Dive Deeper

Unstoppable (Part 15)

Henson Lim


Every great superhero has a compelling origin story, and in this week’s passage, we learn about the origins of one of the heroes of our faith — the apostle Paul*. In Acts 9:1-19a we gain insight into the person of Paul as a recipient of God’s amazing grace. 

Looking at his early life, we learn of a zealous, sincere Pharisee who saw his persecution of Jesus’ followers to be his way of honoring God in protecting the Law.  He approved of Stephen’s stoning in Acts 8:1, was seen “ravaging the church”, chasing down and imprisoning Jesus followers in Acts 8:3, and was all set to continue his path of persecuting believers in Damascus.  But then, he encountered Jesus, and his life was forever changed. 

*Note: Paul was referred to as Saul from Acts 8-13:9, where he is said to be “also called Paul”, thereafter he is referred to as Paul.


  1. If you had to list your Christian credentials and accomplishments, what would you say?

  2. Read Acts 9:1-9.

    Why do you think Jesus said Saul was persecuting Him? How does that encourage you when you face persecution?

    b. How would you describe God in Saul’s conversion? What does the event tell you about His character?

    c. What do you think was happening in Saul’s heart when he was blinded for 3 days and did not eat or drink anything? Have you ever had this kind of experience? What did it teach you?

  3. Read Philippians 3:3-6, Acts 22:3-5, 19-20, and 1 Timothy 1:13-16. 

    a. What were Saul’s credentials? 

    b. How might his perception of his credentials have changed before and after his conversion?

    c. Reflect on your answer to question 1. How does your perception compare to Saul/Paul’s?

  4. Read Acts 9:10-19a.

    What do you learn about Ananias? What was the task the Lord gave him?

    b. What do you learn from Ananias? How do you feel about him?

    c. Have you ever received a task from the Lord that you either did not want or were afraid to do? How did you respond?

    d. Henson shared that “your obedience will pave the way for someone else’s obedience”. What does that mean to you, and how have you seen it in your own experiences?

  5. Read Philippians 3:8-9, Galatians 2:20, and 2 Corinthians 6:4-10.

    a. What do these verses tell us about Paul’s response to his encounter with Jesus? 

    b. What are you holding onto that keeps you from saying “having nothing yet possessing everything”? 

    c. What is your origin story? Share with your group. 

[Bonus Task: Find out why Paul talks about his experience as a “commendation” or an “approval” in 2 Corinthians 6:4 – the context of the letter will help.]


In Paul’s encounter with Jesus, his eyes were blinded and yet he could finally see clearly the truth that he is nobody and he has nothing apart from Christ.  In fact, we are all nobodies, and God miraculously pours out His grace on us.  Not one of us can hold up any credential or achievement that would make us worthy of His love, and yet He loves us. When we truly grasp that God is everything and we are nobodies, we are freed to love and serve Him without reservation.  When we cling to some sense of personal achievement, we miss the point. As Paul realized that the “somebody” he thought he was was actually  “nobody” compared with Christ, he became an unstoppable force in advancing the gospel.  May we embrace the humility of Paul and allow God to use us for His glory, thanks to His grace.  


Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith-” – Philippians 3:8-9 ESV