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Saul Proclaims Jesus in Synagogues

Discovering the Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Saul begins to preach the Gospel and live out his conversion.

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Acts 19:19–22 ESV
19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily. 21 Now after these events Paul resolved in the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 And having sent into Macedonia two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.
Acts 19:19-22
Acts
Acts
Acts 9:19 ESV
19 and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus.
Acts 9:19–22 ESV
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.” 21 And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” 22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.
The New American Commentary: Acts I. The Spirit Empowers the Church for Witness (1:1–2:47)

I. THE SPIRIT EMPOWERS THE CHURCH FOR WITNESS (1:1–2:47)

The New American Commentary: Acts II. The Apostles Witness to the Jews in Jerusalem (3:1–5:42)

II. THE APOSTLES WITNESS TO THE JEWS IN JERUSALEM (3:1–5:42)

The New American Commentary: Acts III. The Hellenists Break through to a Wider Witness (6:1–8:40)

III. THE HELLENISTS BREAK THROUGH TO A WIDER WITNESS (6:1–8:40)

The New American Commentary: Acts III. The Hellenists Break through to a Wider Witness (6:1–8:40)

The first five chapters of Acts have presented the picture of a Christian community in Jerusalem that was still closely bound to Judaism. The outreach effort of this group was strictly to the Jews. There was no conscious breach with Judaism, and the temple was itself the major site for the church’s evangelistic efforts. These first chapters thus comprise a development of Jesus’ injunction in Acts 1:8: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem.” Chapters 6–12 pick up this theme, showing the further realization of the commission—“in all Judea and Samaria.” The ministry of Paul in chaps. 13–28 extends its fulfillment “to the ends of the earth.” Chapters 6–8 may thus be described as transitional. They show Christianity breaking out from the bounds of its Jewish heritage, taking a first step toward its mission to the wider world. This is more than a story of the geographical spread of Christianity. It is much more the story of the gospel becoming a truly universal gospel, breaking the racial, national, and religious barriers in which it was born and carrying out a genuinely worldwide witness. It is the triumphant story of the inclusive gospel.

The New American Commentary: Acts IV. Peter Joins the Wider Witness (9:1–12:25)

IV. PETER JOINS THE WIDER WITNESS (9:1–12:25)

The New American Commentary: Acts IV. Peter Joins the Wider Witness (9:1–12:25)

Chapters 9–12 continue the story of the Christian breakthrough to a wider missionary outreach that began in chaps. 6–8 with the Hellenists Stephen and Philip. Chapters 9–12 are transitional, as can be seen in the roles played by the major characters of Acts: Peter and Paul. Paul was introduced briefly in connection with the martyrdom of Stephen (7:58; 8:1, 3). With the story of his conversion, the spotlight turned on him (9:1–30). Peter, on the other hand, was the primary figure in the first five chapters of Acts. The focus was once again placed on him as he witnessed in the coastal towns of Judea and served as God’s instrument in the conversion of the Gentile Cornelius (9:32–11:18). Peter’s escape from prison comprises the main subject of the last chapter in this portion of Acts (12:6–19) and is the last narrative in Acts that has Peter as its main character. From then on, Paul occupies center stage.

In content the major subject of these chapters is the Gentile mission. The conversion of Paul introduced at this point prepares for the major part he would play in taking the gospel to the Gentiles in chaps. 13–28. His conversion is closely linked to Peter’s conversion of the Gentile Cornelius in chap. 10. Peter was the first to witness to Gentiles, but Paul was the major figure who would carry out that witness. It is true that Philip had already witnessed to a God-fearing Gentile in the person of the Ethiopian eunuch. That, however, was an isolated incident and had no further repercussions for the church as a whole.

Such was not the case with the conversion of Cornelius and his household. That event attracted the attention of the Christians in Jerusalem and necessitated Peter’s defending it before them (11:1–8). Peter’s defense and the resulting endorsement of the Gentile mission by the Jerusalem church is absolutely programmatic for Acts and for the mission of Paul. It provided the church’s authorization and acceptance of the apostles’ Gentile mission. Paul, of course, was not alone in his outreach to Gentiles. The Hellenists who settled in Antioch began a major mission among them (11:20f.). Their concern for the Gentile mission must have had a profound influence on Paul, who worked among them for some time (11:25f.) and who was ultimately commissioned by them for missionary service (13:1–3).

