Summary: Paul’s Conversion on the Road to Damascus
“Paul Sees the Light"
Acts 9:3-19; 26-31
When God calls, do you question? When God asks for a change in you, do you delay?
Think of Jonah …. God had to have him swallowed by a fish to get his attention
Some don’t believe this is possible because of the gastrointestinal liquids that would devour a fish, let alone a human. But, if God created it, couldn’t he change a few molecules to allow Jonah to reside there?
Tonight, I thought we could get a little added bonus – perhaps just a little more nourishment and encouragement for the week.
Read Acts 9:3-19 and 9:26-31
First, I want you to see that Saul had a rude awakening!
Point 1 - A Rude Awakening
Saul is greeted by Jesus Christ Himself – in a brilliant light that blinded him immediately
Fear swept over him and he fell to the ground – partly out of fear, but reverence as well
Calls the voice he hears “Lord” …. Even the non-believer recognizes the voice of the Lord – the demons tremble at Jesus’ name and authority – and so did Saul!
Romans 14:11 says “Every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord”
Even Saul’s Spirit knew that voice that called to Him – His soul knew the creator
As He bowed down, Jesus revealed Himself to Saul!
Point 2 - Jesus Reveals Himself
Jesus, in a contrast to His trial - tells Saul who He is! (Remember He did not defend)
Saul is shaken and “fear of the Lord” controls him … this “fear” is respect and reverence
He is given orders to go into the city and wait until he is told what to do … Go then Wait
He is then struck blind to show that “God means business” - Imagine losing your sight so that God can get your attention! Thankfully, God has not had to do that to any of us!
Saul though, obeys and even needs help rising from the ground and going!
Point 3 – A Servant’s Faithful Obedience
While Saul is waiting for the Lord – God finds Ananias (a faithful servant – name means in Hebrew “Yahweh is gracious”) to go and heal Saul, giving him sight again.
Ananias has fear because of who Saul is … persecutes Christians and kills them -
Lord rebukes Ananias – tells him to “GO” … reveals to him that Saul is to bring His word to the Gentiles and save them from perishing since he is one of them – this is the precise revelation of God’s plan that all will come – revealing of Matt 15:26-28 (crumbs)
This is the faith put into action – that is what drives Ananias to go and heal Paul
To give him sight, and allow God to create in him another mighty man (servant) …
Restoration and Obedience
Because Ananias obeyed the Lord’s direction, and Saul was obedient to listen … Saul was given back his sight to go out into the world
He was then baptized as a profession of his faith to Jesus
He obeyed … even though consciously he did not know what he was doing …
It was in his heart now … he had to!
He went about preaching God’s teaching
Note that at first the disciples were skeptical of him, but after witnessing what he was saying and demonstrating how he was changed, he was sent out on mission trips. This is the demonstration of understanding and testing the Spirit (1 John 4:1 – “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”)
The disciples were able to discern that he was the real thing
How is your “discerning” spirit?
Because of his teaching, the church enjoyed peace!!
Also, they grew in numbers and they lived in fear (respect and delight) of the Lord!!
This is the calling of the church, and where I hope to continue next Sunday morning!