Acts 9:1-22


Not everyone has a 'Damascus Road Experience'. Nevertheless there are features of Saul's conversion which are common to many Christians.

1) Before his conversion, Saul was a good man. True, he was persecuting the church - making a journey of 150 miles to do so - but that was a good thing in many people's eyes, and he was doing it for love of God. Good people, even religious people, still need to turn to Christ - see John 3:1-16.

2) His conversion was due to a revelation from God. He saw a vision; most of us do not, but nevertheless our relationship with God is built upon God revealing himself to us. Whether it is by a long process, or a sudden 'aha' experience, we cannot get to know God without his help.

3) Saul needed to decide whether or not to change direction. In his case his blindness must have been very persuasive! Nevertheless, he still had to choose, and he was shown that God's way would mean pain and suffering; and we too always have a choice whether to obey God and go his way, or to stick to our previous convictions.

4) Saul had to be involved with the Church. God did not want him to be a private Christian; he called Ananias first to lay hands on him for his healing, and then to baptize him. Thereafter Saul joined the other Christians. God does not want us to have a private religion; that is not the way of faith and love and spiritual progress.

5) Saul had to take risks. Very soon after his conversion, he started speaking about Jesus as the 'Son of God' (v 20). How much did he know? Did he know the danger? We too are called to take risks in our spiritual journey: to speak when we do not feel 'qualified', or to step out of our comfort zones in other ways for love of the unlovely.


Look back over the beginning of your spiritual journey. What features do you share with other Christians, and what are unique? Would others benefit from your experience?


Welcome question: Describe (very briefly) a time when you have had to change direction in your life.

Worship: Sing or listen to one or two songs/hymns which talk about the before and after of conversion. (There are many to choose from - Amazing grace; And can it be; Lord, the light of your love; All my days; Worthy, you are worthy etc.) Read the story of Saul's conversion as part of your worship, then listen to a testimony from one of the group (warn them beforehand), or read an account of a modern day conversion. End with a time of praise for God's grace. If you are not going to be praying for non-Christian friends later, do so during the worship.

Back to the top

The Big Idea | An Introduction to cells | Cells in rural ministry
Ideas for meetings | Welcome | Worship | Word | Witness
Ideas for equipping | home study resources | course materials | Encounter weekend
Links | About Cell-Ideas | Email