Acts 9:1-30 Paul : Total Commitment

            PAUL: TOTAL COMMITMENT
        Acts 9: 1-30        June 29 2008

    While persecution was scattering believers, Paul continued
to ravage the church ((Acts 9:1;8:3). For the sake of consistency,
this quarter’s lessens will refer to the apostle as "Paul" rather
than "Saul.") The high priest authorized Paul to go to Damascus,
arrest believers, and take them  to Jerusalem to be imprisoned
(Acts 9:2). As Paul approached Damascus, the risen Christ
encountered and commanded him to enter Damascus and await
instructions. Paul was blinded , so his companions led him into
Damascus, where he fasted for three days (Acts 9:3-9).
    Paul go to Jerusalem, But believers there were afraid to
receive him . Then Barnabas introduced him to the apostles
(Acts 9:26-28). Paul debated with Hellenistic Jews, who tried
to kill him (Acts 9:29). Jerusalem believers accompanied him
to Caesarea and sent him to Tarsus (Acts 9:30). Throughout
Judea, Samaria, and Galilee, the church flourished (Acts 9:31).

    1. Make a Faith Commitment (Acts 9:15-19a)

Acts 9:15   But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my
chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and
their kings and before the people of Israel. 9:16   I will show
him how much he must suffer for my name.” 9:17   Then Ananias
went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he
said, “Brother Saul, the Lord —Jesus, who appeared to you on
the road as you were coming here —has sent me so that you may
see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 9:18   Immediately,
something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see
again. He got up and was baptized, 9:19a   and after taking some
food, he regained his strength. 

Before the Gentiles.( Rom 1:13-14). Thier Kings. Agrippa
(Acts 26:1) and Caesar at Rome (Acts 25:11-12; 28:19). Jesus ,
who Appeared to you . The Damascus road experience was not
merely a vision. The resurrected Christ actually appeared to
Saul, and on this fact Saul based his qualification to be an
apostle (1Co 9:1; 15:8).

    2. Demonstrate Commitment (Acts 9:19b-21)

Acts 9:19b   Saul spent several days with the disciples in
Damascus. 9:20   At once he began to preach in the synagogues
that Jesus is the Son of God. 9:21   All those who heard him
were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc
in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t
he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?”

At once . Following his baptism. Synagogues .. It became Saul’s
regular practice to preach at every opportunity in the synagogues
(Acts 13:5; 14:1; 17:1-2,10; 18:4,19; 19:8). Jesus is the son of
God . Saul’s message was a declaration of what he himself had
become convinced of on the Damascus road: Christ’s deity and
Messiahship (Acts 9:22).

    3. Grow in Commitment (Acts 9:22)

Acts 9:22   Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled
the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.

After many days . Three years (Gal 1:17-18). It is probable that
the major part of this period was spent in Arabia, away from
Damascus, though the borders of Arabia extended to the
environs of Damascus. The jews conspired to kill him . Upon his
return to Damascus, the governor under Aretas gave orders for
his arrest (2Co 11:32). The absence of Roman coins struck in
Damascus between A.D. 34 and 62 may indicate that Aretas
was in control during that period.

    4. Show Intense Commitment (Acts 9:26-30)

Acts 9:26   When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the
disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that
he really was a disciple. 9:27   But Barnabas took him and
brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his
journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him,
and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of
Jesus. 9:28   So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely
in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 9:29   He
talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to
kill him. 9:30   When the brothers learned of this, they took
him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

He came to Jerusalem . From (Gal 1:19) we learn that all the
apostles were away except Peter and James, the Lord’s
brother. James was not one of the Twelve, but he held a
position in Jerusalem comparable to that of an apostle.
Barnbas . (Acts 4:36). Levite . Although Levites owned no
inherited land in Palestine, these regulations may not have
applied to the Levites in other countries (Cyprus). So perhaps
Barnabas sold land he owned in Cyprus and brought the proceeds
to the apostles (Acts 9:37). Or he may have been married, and
the land sold may have been from his wife’s property. It is also
possible that the prohibition against Levite ownership of land
in Palestine was no longer observed. Cyprus. An island in the
eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. Jews had settled there
from Maccabean times. Barnabas . Used here as a good example
of giving. In this way Luke introduces the one who will become
an important companion of Paul (Acts13:1-4). For other
significant contributions of this greathearted leader to the
life and ministry of the early church (Acts 9:27; 11:22,25;
15:37-39). He talk and debated . Formerly Saul was arguing
against Christ; now he is forcefully presenting Jesus as the
Messiah. Caesara . (Acts 8:40). Tarsus . Saul’s birthplace
(Acts 22:3).

            Summary:

                Paul was born in Tarsus, a city on the
northeastern coastal area of the Mediterranean Sea. He was
a Roman citizen (Acts 22:27-28). His parents were Jews who
spoke Hebrew and who also spoke Greek and were influenced
by Greek culture. Paul was trained as a rabbi under Gamaliel,
a leading Jewish teacher in Jerusalem , and became a
Pharisee. Paul led in persecuting the early church (Acts 8:3).
                On Paul’s way to Damascus – around A.D. 35-
the risen Jesus appeared to Him. When he reached Damascus ,
he narrowly escaped death. He went to Jerusalem, where he
debated with Hellenistic Jews. When his life was threatened ,
he returned to his hometown Tarsus.
                Paul remained in Tarsus for about 10 years.
Then Barnabas sought him out and took him to Antioch to help
in the ministry there (Acts 11:25-26). the church in Antioch
separated Paul and Barnabas for missions, and they embarked
on the church’s first missionary outreach (Acts 13:1-3). Paul
Traveled on two additional mission trips. At the conclusion of
his third trip, he was arrested in Jerusalem and imprisoned
for two years in Caesarea. He endured a perilous voyage to
Rome for trial before Caesar.
                Tradition states Paul was released from his
first imprisonment, resumed his ministry, and was arrested
and imprisoned a second time in Rome. He then was executed
in A.D. 67.