Summary: Saul received a new LORD, new Sight, and a new Dynamic! [A Spiritual LSD, if you will]
The Conversion of Saul, pt. 1
Years ago in England there were 2 brilliant antagonists of the Christian faith: Lord Lyttelton and Gilbert West. They set as their life’s ambition to try to destroy Christianity. They were friends. They believed that if they could disprove 2 claims of Christianity, they could destroy people’s faith in it.
The resurrection…and the conversion of Saul of Tarsus.
Each chose one of these and did research to try to discredit it. They parted and began separately. Months later they came back together and found that each of them independent of one another had in the course of study become a born again Christian!
Lyttelton had studied Saul, and he later wrote: “The conversion and apostleship of Paul alone duly considered, is of itself, a demonstration sufficient to prove Christianity and to be a divine revelation.”
He got it right!
And as we study about Paul we study the soul-saving power of the true gospel of Christ, who enables each of us to see the light! [artist rendering]
If you were among the early Christians, just after Christ’s crucifixion & resurrection, the name "Saul" would bring fear….
Saul wanted Christianity destroyed
Traveled far & wide to make it happen
Gave approval for most brutal of deaths
BUT IN ACTS 9…Saul was blinded by unbelief, then he was blinded by the light of Christ before he was converted. He became a trophy of God’s grace. Some call Saul’s conversion “the most important conversion in history” since millions upon millions of Christians trace their spiritual roots to him.
God took a persecutor and made him an apostle
…a staunch defender of the law became a preacher of GRACE.
…he called himself a Hebrew of the Hebrews, but became the voice unto the Gentiles!
As we spoke of last week, there is great truth in II Cor. 5:17, say it w/ me…
2 Cor. 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. [he said it!]
Ill.—lady leaving beauty shop, passed another lady who said, Mary Smith, I haven’t seen you in years, my how you’ve changed…slimmed down, hair different, clothing style, what a difference Mary!
She replied, the name is Martha Jones…
“Well, you’ve even changed your name!”
Saul was so radically changed that God even changed his name! It was like he was on something! A Spiritual LSD let’s call it!
1. Saul received a new Lord.
Up ‘til now, his lord was power, prestige, and persecution.
v. 6 called Lord 9 X’s more in rest of passage!
Just 5 seconds w/ Christ and this man Saul is under new management!
Not just receive Him as Savior, but as Lord [boss/master and commander/leader to follow!], then sanctification is when you allow Him to become Lord of every area of your life.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
2. Saul received new Sight.
v. 18 this truly happened in the physical realm, but it’s meant to illustrate what happens to us in the spiritual realm. Some sit in pews for years waiting to be saved until they see it clearly, not realizing they won’t see clearly until they get saved!
1 Cor. 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The world is lost in spiritual blindness…
They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness…
The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
Jesus quoted Is, Jer., and Ezek. In…
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.