Summary: God’s light calls us to sanctification as seen through the new birth of Saul following the events on the road to DAmascus.
God¡¦s Light Calls Us To Sanctification (Separates)
7 Dec 2002 ¡V Pearl Harbor Day
Our family has begun our devotion, using the Advent card we were all given last Sunday. The answer, of course, is just a small light. We are studying a series called: ¡§Christmas: A Celebration of Light.¡¨ And today we are going to learn how God¡¦s light calls us to sanctification!
1A. GOD¡¦S LIGHT SANCTIFIES US INDIVIDUALLY (9:10-12)
Within Damascus, were told, is this man named Ananias. Who was he? Well, he is not the Ananias of Acts 5. That Ananias is long gone. His name means¡K
¡§Jehovah is gracious.¡¨ This Ananias had the respect of both Jews and Christians in Damascus "¡K a man who was devout by the standard of the Law, and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there,¡K¡¨Acts 22:12
Luke here calls him a disciple or devoted follower. In these verses, Luke tells us Ananias is a man of spiritual depth.
Notice also how he was informed about the Apostle Paul which caused him to be initially cautious.
The Lord speaks to Ananias rather directly in verse 11 and 12. let¡¦s look at what he tells Ananias to do and how this further demonstrates God sanctifies us individually.
First notice, the Lord gave him specific directions. Whenever the Lord begins to do some sanctifiying in our lives, he uses his word. He uses his word in a very direct way as Luke records in verses 11-12.
Second, he tells Ananias who to look for. Now that may not seem like much, but notice why he tells him to look for a certain individual¡Kv. 12 states, because this person has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.
For Saul, the whole process of sanctification began when he bowed his knees to the Lord Jesus. That process of sanctification continued as he prayed for his sight ¡V something I believe you and I would be asking from the Lord as well. Being a teacher, there is probably no greater asset one needs than his sight.
For Ananias, the process of sanctification also began at the point of salvation, but it just intensified. How you ask? He was to go to this location, look for a man from Tarsus named Saul, and he was praying.
Now, at this moment, the test of being a disciple meets the proverbial road. You and I are in scenarios like this each week, if not, each day. A scenario where we are challenged either to trust our emotions or trust the revealed word of God and each challenge will either enrich or walk with the Lord or it will embitter our relationship with the Lord. The path chosen depends upon our volition. We determine how close we will be to God ¡VGod doesn¡¦t choose how close we will be to him!
For example, when Mary and Joseph returned from Jerusalem after Jesus first trip to the Temple and he presented the yearly sacrifice required by the Mosaic law. What happened? They lost track of Jesus. Where did they find Jesus? Right back where they left him.
There is a spiritual truth for believers there and that is, when we find that we have lost sight of Jesus, we will always find him right back where we left him.
And it¡¦s great, knowing God who uses his light to sanctify us, individually, also uses his light to sanctify us, secondly,¡K
2A. GOD¡¦S LIGHT SANCTIFIES US PATIENTLY (9:13-16)
Why is God so patient with us? Let¡¦s read verses 13-14. and discover why¡K
First, Ananias thought he had all the information. Probably the most trouble I get into is when I believe I have all the information in a situation.
The other reason why God is so patient with us is Ananias was allowing his emotions to determine his decisions rather than the Word. In fact, I will go on to say this. For Ananias and for all of us, we have a choice each day about how we will run our lives. We will either run our lives based upon fear or out of love. It¡¦s that simple. If we allow fear to have the throne in our lives the effects are disasterous ¡V ruined relationships, broken homes, dysfunctional relationships; frequent job changes (not to say all job changes are based upon this), only sighting some of the attributes of one living out of fear.
But one who lives out of love, there is more peace within this individual. One is more forbearing rather than quick to condemn. One is apt to say ¡§I¡¦m sorry,¡¨ than defend themselves. One is more secure in the Lord Jesus!
And Ananias was living out fear. Look again at these verses. This sounds like a man in fear ¡V and before we are quick to condemn Ananias, let¡¦s look in the mirror. We would not doubt be afraid as well, especially, when we knew Saul was in approval of Stephen¡¦s death.