The Lord's Chosen Instrument
Comments for Study 11
Memory Verse: 15-16
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Saul's conversion is the second of three personal conversions in a row in Acts. The three conversions are very significant.
1) Three persons each from the three races of men: Ethiopian -Ham, Saul -Shem, and Cornelius -Japheth. Thus the gospel touches the three sons of Noah, all of mankind will receive the good news of the kingdom of God.
2) Three works of the gospel: The Holy Spirit initiated all three, a man of God was sent to all three, and the word of God given to all three. These three are universal to all conversions.
3) All three were baptized.
4) Those who the Lord sent to these people were: Philip -a deacon, Ananias -a laymen, Peter -a leader of the church, a paster and an apostle.
5) Those who the Lord sent to these people were only with them a short time. Thus it was the work of the Lord from initiation to later growth.
6) Three social status is shown: Ethiopian -a servant (slave) though of authority, Paul -middle class Jew though one of authority, Cornelius -a Roman soldier though leader of one hundred men.
I. Saul Meets Jesus (1-9)
>1. What was Saul trying to do? (1-2)
Acts 9:1-2 "Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem."
* "Meanwhile" -Luke had been addressing how the gospel had moved from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, and through the Ethiopian, to the rest of the world. In general the gospel according to Acts was traveling west. However, church history indicates that the apostles went to different parts of the world; i.e. India, Africa, Arabia, etc.
* "Saul" -first introduced at the stoning of Stephen (see study 10).
* Paul talks of his pre-Jesus days in Phil. 3:5-6. He was "circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless."
* Saul was born and raised in very unusual circumstances. He was a Roman citizen by birth, raised in Greek culture (Tarsus was his hometown), and he was a Jew spiritually raised under Gamaliel who was a prominent leader in Jerusalem.
* "was still breathing out murderous threats" -Paul's words and hate were as natural and as often as breathing. He spoke death.
* "against the Lord's disciples" -We are followers of Jesus. When people hate us, it is now us they hate it is Jesus and the way of life he has brought us into.
* "asked him for letters" -As mentioned in study ten, the Jews could do a lot in Jerusalem without Rome finding out or caring because it was a total Jewish city and the regional capital was far off in Caesarea. However, since most of the thousand of believers in Jesus left Jerusalem they would need official permission. Also, Saul was just a junior leader. In order to do what he wanted to do he needed official Jewish approval.
* "synagogues" -The Greek word here is the same as the English, meaning assemblage of persons; especially a Jewish synagogue (the meeting or the place). In its fifty-seven appearances it is translated once as assembly, once as congregation, and the rest as synagogue in the KJV. While in Jerusalem those who confessed Jesus were jailed a killed, elsewhere they were still accepted in the Jewish synagogues. That was all about to change. Soon they would be to be forbidden in a synagogue shortly after the gospel reached a town. This would be the beginning of the change from a Jewish sect to its own congregations which we now call the church.
* "Damascus" -Damascus is about one hundred and fifty miles (200km) north by north-east of Jerusalem. In tat day it was at the center of a vast commercial network and caravan trade routes. Damascus, under Arabia control was the eastern gateway of the Roman Empire. It had been conquered by David and is a part of the Promised Land. With the introduction of the gospel to this city, it was set to go to every part of the northern hemisphere, especially to Arabia and the far east.
* "who belonged to the Way" -Jesus' teachings is different in way of life and action compared to Jewish and Gentile life. So this is what people on the outside called those who followed his teachings.
* "men and women" -What would happen to their poor children? Would he take them too? I don't think he cared about their children. Paul, under the high priest approval was working to create a lot of orphans.
* Have you consider the cost of accepting Jesus as your Lord? The world will be against you. Jesus taught, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62) And one of the parables he taught concerning counting the cost is, "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'" (Luke 14:28-30)
* "to Jerusalem" -So they would be under their total control.
>Why was he so eager to destroy Christians everywhere? (8:1; 26:14)
* Acts 8:1 "And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria."
