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Chris Buttery

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One of the foremost figures of the early Christian church was the apostle Paul. The author of a large part of the New Testament scriptures and missionary to the Gentiles, Paul didn’t always believe in Jesus. As a matter of fact he persecuted Christ’s followers until… well, until he met Jesus for himself. Find out more about the background and call of this successful mouthpiece for God in this week’s lesson with Pastor Chris Buttery.

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  • August 22, 2015
    11:30 AM
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We're on Lesson Number eleven. Pull back around and call. We're going to study here and read about at least this is the first part of a two part lesson about the apostle Paul and when we're talking about missions and being missionaries which is what our Bible study guide is about this particular quarter that we have to spend time talking about the Apostle Paul. The memory text for today's or this week's lesson was taken from Acts nine verses fifteen and sixteen and the Bible says I'm running from the New King James version but the Lord said to him that is an anonymous go for he is a chosen vessel talking of pole. He is a chosen vessel of mine to ban my name before the Gentiles kings and the children of Israel for I will show him how many things he must suffer from my nine psych and just a moment we're going to come to a very important question and pass to Luke that question for us in just a minute and that is who is soul but we're going to come over that just in just a minute. I think without a doubt without a doubt one of the most prominent figures in the New Testament is the Apostle Paul. And originally of course soul of Tacitus and I just part of the answer but we're going to come back over to here possibly can. Just a minute. Paul was according to I like what it said in the lesson Paul was the early Christian church. Paul was to the early Christian church. What Moses was to the children of Israel. You remember Moses cold Israel out of the out of a Gentile nation out of Egypt and out to do was to God That's what Moses did what did pole to pole went from the Israelites to the Gentiles and told them to do was so god and very interesting the similarities in some way between Paul and Moses and when you think about the Old Testament of course one of the. Figures of the Old Testament comes to mind as Moses in the New Testament is poll. Leader of the New Testament the early New Testament church and we'll talk more about him in just a bit when you think of pole. What comes to your mind what comes to mind when you think of poll couple a couple of quick things. He's known for his itinerary evangelistic program. You read about the missionary journeys of Poland how he traveled throughout Asia Minor taking the gospel to folk there in that region and and that was a program by the way a program that has left its impression upon Christians for two thousand years the Christian Church has always been in broiled and engaged in missionary activity and we get out cute and we get some instruction from the Apostle Paul. His methods his dedication his zeal and relationship with God have been studied for centuries and have inspired many to also engage in aggressive. If I can use that word evangelistic outreach for Jesus Christ. When we think of Paul what else comes to mind pull the whole is also known for extracting biblical truths absolute truths timeless truths from the tightly woven fabric of Jewish tradition and custom in order to be given to the people to anyone that they might come to know Jesus Christ to be saved and we'll talk a little bit more about that in the lesson as we move along polls inspired message and his ministry continue to influence Christians and churches today. So the bottom line question here at least at the upfront question basic question is possibly who was soul who was still a very important man in the New Testament of course we know its name was changed to Paul and who became a Christian but as you mentioned earlier he was born in Tarsus which is that actually in Roman territory therefore he was a Roman citizen this parents were from the tribe of Benjamin. So he was that you are a Christian Jews. A Christian later and then a Roman citizen and we know they call himself a fair say in Philippians three five. That's correct. Called himself a fair a see and we know that he wrote fourteen of the twenty seven New Testament books so it's very important very important. Thank you very much. And that's a great overview this is SOL. This is so when we learn that from a lesson here in Acts Chapter seven verse fifty I just turn over there with me accept some of those fifty and this is the first time Soul is mentioned in the Bible accept a seven and verse fifty eight and it's not flattering in the least and his association with the persecution of the early Christian church notice Acts Chapter seven in verse fifty eight. It says and they cast him out of the city talking about the deacon Stephen that cost him out of the city and they stoned him and the witnesses laid down the coast coats all day clothes at the feet of a young man named to Sol now that young man doesn't help us really a whole lot to term and help Paul was a young man could have been between the age of twenty to forty. I would say even forty two because that's a good age to be young still about we don't entirely sure what age Paul was here but we know he was a young man and what he what he was doing was consenting to the death and the starting of Stephen. And and so the first introduction to a soul who later became the Apostle Paul is not flattering in the least he was involved