First Baptist Church of Howard City
October 10, 2021
      • Proverbs 3.13-16NKJV

      • Proverbs 3.17-18NKJV

  • Victory In Jesus
  • Since Jesus Came into My Heart
  • My Savior's Love
  • Oh How He Loves You And Me
  • Acts 22:1–21 NKJV
    1 “Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now.” 2 And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent. Then he said: 3 “I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today. 4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, 5 as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished. 6 “Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ 8 So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ 9 “And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. 10 So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’ 11 And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus. 12 “Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, 13 came to me; and he stood and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that same hour I looked up at him. 14 Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. 15 For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’ 17 “Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance 18 and saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’ 19 So I said, ‘Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You. 20 And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ 21 Then He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.’ ”
    1. Paul shows the error of his zeal.
    (1) A. Paul caught their attention by speaking in Hebrew.
    (1) B. Paul affirms his rich Jewish heritage.
    a. He grew up in Jerusalem.
    b. He studied at the feet of Gamaliel.
    c. He followed the law with strictness.
    d. He was zealous toward God (as the Jews were).
    (1) C. Paul confesses his persecution of Christians (the Way).
    a. He put Christians in prison.
    b. He beat Christians.
    c. He killed Christians.
    d. He watched approvingly as Stephen was killed.
    (1) D. Paul revealed his approval from Jewish religious leaders.
    (1) E. Paul identified his reason for being on the road to Damascus.
    a. To carry out the wishes of Jewish leaders.
    b. To arrest Christians and bring them to Jerusalem for punishment.
    2. Paul shares his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.
    (2) A. Paul’s encounter with Jesus was the act of a sovereign God.
    (2) B. Paul’s encounter with Jesus confronted who he was.
    (2) C. Paul’s encounter with Jesus humbled him.
    a. He was now blind.
    b. He had to rely on someone else leading him by the hand.
    C. He had no idea how long his blindness would last.
    (2) D. Paul’s encounter radically changed his life.

    3. Paul remembers the encouragement from Ananias.

    Acts 22:12–16 NKJV
    12 “Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, 13 came to me; and he stood and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that same hour I looked up at him. 14 Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. 15 For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’
    The Lord could have done all of this on His own.
    He did not need help.
    However, He chose to use Ananias.

    (3) A. Paul remembers the testimony of Ananias.

    Ananias had excellent character.
    Character is what God focuses on more than anything when calling someone to service.
    It is important to study.
    It is helpful to have some skill.
    It is vital to have good character.

    a. Ananias was devout.

    He was devoted to the law.
    He was Godly.
    He lived a holy life.
    God is looking for people who are devoted!
    He wants someone that is faithful.
    Romans 12:11 ESV
    11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
    This means we don’t compartmentalize our faith.
    We are zealous and have a fervent passion for the Lord so that we live for Him daily.
    We are devoted enough to truly put Him first.
    In what ways do you put other things before God?

    b. Ananias was well thought of.

    It doesn’t mean everyone agreed with him, but they didn’t have a reason to think ill of him.
    His character was known and respected.
    1 Peter 2:12 NKJV
    12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
    Matthew 5:14 NKJV
    14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
    How do those around you see you?

    (3) B. Paul remembers the love Ananias had.

    Ananias embraced Paul as a brother.
    This again shows the character and devotion of Ananias.
    True Christian love is unlike anything in the world.
    John 15:12 NKJV
    12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
    We talked about this love last week.
    This was a sacrificial love.
    This was loving someone when it wasn’t convenient.
    Ananias gave Paul his sight.
    He was the conduit God used.
    This was nothing Ananias did.
    It was God’s power through him.
    He simply loved Paul when others wouldn’t.
    What is our level of love for other people?
    How much are we willing to go out of the way for others?

    (3) C. Paul remembers the charge he received from Ananias.

    a. God has chosen you.

    ONE: Chosen to know the will of God.

    Ephesians 5:17 NKJV
    17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
    Colossians 1:9 NKJV
    9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

    TWO: Chosen to be well loved by God.