* Acts 26:14 "We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'"
* Zealousness, blindness, and self-righteousness are a powerful combination to a hurt low self esteem and self mutilating ego when power hungry leaders prevail in any society.
* "It is hard for you to kick against the goads" -Meaning conscience and thus perhaps indicating that he had many doubts about his religions beliefs because he kept the law as best as he could but not perfect as God requires. He was not happy, and the people of the Way were.
* Saul probably saw Jesus and heard his teachings because he was old enough and lived in Jerusalem in his early adult years. He definitely heard Stephen's words and the apostles temple teachings sessions here he was often conducting business as a Pharisee. He knew a lot about the Christian teaching and way of life, but he did not know the most important thing, Jesus is who he claimed to be.
* On the other hand, Saul probably believed that the Christians were destroying the foundations of his culture and people and religion. He believed that they were the reason that Roman still had it ungodly heal on Jerusalem. Human nature is to blame others rather than ourselves.
>2. Describe Saul's encounter with the risen Jesus. (3-6)
Acts 9:3-6 "As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
* "a light from heaven flashed around him" -The encounter probably happened in the middle of the day because people travel in the day for safety. Yet the light shown around Saul was brighter than the sun. The light was the "Shekinah glory". When Jesus was before the Sanhedrin before they condemned him to death Jesus told them "you will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven" (Mk. 15:62) referring to the same glory cloud that surrounded Paul. The cloud of heaven is the bright shining glory of the Lord. Glory is "kabad" in Hebrew meaning a bright sinning cloud surrounding the LORD God. "Light" here is "phos" in Greek meaning self luminance (i.e. fire, sun). The same glory of the Lord came on Mt. Sinai just after the Lord led the Israelites out of Egypt (Ex. 16:7-10, 24:16-17), in desert Tabernacle (Ex. 40:34-38; Lev. 9:6, 23; Num. 14:10), and in the Temple in Jerusalem (1 Ki. 8:10-11; and 2 Ch. 5:14, 7:1-3, Isa. 6:1-4). Jesus going and soon coming in the glory of the Lord is prophecies by Isaiah (Isaiah 4:2-6, 35:1-2; 40:4-5; 59:19-20; 60). Ezekiel also saw the glory of the Lord. (Ez. 1:25-28; 3:12, 22-23; 9:3-4; 10:3-4, 18-22; 11:22-23; 43:1-5; 44:4). Luke 2:9 says the glory of the Lord shown over the shepherds when they angles said Jesus was born. Paul would later call Jesus the "Lord of glory" in 1 Cor. 2:8 and the "radiance of God's glory" in Hebrews 1:3.
* "he fell" -It is assumed he rode a horse and it was probably frightened by the light and jumped up, knocking him off.
* "and heard a voice" -Paul heard Jesus and saw the glory that surrounds Jesus, but he did not see Jesus.
* "Saul, Saul" -Jesus knew Saul's name even though he persecuted him. Jesus knows everyone. A long time ago a self-righteous man looked at me and said, "You know God does not hear sinners prayers." Here, we see that Jesus not only knew what Saul was doing, but he called him by his name even though Saul had made himself Jesus greatest enemy.
* "Why do you persecute me?" -Jesus did not say, "my church" or "my people". Persecuting Christians is against Jesus. Jesus told his apostles, "All men will hate you because of me." (Matt. 10:22)
* "Who are you Lord" -this question shows Saul's guilty heart for it was a silly question. He knew who it was. People often say silly things when they feel guilty and are caught.
* "now get up" -Jesus gave direction.
* "you will be told" -Saul should receive more direction from one of Jesus' disciples.
* "what you must do" -No options for Saul, the self proclaimed enemy of Jesus. If we are not for Jesus, then we are against Jesus. Until one confesses the name of Jesus and believes in his heart that God raise Jesus from the dead, then they are an enemy of God. Therefore, there is no choice for all. When he calls us we must obey. Jesus said, "If you love me you will obey what I command." (John 14:15)
>What happened immediately after seeing the light from the Lord (7-9)
Acts 9:7-9 "The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything."
