Home Search Contact Us



No claims of absolute originality are made for this material. As one man said, "I milk a lot of cows, but I churn my own butter." Please use these sermons as the Lord leads, but nothing on this site may be used for profit without my expressed, written permission!




Acts 9:1-9


Intro:  Without question, one of the greatest Christians who ever lived was a man by the name of Paul.  Paul suffered for the cause of Christ.  He abandoned a life of luxury and prestige to preach the Gospel of grace.  He walked away from friends, family and fortune to go with Jesus and tell others about the Lord.  Paul was a faithful believer, a powerful preacher, and a man used more than any other in his generation, or in any generation since.  But, Paul knew better than anyone that without Jesus Christ he was none of those things.  Listen to his own testimony in 1 Cor. 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”  Paul knew that his life, and everything that had come from his life, was the result of God’s grace working in him and through him.

      Our text records the day when Paul was apprehended by grace.  Grace had been after him for quite some time, but on the day described in these verses, Paul was captured once and for all by the marvelous, matchless, glorious grace of God.  He was saved, secured and sent out to serve a new Master.  I want to look into these verses for a few minutes today.  I want to try to preach about The Majesty Of Saving Grace.  I want to show what grace does in every life it touches.  May the Lord help us to understand The Majesty Of Saving Grace.


I.                                  GRACE CLAIMED HIS LIFE

A.  v. 1-2  In Spite Of His Deeds – Ill. What Paul was like before he came to know Jesus.  He was a staunch Jew who did everything in his power to destroy Christianity, Acts 7:58; 1 Tim. 1:13. But, in spite of this, God loved him and saved him!


(Ill. A story is told of Peter Miller, a plain Baptist preacher living in  Ephrata, Pennsylvania in the days of the Revolutionary War. Near his church lived a man who maligned the pastor to the last degree. The man became involved in treason and was arrested and sentenced to be hanged. The preacher started out on foot and walked the all seventy miles to Philadelphia to plead for the man's life. Washington heard his plea, but he said, "No, your plea for your friend cannot be granted." "My friend!" said the preacher. "He is not my friend! He is the worst enemy I have." "What!" said Washington, "you have walked nearly seventy miles to save the life of an enemy? That puts the matter in a different light. I will grant the pardon.")


      This is the essence of grace.  It affords us God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.  Grace has been described as “the unmerited love and favor of God for undeserving lost sinners.”  In spite of all we are and all we have done, God still extends grace to lost sinners.

Here are the facts:

1.  We are all sinners – Rom. 3:10-23; Gal. 3:22

2.  We all deserve to go to Hell – Rom. 3:23; Psa. 9:17

3.  We are dead in our sins and cannot get to God – Eph. 2:1

4.  Yet, God comes to where we are and He extends His saving grace into our lives – Eph. 2:1 – (Ill. The Gadarene Demoniac, Mark 5; Ill. The woman at the well – John 4)


B.  v. 5  In Spite Of His Desires – Paul had no thoughts of being saved.  In fact, he was doing everything in his power to destroy the Gospel.  Despite what he wanted, God came to him anyway!  In fact, Paul had been part of God’s plan from eternity past.  Look at what the Lord tells Ananias in verse 15.  God had determined save Paul before the world was ever formed, and He worked out that plan in time.  By the way, the name “Saul” means “Desired.”  Just as Ancient Israel had “desired” the have the first biblical Saul as their king; God “desired” to have this Saul as His son!


      (Ill. If we were left to our own desires, we would never come to God.  We would never turn to Him unless He came for us first, John 6:44.  Our path would lead us straight to Hell’s flames, Pro. 16:25.  I praise His name that He does not care about our desires, but He comes to us and draws us unto Himself.)


      (Ill. Don’t give up on that loved one or that friend you are praying for.  You never know what the Lord will break into the dead of that heart and draw them unto Himself.)


