Sunday, January 31, 2016

Paul's Epistles - Galatians Part 3 – Paul’s Conversion

Paul's Epistles - Galatians
Part 3 – Paul’s Conversion
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Ø  Began looking at Paul’s ministry in 2011 starting with the beginning of his journey in Christ. The foundation and start of the story found in the book of Acts.

Ø  Examined Acts 4 - 20 in 2012

Ø  Finished Acts and selected chapters of Revelation in 2013

Ø  Studied Romans & started I Corinthians in 2014

Ø  Then completed I Corinthians & II Corinthians in 2015

109 sermons and nearly four years later, I pray you are beginning to get a grasp on the life and ministry of Paul, as well as get an understanding from the book of Acts how a church is to operate, and through Paul’s letters, see how we are to correct the issues we face in a modern church.

Leaving II Corinthians, we have begun looking at Galatians.

If you remember, the Galatian church was founded in a land taken by the Gaul’s, whose historical persona was to embrace change, even look for it.

This made their conversion easy, but the double edge sword was that is also made their straying from Truth just as easy.

Paul sends them an epistle (letter) we call Galatians.

He begins his letter with explaining he is a true Apostle, and there is no other gospel

We will now examine Paul’s epistle (letter) to the Galatians whose message is of Christ as the Deliverer, from the Law to Liberty!

 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.
18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas (Peter) and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
21 Then I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.

a. Ordination comes from God not a church
                                                                   i. The gospel I preach is not of human origin

                                                                ii. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it

                                                             iii. I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ

b. Paul was clearly ordained by God
                                                                   i. You know how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it

                                                                ii. But God set me apart in my mother’s womb

                                                             iii. He called me by His grace

                                                               iv. He revealed Jesus to me so that I would preach among the Gentiles

c. We are all called to be priests
                                                                   i. 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

                                                                ii. 1 Peter 2:5 “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

                                                             iii. Paul says, “my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.

18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas  {Peter} and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.

                                                               iv. Paul ordained, set aside by God, called into the ministry, not taught by man, but having spent three years in study before setting forth to fulfill his calling by God to minister the gospel to the Gentiles.

a. Predestination does not override freewill
                                                                   i. God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace
1. God, knowing all, knew Paul would one day chose to serve Him, therefore, in his mother’s womb, Paul was “set apart”, or “Sanctified”

2. Being sanctified means to be separated for a special holy purpose.

3. A “calling”

4. Paul’s was to preach the good news of Christ to the Gentiles.

                                                                ii. God knew Paul would convert in Damascus before he was born, and therefore, predestined him to be the bearer of good news to the Gentiles
                                                             iii. God did not “make” Paul convert, He did not create him “saved” and the path, although created before Paul’s birth, was actually created in response to Paul’s submission to the Lord and accepting Him as his savior.

b. Many are invited, few chosen
                                                                   i. We are reminded in Matthew 22:1-14 about the wedding invitations
1. It is a parable about God trying to invite all to be with Him in heaven.

2. The King (God) sends his servants to those invited (the Jews) to come to his sons (Jesus’) wedding banquet (Wedding representing the acceptance of the New Covenant with Jesus for Salvation), but they refuse.

3. Then he sent more servants (prophets), but they paid no attention, continuing to do their own thing.  The rest seized his servants (prophets), mistreated them and killed them.The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city (destroyed the Temple).

4.  “Then he said to his servants (preachers of the gospel), ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come (Those who reject Christ). So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants (preachers) went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. (everyone was given the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Lord)

5. “But when the king came in to see the guests (judgment day), he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes (Covered in the white garment of salvation described in Revelation). 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. (We will be without excuse on judgment day)

6. “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Those who reject Christ will be cast into Gahanna, the final hell, eternal separation from God)

7. “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
a. Who will be chosen? Those who have accepted Jesus Christ and received the white garment before judgment day...

b. Remember, the bad as well as the good were all given opportunity to accept Christ, and in this parable, it does not say “the bad were all kicked out”, rather, the ONE who did not accept Jesus.

c. We are all predestined
                                                                   i. Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;”

                                                                ii. Because God knows yesterday, today and tomorrow, He knows you, and all of your choices you will ever make before you were ever created.
1. Does this mean you cannot chose? No...He knows your freewill choices, He does not make them for you.

2. Therefore, He bases callings, protection, benefits, etc, on your submission and obedience to Him.

a. What 3 means biblically
                                                                   i. Paul waited 3 years before starting his calling.

                                                                ii. Waited is a poor choice of words, more than likely spent time with the Lord, reflected on the Holy Spirit and instruction from the Lord and became “complete” before heading out to fulfill his calling.

                                                             iii. 3 represents “completion” in scripture.

b. Examples in scripture
                                                                   i. Peter denied Jesus 3 times, meaning he completely rejected the Lord out of fear for his life.
1. Of course, the Lord forgave him asking Peter 3 times if he loved him. Showing Peter completely loved Jesus.

                                                                ii. There are 27 books in the New testament, which is 3x3x3, or 33

                                                             iii. Jesus prayed 3 times in the garden of Gethsemane

                                                               iv. placed on the cross on the 3rd hour of the day

                                                                  v. died on the 9th hour (3pm)

                                                               vi. there was then 3 hours of darkness

                                                            vii. 3 days and 3 nights before His resurrection

                                                         viii. it goes on and on.

c. Completeness before mission is essential
                                                                   i. Completeness is essential!

                                                                ii. All things must be done in God’s timing.

                                                             iii. The Lord gave specific instructions and training to the disciples for approximately 3 years before going to the cross and ascending.

                                                               iv. The Lord, through the reading of His Word and instruction from the Holy Spirit prepares us for ministry.

                                                                  v. The bible even warns churches not to allow elders or deacons to be new converts.

                                                               vi. We currently have Bud Kramer, Dale Keel and Kurt Ulman. When need arises, we may add to that list.

CONCLUSION - Paul’s letter so far,

vs 1 Paul, an apostle – sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead 

vs 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all.

vs 10 am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

vs 11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 

vs 23, 24 The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.’ 24 And they praised God because of me

Paul has set the stage, establishing the fact he is an apostle, ordained by God, not man, and the gospel he preached is of God. He is fully converted, and complete in his instruction from the Lord.

Paul will now build upon this foundation in the letter to show why his life and instruction was of God, how he has authority to correct, and where the Galatians have gone wrong and need to return to the Lord.

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

No comments: