Sermons

Summary: 1) Fervency in supplication (Acts 9:10-12), 2) Faithfulness in service (Acts 9:13-17a), 3) The Filling of the Spirit (Acts 9:17b), 4) Fellowship with the saints (Acts 9:18-19), and 5) Fervency in speaking (Acts 9:20)

Acts 9:10-20 [10] Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." [11]And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, [12]and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight." [13] But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. [14] And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name." [15] But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. [16] For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name." [17] So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." [18] And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; [19]and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. [20] And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God." (ESV)

A fundamental principle of the law of economics is this: the single most important cause of increasing productivity is better tools. Only 3 percent of (Canadians) today are farmers, yet they feed (much of Canada and export around) the world. Why is it that the (Canadian) farmer can produce so much more food than farmers from other countries? It is not because the (Canadian) has a higher IQ or a better physique or more information about agriculture. It is because the (Canadian) farmer has better tools. The (Canadian) farmer has a John Deere tractor, whereas farmers in other countries have a plow that is pulled behind a mule. A farmer working with a tractor and all the harvesting equipment we have in (Canada) today can vastly outproduce a farmer working alone with primitive tools.

Jesus had chosen Saul as His instrument/tool to help cultivate the kingdom that He had planted. Saul hadn’t chosen Christ, but Christ had chosen him for His purposes—to bear His name. Saul had come bearing papers of authority from the high priest to wipe Christ’s name off the face of the earth, but Christ had stopped him. He gave Saul a new burden, to bear His name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. (Sproul, R. C. (2010). Acts (p. 164). Wheaton, IL: Crossway.)

Faithful followers of Christ are effective instruments in the Master’s hand. Just like each tool is designed for a specific purpose, every believer has been designed by God to fulfill a specific mission. Just as a fine violin can produce beautiful music in the hands of a virtuoso, yet prove quite ineffective to hammer nails, so too when we surrender to God and have Him use us for the purpose for which we are designed, the result is often glorious.

Last week (Acts 9:1-9) we saw how Paul was changed by coming face to face with "The Light of His Presence". Now, in Acts 9:10-20 we see that although Jesus brings Paul to conversion, Paul still has to face entrance into the church that he came to destroy. This is not one of Paul’s concerns, however, for Jesus opens the way for him to enter the church (through Ananias) and to be welcomed by the believers. (Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953-2001). Vol. 17: New Testament commentary : Exposition of the Acts of the Apostles. New Testament Commentary (337). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.).

With "The Light of His Presence" in conversion (Acts 9:3-9), the Apostle Paul shows five other features of the transformed life: 1) Fervency in supplication (Acts 9:10-12), 2) Faithfulness in service (Acts 9:13-17a), 3) The Filling of the Spirit (Acts 9:17b), 4) Fellowship with the saints (Acts 9:18-19), and 5) Fervency in speaking (Acts 9:20)

From God, we can experience “The Light of His Presence” as manifested in:

1) Fervency in Supplication (Acts 9:10-12)

Acts 9:10-12 [10] Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." [11]And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, [12]and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight." (ESV)

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