Summary: The power of God is revealed in the conversion of Saul

The Power of Conversion

Acts 9:1-9

I. Saul’s Mission

A. Saul wanted to destroy the church

1. Saul states his threats

a.) Saul makes his disgust of the church known

b.) Saul designs a plan to eliminate the church

2. Saul was eager to persecute the Christians

a.) Saul approached this issue with enthusiasm and zeal

b.) Saul had a "blood lust" - Overall goal was to kill every Christian he could find

3. Saul goes to the high priest

a.) Saul goes to the top for permission

b.) Saul wanted the ultimate verification of himself

B. Saul’s goal was Damascus

1. Saul wanted to go to Damascus

a.) Why Damascus? - Large groups of Christians fleds to Damascus

b.) Damascus would have been a main safe haven - outside of the Jewish reach

2. Saul wanted to enlist the synagogues in his work

a.) Saul wanted to begin a large cleansing of Damascus

b.) Part of Christian worship was participation in synagogues

c.) Synagogues would know all of the new people in the area

3. Saul was going to take prisoners

a.) Saul was going to use the synagogues asa trap

b.) Saul was planning to capture and arrest these Christians through the synagogue

c.) Saul planned to use chains: Chains were used for high criminals or for large numbers of people, when they arrived in Jerusalem they would be executed

II. Saul’s Transformation

A. The Damascus road

1. Saul was on his way

a.) Saul begin the trip and the mission with a group of soldiers - likely members of the temple gaurd

b.) Saul was obsesessed with pursuing these Christians

2. Saul is stopped

a.) On the Damascus road - Saul is stopped in his tracks

b.) Saul is confronted with a supernatural manifestation

B. Jesus speaks to Saul

1. Jesus speaks to Saul

a.) Famous words - "Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?"

b.) Jesus confronts Saul with his actions

c.) Personal appearance and call of Jesus with Saul on this road

2. Saul responds to Jesus

a.) Saul falls to his face

b.) Saul realizes the situation - This is life or death

c.) Saul acknowledges the soveriegnty of the person speaking - uses the term "lord"

d.) Saul asks for the identity - Who are you Lord?

3. Jesus reveals Himself to Saul

a.) Jesus tells His name and states the fact of opposition

b.) Jesus issues orders

1. Get up and go - Jesus tells Saul to go on to Damascus

2. Jesus tells Saul that more orders are to come

III. The Amazement of Transformation

A. The great surprize

1. The men with Saul are stunned by these events

a.) The event of supernatural origin and totally changes Jewish thinking

b.) Men hear the voice or the sound

2. Saul was now blinded

a.) Saul was blinded by the event

1. This reveals the power of Jesus

2. Singifys the reality of this event

b.) Saul is given a spiritual awakening

B. Saul went to God

1. Saul was helpless

a.) Saul hit rock bottom - His whole world was turned upside down

b.) Saul was now no longer in command

2. Saul fasted and prayed

a.) Saul must have realized the situation he was in

b.) He ate no food and drank nothing for three days

1. Strong posibility that Saul was fasting

2. Saul now knew the truth and was helpless before God

Qualities of Transformation

I. Personal

A. John Wesley - Conversion story

B. Transformation is on an individual basis

1. God does not work through mass transformations

2. God has one plan of salvation but has different plans for different people

3. God works through every life differently

II. Profound

A. Concept of new management

B. Transformation is powerful

1. Transformation is literally the "movement to a new form"

a.) The completeness and totality of change

b.) Nothing can go through a transformation and stay the same

2. Transformation is a process

a.) Transformation takes time - Nothing happens without time

b.) Transformation is change in motion

1. Physical - Human body that no longer changes is dead

a.) We are in a constant state of change

b.) We are all growing in some way

2. Spiritual - Way of Salvation

a.) Preveient Grace

b.) Salvation and Initial Sanctification

c.) Entire Sanctification

d.) Glorification - Final perfection in Christ

III. Permenant

A. Conversion of Augustine

B. Transformation is complete

1. Transformation is fullness of change

a.) We are no longer the same

b.) We become something new and different in God

2. Transformation is forever

a.) Not once saved always saved

b.) Transformation is eternal in nature

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