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An Uncommon Conversion

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An Uncommon Conversion

The Grace of God in the Life of Saul

Conversion

October 19, 2008

I.Introduction

A.  On July 2, 1505, Martin Luther was in the process of studying to become a lawyer, he was caught in the middle of a thunderstorm, lightning hitting near him and he cried out "Help, Saint Anna, and I will become a monk!" He left the university and entered an Augustinian monastary in Erfurt on July 17, 1505. The more time he spent confessing his sins and learning to become a 'good monk', he became more aware of his sinfulness. He tried to find a way to absolve his sins and guilt, but to no avail. He even went to Rome, hoping that there he would find comfort for his sins. He saw the selling of indulgences, the selling to see the artifacts, and as he was climbing the tower stairs that are to find solstace for sins, the words, "the just shall live by faith" would keep echoing through his mind and it was there that God saved Luther and put into place the Protestant reformation that would take Christianity back to the Cross.

B.  On October 31, do not celebrate Halloween, but rather celebrate the fact that in Wittenburg, Germany, 1491 years ago on October 31, a Monk, with mallet in hand changed the world. Luther's conversion, would be almost as impactful on christianity as the conversion of a man 1450 years earlier, Saul of Tarsus.

C.  Saul of Tarsus was a man that was seeking to honor God and get on God's good side through works and piety. He thought through persecuting and destroying the church, he would attain favor with Godonly to find out that God has a different way of doing things.

1.    Sauls Search and Destroy Tactic of Christians (9:1–2)

2.    Sauls Surprise by the Son of God (9:3–9)

3.    Sauls Summit with Ananias (9:10–25)

II. Sauls Search and Destroy Tactic of Christians (9:1–2)

A.  Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples.

1.    Saul had the authority of the high priest

a)    His authority was to arrest the followers of the ‘Way’

(1)  He was going to arrest the men
(2)  He was going to arrest the women

b)    He had the authority to bring the disciples back to Jerusalem

(1)  To be imprisoned
(2)  To be killed

B.  Saul was going to use everything at his disposal to accomplish his task of putting an end to the church.

III. Sauls Surprise by the Son of God (9:3–9)

A.  The Revelation (9:3–6)

1.    What he sees (9:3) : He sees a brilliant and blinding light from heaven. The light is still here.

a)    The Light was blinding

(1)  The can be seen in creation. All of creation is pointing people to the glory of God in Christ through the Word of God. When you see creation, you should desire Christ and see His true beauty and glory. Creation points to the Light of Jesus Christ.
(2)  The Light is seen in God's Word. The Bible is the perfectly recorded book of God's glory in dealing with man through the true Light, Jesus Christ. The Bible points to the Light of Jesus Christ.
(3) The Light is seen in God's Church. We are the Light of the world. The Church is to point to the Light of Jesus Christ.

2.    What he hears (9:4–6): Jesus says to him, “Why are you persecuting me?”

a) The voice of God is in the Holy Scriptures, we must listen to and obey it.

b) The voice of God is in the Church by the means of the Scriptures.

B.  The results (9:7–9): Saul’s traveling companions lead him into Damascus blind, and he consumes neither food nor water for the next three days.

IV.Sauls Summit with Ananias (9:10–25)

A.   The Precursor to the Summit (9:10–16): God appears to Ananias.

1. The revelation (9:10–12): God instructs Ananias to go and minister to Saul.

2. The reluctance (9:13–14): Knowing Saul’s evil past, Ananias is afraid to go.

3. The reassurance (9:15–16): God assures Ananias that Saul is now a believer.

B. Events during this visit (9:17–19): Ananias lays hands on Saul, with a twofold result.

1. Saul is healed of his blindness (9:17a, 18a).

2. Saul is filled with the Spirit (9:17b, 18b–19).

V.We need to learn from the lessons of the past, from Martin Luther and from Saul of Tarsus. It is the Light of the World, Jesus Christ that brings salvation and Jesus Christ alone.

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