* "The men traveling with Saul" -Other Jews who hated Jesus. Yet Jesus did not call them.
* "stood there speechless" -Awe, fear, and wonder. They had not been knocked down as Saul was.
* "did not see anyone" -Jesus had not physically returned to the earth. Rather, the vale between this world and heaven was removed. Similar to Stephen seeing Jesus when he was stoned.
* "when he opened his eyes" -The light was so bright that he had to close his eyes. Saw must have wondered what Stephen saw, now when he could have seen it, he could not have seen it for the glory was to bright, and he was to much in the dark.
* "for three days" -Verse 12 gives an indication of what Saul did for three days; he prayed and fasted. He knew he had sinned against God and prayed for forgivenss and mercy.
>What was so special about this experience to Saul? (1 Cor. 15:7-10)
* 1 Corinthians 15:7-10 "Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed."
* "abnormally born" -The other apostles had been with Jesus for over three years, including forty days after his resurrection. Paul had been with the resurrected Jesus for a few seconds. Yet, the length of time didn't matter, the effect was still the same.
* Our encounter with Christ is individual, but the effect must be the same.
II. The Lord's Chosen Instrument (10-19)
>3. What was God's instruction to Ananias? (10-11)
Acts 9:10-11 "In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!" "Yes, Lord," he answered. The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying."
* "Ananias" -Ananias is only mentioned here.
* "in a vision" -Visions are usually during the day when a person is usually praying or napping.
* "The Lord told him" -The first person sent to Saul would be sent directly by Jesus. Jesus works with his people. He calls each alone through the Holy Spirit. Yet, we are not alone. He brings other believers into our lives.
* "Judas" -A Jewish name.
* "Yes Lord" -Ananias was ready to obey.
* "Go" -The Lord Jesus' direction was very specific and short. There was no small talk.
>Why was Ananias Hesitant to go to meet Saul?
Acts 9:12-14 "In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight." "Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."
* "In a vision he has seen an man" -Jesus gave Saul a vision while he was praying during the three days since Jesus visited Saul on the road. Also, Ananias was chosen even before Ananias was told.
* "come and place his hands on him to restore his sight" -Why this way? So Ananias would learn practical faith and love. So Saul would see just how wrong he was about the followers of Jesus.
* "I have heard" -Ananias had not yet seen the persecution himself.
* "all who call on your name" -Jesus is the Lord who interacts with his people.
* Ananias was ready to listen to the Lord; yet when he heard the direction he was amazed and afraid.
>4. What was God's revelation for Saul? (15-16)
Acts 9:15-16 "But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.""
* "Go!" -Jesus command was direct and yet he explains to Ananias the question and thought in Ananias' heart.
* "my chosen instrument" -Why not one of the twelve or one of the seven? God's specific sovereignty. God was preparing Saul as he had prepared the twelve and the seven. Though in a very different way.
* "to carry my name" -All of Jesus' people carry his name, that is we tell it to other people. We are his, called by his name, to give his name, the gospel, to others.
* "the Gentiles" -first.
* "and their kings" -second
* "and before the people of Israel" -The direct descendants of Jacob, even though most were scattered amongst the nations.
* "I will show him" -Perhaps in visions as Paul would be in the Arabian desert (to the east) for three years after this time in Damascus. (23, Gal. 1:17)
* "must suffer for my name." -Paul's calling and mission was great as was his suffering. The greater the mission for Jesus, the greater the suffering. God's good news of Jesus' kingdom is that it is God's power to change the worse in us. Jesus' blood covers a multitude of sin.
>What does this teach us about God? (1 Tim. 1:13-14)
* 1 Timothy 1:13-14 "Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus."
* "blasphemer" -A blasphemer is a person who speaks against the name of God. Saul spoke against the name of Jesus.
* "violent" -He forcefully jailed people, even killing people.
