-Acts 9 gives us the details in Saul’s (Paul in Greek) conversion on the road to Damascus, where he intend to bind disciples of Christ Jesus and take them back to Jerusalem for punishment. He was attacking the church in an attempt to destroy it and its momentum. However, Jesus shows up along the road and changes everything! His voice spoke and His light shown down and Saul would never be the same. Ananias obeyed the Heavenly vision in Damascus and Saul was baptized and received the Holy Spirit. Immediately he began to speak out in the Name of Jesus and became Christ’s most passionate supporter. A miracle had occurred for the sake of the gospel and God called Saul to be a chosen instrument to bear His Name among the Gentiles, kings, and sons of Israel all while suffering for His purpose (Acts 9:15-16). *Application* Our evidence here is that only God can change a life and many times it is a radical rebirth. What is your testimony in the saving saga of our Lord Jesus Christ? If you’ve never experienced His Spirit and presence come upon you, pray to receive and He will in no way cast you out (John 6:37). Believe in Him and call upon His Name for salvation (Romans 10:13, Ephesians 2:8-9).
-Another interesting note here in this chapter is Christ’s identification with His church. Notice the words He uses to Saul along the road to Damascus. “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me (Acts 9:4)?” The church is organism not an organization. Notice here that Jesus is one with His body, the church. Christ is the Head of all things pertaining to the church and we are His bride (Colossians 1:18, 1 Corinthians 12, Revelation 19:7). There is a vital unity here that we need to understand and there are no unimportant parts to His body.
-After Saul’s dramatic escape from Damascus, he arrives back in Jerusalem to a suspicious and fearful welcome from the disciples. It was Barnabas who brought him to the apostles and explained to them the genuineness of Saul’s conversion. After this, Saul was accepted and began to talk and argue with those in Jerusalem concerning the Lord Jesus. After a period of time some Hellenistic Jews got angry with him and threatened to kill him, which led to his departure to Caesarea Maritima and then on the Tarsus. The church enjoyed peace and growth after this in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31). *Application* There will be times of trial and tribulation and war in the Christian walk. There will be other times of peace and relative tranquility where the Lord is prospering you. Be true to Him in both instances and let Him have His perfect way and will in your life. Be built up in Christ no matter what you go through.
-Now some information on Peter’s ministry is narrated as he proceeds westward through Lydda, Sharon, and Joppa doing the work of the Lord. There are great accounts of a healing and a resuscitation given as many believe in the Lord Jesus Christ through Peter’s work. *Application* Here is more evidence of the Holy Spirit leading and directing with some amazing results. God’s power is always on his humble, faithful, and obedient servants.
Verses to Memorize: Acts 9:27