10/22 Fundamental Thoughts - Sermons

The Conversion Of Saul of Tarsus

Acts 9:1-9

INTRODUCTION:           Saul went to extreme lengths in resisting the Gospel.  Having scattered the church at Jerusalem (8:1), he sought permission to continue his quest.  
              Saul didn’t care if it was man or woman.     They were all threatened with …threatenings and slaughter…,    (v 1)
              Saul was on the road to Damascus when he found Jesus, (vv 3-6). And it is here we have recorded possibly the most dramatic conversion experiences of history.
              However, such an experience for us is that the circumstances and emotions accompanying salvation will be different for each believer.
              Salvation' is based upon the FACT of God's Word, not the FEELINGS arising from circumstances.
              As we read through our text we find there are four characteristics seen here found in every true conversion: ­

I.            THE LIGHT                                                                              (v 3)
A.              All Who Receive Christ
1.      Must come to the Light of the World

(John 3:19-21)  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

(John 8:12)  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

II.           THE VOICE.                                                                              (v 4)
A.              Today, God Speaks To Man Through His Word.

(Romans 10:17)  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
1.           "...why persecutest…ME...?"
i.            Those who persecute the saints of God,
ii.           Are effectively persecuting the Lord Himself.

III.         THE CONVICTION.                                                                 (v 5)
A.              “…the pricks…”              

(Acts 2:37)  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
1.           Conviction of sin is the work of the Holy Spirit,

(John 16:8-11)  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

i.            Who uses the “sword of the Spirit”
a.           Which is the Word of God,

(Ephesians 6:17)  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

ii.           To prick the heart and conscience.

B.           A Man Cannot Be Saved Unless

1.           He is convicted of his sins
i.            But a man may “kick against” conviction
ii.               And could reject Christ.
2.           As did the men who stoned Stephan.

(Acts 7:54)  When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.

IV.         THE ACT OF FAITH.                                                               (v 6)
A.           It is NOT at this point that Saul received Christ as his personal Saviour. (That happens in v 18.)

B.           Saul called Jesus LORD. 
1.               This word “Lord” would be a
reference to Mr. or a respectful title.
i.            Like you and I would use for an unacquainted dignitary.
2.           Saul was “born” (Physically) at the time he saw Christ.

(1 Corinthians 15:7-8)  After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
3.           Saul was a blasphemer before he was saved.

(1 Timothy 1:1)  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
i.            His language in v 6 is far from blasphemy!

CONCLUSION: We have seen four things concerning Paul’s Salvation:

              He saw the Light.

              He heard the voice.

              He felt the conviction

              And finally we have seen his act of faith.

These are four things you should have seen in your salvation.

You should have seen the Light that wonderful light of Christ.

You should have heard the voice in your heart, saying yes; yes; yes.

You should have felt the pang of conviction, the guilt of what you had been.

Then your act of faith by you walking forward; and then you claiming Jesus the Christ as your Saviour, is your Salvation.

Well, the question is did you? 

Now understand as we said in the INTRODUCTION; not all of us will have the dramatic conversion experience that Paul experienced.

Not all of us will have the same change I had.  My change was much more dramatic than Sharil’s.  I was further down in the barrel.

I had to change more than she did.