Sermons

Summary: Jesus turns Saul around

A. INTRODUCTION: PAUL’S BACKGROUND

1. Perfect birth. “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews” (Phil. 3:5).

2. Perfect life. As touching the law, a Pharisee . . . touching righteousness which is in the law, blameless” (Phil. 3:5-6).

3. Best teacher. “Brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel” (Acts 22:3).

4. Roman citizen. “Art thou a Roman? He (Paul said yes . . . I was free born” (Acts 22:27-28).

5. Persecuted the church. “Concerning zeal, persecuting the church” (Phil. 3:6).

6. Voted to kill Stephen. “When they were put to death, I gave my voice against them” (Acts 26:10).

7. Accessory to the crime. “Stoned him (Stephen) and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul” (Acts 7:58).

8. Authority to arrest. “I received letters . . . went to Damascus to bring them which were there bound into Jerusalem to be punished” (Acts 22:5, ELT).

9. He saw Jesus as a law student. “. . . we have known Christ according to the flesh . . .” (2 Cor. 5:16).

B. SAUL’S CONVERSION (ACTS 9:3-9)

1. A blinding light. “. . . suddenly a light shone around him from heaven” (Acts 9:3). “And he was three days without sight . . .” (Acts 9:9).

2. A life-changing voice. “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:3).

3. An immediate command. “. . . go into the city, and you will be told what you must do” (Acts 9:6).

a. The initiation pattern. New believers are given short-term goals.

b. The embryonic patter. Faithfulness in your first task is indicative of long-range usefulness.

C. PREPARATION OF THE SOUL WINNER (ACTS 9:10-17)

1. Ananias had been yielded in the past. “Ananias . . . said, ‘Here I am, Lord’” (Acts 9:10).

2. He was yielded for the future. “Then Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem’” (Acts 9:13).

3. He was yielded for the present. “And Ananias went . . . laying his hands on him, he said, ‘Brother Saul’ . . .” (Acts 9:17).

D. SAUL – A PATTERN FOR ALL NEW BELIEVERS (ACTS 9:18-21)

1. He saw. “Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales . . .” (Acts 9:18).

2. He was filled. “. . . be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17).

3. He was baptized. “. . . he arose and was baptized” (Acts 9:18).

4. He ministered. “Immediately he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God” (Acts 9:20).

5. He was changed. “Then all who heard were amazed, and said, ‘Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem . . .?’” (Acts 9:21).

E. PAUL’S DESERT EXPERIENCE (GAL. 1:15-24)

1. To be taught by God. “. . . I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood” (Gal. 1:16).

2. To be separate from men. “. . . I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him” (Gal. 1:17-18).

F. THE PERSECUTOR IS PERSECUTED

1. By Jews in Damascus. “. . . the Jews plotted to kill me” (Acts 9:23).

a. Wall = opposition/barrier.

b. Window = opportunity.

c. Basket = God’s means or method.

d. Rope holders = God’s people.

e. Cargo = Paul.

2. What happened when Paul arrived in Jerusalem? “. . . but they attempted to kill him” (Acts 9:29).

G. APPLICATION

1. The Conversion – Pattern Principle. There is a pattern of the growth of each new believer, even though there are different circumstances in each conversion. Each person will follow the pattern differently.

2. The Persecution Principle. When the changed life of a convert has a dramatic influence on unbelievers, they will debate it, and then attack it.

If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:

Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.

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