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Lessons from Acts 9

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Introduction

Info About Acts

The Book of Acts presents the History of the New Testament Church.

Transitional Book

Focus on Peter

Focus on Paul

Acts was written as the sequel to the Gospel of Luke.

Luke is the most prolific writer in the New Testament. The Gospel of Luke and Acts comprise nearly a third of its entire contents.

By the end of his book, Luke has shown us how the gospel of Jesus Christ has travelled from Jerusalem to Rome—from the religious capital of the Jews to the secular capital of the Roman empire.

Info About Saul of Tarsus

Headed to Damascus

I. Paul’s Conversion

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

1. The Uniqueness of Paul’s Conversion

Paul’s conversion was unique
Salvation experience doesn't have to be usual to be genuine
Salvation is a simple act of faith by trusting Christ as your savior (ABC)

2. The Humility in Paul’s Conversion

The humility is seen in the questions
Paul asks some very good questions!
And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
We have to humble ourselves to get saved
We need to stay humble as believers
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

II. Paul’s Companions

1. Paul’s Old Companions

And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

His Old Companions Faded Fasts

Once Paul got saved his old friends were no where to be found...
You don’t hear about them after verse 8
When you get saved, that happens, sometimes your “friends” don’t come around anymore…that is OK
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
If you get saved, but hang around the wrong kind of people, bad things will happen....
That doesn’t mean you can’t be a witness
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

2. Paul’s New Companions

And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. 11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
Ananias was hesitant to Go to Saul of Tarsus because of his reputation
God always knows what is best
Learn to trust in the Lord
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
Paul had so many good companions over the years, that made an impact on him
And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
Paul mentions so many of his companions (Acts) , Timothy, Philemon
Personal Testimony: Good Friends make a difference
Larry and Zach
B
Ken
Getting Saved
Getting New Friends
Getting on the right track (following Jesus)

III. Paul’s Calling

Paul’s calling began abruptly when Paul got saved
I want to talk about Paul’s calling
Paul
Sometimes people are being called and don’t realize it right away
Other people who have been saved longer can often see it first

1. The Beginning

And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
Paul’s conversion was the beginning of his calling…He probably didn’t even know it yet.
Paul surrendered his life to the Lord: Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?
Have you ever surrendered your life to the Lord?
Have you ever asked the Lord to use your children like Hannah?
The beginning of our calling starts with our surrender

2. The Choosing

But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
Being chosen by the Lord doesn’t make you better than someone else (Beware of Pride)
Being chosen by the Lord is a great responsibility (let’s read v.16 again)
God is Sovereign - Jonah

3. The Preaching

And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
Testimony: I did not start preaching right away
Preaching is a good sign of a calling
Sign of a calling: God gives you ideas, messages, and a deeper understanding of Scripture (natural for you)
God uses Paul right where
God gives Spiritual Gifts to Believers (, )

4. The Strengthening

But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
it is a Process (infant, child, adolescent, adult)
Strength comes over time
comes by time
Strength comes from experience
strength comes directly from God
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

IV. Paul’s Circumvention

But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. 23 And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him: 24 But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him. 25 Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.
God is in Control
God Uses people
Ministry is a great calling but it comes with trails (look at verse 23)
God reveals things (especially to the man of God)
The disciples help the man of God (missionary)

Conclusion

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