Chapter Nine — Part Two: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 10/03/2021Foundation Scriptures:
a. Saul, on the road to Damascus to arrest and imprison any Christians he found there, was himself “arrested” by Jesus.
b. He was rendered temporarily sightless and did not eat or drink for three days.
c. Jesus told Saul to go into the city and then he would be told what he needed to do next (Acts 9:6, 22:10).
a. Acts 9:10 KJV — And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
b. Thank God for Holy Ghost people, who make themselves available to hear and obey God.
c. Paul says of Ananias, “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there.” (Acts 22:12 KJV)
d. Acts 9:11a KJV — And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight…
e. In eastern cities, there was usually a main straight road running from east to west, with a bazaar somewhere along its length.
f. Acts 9:11b KJV — …and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth…
g. Many pray for God to do things for them, but fewer pray the necessary prayer to ask what He wants them to do.
h. Up to this point, Saul had been actively resisting the will of God—and now, during the three days he was sightless, Saul had time to reflect on his life and come to a place of humility and full repentance.
i. Step-by-step—as he submits to the authority of the Master and obeys His last command—the next thing is revealed to him.
j. Saul did nothing but pray and wait on God, and the Lord showed him a vision of Ananias.
k. Acts 9:12 KJV — And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
l. It is interesting to note how the Lord leads us.
m. Saul was the one who saw Ananias laying hands on him and praying for him.
n. The Lord tells Ananias of Saul’s vision and that he is now expecting him.
o. Now it is up to Ananias to go and fulfill the Word of the Lord to Saul!
p. How vital it is for us to obey the very specific commands of the Lord—for our disobedience may serve to make Him a liar!
q. And He is NOT a liar!
r. Acts 9:13-14 KJV — Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
s. Notice, that ALL believers are called saints—not merely a select few (chosen by the religious system).
t. The Christian community were well aware of Saul and his evil agenda.
u. Understandably, Ananias had valid concerns about going to pray for him, but the Lord reassures him.
3. Chosen Vessel.
a. When the Lord takes ahold of a life, their past is washed away by The Blood, and now only a glorious future remains.
b. Acts 9:15 KJV — But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.
c. Here, Jesus reveals that Saul is His chosen vessel.
d. He is chosen—elected and selected—with a specific heavenly calling.
e. He is a vessel—an implement—equipped by God for his unique mission.
f. According to the Word of God, the Lord considers every believer to be His chosen and elect.
g. (Rom. 8:33; Col. 3:12; Tit. 1:1; Jn. 15:16; Eph. 1:4; 2:10; 2Th. 2:13).
h. In fact, every person, who chooses God, is chosen by Him to be His elect.
i. (Mt. 11:28-30; 20:16; Jn. 1:12; 3:16-20; 6:37; Eph. 1:4; 2Th. 2:13; Jas. 2:5; 1Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 17:14; 22:17).
j. However, not everyone is chosen and ordained to do the same thing or follow the same path.
k. Each of us needs to find and follow the will and call of God for our lives.
l. Saul/Paul was chosen to bear Jesus’ Name:
- Before the Gentiles.
- Before kings, and those in authority.
- And before the children of Israel.
m. To bear (Greek – bastazō)
n. — to bear; take up (on one’s self); to lift, literally or figuratively—to carry; take up with the hands; endure; declare; sustain; receive; uphold; support.
o. And it was also revealed to him that he would suffer great persecution, trials, and hardships for the Name.
p. Acts 9:16 KJV — For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
q. Show—forewarn; make known.
r. The Lord does not sugar-coat the call—He makes clear the cost of obedience, and the persecution that arises for the sake of His Name and Word.
s. Then we must decide if we will fully commit, or not.
4. Eyes Opened.
a. God humbled Saul on the road—now He shows him His forgiveness and compassion.
b. When the Lord shows mercy and forgives, even the worst of the worst—He desires that we, as His representatives, would do likewise.
c. Ananias obeys God and goes to Saul.
d. Acts 9:17 KJV — And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
e. Ananias shows Saul (previously his enemy) godly compassion—calling him, “brother.”
f. Acts 9:18 KJV — And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
g. Through this Holy Ghost encounter, Saul’s eyes were opened—physically and spiritually.
h. He was saved, baptized in water, and baptized in the Holy Ghost.
i. The conversion of Paul is one of the great wonders of the Church.