C.  v. 5  In Spite Of His Defiance – The word “pricks” in verse 5 means “to sting” and it refers to a goad, which is a stick with an iron point used to prod stubborn animals along.  Paul was doing his own thing, and God was goading his heart.  God was making life uncomfortable for Paul and he was fighting what God was doing in his heart and life.  But, God ignored the defiance of Paul and continued to goad him until he was ready to surrender to the will of God.


      (Ill. Man stands and lifts a defiant fist toward Heaven and tells God to mind His Own business.  But, I praise His name that He does not listen!  When He sets the eyes of His grace on a life, He will not be deterred in His quest to see that person saved.  I am grateful that He did not give up on me!  He kept calling, drawing, convicting and working to bring me to the place of salvation!)


D.  v. 1  In Spite Of His Devotion – Paul was a man who was absolutely committed to his way of life.  He possessed all the right credentials and he lived life on his terms, Phil. 3:4-6.  But, God was able to turn Paul’s heart toward glory and bring him to faith in Jesus.


      (Ill. Lost men live their lives with a blind, mindless devotion to their way of life.  They think they are in control of their destinies.  They actually believe that they are living life on their own terms.  In truth, they are prisoners of their passion and mere drones of the devil.  They do what he leads them to do, John 8:44; Eph. 2:1-3.  Thank God, the Lord is able to bring light into the darkness of the lost man’s heart.  He is able to show him the foolishness of the life he is living and draw him, by grace, to a new life in Jesus.

            Regardless of where a person finds themselves today, God can reach into their life by grace.  He can claim them and save them.  That is the majesty of God’s grace! )


 II.                              GRACE CHANGED HIS LIFE

A.  The Direction Of His Life Was Changed – Saul of Tarsus was a man totally devoted to practicing, defending and expanding Judaism.  Paul, on the other hand, was a man who looked on all the achievements of his past life as nothing and who wanted nothing more than to be totally sold out to and for Jesus Christ, Phil. 3:7-11.  He forsook everything and went after Jesus!


      (Ill. That is the power of grace!  Not only does it claim us for God; it totally changes every area of life.  The old sinner who comes to faith in Jesus is transformed by the grace of God into a brand new saint, for the glory of God, 2 Cor. 5:17.  Ill. He can take a ….. and make a ….. out of that life!

            The Rev. John Bradford, who was a minister in England in the 1500’s and who was martyred in 1555, saw some criminals being taken out to their execution said, “But for the grace of God there goes John Bradford.”  He knew firsthand the awesome truth that Jesus Christ and His grace makes the difference in life!  He and He alone is the life-changer!  Has He made that change in you?)


B.  The Devotion Of His Life Was Changed – At one point, the Law of God had been the central focus of Paul’s life.  But, when he met Jesus, the Lord became the centerpiece of Paul’s life.  He became devoted to following and serving the Lord Jesus, Ill. Acts 9:20-31.  Jesus became the theme of Paul’s life, Phil. 1:21.


      (Ill.  One of the most amazing aspects of grace is how it radically changes the lives it touches.  Testimony after testimony has been given about how lives have been changed by the power of grace.  Things that held the heart lose their grip when a sinner meets Jesus.  Sin, the world and the desires of the flesh lose their power when a heart finds itself in the grip of grace.  On the other side of that, things that held no interest for the sinner come alive when grace changes that life.

            That is the essence of the salvation grace provides.  It changes everything!  It makes the redeemed individual a “new creature,” 2 Cor. 5:17.  It allows them to die out to the old life of sin and to come alive to a new life in Jesus, Col. 3:1-17.  Thank God for life-changing grace!)


C.  The Destination Of His Life Was Changed – Paul was sure that his devotion to the Jewish religious system would result in him going to Heaven when he died.  However, Paul would never have believed it if you had told him that he was actually headed to Hell.  But, when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, everything changed.  Not just Paul’s life, but his eternal destination was also changed forever.


