Since early this summer, we have been traveling through the book of Acts and today we find ourselves in Acts chapter 9. This chapter records one of the most significant events in the history of the early church – perhaps second only to the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Very few other events have changed the course of Christianity (or even the course of history for that matter) like the event we’re going to read about today.
Today, we’re going to read about how a man named Saul came to know and follow Jesus. And while his story seems fairly dramatic and out of the ordinary, the things he experienced and the process that he went through – bringing him to faith in Christ – are actually very similar for all of us who come to acknowledge Christ as our Saviour.
There is a certain pattern – a certain sequence of events that need to happen for any of us to experience God’s salvation. Of course, the exact details and the timeline and how it all unfolds are likely different for each one of us, but the process and the pattern that God uses will be the same.
And so even before we get into the passage today, let me just give you the four-point pattern of Salvation that we’re going to see in this passage – that way, as we go through Saul’s story, looking at the process that he went through, you can see if you can identify that same process in your own life and your own story.
So really quickly, here they are.
- Jesus Christ reveals himself to you. In Saul case, it’s quite a dramatic reveal – but that may not be the case of you. Your introduction to Christ might be a little more subtle. Either way, Christ makes Himself known to you and calls you to respond.
- You respond by acknowledging Jesus as the resurrected Son of God. This is when you begin to see Jesus for who He really is. There’s a recognition and acknowledgement there that wasn’t there before.
- Having acknowledged who Jesus really is, you willingly submit your life to Him and seek to be obedient to Him. As your Lord and Saviour, you want to serve and obey Him with your whole life.
- As a result of your trust in Christ and your willingness to be obedient to Him, God begins the process of transformation. The Holy Spirit comes to dwell within you – changing you into a new person. You are adopted in the family of God as His child, and you begin to live a new life.
And of course, as I said before, the exact details and the timeline and how this all unfolds are likely different for each one of us, but the process and the pattern that God uses is the same. He did this for Saul, and he does this for us today.
So on that note, let’s take a look at the story of Saul and see how this pattern plays out in his experience.
But before we begin, let me just quickly review what we’ve already been told about this man named Saul. Back in Acts chapter 7, we read about the stoning of Stephan – the first Christian martyr. He was the first person to be put to death for his faith in Jesus. And Acts chapter 7 verse 58 tells us that as his accusers…