The text for this lesson is Acts 9:1–31.
- Through the Law, we are crushed by the weight of our sin, and like Paul, we are enemies of God, unable to save ourselves. As God revived Paul through Ananias, He revives us through the proclamation of His Word and the administration of His Sacraments, granting forgiveness, life, and salvation to all who believe.
- Law: Because I am a sinner, I fail to stand up for Christ in the world, and I fear persecution.
- Gospel: As a member of Christ’s Body, the Church, I receive God’s love and forgiveness in Christ and am strengthened in faith through His Word and Sacraments to live as His child, reflecting His love to the world.
- Are you a lifelong Christian and church member? If so, what can you learn from someone who is converted later in life? Or if you are a church member who was converted to faith in Christ later in life, how can your conversion story glorify God and strengthen other Christians?
- We first meet Paul in Acts 7:58 as he stands watch over the execution of Stephen by stoning. In this account, he is still called by his Jewish name, Saul. (It isn’t until Acts 13:9 that the Bible refers to him as Paul.) What does Paul later tell us about himself in Philippians 3:4–6? What do we learn about him in Acts 8:1–3? How does he expand his program of persecution against the Church in Acts 9:1–2?
- In Acts 9:2, early Christianity is called “the Way.” From where does this name come, and what does it mean in the Book of Acts? See John 14:6; Acts 19:9, 23; and 24:14, 22.
- What blinded Saul (Acts 9:3, 8–9), and what purpose does this blindness serve in order to convert him? See John 9:1–5, 35–41. What is the significance of the “three days” of Saul’s blindness and fasting (in Acts 9:9)?
- How does Ananias react when the Lord tells him to go help Saul get his sight back (Acts 9:13–14)? What unique calling—vocation—does the Lord have in store for Saul (vv. 15–16)? What happens to Saul when Ananias comes to him (vv. 17–19a)?
- Read Acts 9:20–31. How does Saul begin to fulfill his vocation given to him in verses 15–16? The Christians in Jerusalem are afraid of him at first (v. 26). What does Barnabas do to help, and why is this important (v. 27)?
- Today’s Bible story shows just how closely the doctrine of justification and the Church’s mission are tied together. How does the story of Saul’s conversion teach us the Church’s central doctrine of justification (the Gospel)? How does it teach us the Church’s mission? How can we keep these two things together?