Faithlife Sermons

A Pair of Conversions

EEBC Acts  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  29:58
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Context: Where does this fit in the Big Picture of God's Glory?

Back to Acts;
Saul is picking up the persecution from Acts 8
Going about to make life harder for believers—preferably to force them to change beliefs
Lack of protection—the Roman government would have allowed Saul to take whatever actions he wanted against fellow Jews, as long as it didn’t lead to a riot or interrupt tax revenues.

Overview: What's going on here?

Acts 9:1–19 CSB
1 Now Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest 2 and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. 4 Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul said. “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the sound but seeing no one. 8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. 9 He was unable to see for three days and did not eat or drink. 10 There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” “Here I am, Lord,” he replied. 11 “Get up and go to the street called Straight,” the Lord said to him, “to the house of Judas, and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, since he is praying there. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and placing his hands on him so that he may regain his sight.” 13 “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 the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is my chosen instrument to take my name to Gentiles, kings, and Israelites. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” 17 Ananias went and entered the house. He placed his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 At once something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19 And after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul was with the disciples in Damascus for some time.
First, Saul’s Conversion: acknowledging, seeing, loving the truth
Promise of suffering for Jesus
Second, Ananias’ Conversion: he was likely one who had fled Saul
Overcoming fear to reach one

Reflection: Why does this matter?

God saves the wicked and uses the fearful.

Expectations: What do we do about it?

Stop kicking against the goads! (KJV is fun here)
Step up and take on what God has commanded you to take on
As a church: are we more interested in people’s past or their future?
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