After his conversion, Saul must deal with the reality of his past sin for the rest of his life. How does the gospel offer hope to those who struggle with guilt? If you carry guilt from past sin, what steps can you take to find freedom and forgiveness in Christ?
God asks Ananias to risk his safety for the sake of the gospel, and we also must be willing to risk things in order to advance God’s kingdom. Can you think of a time when you risked something for God (a relationship, resources, a job)? What might God be calling you to risk for him now?
When Jesus confronts Saul on the road to Damascus, he asks, “why are you persecuting me?” Christ identifies with the Church to such an extent that to harm a believer is to harm Jesus.
Although the circumstances of Saul’s conversion are disorienting, God’s grace is evident in his discipline and pursuit of Saul’s soul.
When God asks Ananias to go to Saul, he gives no assurance of his safety, and Ananias must be willing to risk his life in obedience to God.
Ultimately, Saul suffers greatly for the sake of the gospel, and God will use a “thorn in the flesh” to keep Saul dependent on him. We too must realize that suffering is part of the Christian life.
As Saul begins preaching the gospel, he is persecuted by the very people he used to lead. He also encounters resistance from fellow believers. However, the apostles humble themselves and see God is using Saul to advance his mission.
Scripture: Acts 9:1-31