Friday, December 09, 2011

Bible Study: The Acts of the Holy Spirit - A Study of the book of Acts - Chapter 9

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Acts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. Stay strong. Live in the Spirit. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming…


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 9 of the book of Acts. Read it with the thought in mind that this is the first display of the power of the Holy Spirit working through man – aside from Christ, that is. Imagine what the Spirit can do through you if you let Him! Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

9:1-9 – Paul shares his testimony of this event in Acts 26:9-18 and Galatians 1:11-18.

9:1-2 – Saul was deeply committed to the persecution of Jesus’ followers.

9:3-6 – Saul needed a dramatic conversion because he was so bent on the destruction of the church. Nothing less would have turned him.

9:4 – whatever happens to the disciples, Jesus takes personally.

9:5 – Saul immediately recognizes the voice from heaven as God!

9:7-8 – Saul’s companions’ purpose was to lead the blind Saul to Damascus. This calling was important.

9:8 – Saul arrived in Damascus.

9:9 – Saul was fasting.

9:15-16 – Jesus tells Ananias that Saul is chosen to spread the gospel to the gentiles, their kings and then the Jews and that he will suffer for His name.

9:17 – Ananias submitted to Jesus and went to Saul to heal his eyes despite his fear of Saul. He even calls Saul “brother”, an indication of Saul’s acceptance into God’s family. Saul is filled with the Holy Spirit so that he will have the power and strength to do God’s work and endure suffering.

9:18 – scales fall from Saul’s eyes, representing his old life and the way he used to see things.

9:19-20 – Saul learned from the disciples he was planning to arrest! Then, he immediately began to preach in the synagogue.

9:20 – imagine the believers’ first response to Saul’s arrival. Would they run and hide? Stare open-mouthed in disbelief?

9:21 – these people were astonished because they knew Saul’s reputation and never expected to hear him preach.

9:23-25 – Saul learned of a plot by the Jews to kill him. Which Jews? Those he had persecuted? Probably not. He had been preaching here for three years (see Galatians 1:17-18). More than likely, they now trusted he was a genuine believer. This plot was political. See 2 Corinthians 11:32. The governor wanted Saul arrested. So, Saul’s followers lowered him over the gate in a basket.

9:23 – Saul’s persecution by the Jews solidified his witness.

9:26-28 – Saul went to Jerusalem and spent 15 days with Peter (and James). See Galatians 1:18-19.

9:26-27 – Barnabas had to vouch for Saul since the apostles didn’t believe in his motives. I want to be a Barnabas – one who doesn’t hold someone’s past against them or treat others suspiciously.

9:27 – for an introduction to Barnabas, see Acts 4:36-37.

9:29-30 – Saul talked with the Grecian (Hellenistic) Jews, who tried to kill him, so the disciples took Saul to Caesarea and shipped him off to Tarsus. These Grecian Jews may have been the same men who made accusations against Stephen. Saul may have sought them out thinking that he may be able to get through to them because of his former behavior.

• The book of Acts teaches us much about what the Holy Spirit is capable of doing through a mortal life. What have you learned about how He wants to work through you today? What will you do to give up a bit of control to Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

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