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  • Ericca Dunn

“Paul’s Conversion” - No Conceit, No Defeat



Paul's Conversion


(No Conceit, No Defeat)


Another Post-resurrection of Jesus

Acts 9


Conversion - Taking something that is being used for one thing, and changing it so that it can be used for something else.


“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”


Making something new out of something old.


Saul’s Conversion

“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting”…” 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. 10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. 11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” 13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles… “ 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” 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.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once [Immediate change] he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 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…?” [What happened?] 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah. 23 After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, [Paul] 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. 26 When he came to J’Lem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 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. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30 When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. 31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged [Strengthened and emboldened] by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.”

-Acts 9:1-31


Questions & Answers


1. What might Paul have thought or felt?


“Significant Emotional Event”


Shocked, Afraid/Scared/Frightened, Terrified, Panicked, Anxious, Nervous, Worried, Paralyzed, Blinded, Dumbfounded, Overwhelmed, Totally Out-of-control and as a result, found himself talking to the voice and the light from the sky that called his name asking it; “Who are you, Lord?”, Guilt/Defeat


“No Jesus, No Peace”

“Know Jesus, Know Peace” (Christian)


“No Conceit, No Defeat(Christian)

“Know Conceit, Know Defeat


Paul Knew Conceit, but now Knows Defeat after Jesus meets him on the Damascus road.


2. How does Christian conversion take place?


No Conceit We know of course

“It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do [not created “by”] good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

–Ephesians 2:8-10


Some people have not heard.


The rest have not been converted have “rejected” and currently believe in something else.

 

View them as Pre-Christians

(Hoping that one day they may believe)


Try to figure out peoples’ reasons for not believing.


Do you feel anger towards those who are not Christian? 


My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

-Isaiah 55:8,9


“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” [Converted/Saved]

-John 3:8

  

Pray for others.


Ask God how God might use you be Jesus to them.


No Conceit, No Defeat

Conceit – an exaggerated estimate of one’s self.


To those who are Christian, this is what we “do” humbly know took place…


God brought faith to our heart and we did not reject it.


God always initiates first contact

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard [not plugged their ears] the Father and learned from him comes [Continues to be drawn closer to Jesus] to me.”

-John 6:44,45


LAW

What we are to do.


GOSPEL

What God does.


If you are a Christian, God gets all the credit.


We are not saved/forgiven by our own doing.


One of the greatest ways to worship God is to continually remember everything good that you are and have, is from God and because of Jesus.


Christians have no reason ever to be conceited or feel defeated


“I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith…”   


-Martin Luther’s Explanation of Apostle’s Creed 


FAITH


“Have faith in God”, Jesus answered,

(Mark 11:22) – LAW


“…Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”

(Hebrews 12:2) - GOSPEL


BELIEVE


Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 

(Acts 16:31) – LAW


“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him…”

(Philippians 1:29) - GOSPEL


RECEIVE


“Yet to all who receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave them right to become children of God…” 

(John 1:12) – LAW


“…born of God.”

(John 1:13) - GOSPEL


ACCEPT


“…or a different gospel than the one you accepted…” 

(2 Corinthians 11:4) – LAW


“… it is God, who works in you to will and to act according to His good pleasure.” 

(Philippians 2:13) - GOSPEL


TRUST


Trust in God; trust also in Me.” 

(John 14:1) – LAW


“Yet You brought me out of the womb; You made me trust in You even at my mother’s breast.”

(Psalm 22:9) - GOSPEL


REPENT


Repent and believe the good news.”

(Mark 1:15) – LAW


“…God has even granted the Gentiles repentance unto life.” 

(Acts 11:18) - GOSPEL


COME


Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

(Matthew 11:28) – LAW


“No one can come to me unless the -Father draws him …no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.”

(John 1:44,65) - GOSPEL


BE BORN AGAIN


“…You must be born again.”

 (John 3:7) – LAW


“For you have been born again not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, the living and enduring Word of God.” 

(1Peter 1:23) - GOSPEL


There is hope for everyone.

Paul was the Chief of Sinners


“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy [Mercy – when we don’t get what we deserve.] because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, [Chief of sinners] Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.”

-1 Timothy 1:12-16 


“Walk by faith and not by sight.” 

-2 Corinthians 5:7


“Trust in the Lord… not your own understanding.”

-Proverbs 3:5


“Know Jesus, Know Peace”


“No Conceit, No Defeat


“You, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

-Isaiah 64:8

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