A Place Of Grace
- Angels We Have Heard on High
- Song Minimal This is Amazing Grace
- Song Majesty Minimal
- The Setting… follows on the heels of last Sunday where Paul shares his testimony with the crowd.The commander is going to have Paul whipped but found out he was a Roman citizen by birth!The commander desires to know why Paul is being accused and sets up a trial among the religious leaders of the Jews… the Sanhedrin.Paul is in his care/ his protection/ but he needs to know what the charges are… he sits Paul down before the council…Paul’s Speech to the Sanhedrin… Acts 23:1-6Paul, looking intently at the Council, said, “Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day.” The high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law order me to be struck?” But the bystanders said, “Do you revile God’s high priest?” And Paul said, “I was not aware, brethren, that he was high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’ ” But perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Council, “Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!”This is a bold stance Paul takes… but look at the outcome… Acts 23:7-10 Paul is aware of both his audience and that standing trial before them there would be neither justice or a listening heart. Paul divides his enemy...As he said this, there occurred a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” And as a great dissension was developing, the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them and ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.I want us to look at Three Principles we see both Declared and Demonstrated by Paul in this brief dissertation...A Clear ConsciencePaul makes a bold statement here…Clear conscience before God the final judge of thingsNOT perfect but in good standing with God.CONSCIENCE: that inner voice… (NOT Jiminny Cricket)knowledge about something / that faculty which can determine between right and wrong… moral sensitivityIt’s like a window frame that lets light in… the clearer the window the better we see God’s truth and implement it in our lives...HOWEVER… as we allow it to become dirty less and less comes through...1 Corinthians speaks about a defiled conscience as we allow the idols of the world into our lives murkyHebrews 10 speaks to an evil conscience we can allow to come in as we draw further from the truth1 Timothy 4 speaks about having a seared or severed conscience where one might even begin to call good wrong!Our danger comes from when we begin to examine ourselves or our conscience by those around us rather than God’s Word…Keep yourself before we God in constant check with His Word and in prayer before God working through His Spirit, because even Paul had to declare before the 1 Corinthians 4:4For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.Respect For AuthorityI genuinely believe Paul did not know, that he was not being sarcastic. (the Priest was wrong, punishment before proven guilty)Paul most certainly did not agree with the one who held this officeHe did not agree with how he was dealing with things or see eye to eye YETHe recognizes the position and God as the One who has stated how we are to respect authority…It was Paul who wrote in Romans 13:1-2 verse 5 states we do this not only due to fear of wrath but for CONSCIENCE SAKE! God told us to!!!Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.You and I do not have to agree with the authority over us, however… followers of Christ should set the example of showing respect for the positions of authority even while we may oppose the ideas and philosophies leaders may present or stand for the truths of God’s Word.I am ashamed to be linked with how some interact with our leaders and what they say to one another and on social media.We should be setting the standard for respectHope of the ResurrectionPaul realizes that there is no justice to be had, but that a clear statement needs to be given for why he is on trial… In stating this he also divides those who oppose him.HOPE… Expectant a looking forward with confidence!Paul would declare and clearly state why we have such a HOPE and without the resurrection we are HOPELESS! 1 Corinthians 15:12-19Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.NOW… if we truly do have this hope… do we live like we do?in 1 Peter 3:15 we are challenged by Peter...but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;How we live (CONSCIENCE) and how we respond (RESPECT) allows you and I an opportunity to share our testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ with those around us!!!FaithfulnessA few verses down we are privileged to see God’s perspective on what Paul’s DECLARED and how he DEMONSTRATED those words before his audience… Acts 23:11But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, “Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.”May God find you and I faithful in how we act, speak, and interact with the world around us and as He sees us faithful may we be sensitive to the opportunities to share the HOPE we have in Jesus Christ!Let us take time now to REMEMBER Him as we prepare to partake in communion. (Men come forward as we close in prayer)
1 Corinthians 4:4KJV1900
1 Corinthians 15:12–19KJV1900
1 Peter 3:15KJV1900
- Song This I Believe creed minimal