* I don't think there was a worse sinner than Saul with the exception of me. Yet God forgave his sins. Look at history of God's people. Do you think you have done something that God just can't forgive? Consider this: Noah was a drinker, Abraham an idolater, Jacob a deceiver, Moses a murderer, Aaron built an idol, Samson was an adulterer, David was too and murdered to cover it up, Samson committed broke about every commandment given, Peter denied Jesus three times, and Saul killed Jesus' followers. God is in the business (non-profit) of forgiveness. Faith and love are in christ Jesus.
>What does it show about his faith? (17)
Acts 9:17 "Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord--Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here--has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
* "Then Ananias went" -He was afraid at first. Yet with the strong direction of the Lord he obeyed. Trust, Accept, Obey.
* "Placing his hands on Saul" -Jesus had often done this when healing people.
* "Brother Saul" -Brother as a Jew, one called, and one converted.
* "the Lord--Jesus" -Jesus is Lord of all.
* "appeared to you" -Jesus was seen. The vale separating this realm and heaven was opened. Jesus did not step on earth. He will not do so until he returns again. When he does return he will stand on the Mount of Olives, the same place where he left some two thousand years ago.
* "see again" -physically and spiritually.
* "and be filled with the Holy Spirit" -Although Jesus had appeared to Saul the Holy Spirit did not fill Saul. He needed to understand and learn that the people who he had breathed out murderous threats to were obedient to God and would show their love toward him. He needed to personally see that Jesus' people were not at all what he thought they were. He needed to see just how blind he really was. Most people immediately receive the Holy Spirit when they accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, others need deeper conviction and witness by having someone lay their hands on them. The later is rare, but does happen.
>What happened to Saul? (18a-19a)
Acts 9:18-19 "Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus."
* "was baptized" -Jesus had commanded his disciples to baptize believers. Saul meet Jesus personally. Saul accepted Jesus' words. Saul welcomed God's servant. Saul was healed. Saul was given the Holy Spirit. Now he is going to be baptized. Baptism is important step. It is a public confession that they have been cleansed of sin by Jesus' blood, and have joined the community of believers.
* "he regained his strength" -Saul had been fasting. Fasting makes the body weak, though opens up the senses. As long as we are in this weak body, we will eventually have to stop fasting.
* "Saul spend several days with..." -Ananias was Saul's first Bible teacher since conversion, though for a short time. (His study previous to this, though with a prominent Jew, was incomplete.) All believers have an Ananias, the people who God initially use when we first accept Jesus as Lord.
III. Saul's Bold Witness (20-31)
>6. What was Saul trying to do in Damascus? (19b-22)
Acts 19b-22 "Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, "Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?" Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ."
* "At once he began to preach" -Once God sends us the Holy Spirit he can use us to witness to others.
* "he began to preach in the synagogues" -Paul went to the very place where he would have sorted out followers of Jesus to bring back to Jerusalem in chains.
* "Jesus is the Son of God" -Jesus' birth is unique in all of human history. Mary was a virgin. God was Jesus' father. (Luke 1:35)
* "Jesus is the Christ" -Christ is Greek for the Hebrew word Messiah; both meaning "anointed one".
>What does this show about Saul's character?
* "more and more powerful" -He was zealous, full of passion, a man of action.
* "baffling the Jews... proving" -Saul was a man who studied the word of God most of his life. Now that he had the gift of the Holy Spirit, he was a powerful teacher.
* "isn't this the man" -Paul didn't care what other thought of him. He knew this would make it look like he was crazy. He knew that people would oppose him. He knew what people were saying. Yet he did not stop. He would become an outcast, yet he remained faithful Jesus, preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God.
>What obstacles did Saul have to overcome to be a disciple of Jesus? (23-26)
Acts 9:23-26 "After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple."
* "After many days" -The period of time is some three years. Later Paul wrote of this time, "But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus. Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. I saw none of the other apostles--only James, the Lord's brother. I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie. Later I went to Syria and Cilicia. I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only heard the report: 'The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.' And they praised God because of me." (Gal. 1:15-24)
* "the Jews" -his own people.
* "conspired to kill him" -Those not of Jesus will do anything, no matter how even, to stop God's people from preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God. They didn't try to kill him after conversion. Rather they tried to kill him when he obeyed the call to be Jesus' witness.
