On to Acts 9:1-16
v1: We are not simply called to receive the forgiveness of sins. A disciple is called to be committed, faithful and obedient. A disciple PURSUES the purposes of G-d. (“L-rd” speaks to us of our need for submission)
v2: Synagogues then were not exclusively Jewish but anyone could go to a synagogue. We would call them community centers today (public places).
· Before they were called Christians the disciples were referred to as followers of “The Way”. Yeshua called Himself the Way – John 14:6.
Moses, in Exodus 33:12-17, is asking for the ONE who will lead them into the Promised Land – he was asking G-d the Father to show him “Your Way”. The Only Way to the Father (and into the Kingdom of G-d) is through Yeshua the Messiah.
v5: Saul had respect for who he was talking to (called him “L-rd”). He knew it was supernatural but he was not associating this encounter with G-d and definitely not with Yeshua at this point.
· Yeshua takes it personally when those who believe in Him are persecuted.
· “It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” A goad is something that is sharp and pointed. Kicking it would cause the kicker a lot of pain. If Saul continues to persecute the believers it is not going to go well with him.
v6: ‘L-rd, what do you want me to do?”
· Saul is now knowingly calling Yeshua “L-rd” and asking Yeshua what is required of him- Yeshua is now someone who Saul is willing to submit to! What an incredible (and miraculous) place for a person (you and me) to get to!
v7: There are those who will see the miraculous testimony of our lives but yet they may not perceive or understand it.
v8: Saul’s purpose and reason for entering Damascus now was very different to his original purpose. An encounter with G-d changed his perspective.
v9: A description of fasting.
v10: G-d could have spoken to Saul Himself in order to reveal His plans and purposes to Saul but He often chooses to use us (His disciples) to reveal truth to others and call them to obedience to the will of G-d.
· Ananias made himself totally available to be used by G-d.
v11: Straight Street – the purpose for Yeshua revealing Himself to Saul was to straighten out his life, to bring it into alignment with the will of G-d.
· Saul understood the significance of prayer. Without prayer we cannot properly discern or respond to G-d.
v12: G-d revealed to Saul that he would see again – and Saul did see again but from a new perspective spiritually. What use will physical sight be to us if we do not ask G-d to open our eyes spiritually? (Matt 13:11-17)
v13: A saint is someone who is set apart as holy . A saint has called upon the L-rd and is His disciple. A saint lives life as someone who lives to be pleasing to G-d. (Col 1:9-14)
v14: We become disciples when we call upon the name of the L-rd. Our salvation is not based upon being a good disciple. However, because we are saved and desire to submit to and please G-d we live in a way that glorifies Him (but these latter things/works don’t bring us salvation. They are fruits that come from having been saved)
v15-16: This is what G-d’s call on Saul’s life was – and can I share with you that this is also G-d’s call on your life if you believe….
We are chosen by G-d (regardless of how terrible we have been before Christ) to carry His name to those around us and even those far from us. And we have been called to suffer for His name. Disciples meet opposition. True disciples respond (even in the face of opposition) to the will of G-d in obedience.
Our salvation is not dependent on how well or how poorly we perform the tasks above. Salvation is gained when we confess our sins, acknowledge Yeshua as the L-rd of our lives and believe He has paid for our sins.