in and consented to and later on was heavily involved in the persecution of the church. Yes and he was born in Tosh just tells us that south central Turkey. If you want to look at your map at South Central Toki an important town on the trade route between Assyria and Asia and you can read about that in Acts Chapter twenty two verse three. He was born. Yes to Jewish parents. Parents of the diocese Bora Dyess board Jews were those who weren't living in the immediate territory of Israel. His parents were outside there and right there in Tarsus and so he was born to die of Spore juice and he was from the tribe of Benjamin Benjamin now as a Pharisee which he declared himself to be he was probably a married man although we don't know anything about his wife. All we know any what we do know from the Scriptures is that he had a sister and he had a nephew and that you can read in Acts twenty three verse sixteen. He was also a Roman citizen he was educated in Jerusalem. Very likely he was educated until he was twelve years old at the feet of his mother up there in Tarsus but when he became of age he probably was sent down to Jerusalem and his keen bright mind was educated by the famous rabbi gamma you can read that in Acts twenty two in verse three and the pole as a common as a typical Jewish male. He also had a trade. Does anyone remember what Paul's trade was. Rubber soles trade was it was a tent maker that's exactly right. He made tents and that was a trade that he had on the side if he wasn't a services weren't needed in religious instruction he always had something to support his livelihood and family with you. And being a Pharisee. Is a Pharisee Affair A C. was known for US known for being strict observers of all the laws of God whether they be the moral law whether they be the Pentateuch first five books of of the Old Testament written by Moses whether be even those traditions that were passed on down from generation to generation that were perceived to be low but were really just tradition poll as a Pharisee was a very strong advocate for following the laws of God and even those traditional cultural laws. He was a member of the Sanhedrin and and so he was very proud the leaders in that time thought he was very promising. And again he had it was bright he was alert and very dedicated in a. Very serious individual now souls background as a mission as of right now as a missionary but as a Pharisee rather as a Pharisee helped him to be a successful missionary to both the Jews and to the gentiles with his knowledge of the Old Testament and even certain Scrabble expansions of the Old Testament. He was able to mention the early extract timeless biblical truths from that tightly woven fabric of Jewish tradition and culture which meant that he could make meaningful application of the truth those timeless truths of the Word of God to all people that he ministered to one of the challenges with the early Christian church is and will talk a little bit more about this is that many converts Jewish converts to Christianity. Believe that Gentile converts to Christianity must first become a Jew And so Paul was able to help folk differentiate between what was simply custom and tradition and those things that were no longer necessary shadows because the fulfillment had been met in Christ and he was able to educate and encourage the Gentile converts as well. So he was as he was strategically poised in position. By Providence to be one of the main leaders of the early church. After his conversion experience. He was able to differentiate between truth and later cultural dish and I wonder as Seventh Day Adventists Christians us as a Seventh Day Adventist Church. Whether we have Macon or mistaken traditions for biblical absolutes. I wonder whether at times we considered the. Nine The thirty Sabbath school time and the eleven o'clock to worship service to be absolute timeless truth. Now now now most people go to church at about eleven o'clock and so it's a good idea to start about that time because that's what most Christians are used to but is that a timeless eternal truth. I'm not dissin not dismissing it or suggesting it's not important. And we're going to change our times here. That's we're going to keep the times as they are is a possible that sometimes traditions in the administration have been mistaken as biblical absolutes what would they be what would some of those things probably be How important is it that we make clear distinction between the two How important is it now we're more interested in baptizing a post into our culture. Well that telling them into Christ and is there a difference is there a difference. This certainly is a difference. Now I would be fast and quick to suggest that you had Venice culture is founded upon timeless eternal truths in the Word of God But you know as all religious communities we adapt adopt certain traditions along the way that necessarily eternal truths and so it's important we distinguish between them both. Especially when as missionaries we serve Jesus Christ. We are baptizing them into Christ not into a into culture. So to speak as a religious culture baptizing them into Jesus Christ and His eternal truth. Well let's let's move on that we're going to go over to Monday's lesson we just did Sunday so if you didn't know we did Soul of causes. We're going to talk about pull the man pull the men sometimes when we think of the Apostle Paul we think of him as being a giant spiritual giant super super christian and untouchable someone that no one could ever touch or come close to in in following as an example and the pole is a man pole is a man subject to like passions as we are and challenged and buffeted and tempted like all people and he was a man and what type of man was Paul all soul. What type of