    “To see the Just One.” (vs 14)
    Ephesians 2:12–13 NKJV
    12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
    Ephesians 1:4 NKJV
    4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
    We have been chosen to be well loved by God.

    THREE: Chosen to hear the Word of God.

    1 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV
    14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    2 Timothy 4:3 NKJV
    3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
    Hebrews 5:11 NKJV
    11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
    You are hearing the Word!
    God has poured out His grace and you are hearing the deep things of the Word.

    FOUR: Chosen to be a witness for Christ.

    Matthew 28:19 NKJV
    19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
    Mark 16:15 NKJV
    15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
    We have been chosen to GO!
    This is what I want you to hear this morning!
    God saw Paul...
    Breathing threats and murders against the church.
    He saw a man that would not be accepted by the Jews.
    He saw a man that was a poor speaker.
    He saw a man that couldn’t see well.
    He saw a man with a TON of baggage.
    And He said that’s who I choose!
    God saw you...
    He saw your life.
    He saw your sin.
    He saw your shortcomings.
    He saw your baggage.
    And said: That’s who I choose!
    The things we lack cannot be an excuse.
    You didn’t have those things when God chose you.
    Our past cannot be an excuse.
    Your past was not the past when God chose you!
    Your past hadn’t even happened yet.
    God didn’t get taken by a used car salesman.
    He saw all of it and knew he could make his masterpiece out if the mess.
    2 Corinthians 5:18–20 ESV
    18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
    God “entrusted” or “Invested” or “Gave us to use on his behalf”
    Don’t forget the parable of the talents!
    The master is returning so...

    b. Don’t wait to obey.

    For Paul the next step was baptism.
    Baptism does not wash away sin.
    It is a symbol or picture of it.
    What are you waiting for?
    Take the next step.
    What is the next step for you?
    What is preventing you from taking that step?
    What excuses are you making?
    What are you prioritizing over your obedience?

    4. Paul tells of his vision of Jesus.

    Acts 22:17–21 NKJV
    17 “Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance 18 and saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’ 19 So I said, ‘Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You. 20 And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ 21 Then He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.’ ”

    (4) A. Paul saw Jesus while he was praying in the temple.

    This is a great example for us.
    Paul took the next step in obedience - then what?
    Paul was doing what he knew to do.
    He was praying.
    He was obeying where he knew to obey.
    He was doing what he could do.
    He understood that whatever was in front of him couldn’t be accomplished without Christ.
    Praying people will be qualified for God’s service.
    We fail to find our calling because we fail to pray.
    We fail to succeed at our calling because we try to do it on our own.

    (4) B. Jesus warned Paul of what was currently happening.

    This was not the intent.
    Paul tells Jesus his past may impact his future.
    Jesus tells him to get out of there.
    Paul’s ministry was impacted by his past.
    Normally when we find the place of our calling it is a positive thing.
    God started with a negative for Paul.
    This was good for Paul because he had a great desire to stay in Jerusalem.
    Have you ever said: “if it wasn’t for something in my past I would be able to...”
    Quit!! God has a plan. God has a place. It includes your past.
    Our past is not a hinderance but rather prepares us for our calling.
    Philippians 3:13–15 ESV
    13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.

    (4) C. Jesus gave Paul a clear mission.

    God saved Paul for a purpose.
    To go to the gentiles.
    God saved you for a purpose?
    Do you know what that is?
      • Acts 22:12–16ESV

      • Romans 12:11ESV

      • 1 Peter 2:12ESV

      • Matthew 5:14ESV

      • John 15:12ESV

      • Ephesians 5:17ESV

      • Colossians 1:9ESV

      • Ephesians 2:12–13ESV

      • Ephesians 1:4ESV

      • 1 Corinthians 2:14ESV

      • 2 Timothy 4:3ESV

      • Hebrews 5:11ESV

      • Matthew 28:19ESV

      • Mark 16:15ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 5:18–20ESV

      • Acts 22:17–21ESV

      • Philippians 3:13–15ESV

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