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Which Power Do You Choose? (Acts 9:1-22)Gary McManus, May 22, 2016
Part of the God's Word is Life series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
May 22, 2016 First Sunday After Pentecost
Acts 9:1-6, 17-22 (p. 1087 / p. 1100-1)
Today’s message: the basis of today’s
message comes from Duke Divinity School!
Charles Campbell, Professor of Homiletics
shares portions of this message in his first
class each term. It was printed, in part,
in Spring 2016 Divinity.
Holy Spirit Power
Acts 1:8: “you will receive power,” said Jesus!
The Word of God also has power:
John 1:1-5. Genesis 1, Isiaha 2:3-4
Pastor’s favorite: Psalm 68:11
Here is one of my favorite scriptures concerning the Word of God
Psalm 68:11(KJ21): The Lord gave the word;
great was the company of those that proclaimed it.
The Word of God is powerful enough
to provide its OWN proclaimers!
This is what the Apostles said (Acts 5:29-32)
(See also Acts 2:11, Acts 2:22, Acts 6:8)
Acts 9:3-4:It is the word of our Lord and Savior
that Saul hears.
You know Saul’s life before this moment.
(1 Timothy 1:15, Galatians 1:13, Acts 7.57- 8:1,
Acts 8:3, Acts 22:4-5)
Saul, a terrorist?
ISIS is persecuting Christians:
March 17, 2016: Secretary of State John Kerry has
declared that ISIS is committing genocide against
Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities
in the Middle East.
2,000 years ago, Saul-Paul also believed as ISIS
does today that violence should be used for the
purpose of getting rid of Christians.
But what happened? You know what happened. . .
(Acts 9:4-17, and then 9:20)
Jesus said to Ananias: (v.15):
This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name. . .
and then be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Paul no longer persecutes. Paul preaches the Gospel!
Which is more powerful?
Who has the greater power today?
It is the power of the Holy Spirit.
[Zechariah 4:6, Psalm 20:7, Isaiah 31:1]
Our God is mighty to save.
(Psalm 106:8, Isaiah 63:1, Zephaniah 3:17)
This same Paul would write to the church:
Romans 15:13:”. . .trust in Him, so that you may
overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
|« The Power of the Holy Spirit||None||We Are Still Free »|
9:1 But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” 7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; 19 and taking food, he was strengthened.
For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. 20 And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” 21 And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” 22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ. (ESV)