- We are in the Gospel of Luke… today we are going to tackle most of one of the largest chapters in the Bible (80 verses!) We are going to be looking at the events of a man by the name of Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth:He is a priestThey are said to be considered righteous in the sight of GodI am so glad God is watching!An angel will visit himGod will work a miracleIn the end this priest will prophesy and praise God…BUT FIRST! Let’s rewind and go back 400 years...MalachiHolman- “Malchi rebuked God’s people for specific violations of the covenant, such as laws concerning sacrifices, divorce, and tithes, but he also prophesied the coming of the Messenger who will set things right.”At first glance it would appeared God had been silent or forgotten for 400 years after sending Malachi to the people and declaring His promise...Feelings of forgotten as a nationZacharias forgotten as a priest (will God speak again?)Elizabeth forgotten as she is barren no childrenWhen in reality, God had not forgotten, but was DOING what he promised!& declare what God will do in the coming future...1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.4 “Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel. 5 “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. 6 “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”The world stage had to be set… made ready for His Messenger who would come:Daniel had prophesied the things that would occur before the Messiah would comeAlexander the Great would come in… create one language GreekHis empire would be divided four way among his generalsEventually Rome would take over the world… roads being developed for transportation!God had not forgotten… On the contrary, He was remembering His promise, fulfilling His Word! In fact His promises… THE PROMISE goes all the way back to the beginning!God’s PromiseThe Seed of the woman would deliver a death blow to Satan15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”We see the three sons of Noah and there is a blessing passed to Shem25 So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.” 26 He also said, “Blessed be the Lord, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. 27 “May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.”Through Abraham’s seed all men would be blessed this is made clearer in Genesis 153 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”Abraham had many sons… Yet Issac is the one God’s blessing was with.Isaac had two sons yet the blessing (Promise) was with Jacob… The God of Abraham, Issac & Jacob.Jacob had 12 sons… Jacobs name is changed by God to Israel (one who wrestles with God)God’s blessing of promise is passed from Jacob to Judah in Indicating the One to come would be royal, a ruler King.10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.From the line of Judah comes a man who was anointed king by the name of David… in and God Promises this...16 “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” ’ ”The Hebrew word: mashiyach, meaning “the anointed” gradually became a title for the Promised Savior-King Messiah!God did NOT forget… He had been working all along in even the smallest of details!NOW… back to Luke.We Can Take God at His Word!Setting:Priest had their turns to serve in the temple… this was Zacharias’ timeSelected to go in and offer incense (prayers) to God… Usually on behalf of the people of IsraelAnd an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. “You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. “And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. “It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”I don’t think this man was praying for a son… too old.Praying for the people, felt forgotten, feeling the oppressions of the Romans, whatever it was GOD HEARD!Wow! the angel states the Zacharias’ son will fulfill the prophecy of MalachiYour son will prepare for the Promised MessiahIt Is Time! The Messiah is coming!!!What God says WILL HAPPEN!Moody- Zacharias ought to have been focusing on the divine “promise” of the message, not the human “problems” of the message.Did you miss it? Do you doubt God due to human limitations?The Promise of the scriptures was being fulfilled and this is Zacharias’ response…Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. “And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”Several lessons here:Be careful when you ask God to prove it or for a sign!This was good news, not intended to create a problemThe last words he could hear was the promise, his last words were questioning GodGod has a time table and a plan, He is NEVER late and always stays true to His WordGod’s Hand Working Deserves Praise“ His Name is John”These are the words Zacharias would write on a board for the questioning crowd…Wait a minute… Zacharias, he’s not going to carry your name?NO this baby boy would carry something much greater… the message that the Messiah has come repent!His Faith to obey and listen loosed his tongue… He begins to prophesy for all there to hear and share!And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David His servant— As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old— Salvation from our enemies, And from the hand of all who hate us; To show mercy toward our fathers, And to remember His holy covenant, The oath which He swore to Abraham our father, To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; To give to His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins, Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”Look at the people’s response to all they heard and had seen…Fear came on all those living around them; and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea. All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.Darrel Bock- The story’s close indicates that the Lord’s hand was with him. Luke is saying, in effect, “Be assured, Theophilus or any other reader of my account, that God was in these most unusual events.” When God’s hand is mentioned, usually an opportunity for deliverance is around the corner!
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