Sunday, May 12, 2013

From Acts to Revelation Part 74 – The Light and Obedience

From Acts to Revelation
Part 74  – The Light and Obendience
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Last week we read about Paul explaining his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus with King Agrippa during his trial.

This meeting was set up by Festus, who hoped to figure out what he was to charge Paul with when he sends Paul to see Caesar.

Acts 26:19-32
19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. 21 That is why some Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me. 22 But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen— 23 that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.”
24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”
25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. 26 The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”
28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”
29 Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”
30 The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. 31 After they left the room, they began saying to one another, “This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.”
32 Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”

In today's scripture we will look at;
1.      How Paul is guilty of nothing more than obeying Christ, and believing in what his accusers were taught in the scripture, to have hope in the resurrection, and the coming messiah.
2.      What is obedience to the Lord?
3.      Examining our obedience

a.      Paul explains he was obedient to the vision from heaven
i.       First taking the Truth to those in Damascus (he preached here immediately after being saved)

ii.    then taking the Truth to those in Jerusalem and all of Judea

iii. and then taking the Truth to the Gentiles (this was the greater portion of Paul's ministry)

iv.   Paul had faithfully carried out what the Lord told him to do!

b.     This is why they hate me
i.       Paul explains that the Jews do not hate him because of their stated reasons, rather because of his preaching Jesus.

c.      Festus cries out
i.       Interrupting Paul, "You're out of your mind!"

ii.    "Your great learning has driven you insane!"

iii.  Festus could not understand these things the way that King Agrippa could, because he was not a follower of God.

iv.   It was too difficult for Festus to accept that Jesus dying on the cross was fulfillment of the prophets and Moses' teachings of God's prophecies of the coming Messiah.

d.     I'm not mad, most noble Festus
i.       ...but speak forth the words of Truth and Soberness
ii.    King Agrippa knew of Jesus, now, he has been presented with the Truth, which gives him opportunity to know Jesus as Lord.

a.      Paul was a sinner
i.       Paul explained his life to King Agrippa before he had met Jesus on the road to Damascus

ii.    He explained how he hunted followers of Christ, putting them in chains, and casting his lot against them for death, even trying to force them to blaspheme against God.

iii. Paul even says of himself in his letter to Timothy (I Timothy 1:16) "for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life."

b.     However, Paul met the Lord on the road to Damascus
i.       The Lord offers us freedom from the bondage of sin
ii.    Bondage that will take us straight to hell if we do not repent
a.      Paul recognized the Lord as deity before He revealed himself as Jesus

c.      Paul explains that when he met Jesus on that road;
i.       He was the worst of sinners

ii.    But he recognized salvation, and accepted the Lord as his savior

iii. He repented (or turned away from sin) to receive forgiveness

iv.   He obeyed what the Lord commanded him

v.      And he showed works which demonstrated his repentance.

a.      Do you think your sin is too great for the Lord to forgive?
i.       Paul hunted, imprisoned, tortured and killed followers of Christ

ii.    However, when he saw that he truly was a sinner, he accepted Jesus as his Lord...everything changed from that point on.

b.     All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved
i.       Acts 2:21 & Romans 10:13, "EVERYONE who calls on the name of the Lord WILL BE SAVED."

ii.    Is this God's "new" thing for the New Testament?
a.      NO. Joel 2:32 "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

b.     Lamentations 3:54-58
54 the waters closed over my head, and I thought I was about to perish.
55 I called on your name, Lord,  from the depths of the pit.
56 You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.”
57 You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”
58 You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life.

c.      Psalm 116:13  "I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of  the Lord."

d.     Psalm 116:3-9 "3 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!”
5 The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
6 The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.
7 Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.
8 For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living."

c.      When we repent, our sins are forgiven
i.       It is true that the Lord will save everyone who calls on His name, we must then REPENT, which means to turn away from the very sin that once held us in bondage.

ii.    Luke 5:32, Jesus says, "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

iii. Luke 13:5 "I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
iv.   Luke 15:7 "... there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."

v.      Luke 17:3 "So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them."

vi.   and about 50 other scriptures saying this in the New Testament...

d.     We then obey what Christ commands
i.       Jesus tells us in the great commission that after we accept Him as Lord, and are baptized into the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we are to obey all that He commands.

e.      And lastly, show works (what we "do" in our life) that demonstrate our repentance, or show that we are no longer the "old" us.

1.      How Paul is guilty of nothing more than obeying Christ, and believing in what his accusers were taught in the scripture, to have hope in the resurrection, and the coming messiah.
2.      What is obedience to the Lord?
3.      Examining our obedience

Revelation 3:3 "Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you."

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

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