An Enemy Converts

By Karla Schettenhelm
In this lesson, we will see how God called a man named Saul and gave Him a new life as His child.

Find 10 ways the second picture looks different than the first picture.
In the Bible story, we will see how Saul was changed, not in the way he looked (like in the picture) but in his heart. The story comes from Acts 9:1-31.

Story

The account below is taken from the Enduring Faith Bible Curriculum Unit 3, Lesson 12.

Saul believed Jesus was a false teacher who taught lies about God and pretended to be God’s Son. He wanted to stop the Christians from telling other people about Jesus, so he went from house to house through Jerusalem, dragging off the people who believed in Jesus and putting them in prison.

Saul wanted to attack the Christians in Damascus, so the high priest wrote letters for him so that if he found any believers in Jesus, he could tie them up and bring them back to Jerusalem.

When Saul came near Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice calling, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Saul asked, “Who are You, Lord?” The voice answered, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”

The men traveling with Saul heard the voice, but they didn’t see anyone. Saul got up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he couldn’t see anything. The men took his hand and led him into Damascus. For three days, Saul was unable to see. He didn’t eat or drink anything during this time.

Then, Jesus told a Christian in Damascus named Ananias to go and lay his hands on Saul so he could see again. Ananias was scared of Saul, but he obeyed Jesus. He went and laid his hands on Saul, and Jesus gave Saul back his sight. Ananias baptized him.

Right there in Damascus, Saul began teaching that Jesus was the Christ, the Savior of the world. Some Jews got angry and made plans to kill Saul. But Saul found out and had his disciples lower him down in a basket through an opening in the wall.

Saul returned to Jerusalem, but the Christians there were afraid of him. A devout Christian named Barnabas took Saul to the apostles and described how Jesus had appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus. The apostles welcomed Saul, and he became known as Paul.

Watch

Saul Becomes Paul for younger children.
Saul’s Conversion and Escape Bible Animation for older children.
Read Galatians 1:11-24 to hear directly from Paul about his call from God.

Things to Consider

What is Saul like at the beginning of this account?
Saul persecuted Christians. In reality, we are no more deserving of Christ’s love than Saul was. We may not openly persecute God’s people as Saul did, but we are still sinners who break God’s Law every day.

Who talks to Saul on the road?
Jesus comes to Saul. He comes to us too in His Word and through Baptism to make us His children.

Who did Jesus send to Saul in Damascus?
This is the only time in Scripture we see Ananias. Often, supporting characters are really important in Scripture. Sometimes, we may feel like minor characters when it comes to spreading the Gospel, but we aren’t. God uses us to help others see Him, just as He used Ananias with Saul.

What did Saul do after he became a child of God?
Acts 9:20 tells us that “At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.”  Because we are children of God, we also want to tell others about Him, show His love, and help others.
We have thought about these things in the past few lessons, have you done any of the things you thought about to share Jesus?
Are there other things you can do or people you can tell?

Changes

God changed Saul from an enemy of Jesus to a friend who loved Jesus.
Have some fun with things that change:
  • Look at the liquid soap in a bottle of bubble solution. Then use the wand to blow bubbles.  Look! The liquid solution changed into bubbles that float! It changed because it is filled with air when we wave or blow into the wand.
  • Put 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a large glass container, then add 1/4 cup vinegar. How does the baking soda change when vinegar is added? It foams up.
  • Here are some fun baking soda and vinegar science experiments!
  • Make instant pudding. Follow package directions and change the powder into something good to eat. Eat it!

Game

Play “Pin the Tail on the Donkey,” “Pin the Horn on the Unicorn,” “Pin the Nose on the Clown,” or any variation you want!

It is hard to know where to put the tail, horn, nose, etc. when you are blindfolded and cannot see.

Saul could not see Jesus was his Savior. He hurt Christians. But Jesus gave Saul eyes of faith to see Jesus as his Savior. Jesus gives us eyes of faith to believe in Him too.

Bible Verse

2 Corinthians 5:17: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”
  • Sing the Bible verse, 2 Corinthians 5:17 (A New Creation)
  • Find some old and new things - old and new shoes, dead/withered and fresh flowers, old and new toys, etc. You can find the actual things or find pictures. How can you tell the old things are old? Can we make old things new again? No, Jesus is the only one who can make things new again. Jesus changed Saul from an enemy into a friend. Jesus changes us too. He uses His Word and Baptism to give us new life as His forgiven children.

God chooses me to be His child

Why would God choose me?
  • God chose you out of His great love for you. 
  • John 15:13, 16a [Jesus said,] “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. . . . You did not choose Me, but I chose you”
  • God wants all people, including you, to be saved. He loves all the people of the world.
  • John 3:16  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”
  • 1 Timothy 2:3–4  “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

How does God’s choosing you change you?

Spreading the Word

Paul became a great missionary.  He traveled many places to tell people about Jesus.
Read about the missionaries that we support at Christ Our Savior.

Arts and Crafts

Saul was this man’s Jewish name. Paul was his Roman name. He went by both names, but when his ministry began to focus more on Gentiles (not Jews), the name Paul was used all the time.
       
Make a colorful picture of your name
  • use crayons or markers or glue colorful squares onto the letters

Music

Music is ordered from songs for young children to those for older children and adults.
Jesus Loves the Little Children
This Little Light of Mine
I’m a New Creation
New Creation  (Third Day)
Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) (Chris Tomlin)
Amazing Grace (Andrea Bocelli)

Prayer

Dear Jesus, Thank You for calling Saul to spread Your Gospel message to the world. Thank You for making us Your children.  Help us to show your love and share Your Gospel message with others. In Your name we pray, Jesus. Amen.

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