* "Saul learned of the plan" -Perhaps some of those who were fellow followers of Jesus and still in the synagogue overheard the plot and told Paul.
* "keep close watch at the city gate" -Sometimes when persecution comes, to the point of one's life being threatened, we need to move on. Jesus told his disciples, "And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them." (Mark 6:11)
* "afraid of him... not believing" -At times God's people may misunderstand and even fear a fellow believer in the Lord. We are not all enlightened about each other. At times it is hard to know who are true followers and not. If anyone claims to have discernment, understand that the apostles had more than they, and they did not accept Paul right away, a fellow apostle.
>7. Who helped Saul to be with the disciples of Jesus? (27-28)
Acts 9:27-28 "But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord."
* "But Barnabas" - Jesus did not intervene directly on Paul's behalf. Nor was an angle sent. Rather, Jesus used a fellow believer to help Paul meet the other apostles.
* "speaking boldly in the name of the Lord" -The other apostles didn't discourage Paul's zeal.
>Why did the church send Saul off to Tarsus? (29-30)
Acts 9:29-30 "He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him. When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus."
* "Grecian Jews" -Paul grew up in Tarsus, Greece, modern day Turkey.
* "talked and debated" -Common among Greeks of the time. Debating is a part of their culture. Later in life Paul would teach.
* "Tarsus" -Tarsus is an ancient city and in Paul's day it was the capital of the Roman providence of Cilicia.
* "sent him off to Tarsus" -Paul's account after the time of Tarsus in Galatians 2:1-3 states, "Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders, for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain. Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek."
>What was the situation of the Christian church in Judea and Samaria? (31)
Acts 9:31 "Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord."
* "enjoyed a time of peace" -Since saul was not converted, and since the church had scattered the attack against it from the Jews stopped.
* Stephen had prayed, "Father forgive them." Saul was there. The Lord heard his prayer.
* "strengthened and encouraged by the Holy Spirit" -Anytime of peace is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit.
* "living in the fear of the Lord" -When I was a new believer I wondered what fear of the Lord meant. "How can anyone fear a loving God," I asked. Then in my chapter-by-chapter daily reading of the Bible, starting in Matthew, I came across Galatians 5:19-21, "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." Jesus also said, "But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him." (Luke 12:5) Perhaps your thinking, "Yes, but I am saved by grace, and therefore am not fear." Remember Jesus' words, "That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." (Luke 12:47-48) That is why Paul later wrote, "Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." (Phil. 2:12-13)
IV. God Blessed Peter's Ministry (32-43)
>8. How did God use Peter's ministry to plant faith in the risen Christ? (32-35)
Acts 9:32-35 "As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. "Aeneas," Peter said to him, "Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat." Immediately Aeneas got up. All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord."
* "As Peter traveled about the country" -We can only assume that this happened after Paul's conversion, but before he was sent to Tarsus for Paul wrote in Galatians 2:7-10, "On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews. For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews. All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do."
* "Lydda" -Thirty miles (20km) north-west of Jerusalem.
* "Jesus Christ heals you" -Peter did not bring attention to himself. He did not seek self glory or honor. He sought to honor Jesus.
* "turn to the Lord" -repentance is turning away from sin and turning to the Lord.
>Who was Dorcas? (36-37)
Acts 9:36-37 "In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room."
* "Joppa" -Thirty-five miles (22km) north-west of Jerusalem, originally assigned to the tribe of Dan.
* Peter imitated Jesus when he raised Jairus' daughter. (Mark 5:35-43)
>What was the nature of God's miracle through Peter? (38-41)
* Acts 9:38-41 "Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, "Please come at once!" Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, "Tabitha, get up." She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive."
* Peter did this for the same reason Jesus raised Jairus' daughter, people kept asking. Peter was filled with compassion and moved by their faith as Jesus was.
>What was the fruit of the miracle through Peter? (42)
Acts 9:42 "This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord."
* "believed in the Lord" -Not believe in Peter.
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