(1 Corinthians 9:1). 14—18. (Philippians 1:4-9). Thus armed with the authority to arrest believers, Saul set off on the 150-mile journey to Damascus. 8). If the blinding of Saul was a major turning point in his life, so was the blinding of Bar-Jesus. And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time.” And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand. If not, take time to study God’s providence. 150 It is interesting to ponder the identity of these “disciples” of Saul. 133 I. Howard Marshall, The Acts of the Apostles (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, reprint, 1987), p. 173. 1:16f. Blinded by the light, he fell to the ground—and then he heard the voice. He was a. influence was open to him; and as Agrippa, a Jew, had played his part in the conflicts of Octavianus, Lepidus, and Antony, no one can tell what part Saul of Tarsus might have been destined to fill; for we have no reason to suppose that he would have hesitated to avail himself of the opportunities for distinction which were thus accessible to him. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. God stopped Saul in his tracks and can do so with any who oppose Him. After this, Saul broke his fast and was strengthened. “This old city is the most enduring in the history of the world (Knowling). Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. Your merchants were the world’s great men. It should be disposed of,—and disposed of in such a way as to be satisfactory to any candid mind. We may not doubt its genuineness; we may not be disposed to underrate its value; but we do not see in it an argument as to the truth or falsehood of the opinions abandoned or of those embraced. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4, 6). Note: “The light of heavenly illumination deprived Saul of sight; but Jesus, the great Healer, did not at once restore it. In peace, as in persecution, the church was comforted and continued to increase. We are given a little insight from the account in Acts 12 when Peter was imprisoned and it appeared he would soon be executed, as James had already been, and as we would infer Herod purposed to do with Peter (Acts 12:1-4). His blessings were to come through the agencies that He has ordained, thus connecting man with the channel through which His blessings come. When God spoke to Ananias commanding him to go to the house where Saul was staying, he was to receive him as a brother; and he was told that he was called to suffer as God’s chosen vessel to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles, kings, and to his fellow-Israelites. 1:4).” F. F. Bruce, p. 190. And when this time comes, God will use their obedience to serve Him: “For if their rejection be the salvation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:15). Who was Ananias, and what did Jesus tell him to do? He spoke of it as the movement from darkness to light (Colossians 1:12-13; Ephesians 4:8-14) in which the new believer should now walk. “In the theological schools of Judea the word of God had been set aside for human speculations; it was robbed of its power by the interpretations and traditions of the rabbis. Those whose lives Saul would gladly have taken in his unsaved days now sought to save his life by sending him away. His ambition, his energy, and his eloquence must have placed his name among those whose lives have most deeply affected, for good or for evil, the destiny of mankind. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). There may well have been a long time between Saul’s conversion and his arrival at Jerusalem. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. Rather, he sought the arrest, trial, conviction, and punishment (with imprisonment the norm and death the ideal, it would seem) of those in Jerusalem. He was required to unite himself to the very people whom he had persecuted for their religion. The expansion is three-fold: (1) The expansion from Christ, to His apostles, to His church, (2) The geographical expansion from Jerusalem to Rome. Saul was suddenly and dramatically converted Saul was also blinded, which identified him with the blindness of the nation Israel of which the Old Testament prophets wrote (see above). Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. . After his conversion, this also took another direction; his zeal for propagating the new faith sprang from a higher motive, and he had the consciousness that this would be for a better influence on the character; but there was still the same earnest desire to bring men to the same faith with himself;—a conformity to be secured by all his powers and endowments, and by every measure of effort which he was capable of putting forth. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Saul was received as a true believer, as a brother.146 The laying on of Ananias’s hands, however, was a distinct act of identification with Saul. Reprinted by permission. They do not understand the gospel well enough. The risen Lord selected Saul out of the group with which he was traveling to hear, to see Him, and to understand His words. 30 But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus. If this passage is profoundly important, it also poses its problems. For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Everyone is born in sin, and every part of their being is affected by sin (intellect, emotions, and will).
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