Tag Archives: Acts 9

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 247/260: Barnabas

Read Acts 9:26-30

Are You An Encourager?

“Did you see who came to worship on Sunday?” “What nerve he must have to show his face around here!” “Does he think we have forgotten what he did?” “He doesn’t belong here!”

Perhaps you have thought these things at one point in your life. Perhaps these very thoughts were going through the disciples’ minds in the first century when Saul of Tarsus came to Jerusalem. Luke tells us that “he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple” (Acts 9:26). It’s understandable, though, isn’t it? Did not Ananias himself express doubt and perhaps a hint of fear when Jesus told him Saul was coming? If this guy showed up at the church building next week, don’t you think you would be a little leery?

Enter Barnabas. Remember what his name means? “Son of Encouragement” (Acts 4:36). He was the disciple who sold everything he had to help others in need. And if there was ever anyone in need, it was Saul of Tarsus. Perhaps he wasn’t hurting financially, but this man needed some support, didn’t he?

It was Barnabas who stood up with Saul and “took him to the apostles” (Acts 9:27). He stood by him as the apostles listened to his report, “how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus” (Acts 9:27).

Were the disciples justified in demanding evidence? Certainly. Paul himself later wrote, “Test all things, hold fast to what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). The apostle John wrote, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the word” (1 John 4:1). John the Immerser said, “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:8). Based on his past, it was fair to ask Saul questions and “test” him.

Barnabas saw that Saul passed the test, and was willing to stand by him upon further questioning. He was true to his name: a Son of Encouragement.

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 246/260: Ananias

Read Acts 9:10-19; 22:12-16

Why Are You Waiting?

When the Lord told Ananias that Saul of Tarsus was headed his way, his heart must have skipped a beat. The man who was “breathing threats and murder against the disciples” (Acts 9:1), who had authority to imprison those who professed the risen Lord, was coming to his house. But Saul was not coming to arrest this “devout man” (Acts 22:12); Saul was coming to learn from him.

Ananias chose to trust in the Lord and obey the command to go to Saul. He went to the house where Saul was praying and fasting, and said to him, “The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard” (Acts 22:14-16).

There are many religious groups that teach the doctrine of the “sinner’s prayer” for salvation. They claim that if you simply pray and ask Jesus into your heart, that you will be saved. There is no Scriptural support for such a statement. In fact, the conversion of Saul of Tarsus shows the exact opposite. Saul prayed for three days, but when Ananias arrived, he told him to stop praying!

What did Ananias teach Saul of Tarsus about salvation? He said, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). Can a person be saved if his sins are not washed away? If it is baptism that washes away sins, can one be saved without baptism?

I understand that someone you trusted probably told you something different. They meant well, but they were misinformed themselves. When we stand before the Lord in judgment, He will not accept the excuse, “I didn’t know!” Jesus makes it clear that we can know the truth (John 8:32) and that we have that which will judge us (John 12:48). If you have not obeyed the Lord by putting Him on in baptism, why are you waiting?

Saul and Ananias (Acts 9:1-19)

Saul and Ananias Acts 9

Acts 9:1-19

I. Saul of Tarsus

    A. A very religious man (Acts 7:58; 8:1, 3; Philippians 3:5-6; Acts 23:1)
    B. On fire for God, but misunderstood God (Acts 9:1-2; Matthew 7:21-23)
    C. Saul needed a heavenly intervention (Acts 9:3-9)

II. Ananias

    A. “A certain disciple” (Acts 9:10), willing to do what the Lord commands (Isaiah 6:8)
    B. Ananias’s hesitation (Acts 9:11-14)
    C. The Lord explains (Acts 9:15-16; Isaiah 62:2)
    D. Jesus said, “Go!”…and Ananias went (Acts 9:17-19)

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 33/260: Read Acts 9

The story of Saul’s conversion is one of the most inspiring and encouraging in the New Testament. Our first introduction to this man has him consenting to Stephen’s death (Acts 8:1). Here, he is “breathing threats and murder against the disciples.” Later, he says of himself, “I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man” (1 Timothy 1:13).

Despite his attitude and actions against Jesus and the church, Saul of Tarsus “obtained mercy” and became one of the greatest champions for Christ—Paul the apostle—the world has ever known.

I have heard people say they could never visit a church service for fear that the building would collapse on them. I doubt any of them have sinned like Saul, though. Even if they have, God’s mercy and grace and love is strong enough to overcome their past, if they are willing to submit to Him like Saul did.

Saul, who would become Paul, was “a chosen vessel” of Christ’s. Don’t neglect opportunities to teach your neighbors about Christ, no matter how sinful they may be in your eyes. Don’t allow your past to hold you back from the future God has planned for you.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Acts 8:12. But when they _______________ Philip as he _______________ the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were _______________.

Pray

Pray for the ability to see the best in people, even if they can’t see it themselves. Pray for opportunities to teach them about Christ.