6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: verse by verse through Acts

We live in a world where we need protection.

- police protect us from criminals - medicines protect us from diseases

- laws protect our rights and freedoms - seat belts, air bags, helmets

- insurance protect our finances - armed forces protect us from…

We live in a world where we need protection.

But let me ask you this – Who’s going to protect us Christians? Who’s going to protect our rights and our freedoms and our faith? Who’s going to protect our church and our property and our people? The government? The world? No way.

The Lord is our protection. The Lord is the One who watches over His children. And you know what? Much of the time the Lord uses His people to watch over His people. God wants us to by His strength [2] protect our own.

As Christians we must stand strong and take care of each other. We all need some encouragement and protection at times. And the best place to get that protection is from another Christian. If we are going to be the church in this world we need to be about protecting our own!

Especially when it comes to new believers. What an encouragement it is to a new Christian when someone comes to their side and accepts them and watches over them. Their new faith is going to be under attack and they need another believer to protect them. We need to be about protecting our own!

This morning we’re going to look at how people protected Saul after he came to his new faith in Christ. And that protection made all the difference in the world to him.

Now let’s remember who Saul is. As we saw last week, Saul was a terrible enemy of Christ who’s life goal was to stamp out Christianity. But the Lord appeared to him, he got gloriously saved, and the Lord then gave him a new direction in life. But opposition was coming his way. Opposition from the enemy, opposition from the uninformed and opposition from the legalists. But even though there was opposition, God provided Saul protection through other Christians along the way.

So let’s go to Acts chapter nine where we’re going to see how we need to be [3] protecting our own from the enemy.

[Read Acts 9:23-25.]

Immediately after Saul was saved he began a public preaching ministry amongst the Jews there in Damascus. But now he’s preaching that Jesus is the Christ – a message that infuriated the ruling class of the Jews there. So they plotted on how to kill Saul.

But Saul and the other disciples found out about their plot and about how they were hiding by the gates of the city to capture and kill him. (Damascus was a walled city so the gates were the only way in our out of town.)

So the disciples only option was to find an opening in the wall of the city and lower Saul down using a rope and some sort of basket for him to sit on. The plan worked and Saul was able to escape the hands of the Jews in Damascus.

Now the disciples were taking a big risk in doing this. At this point the Jews only wanted Saul. But if they were found helping him then they’d be punished too – maybe even killed! But they knew that the Lord had a purpose for Saul and they did whatever it took to protect him from his enemies.

What an encouragement this must have been to him! This must have given him some incredible confidence in his new faith. He used to be an enemy of Christians but now they’re protecting him from their enemies. And this new confidence guided him back to Jerusalem. The place where he watched over the murder of Stephen! Can you imagine Saul going back to where he cause Christians so much pain?! But if the Christians had accepted and protected him in Damascus then surely the Christians in Jerusalem would do the same. Receiving the protection from other believers blessed Saul’s life in so many ways.

I tell you what, we need to be protecting each other from the enemies of our faith.

- When you see a fellow Christian being persecuted for his faith, protect them.

- When you see a fellow Christian being attacked by temptation, protect them.

- When you see a fellow Christian being treated poorly for any reason, protect them.

You can be a hero to your fellow brother or sister in Christ by standing up and

protecting them when the enemy attacks. And listen, it doesn’t matter whether the attack comes from within or from outside the church. We need to protect each other no matter who or what the enemy of the day is. Protect each other from the enemy.

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Dennis Datu

commented on Jun 22, 2019

The opinion that the hellenistic jews mentioned in chapter 9 who wanted Saul killed as the same hellenistic jews in chapter 6 has no basis. It is safer to think that these are not the same hellenistic jews. There were many hellenistic jews who still adhered to and were loyal to judaism. Not all hellenistic jews converted to Christianity. Surely the hellenistic jews who became Christian converts mentioned in chapter 6 would not plot against Saul. The Hellenistic Jews in chapter 9 where the ones who supported Saul in his crusade against the Christians before he came to Christ. Saul was a Hellenistic jew himself (who was a Roman citizen; his father was a Roman citizen hellenistic jew who was also a Pharisee) much like Stephen. Saul was a teacher of the law for he studied (from 13 yrs of age) under the most famous teacher of the law in Jerusalem by the name of Gamaliel. Saul became a fanatical legalist who wanted to get rid of the Christianity which he thought to be a religious cult that threatened Judaism.

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