International Subject: Saul Begins to Preach
U.H.S.C. Subject: There is Greatness Among You
Lesson Text: Acts 9:19b-31
19. [b] Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
20. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
21. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?
22. But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
23. And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:
24. But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.
25. Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.
26. And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
27. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
28. And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.
29. And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.
30. Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.
31. Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
I. Preaching in Damascus (Acts 9:19b-25)
II. Preaching in Jerusalem (Acts 9:26-30)
III. The Church Flourishes (Acts 9:31)
Time: 34 AD
Place: Damascus and Jerusalem
General Theme: “In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren.” — 2 Corinthians 11:26
In the opening verses of Acts 9, Saul is converted by the spirit of Jesus the Christ in an open vision. Saul, who led the persecution and killings of the early Christians, had now become one of their greatest advocates.
The disciples (members) didn’t want to accept Saul because of his past. Oh yes, the members had reason to doubt Saul’s sincerity. But don’t we have reason to doubt everyone’s sincerity? Hasn’t everybody done things in their past that would raise doubts as to whether they are worthy or capable of doing God’s work? Barnabas had to testify on Saul’s behalf on how boldly Saul had preached. He testified to the fact that Saul was nearly killed for his preaching.
When new members come in your midst, treat them with kindness. You may have some newly converted Sauls among you. And these Sauls will be become the Pauls that our organization is in desperate need of. We need men and women unafraid to preach the Everlasting Gospel of this day and age. Saul preached more boldly than most of the members questioning his credentials ever did.