by Jeff Hamilton
Text: I Timothy 1:12-17
I. The path that Saul took from Judaism to Christianity can teach us a lot about what it takes to become a Christian
A. It is a lesson that many need to learn by people caught up in denominational teachings.
B. We will look at the events that happened to Saul in chronological order
A. Saul was born in Tarsus, a Roman city - Acts 21:39
1. At the time it was one of the leading centers of education, in the same league as Alexandria and Athens
2. Jews in this city began receiving Roman citizenship as far back as 67 B.C.
B. At some point, when he was young, Saul was sent to Jerusalem to study - Acts 22:3
C. Saul was a strong Jew with the best of educational background - Philippians 3:4-6
1. It is not surprising Saul was strongly opposed to Christianity - Acts 22:4-5
2. Saul was as against Christianity as a person could get - Acts 9:1-2
D. He did more than just jail followers of Christ, he punished them, tried to force them to blaspheme God, and even chased them to other cities - Acts 26:9-11
E. This was not a “nice guy.” But notice that Saul was doing what he thought was right.
III. His encounter with the Christ
A. While traveling to Damascus, with papers authorizing the arrests of more Christians, Saul was blinded by a bright light around noon time. The light was far brighter than the noonday sun. - Acts 26:12-13
B. Those traveling with him saw the light, but nothing else - Acts 22:9
C. A voice spoke to Saul in Hebrew - Acts 26:14
D. Those with Saul, heard the voice - Acts 9:7
1. but they did not understand what was being said - Acts 22:9
E. Saul did not recognize who was speaking, but he address the being a “Lord” - Acts 9:4-5
F. Jesus reveals himself - Acts 22:8.
1. The very one whom Saul was dedicate to debunking!
G. Saul shows he believes Jesus, for he continues to call him “Lord” - Acts 22:10
H. Jesus reveals the purpose God has set out for Saul - Acts 26:16-18
I. Saul was left blind and those with him led him into Damascus - Acts 9:8-9.
1. For three days he was left blind.
2. For three days he refused to eat or drink, so mighty was the impact of what he had learned.
3. Saul’s entire world, his very foundation, was turned upside down.
IV. Ananias was called to teach Saul - Acts 9:10-12
A. Ananias did not want to go - Acts 9:13-14,
1. but the Lord insisted Acts 9:15-16
B. Saul’s sight was restored to him - Acts 22:12-13.
1. In Acts 9:17-18, it was described as scales falling away.
C. At the same time, Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit - Acts 9:17
D. Ananias instructed Saul in his future duties, as Saul was told - Acts 22:14-15
E. Ananias then commands Saul to arise and wash away his sins - Acts 22:16
V. I have a question for you, “When was Saul saved?”
A. Was it when he had a religious experience?
B. Was it when he acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord?
C. Was it when Jesus gave him direction for his life?
D. Was it when Saul spent three days fasting and praying to God?
E. Was it when Ananias healed him of his blindness?
F. Was it when Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit?
G. Or was it when Saul washed his sins away in baptism?
H. You see if it was before baptism, then Ananias lied when he stated that Saul had sins that needed to be washed away!
1. Those who teach that all you need to do is believe to be saved are wrong!
2. Those who teach you just dedicate your life to Christ are wrong!
3. Those who teach that God must intervene in your life are wrong!
4. Those who teach that miraculous healing will save you are wrong!
5. Salvation comes with obedience to God’s word, when you are baptized to remove your sins - I Peter 3:21