Jerusalem’s role in these transitional chapters is instructive. It served primarily as the place where the apostles resided who guaranteed the authentic linkage of the church to the life and ministry of Christ. In these chapters the Jerusalem church primarily endorsed and authenticated the ever-widening Christian witness. This began with their acceptance of the Samaritan mission of Philip (8:14–25). It moved to their acceptance of Paul, who would become the primary missionary to the Gentiles (9:26–28). The Jerusalem church, even if somewhat reluctantly, finally conceded its approval to the Gentile witness begun by Peter with Cornelius (11:18). Finally, through its representative Barnabas, the Jerusalem church supported the mission of the Antioch Christians among the Gentile “Greeks” (11:22f.). Not all the problems had been resolved at this point, and a final settlement would be reached only in the Jerusalem Conference of chap. 15. The major principle of the mission to the Gentiles, however, had been accepted by the Jerusalem church; and this provided the authorization for Paul’s Gentile witness that began in chap. 13.

He was with the Disciples

Acts 9:19 ESV
19
This represents a complete change of the heart on Saul’s behalf. Not persecuting but fellow-shipping with the disciples.
There should be a change from our old lives to our new ones.
What type of changes should we see? (list them on the board)

Immediately He Proclaimed the Gospel

Acts 9:20 ESV
20
The immediacy of Saul’s preaching is due to the revelation of Gospel given him by the Lord Himself. read next slide...
Galatians 1:11–17 ESV
11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
Gala
God has chosen certain men to receive the Gospel by special revelation. Saul and the Apostles being among them.
All their preaching and presentation of the Gospel was the same. Each revelation did not bring a different Gospel. Such is the case today from those who claim to have received a special revelation from God.
If one knows enough to be saved, then one knows enough to proclaim the Gospel.

Is this not the man...

Acts 9:21 ESV
21
Acts 9:
The astonishment of his Jewish listeners in the synagogue furnishes a sort of “choral response” to the completeness of Paul’s conversion. As Ananias before them (rd. vv. 13–14), they simply could not believe that the former persecutor had made such a radical about-face. Paul simply preached all the more forcefully. One could even say that his zeal as a Christian was even stronger than his former zeal as persecutor.
The astonishment of his Jewish listeners in the synagogue furnishes a sort of “choral response” to the completeness of Paul’s conversion. As Ananias before them (vv. 13–14), they simply could not believe that the former persecutor had made such a radical about-face. Paul simply preached all the more forcefully. One could even say that his zeal as a Christian was even stronger than his former zeal as persecutor.

Now he confounds the Jews

Polhill, J. B. (1992). Acts (Vol. 26, p. 239). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.Now he confounds the Jews
6627
conversion, nature of
True repentance results in a turning from sin and an inner renewal which can only be brought about by God, who draws people to himself and who, through Jesus Christ, gives forgiveness and new life.
Conversion as turning to God
Turning back to God ; See also ,; ;
Turning from idolatry See also ; ; ;
Turning from sinful ways ; See also ; ; ; ; ; ;
Conversion as a turning away from unbelief to faith
It is linked to repentance See also ; ;
It is linked to coming to faith
Conversion brings new life
It results in a transformed life See also ; ;
It is symbolised in baptism See also ;
It demands a new lifestyle ; See also ; ; ;
Conversion brings a new relationship with God
It brings a new status See also ; ;
It brings a new understanding See also ;
Conversion is a work of God
God turns people to himself ; See also ; ; ; ; ;
God gives new birth See also ; ;
Conversion brings new life.
See also
1055 God, grace & mercy
3230 Holy Spirit & regeneration
5016 heart, fallen & redeemed
6666 grace
6698 newness
6728 regeneration
6732 repentance
6740 returning to God
7907 baptism, practice
8020 faith
8135 knowing God
8144 renewal
Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser.Conversion brings new life.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 cor 5:17
2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV
18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 cor
Galatians 6:14–15 ESV
14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
gal 6:
Conversion cannot be achieved by man alone.
Romans 6:4 ESV
4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Saul increased in strength

Acts 9:2
Acts 9:22 ESV
22
The New American Commentary: Acts The Former Persecutor’s Witness to Christ (9:19b–22)

Luke described him as “proving” (symbibazō) that Jesus is the Christ. The Greek word means to join or put together and seems to picture his assembling Old Testament texts to demonstrate how Christ fulfilled them. No wonder the Damascene Jews were astounded and totally unable to respond to the skillful interpretations of the former student of Gamaliel.

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