Paul’s Conversion – Sunday School Lesson

These are my notes from Sunday School today. I’m teaching a young ladies Sunday School class again. I’m so excited. I just am so called to this it felt so good to be sitting down with them again to study. Below are the notes I promised them. I’m testing publishing these directly from Microsoft Word and thus far I don’t like the formatting. We’ll see how this looks and I may change it for later.

If you have questions about the notes, let me know. These are my Raw notes, but some great information gleaned from the passages. Interestingly, this lesson was on Saul’s conversion but it ended up being more about God speaking as we talked about it!

Notes on Studying your Bible

“They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.” 1 Timothy 1:7

“All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good Work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Saul’s History

Acts 8:1-3

1 Saul agreed with putting him to death.

On that day a severe persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the land of Judea and Samaria. (A) 2 But devout men buried Stephen and mourned deeply over him. 3 Saul, (B) however, was ravaging the church, and he would enter house after house, drag off men and women, and put them in prison. (C)


Interesting, just before this, why did they stone Stephen – two things.

His pointed Criticism

51″You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.””

Acts 7:51-53 (New International Version)

His personal view of Christ

55But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56″Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55-56 (New International Version)


Important to remember that our “view” of Christ is personal. It is between us and God and we are accountable to him. It was a personal experience between God and Stephen and no one else saw it and he was misunderstood.

Notes on this Incident

Paul’s Conversion


Acts 9:1-9 – The Damascus Road

1 Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples (A) of the Lord, went to the high priest (B)
2 and requested letters (
C) from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, (D) either men or women, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As (E) 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?” he said.

“I am Jesus, whom 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. (F)
8 Then 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.


Who was Saul?

Why was he going to Damascus?

The encounter v. 3-9

Now, Paul has a personal encounter with Jesus Christ!!!

See Acts 26:14-18 – This is what Saul said happened.

14 When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads. (A)
[
a]

15 “But I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’

“And the Lord replied: ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 16 But get up and stand on your feet. For I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and a witness of things you have seen, [b]
and of things in which I will appear to you. (
B)
17 I will rescue you from the people and from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, (
C)
18 to open their eyes (
D) that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in Me. (E)

Acts 26:14-18

Sometimes God just says “Hello, this is God, I’m going to tell you something, wait and listen.” We don’t like it, we want to know now!

Ezekiel 3:22 – 22 Then the hand of the LORD was on me there, and He said to me, “Get up, go out to the plain, (A) and I will speak with you there.” (B)

Our commandments from God are personal and private. We’re not going to get a zap of lightning and public recognition that God is talking to us. More than likely it will be shock and amazement.

Daniel 10:7 – 7 Only I, Daniel, saw the vision. (A) The men who were with me did not see it, (B) but a great terror fell on them, (C) and they ran and hid.

The one time a public voice was heard about Jesus.

John 12:28-30

28Father, glorify your name!”

Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

30Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine.

Who was the voice for? The others. God communicates to each of us directly through his Word, other Christians and sometimes in this way. Do not expect it to correlate with other humans, however, it will always match up with God’s word!

Saul’s Baptism

Saul’s Baptism

10 Now in Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. And the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

“Here I am, Lord!” he said. (A)

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 (B) named Saul, since he is praying there. 12 In a vision [a]
he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and placing his hands on him so he may regain his sight.” (
C)

13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. (D)
14 And he has authority here from the chief priests to arrest all who call on Your name.” (
E)

15 But the Lord said to him, “Go! For this man is My chosen instrument (F) to carry My name before Gentiles, (G) kings, and the sons of Israel. (H)
16 I will certainly show him how much he must suffer for My name!” (
I)

17 So Ananias left and entered the house. Then 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 you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (J)

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. (K)

Acts 9:10-19 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Paul’s Preaching Begins

Saul Proclaiming the Messiah

Saul [a] was with the disciples in Damascus for some days. 20 Immediately he began proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues: “He is the Son of God.” (B)

21 But all who heard him were astounded and said, “Isn’t this the man who, in Jerusalem, was destroying those who called on this name, and then came here for the purpose of taking them as prisoners to the chief priests?” (C)

22 But Saul grew more capable, and kept confounding the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that this One is the Messiah.

23 After many days had passed, the Jews conspired to kill him, 24 but their plot became known to Saul. So they were watching the gates day and night intending to kill him, (D)
25 but his disciples took him by night and lowered him in a large basket through [an opening in] the wall.
Acts 9:19-25 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Saul began building up the church he sought to destroy. Why did he gain power? He had to restudy the scriptures in light of what he knew about Jesus Christ. What would have happened if he just came to know Christ and then never read his Bible again? Would he have been able to present the case?




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