Summary: The transformation of Saul
The Journey of Faith Acts 9:1-22—
What we see is that this is happening at the same time as the story of Philip and the eunuch that we were talking about last week
Ya see The church had been growing in Jerusalem,
• But at same time resistance against the church had been growing as well
• It’s all seemed to come to a head following the death of Stephen,
• After Stephen is killed a great persecution starts,
• And the main person who is spearheading this is a Pharisee by the name of Saul
Now last week we saw that In Acts 8:1-3
• That Saul went from house to house, arresting men and women
• These people were Jesus-followers. / The Early Christians
• And Because of this people started getting scared and the church scattered
• That’s how Philip ended up in Samaria
Believers are leaving / Scattering to places throughout Judea and Samaria to Escape.
• Some of these people were so freaked out that they ran as far away as Damascus,
• And that was 130 miles away to the north.
• (ELAB HOW LONG AND FAR THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN IN THOSE DAYS)
ButSaul, was on a mission
• He was going to Damascus with the intention of arresting disciples / Early Christians
• His plans were to bringing them back to Jerusalem for trial.
• And It’s on this mission to Damascus
• That Saul is intercepted by God’s grace.
Saul was a man who had no idea he needed grace.
• He was born into an Jewish home, / Circumcised as an infant,
• He was a faithful Pharisee. / a Defender of his religion.
• And When it came to the legalities of Jewish law,
• His behavior was faultless.
When we look at Saul, on the surface he appears to be
• A successful, religious, righteous, self-made man,
• Who’s doing a fine job fulfilling the requirements of the law / What he’s supposed to
• He appears to be a shining example of purity and justice in his community.
So, with all this in mind Why did Saul need grace? - And, why do we need grace?
This is a good question
• If you’ve lived a pretty good life, If you’ve play by the rules,
• If you’ve done a good job raising your kids
• If you’ve gone to church regularly,
• If you’ve never really made any real mistakes in your life,
Then Why would we really need grace?
• And how would God’s grace impact our lives?
The question that we might ask is
• Have you had a transformational encounter with grace?
• Saul’s had an encounter with GRACE
• And that encounter was so great that it changed him so much that he had to change his name
• Because He was no longer the same person
We went from being Saul of Taurus to Paul the Apostle.
• And it was through this transformation process
• That Paul eventually realized that friendship with God is not earned,
• But received by faith.
Phil 3:9 I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God’s law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.