Acts + Letters Lesson 6 Day 5

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Acts 9:19b-30

Questions

Saul is now one of the redeemed.

In the three days of blindness and deprivation, Saul was dying to himself. It would only be after the three days of dying that he would receive resurrection life from Jesus. (Guzik)

12. a. Reactions to the news about Saul —

  • “Isn’t this he who in Jerusalem made havoc of those who called on this name? And he had come here intending to bring them bound before the chief priests!” (vs 21 WEB)
  •  When Saul returned to Jerusalem (three years later) and tried to connect with the disciples, “they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.” (vs 26 WEB)
  • Barnabas defended Saul and took him to the apostles. (vs 27) “Barnabas simply extended the love of Jesus to Saul, and as Paul would write later, love believes all things (1 Corinthians 13:8).”
  • The Hellenists* looked for an opportunity to kill Saul because they took issue with his bold preaching and disputes against them. (vs 29)

The Hellenists were Jewish immigrants who had lived in Alexandria, Greece, and in Rome. They would have learned Greek culture and language as well as Hebrew. (Jewish Wars, Josephus, Antiquities xx, xi, 2)

b. See above

Acts 9:23-25 may cover a span of three years.

Galatians 1:15-20

15 But when it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through his grace 16 to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I didn’t immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia. Then I returned to Damascus.

18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Peter, and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But of the other apostles I saw no one except James, the Lord’s brother. 20 Now about the things which I write to you, behold,[a]before God, I’m not lying. (Galatians 1:15-20 WEB)

13. Saul’s converts/disciples help him escape death.

Some of the Jews (in Damascus?) wanted to kill Saul but he found out about it. His disciples let him down through the wall in a basket because the conspirators watched the gates all day and night. (verse 25)

I don’t know anyone suffering persecution. We all have challenges from time to time, and we can pray for each other, offer encouragement, help financially if we are able, prepare a meal, babysit, etc.

14. We suffer painful and difficult times because of sin.

Disobedience to God brought a curse on the earth;

But obedience to God brings a great reward in this life and in eternity. Paul writes,

However, I consider those things that were gain to me as a loss for Christ. Yes most certainly, and I count all things to be a loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ Philippians 3:7-8 WEB

Persecution

Saul suffered for the same reasons he once persecuted others. Those who wanted to kill him were deceived and believed they were doing God’s will.

Free will

God gave us free will, and we often choose to damage ourselves making harmful choices and each other by being unkind, gossiping, lying, stealing, or worse.

The Fall of Man

The pain of childbirth and raising children

The sweat, pain, and difficulties of making a living

Weeds, thorns, stinging and biting animals and insects

Droughts, floods, earthquakes, storms

Our Hope

For our citizenship is in heaven, from where we also wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ who will transform the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working by which he is able even to subject all things to himself. (Philippians 3:20-21 WEB)

That’s why we pray, “YOUR Kingdom come. YOUR will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10 WEB

Jesus said, “I have told you these things, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble; but cheer up! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 WEB

But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly [authority] places [sphere] in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus; Ephesians 2:4-7 WEB

 


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My answers to BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts + Letters of the Apostles lesson 6 day 5