August 19, 2012

We are Changed; Never the Same

Passage: Acts 9:1-9

Bible Text: Acts 9:1-9 | Preacher: Pastor Steve | Series: The Solid Acts of God
The Power of God can Transform Anyone
The power of the Holy Spirit is the most amazing force in the universe, more powerful than an atomic bomb.
Acts 9:1-2 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
Jesus is THE WAY
John 14:1-6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Acts 9:3-5 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? And he said, who are You, Lord? Then the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.
Titus 3:3-8 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled by others and became slaves to many wicked desires and evil pleasures…But then God our Savior showed us his kindness and love. He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit.  He generously poured out the Spirit upon us because of what Jesus Christ our Savior did. He declared us not guilty because of his great kindness…
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them…
God’s mercy toward us provides the greatest reason
for us to be merciful to others
If we are not serving God then we are opposing God!
We are either for the Lord or against Him, there is no middle ground or compromise
Neutrality towards the Lord is a myth
Religion versus Relationship
We are not called to “get religion“ rather we are called to receive and enter into a personal relationship with Jesus, who is the Messiah
Acts 9:7-9 …and the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank…
Acts 9:17-20 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus. Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.
We are witnesses of Christ’s power in OUR life!
Jesus is Lord of the earth, and He died for the sins of people from all nations. Therefore WE are to go — whether it is next door or to another country — and make disciples.
This is not an option, but a command to all who call Jesus Savior and Lord.
Philippians 3:4-11 Yet I could have confidence in myself if anyone could…For I was circumcised when I was eight days old…born into a pure-blooded Jewish family…of the tribe of Benjamin…What’s more, I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. And zealous? Yes, in fact, I harshly persecuted the church…I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done…I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with him…but I trust Christ to save me…
Jesus born in Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Fulfilled in Matthew 2:1
Jesus was preceded by a messenger (John the Baptist) Isaiah 40:3 Fulfilled in John 1:23
Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey Zechariah 9:9  Fulfilled in Luke 19:35
Jesus was betrayed by a friend (Judas) Psalm 41:9     Fulfilled in Matthew 10:4
Jesus hands and feet were pierced (cross) Psalm 22:16 Fulfilled in Luke 23:33
Jesus was sold out for 30 pieces of silver Zechariah 11:12 Fulfilled in Matthew 26:15
The money was thrown in God’s house Zechariah 11:13 Fulfilled in Matthew 27:5
The price for the potter’s field (30 pieces of silver) Zechariah 11:13 Fulfilled in Matthew 27:7
If only these 8 prophecies were fulfilled the chances of this happening with any one man who might have lived in the last 2000 years is 1 in 10 to the 17th power or 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.
2 Corinthians 5:12-16 …Whatever we do, it is because Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them…
We are saved by the GRACE and MERCY of God.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Timothy 1:12-17 How thankful I am to Christ Jesus our Lord for considering me trustworthy and appointing me to serve him, even though I used to scoff at the name of Christ. I hunted down his people, harming them in every way I could. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how kind and gracious the Lord was! He filled me completely with faith and the love of Christ Jesus. 
This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — and I was the worst of them all. But that is why God had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.
Glory and honor to God forever and ever. He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God.

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