There was this guy, who hated any and all, who had any association with, the Way, people who were a threat to Judaism.
There was a movement sweeping the country encouraging Jews to abandon Judaism. And join this new sect founded by Jew, whom they and the Romans had murdered. And the way they killed Him, he was certain that would put an end to this troubling sect.
To his amazement that sect was becoming more of a threat to his nation. Especially their religious ideologies and practices. So he determined something had to be done. Though he had the authority to deal with this bunch of terrorists independently, he thought it best to get the support of the entire ruling authorities. He successfully got his writs for arrest to bring those of the Way, whether men or women to Jerusalem for trial.
As he journeyed, Saul was approaching Damascus. Where a synagogue was located, that was notorious for being disrupted by agents of the Way.
When suddenly, a light shone from heaven. Causing Saul to fall to the ground. Hearing an unfamiliar voice asking, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Shocked, Saul asked, “Who are you?” The voice replied, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Trembling and astonished, he said, “Lord what do you want me to do?” Jesus responded, “Go into the city, and you shall be told what you must do.”
Saul’s associates, who journeyed with him stood speechless hearing a voice but seeing no one. So the contingent made their way to Damascus. Saul was there three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
Now there was a certain disciple of the Way named Ananias. And Jesus came to him in a vision. Instructing him to go to a street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarus. He is praying. And in a vision, he has seen one called Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.
Ananias shocked said, “Lord, Saul is dangerous, and I have heard much about him. How he has harmed your saints in Jerusalem.” Jesus responded, “Go for he is a chosen vessel of Mine before the Gentiles and the children of Israel.”
And Ananias went his way, and entered the house; and laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came. Has sent me that you may receive your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.
Immediately he preached Christ in the synagogues that He is the son of God. As Saul continued to regain his strength, he confused the Jews at Damascus by proving that this Jesus was the Christ. And as could be expected, the Jew plotted to kill him. Texts: selected verses from Acts chapter nine.
And, so it is, the ones who once admired you, can later plot to kill you. It’s called the way of the world and the cost of discipleship.
The process continues today, nevertheless, we are commanded to be His fragrance among those, who are being saved, and among those, who are perishing. Text: 2 Corinthians 2:15-16. And with this assurance, To God our Savior, who only is wise. Be glory and majesty, dominion and power both now and forever. Amen. Text: Jude 25.
What you don’t know won’t kill you some say. When, applied to faith it’s a misnomer on a grand scale. The Old Testament was written primarily for the Jews with covenant promises, and the announcement of their promised Messiah. Along with various other prophecies. We know it as the dispensation of the law. The law carried over into the New Testament ending with the first eight chapters of the book of Acts. Beginning with Acts 9:15-23.
A rather condensed history, so those wanting a complete history, and why some refer to Acts, as the Acts of the Church, discovery is available. That doesn’t mean that that the preceding scriptures are irrelevant. They are not. The primary difference is the transition from law to grace.
For those interested about learning more about this transition, scheduling can be accomplished through the Contact Us link on my Home page. Living room conversations work well, as do other forums where people can gather.
Pastors get sick, vacation, retire or move on. Creating a temporary vacancy. This Padre duly ordained can fill that vacancy. Or perhaps take a Sunday school class, or an adult study group on a journey to explore topic of interest but seldom explored. Found the same way, as noted above.
CfS is a church without walls, and therefore, without membership.