Monday, May 18, 2015

Lesson - Introduction to Saul

VERSES:  Acts 8:1

MEMORY VERSE:  Acts 8:1  "And Saul was consenting unto his death..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  "Luke"  Write "Luke" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class, so the students may take them home to memorize.

PRAYER:  May we always be strong and committed to Christ no matter what comes in our life. We know that bad things will happen along the way. We need to be prepared with a strong faith and love of Our Savior.

SPECIAL SONG:  This Little Light Of Mine (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog for words. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Large Activity (see below).  Write facts with verses about Saul on the whiteboard or chalkboard. This will reinforce the facts in young minds and it will also be a visual aid for the students' activity below.

  • We remember when Stephen was stoned and died that the Jews who stoned him laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul (Acts 7:58).
  • Saul had agreed with the Jews that they should have killed Stephen by stoning him. Saul believed that the Jews were doing the right thing and Stephen was doing the wrong thing (Acts 8:1). 
  • Saul always had a strong commitment to God. He never went against his conscience (Acts 23:1).
  • Saul's name was changed to Paul (Acts 13:9, 13). Saul and Paul was the same person.
  • Saul's father was a Pharisee--one of the important Jews who was on a council. (Acts 23:6).
  • Saul had a sister (Acts 23:16) and she had a son who would have been Saul's nephew. This same nephew once saved Saul's life (Acts 23:16-31).
  • Saul was also a Roman citizen which would be an important fact in Saul's later life.
  • Saul was born in Tarsus (Acts 22:3).
  • Saul learned how to make tents (Acts 18:3).
  • Saul was baptized by Ananias in Damascus (Acts 9:10, 18).
  • Before Saul was baptized, he persecuted the church (Acts 8:3).
  • Because he was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and one who injured others, Paul considered himself the chiefest of sinners, yet the things he did to Christians, he did ignorantly in unbelief (1 Timothy 1:13-15). He did not know he was doing wrong until he was taught, then he lived in a totally opposite way for the rest of his life. Paul was an example of repentance.
  • Paul went on three missionary journeys in the book of Acts.
  • Saul, or Paul as he was also called, wrote a great portion of the New Testament letters: Romans (Romans 1:1), 1 Corinthians (1 Corinthians 1:1), 2 Corinthians (2 Corinthians 1:1), Galatians (Galatians 1:1), Ephesians (Ephesians 1:1); Philippians (Philippians 1:1), Colossians (Colossians 1:1), 1 Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 1:1), 2 Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 1:1), 1 Timothy (1 Timothy 1:1), 2 Timothy (2 Timothy 1:1), Titus (Titus 1:1), and Philemon (Philemon 1:1),. Some people say that Hebrews was written by Paul, but it is unclear because he did not sign the letter like he did in all of his other letters (2 Thessalonians 3:17). Certainly, Paul wrote 13 letters that can be proven. 
  • Paul suffered many things for Christ's sake: Five different times, the Jews had whipped him 39 times; three times he had been beaten with rods; he was stoned once; three times he suffered shipwreck; a night and a day, he was in the ocean; he suffered the dangers of water, danger of robbers, dangers of the Jews and the Gentiles, dangers in the city and in the wilderness, dangers among false teachers; he was weary, in pain, had gone without sleep, was hungry and thirsty, was cold, went without the proper clothes and was in prison many times. Paul also worried about the congregations of the Lord's church. Paul suffered much by being a Christian, but he endured.
  • After all that Paul endured in his life, some of his last words were, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7, 8).
"Older Student" Tips:
  • The name Saul was a noble Jewish name. We remember that the first king of the Israelites had this same name--King Saul. When Saul's name was changed, it was changed to "Paul" which meant "little one." Saul was a prominent name; Paul was a humble name.
ACTIVITY:  "All About Paul"
Materials needed:  Any color 4" x 10" construction paper, 3" x 5" index cards or construction paper, marker or pen, stapler, staples, small piece of tape.

  1. Hand out 4" x 10" construction paper.
  2. Fold construction paper about 4 inches up and 2 inches down to form a pocket.
  3. Staple two sides of the pocket.
  4. Write "ALL ABOUT SAUL" on the front. Cross the "S" out and write a "P" for Paul.
  5. Hand out about 15 cards.
  6. By looking at the white board, the student may write a fact about Saul on each card. (See above under LESSON POINTS for facts. Good idea to include verses!)
  7. Place all cards inside pocket.
  8. If time permits, pair up the class in groups of two or three students. See how many facts they know about Saul.
  9. Before leaving class, make sure all cards are in their pockets and secured with a small strip of tape.