The Apostle Paul: His Personal Profile
- Named after Israel’s First King: Saul was his Hebrew name; Paul was his Greek name.
- From the tribe of Benjamin
- He was a Roman citizen, being born about the time of Christ in the province of Cilicia in the city of Tarsus.
- He was born about the time of Christ’s birth
- He was educated under Rabbi Gamaliel
- He was a Pharisee…the strictest Jewish sect.
- He despised Christian believers, known as “the way.”
A Life Headed in the Wrong Direction v.1-3
Saul’s Life Mission
“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day. I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, as the high priest and the whole council of elders can bear me witness. From them I received letters to the brothers, and I journeyed toward Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished.”
Acts 26:4-5, 9-11
“My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among my own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I have lived as a Pharisee”…“I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.”
The Great Moment of Change! V.4-19
God gets Saul’s attention v.3-4
Divine Q and A—Why? Who? What? v.5-9
Evidence that Confirms the Story v.7-16
Dr. Luke, the author of the book of Acts, leaves us with great proofs that the conversion of Paul was a real experience.
- Paul’s testimony recorded three times in Acts (9:1-19; 22:3-21; 26:2-23)
- The testimony of his companions v.7-9
- His physical condition v.10 Paul was left blind after the encounter with Christ and he did not eat either because he was so shaken by the experience or as an expression of repentance.
- The visions described by Luke v. 3, 10-16
What happened to Paul and how he responded V.17-18
What do we learn?
Salvation is the great work of God!
“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Jesus can reach the hardest heart.
1 Timothy 1:13-14
“…though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
The forgiveness of God is powerful enough to change the most sinful life.
1 Timothy 1:15-16
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
“And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”