In Damascus, Jesus encounters both Saul and Ananias, but in different ways, bringing them together and changing, transforming them in the process.
- Saul’s transformation: from being fully devoted to extinguishing the church, to being fully devoted to proclaiming that Jesus is Lord.
- Ananais’ transformation: from merely trusting in the sovereignty and purposes of God to experiencing the power of God’s sovereignty himself, to play a part in God’s work to bring even His enemies for Himself, for His purposes.
- Through Ananais’ obedient and willing heart to follow Christ, he had the honour of playing a part in God’s kingdom work.
In two visions, with specific directions, the Lord brings Saul and Ananias together, reassuring both parties of His will and calling upon them.
The story of Saul and Ananais is the story of the church.
- We need to embody the transformation of both Saul and Ananais because our life is an embodiment of Saul and Ananais’ situation.
- we are all sinners and in need of Jesus’ grace.
- We all need forgiveness and we all need to forgive and give grace to others.
From Saul’s story:
- We know we are great sinners. As a result of knowing how great of a sinner we are, we sometimes feel guilty, and we can’t help but sometimes doubt if God’s grace is enough.
- But the truth is, Jesus came to save us, the sinners. He died for us willing so that we may be forgiven. No matter how great of a sinner we are, we have been forgiven. It is By the precious blood of Jesus Christ, His death on the cross that paid the price for our sins. By God’s grace, we have been saved.
- Paul is now the proof. He is the living proof of how as the foremost of sinners, the grace of God, is trustworthy and enough.
- We have been forgiven and are called by Him, to Him. For His purposes. We no longer live for ourselves but now live for the gracious God who has redeemed us and fully forgiven us.
From the story of Ananais.
- As devoted Christians, we still all have someone we may not get along well with. And the world tells us It’s reasonable for us to want to not have anything to do with them.
- But like Ananais, we need to be generous and gracious, to these people. Even those who threaten us as Christians. Ananias actually shows us how we should welcome an enemy who comes to faith.
- We can too also welcome and help out an enemy. However, it takes for us to have faith in God to Believe and trust that He can and Will transforms lives, To know and believe that He can change hearts.
God’s work in the lives of Saul and Ananais is the story of the church
- It is the story of receiving and extending grace.
- We cannot receive and not extend, but cannot extend before receiving
We are People called by God to turn to God in order to receive his Grace. Once we receive his grace, we are to extend this grace to others.
When we have a posture/ have a willingness to receive, we overflow from within with God’s grace and have the capacity to extend.
- All of us, are a living testimony of the grace of God.
God is actively calling His chosen people. He is calling all of us together, as a community of both receivers and extenders of grace, to be His Church.