Daily Truth Bible Study Acts 9:1-21 part 1
Daily Truth Bible Study Acts 9:1-21 Bible Study Bible Study Bible Study
Verses 1 & 2 tell us where Saul was coming from mentally; he was enraged against the followers of Jesus. He played the political/religious system by getting permission to capture and imprison them. What was the crime of those he pursued? They were ‘of the Way’ or followers of Christ.
So, as he walked along the road toward Damascus, he was torn about Jesus and was considering His life intellectually? Not at all! He was enraged against the followers of Christ and desired to arrest them. Being converted to Christianity was the LAST thing on his mind! He had no plans whatsoever to become a follower of Jesus.
Verse 3 says that a bright light suddenly shone around him. This was no focused beam of light from the sun peering through clouds. This light came from Heaven. Saul fell on the ground and heard the voice of the Lord say, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
Saul was totally overcome yet he was unclear about the source of the light and the voice…of the presence of the One who had overcome him. Verse 5 records him saying, “Who are you, Lord?”
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting…” said the Lord. Undoubtedly crushed by the power of the presence of the Lord as well as the reality of the truth of Jesus as Lord, Paul, trembling and astonished, asks, ” What do you want me to do?”
At this point, the study of this text can go off into speculation and even absurdity. I have heard it said that during this instance, Saul considers Christ and decides to accept Him as Savior. I see no grounds for this, however. I see Jesus selecting Saul to become His! Jesus is in control, not Saul. Saul does not consider the information about Jesus, he does not fill out a communication card, he does not walk down an aisle, he gets blasted by the sovereign election of God!
John MacArthur, in his commentary on the Book of Acts, says that although God does not always work this dramatically, He always initiates the contact in salvation. References can be found in several verses (John 6:37, 44; 10:27-29, 17:2,6,9,11,24; 2nd Cor 4:6; Phil 1:29; James 1:18).
Man is not sovereign in his decision to ‘accept’ Christ. People accept and follow Christ as the result of being saved by God’s sovereign grace. This is a very important fact of Bible doctrine. If a person misses this fact, they may drift and waver into all sorts of man-centered methods and theories aimed to entice and please the flesh of man in order to seek man’s assent for God to be God. Do not laugh. It is happening all around you as we speak.
Church growth theories, seeker concepts, and entertainment megaplex churches all seek to gain man’s acceptance of God by enticing him to intellectually agree that God is good and can improve some area of man’s life or fill some felt-need. This is far from what the Bible teaches, however. Join me for part 2 and we will continue to discussion.