Summary: Paul’s conversion gave him a sound mind.
Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
1. Paul said, “I’M NOT CRAZY”.
2. Turn to your neighbor and say, “I’M NOT CRAZY”
3. Paul had been taken into custody not for committing murder, stealing or some other crime – but for preaching the gospel.
4. Prior to his Christian conversion, Paul was doing religious work and nobody bothered him.
And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
1. Paul had been active in his Jewish religion. He was well learned, came from a well to do family and had studied under a great teacher.
2. Notice that he advocated violence against and prison for those who believed contrary to him.
And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
1. The leaders thought it was acceptable behavior to have Stephen killed and to further persecute Christians.
2. It was on that road that Paul went beyond religion to a real experience with God.
3. The light shown down on him, “Who art thou Lord” – “I am Jesus.” Paul was blinded.
4. Someone here needs to see the light – the only true God is Jesus.
5. Paul went to those he had been persecuting, got baptized and God restored his sight.
And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:
1. Paul was no longer advocating violence against those who did not believe as him.
2. He preached the truth and let the love of God do the work.
3. Society and religious leaders say, “It’s okay to have religion, but just don’t have a real experience with God.”