My Future in a Cancel CultureAugust 30, 2020
Text: Acts 9:1-17
I. What kind of reception did Saul get? =
What Ananias saw:
- . (Acts 9:13)
- (Acts 9:14)
II. How did Jesus see Saul?
- (Acts 9:17-19)
- (Acts 9:15)
Acts 9:15: for he is a chosen instrument of mine
1 Cor 1:26-30: Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.
III. The Response of a great church:
Acts 9:26-28: And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord.
It takes an entire church to get this right. Every member is important to seeing clearly what God is doing and who God is using. If it had not been for Barnabas, the Apostles would have overlooked or canceled Paul!
Further thoughts on the text:
- Saul was from Tarsus. A university town that ranked up with Athens.
- He was trained by Gamaliel, one of the most respected Rabbis of his day.
- When Stephen was executed, Acts 8:1 says that Saul approved of the execution.
- Acts 9:2, the place Saul intended to look for Christians was the synagogues. That is because early Christians did not give up their Jewish heritage. Jesus did not contradict true Judaism but was the fulfillment of all that was promised.
- Acts 9:3 Says a light shone around him. Acts 26:13 says this happened at noon. The sun would already be beating down on Saul. So, the light that came down was brighter than the noon day sunlight.
- Acts 9:3-4: Paul encounters the risen Jesus. This is not an angel or a vision, but a physical encounter with Christ. To demonstrate that he actually saw something physical, he was blinded. That is because he saw Jesus with not just his spiritual eyes, but his physical eyes.
- Acts 9:10: Ananias was probably the leader of the church in Damascus. He is rightly skeptical of Saul’s conversion.
- Acts 9:26: The Apostles at first steer clear of Saul, not believing his conversion. Barnabas, later to be the first pastor of a Gentile church, brought Saul into the Christian fold.