jesus is God in the flesh. Remember, that’s what the Christians believed and Saul was persecuting them for that belief. So Jesus shows up to demonstrate to Saul firsthand that He is in fact God. Something that Saul could no longer deny.

It’s obvious that before this encounter with God Saul had refused to see the light and hear the voice of God through Jesus. Even though he must have seen the light of God shining through the Christians that he persecuted. Remember how as they were killing Stephen he asked for God to forgive his murderers. Saul was there to see that light.

And being a chief Pharisee, Saul knew the Old Testament like the back of his hand. He would have been able to match up Jesus’ life with Old Testament prophecy. But he refused to hear God’s voice up to this point in his life.

But now he had seen the light and heard the voice of God and was close to getting on the right side of reality.

[6] Has God shown you His light through His people? Have you seen God’s light in your own life at one time or another? Have you listened to His voice lately through His Word? I tell you what, His light can be seen and His voice can be heard if we’ll just be willing to recognize it. Then we can begin to get on the right side of reality.

Saul saw and Saul heard and understood that Jesus is in fact God. [7] So we now see that Saul gets saved while blind and hungry.

[Read Acts 9:8-9.]

We know from verses seventeen and eighteen that it was sometime during these three days that Saul actually gave his life to Jesus. We know that because at the end of the three days Ananias recognized Saul as his spiritual brother and baptized him as a new believer.

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