Sunday May 01, 2022
INTRODUCTION: Last week we talked about “Standing in Grace.”
1. God is Full of Grace. 2. God’s Grace Gives us Hope 3. You can grow in Grace.
Romans 5:1-2 tells us that by faith we stand in the grace God has given us through His Son Jesus Christ.
Our text for today is from a chapter in the Bible in which Paul is defending and giving witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The apostles saw him alive along with over 500 people. Peter saw him. James saw him alive!
These are real people that saw a real Jesus alive after He had suffered a horrible death on the cross!
And last Paul says, “I saw Him!”
Acts 9:3-6- “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.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
In this moment the churches greatest opponent became her greatest advocate!
Many consider Paul’s dramatic conversion to be one of the two great proofs of the validity of of the Christian religion, the other being the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
NOW TO OUT TEXT FOR TODAY
1 Corinthians 15:9-10 – “Yes, I am the most insignificant of all the apostles, unworthy even to be called an apostle, because I hunted down believers and persecuted God’s church. But God’s amazing grace has made me who I am! And his grace to me was not fruitless. In fact, I worked harder than all the rest, yet not in my own strength but God’s, for his empowering grace is poured out upon me.”
VISION EMPOWERING GRACE!
It was grace alone that transformed Paul from a persecutor to a zealous preacher of grace!
GRACE HAS MADE ME WHO I AM!
But Paul’s point is two-fold. God has made him who and what he is as a sheer gift!
This grace has been operative not only toward him, but has also been operative through him!
God’s grace didn’t just save Paul but it also empowered him for the plan God had for his life!
GOD DOESN’T WANT TO JUST TAKE YOU OUT HE ALSO WANTS TO TAKE YOU IN!
HE DIDN’T JUST DELIVER THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL FROM EGYPTIAN BONDAGE HE HAD A PROMISED LAND FOR THEM!
GOD DIDN’T JUST WANT PAUL TO STOP PERSECUTING THE CHURCH HE WANTED PAUL TO BUILD THE CHURCH!
Galatians 1:15-16- “But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles.”
GOD HAS VISION EMPOWERING GRACE FOR YOU TODAY!
The same grace that was given to you for salvation now wants to work through you to accomplish God’s plan, God’s vision for your life!
THE GREATNESS OF GOD’S GRACE!
ARE YOU READY FOR THE GRACE THAT HAS COME TO YOU TO NOW WORK THROUGH YOU?
- Remember where God brought you from.
1 Timothy 1:15- “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.”
1 Corinthians 15:9- “For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.”
When we remember what God has delivered us from it reminds us of the greatness of His grace!
My past no longer brings me guilt, shame, condemnation, it reminds me of the greatness of God’s grace!
2. Dedicate Your life to God.
Another word for dedicate is consecrate. It means to be “set apart.” It means “to be designated for a special purpose.”
Romans 1:1- “Paul, a loving and loyal servant of the Anointed One, Jesus. He called me to be his apostle and set me apart with a mission to reveal God’s wonderful gospel.”
Consecration is a complete surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ!
We relinquish everything to God, our time, talent, treasure! Nothing belongs to us, not even ourselves!
Joshua 3:5- “Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
If we consecrate ourselves to God amazing things will happen. It’s absolutely inevitable. Consecration always ends in amazing!
Vision Empowering Grace comes when I remember where God has brought me from and I dedicate my life to God and last….
3. I give God veto power in my life.
When I dedicate my life to God it means I no longer call the shots!
God’s word is the final word, whether it’s from the Holy Scripture or the Holy Spirit!
It’s no longer a selfish spirituality that asks God to serve our purposes!
It’s all about serving his purposes so that His glory is revealed!
Consecration is a process of surrender that never ends!
VISION EMPOWERING GRACE COMES WHEN WE GIVE GOD VETO POWER!
Acts 16:6-10- “Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas. That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.”
CONCLUSION: Jonathan Edwards is famous for his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” which helped spark the first great awakening.
He was a pastor in North Hampton, Massachusetts and served as the president of Princeton University.
Of his known descendants, there are more than 300 ministers or missionaries, 120 university professors, 60 authors, 30 judges, 14 college presidents, 3 members of Congress, and 1 Vice President (Aaron Burr).
On January 12, 1723 Jonathan Edwards made a solemn dedication of himself to God.
“I made a solemn dedication of myself to God, and wrote it down; giving up myself, and all that I had to God; to be for the future, in no respect, my own; to act as one who had no right to himself, in any respect. And solely vowed, to take God for my whole portion and felicity; looking on nothing else, as any part of my happiness, nor acting as if it were.”
THE GREATNESS OF GOD’S GRACE! What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through this message?