      (Ill. We live in a day when many people do not believe in Hell any longer.  But, that does not change the fact that all those who do not know Jesus are still headed to Hell, 2 Thes. 1:8-9.  But, friend, when you come to know Jesus as your Savior, you are instantly taken off the road to Hell and transplanted onto the road to Glory!  The hope of Heaven and the promise of Heaven become yours when you meet Him, John 14:1-6; Rev. 21-22!)


      (Ill. Have the Direction, Devotion and Destination of your life been changed?  If so, then you know something about the Majesty of God’s grace!)


III.                            GRACE COMPLETED HIS LIFE

A.  Grace Provided All That He Lacked – Paul possessed many things in his life.  He has power, prestige, position, prosperity, popularity and promise.  But, he lacked the most important things of all.  When he found himself in the grip of grace, he found out that grace could give him everything he lacked.

1.  He Had Religion, But He Lacked Redemption – Paul kept the Law as perfectly as a man could do it, Phil. 3:6, but he was not saved.  In fact, he referred to himself as “the chief of sinners,” 1 Tim. 1:15.  But, when he met Jesus, he could claim as his all the things that his religion had not been able to provide, 1 Cor. 1:18; he could boldly say that he was “saved.”

            Friends, being religious and doing religious things will never save your soul!  Religion will not get it done!  You must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  You must come to Him through faith in His shed blood, 1 Pet. 1:18-19.  You see, it is not about what you can do,; it is all about what He did when He died for you and rose again from the dead!


(Ill. Shortly after sunrise on January 2, 2000, a noose was placed around the neck of seventeen-year-old Morteza Moqaddam. He killed a fellow Iranian in Tehran on December 13 after a quarrel about smoking in public. Now, the portable gallows was standing just thirty feet from where the crime had taken place and a large crowd was assembled for the execution. With hands cuffed and tears streaming down his ashen face, the teenager waited for the final signal to end his short life. To his utter surprise, the victim’s father, Ali Mohebbi, exercised his privilege under Iran’s Islamic legal system and granted the boy forgiveness. Just seconds before being hanged, he was extended grace rather than justice. The killer’s mother collapsed under the strain and cried out, “I will never forget as long as I live how he gave me my son’s life back.” After receiving clemency, Moqaddam was ushered away from the gallows in an ambulance that was waiting to take his body to the morgue. State-run television ran footage of the teenager repeatedly thanking the father whose son he killed. Like this young man from Iran, we are all guilty of sin and worthy of spiritual execution. But God has “commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).


2.  He Had Service, But He Lacked Salvation – Paul was doing his best to serve God.  He thought that he was doing all the right things.  He was a hard worker and he was active, Phil. 3:4-6, but he was still a lost sinner until he met Jesus!  But, when he met Jesus, he received all the things he had never been able to earn by all his hard, religious effort.

            The same is true in your life and mine.  We can never “earn” or “deserve” salvation by our good deeds.  We are saved through “by grace through faith” alone, Eph. 2:8-9.  We could never work hard enough or be good enough to accomplish our own salvation.  The standard is too high, Matt. 5:20.  When we come to Jesus by faith, we can receive freely through grace that which we could never earn by our works, Rev. 22:17; John 7:37.


3.  He Had Honor, But He Lacked Hope – Saul was the rising star of Judaism.  He was the apple of every Jew’s eye.  But, deep within his heart, he knew something was missing, verse 5.  His response was to try harder; to attack the church and to try and eliminate the name of Jesus.  He had no real hope in his life.  But, when he met Jesus that day, everything changed.  He was made the partaker of a “living hope,” 1 Pet. 1:3. (Ill. After Paul meets Jesus, he uses the word “hope” 39 times!  He had something that he did not have before! 1 Tim. 1:1; Titus 1:2; 2:13; 3:7.)

            You may have everything this world can give a person, but if you do not know Jesus, then you have no hope beyond this life.  But, if you do know Him, then you have a hope that can never fade!  You have the hope of a home in glory and of an eternity spent in the presence of the Lord.  If you know Jesus, you may not have much in this world, but you have hope.  And hope is worth more than money and all money can by!  Do you have hope?)


