TRANFORMATION THROUGH THE SPIRIT

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And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritence among all those who are sanctified (Acts 20:32)

Acts  (9:3-9, 15-20)

Saul’s Conversion:
The most important event in Christianity next to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. If Saul remained a Jewish Rabbi, we would be missing thirteen of the twenty-seven NT books, which lead to the early expansion of the Gentiles-We would’t know the Gospel.

 

NOTICE TO PROCEED: Saul, a man of action goes to Caiaphas and receives letters of introduction (arrest warrants), and permission to proceed to the synagogues in Damascus to arrest Hellenistic (NT) Jewish Christians who were preaching in the name of Jesus Christ. He was feared because of his reputation to not only issue threats, but to carry them out.

DEVINE INTERVENTION: (9:3-9) On his way to Damascus, he encounter’s, and is arrested by God’s sovereignty *Bright light (7:31, Exodus 3:4-10)-Electrical storms of the plains of Damascus. Though this was Not lightning, but a supernatural mid-day phenomenon (9:7) The men who were traveling with him were speechless, hearing that sound and seeing no one. *Saul’s conversion; Objective event, with third party witnesses.
Blinded by the “Light” was Not punishment, but to cause Saul to look inward to see his spiritual bankruptcy-To think about what he was doing to God’s people. The “Light” is used in major themes in Luke-Acts, and on other occasions to describe Pre-Chritianity, to Salvation; Was Blind but now I see.
At the same time of God’s intervention with Saul, Ananias was also visited to announce Saul’s arrival.

DEVINE APPOINTMENT Saul’s instructions was to go with Judas to his house and remain and pray with him there, until he received further instructions. Ananias was instructed to go to him, pray over, and baptize him. Ananias was obedient to the task.

But,

ANANIAS APPREHENSION (9:13-14)” Lord,” Ananias answered,”I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And, he has authority here from chief priest to arrest all who call on Your name. Yes, Saul was a challenge, but what Ananias failed to see is Saul represented hope-The hope that the Spirit of the Lord can take obstinate people, change them, and use them mightily for His glory (9:22) But Saul grew more capable and kept confounding the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that this One is the Messiah. Message: Love your enemies.

GOD ALWAYS MAKES AWAY Their disdain for Saul never subsided: (9:23) After many days had passed, the Jews conspired to kill him, 24 but their plot became known to Saul. So they were watching the gates day and night intending to kill him. (9:25) With the help of his disciples, the gospel was completed: 25 but his disciples took him by night and lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the wall-Which is how he was able to escape

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