(Ill. In an English church some years ago, the pastor was overcome by the sight at his altar. An ex-convict was kneeling beside a judge who sat on the bench of England’s highest court. In a strange twist of providence, this judge had been the one who handed down a seven-year prison sentence to the man now kneeling at his side. In a conversation after the service, the judge asked the pastor if he had noticed who was praying next to him. The pastor acknowledged this remarkable sight. The judge then stated, “What a miracle of grace!” The pastor agreed and made reference to the criminal’s conversion. “But I was not referring to him, I was thinking of myself,” noted the judge. He went on to explain, “That man knew how much he needed Christ to save him from his sins. But look at me. I was taught from childhood to live as a gentleman, to keep my word, to say my prayers, to go to church. I went through Oxford, took my degrees, was called to the bar, and eventually became a judge. Pastor, nothing but the grace of God could have caused me to admit that I was a sinner on a level with that convict. It took much more grace to forgive me for my pride and self-righteousness, to get me to admit that I was no better in the eyes of God than the convict whom I sent to prison.” Grace is necessary for all sinners to find forgiveness, regardless of how they, or the world, picture their deeds.)


B.  Grace Provided All That He Had Longed For – Everything Paul was striving for a religious sinner was given to him in abundance when he became a partaker of God’s great grace.

1.  Grace Provided Faith – Before, Paul had believed in the power of the Law to save him.  Now, he has faith in Jesus.  (Ill. Friend, faith in Jesus alone is what brings salvation, 1 John 5:12.)

2.  Grace Provided Fellowship – Paul believed that his religious works would somehow make him closer to God.  But, in reality, his activates were driving him farther away from God because he was fighting against God.  When he met Jesus, everything changed!  He became a child of God and was brought to a place of closeness and fellowship, 1 John 1:7; 1 John 3:1-3; Rom. 8:15.  (Ill. We need to know that we will never please the Lord by our good deed, Isa. 64:6.  But, we obtain fellowship with God through His Son Jesus, 1 Tim. 2:5.)

3.  Grace Proved Fulfillment – In spite of all he had done to satisfy his soul, Paul still had a spiritual itch that he could not scratch.  All the things he had done and was doing left him empty and unfulfilled spiritually.  But, when he met Jesus, he was forever satisfied.  Before he was saved, Paul tried everything to find happiness, satisfaction and contentment for his soul.  After he met Jesus, he was satisfied just to know Him, Phil. 3:7-9, and to know that he would be with Jesus when this life ended, Phil. 1:23; 2 Tim. 1:12.  (Ill. Are you trying to scratch a spiritual itch that you can’t reach?  Friend, you will never get it done by yourself.  You need Jesus.  If you will come to Him, He will give you rest from your labors, Matt. 11:28; and peace in your heart, Phil. 4:7.  He will give you a spiritual fulfillment that you could never produce by your own works.)


Conc:  Thank God for grace!  Thank God for saving grace; for keeping grace; for sustaining grace.  Thank God that I know what grace is all about.  I do not understand grace.  I do not know how God can take a lost sinner, love them and save them by His grace, but I have experienced it for myself.  I know something about marvelous, matchless, majestic, wonderful, precious, glorious grace.  Do you?

      If you have never experienced grace and you sense the Lord is calling you to come to Him, then I invite you to answer that call today.  Come to Jesus and experience the majesty of His grace.  If you have experienced grace, and you can remember the day when God confronted you on your own Damascus road, I invite you to come before Him to say “Thank you, Lord.”  If you know someone who needs to experience God’s majestic grace, I invite you to bring them to the Lord today.  Whatever the needs of your hearts may be, you will find the help you need in this altar.  If He is calling, just say, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”

 The Fundamental Top 500    


Home Sermons Audio Sermons Bible Study Tools Links Sermon CD About Alan Carr