man was he. What was his personality. What is what is a post and what is personality the dictionary defines personality as a combination of characteristics or qualities that make up a person. So one of the characteristics a combination of characters. Mystics all all qualities that make up soul of the Apostle pole and what type of character did Soul have what his character the dictionary defines characters the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. So what was the post not only the character of Poli What did what type of character characteristics personality did he have. We'll look at several verses together and someone has first Corinthians Chapter fifteen verses nine and ten. Mike that you were going to come to in just a minute we need to get a mike down here first Corinthians Chapter fifteen verses not attempt let's look at a couple of verses Let's see if we can figure out a little bit about who a soul is list. Take a look at Acts Chapter nine and verse one notice what Acts Chapter nine verse one says Acts nine verse one says then soul still breathing threats and mood against the disciples of the Lord he went to the high priest the Jewish the Jews were not contained in just post accusing the Christians in Jerusalem. They wanted to stretch it to side of that just outside of that city and so poll came to the High Priest. So the priest a high priest and he asked for a letter asking if he could go up to Damascus which was north of Jerusalem them. North of Jerusalem up the Jordan River way up north and northern Israel up in that in that area in Syria. That region and asked if he couldn't go up there and and bring men and women. Back to Jerusalem to be tried and to be. Essentially to persecute them and so he was very dedicated to his devils and although it was very wrong of that very wrong. What he was doing. Philippians chapter three verse six and I listen if we can put a few more pieces together. Philippians three verses six and eight the Bible says this is poll writing about himself concerning zeal persecuting the church his he was ill us and it. It was directed to a post accusing the Christians concerning righteousness in the law blameless couldn't touch poll when it came to the externals of not only the the moral law but also the externals. The the additions to God's law and even the Jewish traditions He was blameless yet. Indeed he goes on to write I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish that I may gain Christ. So as a as a. As a Jew as a Pharisee a member of the Sanhedrin he was jealous opposed to hew blameless when it came to the law and yet he had a change of heart he was converted and did he extend that same dedication to his service for Jesus all man did did he ever elations one verse fourteen. He said and I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation being more exceedingly zealous for the tradition of my father's will ride my first Corinthians fifteen not until it's a little bit more about soul who became poll. First Corinthians fifteen verse nineteen for I am the least of the Apostles when not worthy to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church of God but by the grace of God I am what I am and His grace towards me was not in vain but I labored more abundantly than the own he had not but I had the grace of God which was with me. Thank you so much not going to question for you based on all that we've said Mike how would you summarize poll the characteristics the personality of poll. Say he was fervent energetic and very humble. OK that's a good summary I think how else would you describe poll from these verses. Yeah that was a good summary where We're speechless. That was good he was it was a pose a man of deep conviction was and is no doubt about that when you when you think about his. Persecuted the Christians. He was deeply committed to doing that he was a man of zeal. Now as soul as soul he use these characteristics these traits to persecute the early church as pole. He used these traits to do our advance the gospel right. He used these traits to advance the gospel. Now this idea begs the following questions. What changes in us when we're converted. What changes what really changes in us when we converted because here here Paul zealous he's can. He's a man of deep conviction did that change after his conversion. No What happened to his zeal and his conviction. It was one redirected right. It was redirected. So what really changes in us then when we are converted. The mind the direction. That's right that's that's what repentance involves sorrow for sin and a turning away from it. I'm walking this way away from God in my own path. My own direction and conversion sets me on another course another direction one hundred eighty degree turn. Now I'm going this way and I'm doing it for Jesus. So does out here's a question does a person as a maybe it's a bit of a trick question does a personality change. It doesn't change but it is sanctified very good excellent and sometimes the mistaken notion of that conversion is have we had a mistaken notion of conversion to the extent that we have believed our personalities change when we give our lives to Christ that there are some people who don't like who the hell they're Christians who don't like their personality they think when they come to Jesus that all of sudden those personality traits are going to be completely different. They're going to be instead of being timid and shy they're going to be bold and forthright and said it doesn't happen right away. Does any of those that happen all the time per say these are challenging and difficult questions for sure. I want to read a statement that I found in a book called Finding a job you can. Love and I think some people so TIME LOW all their lives searching for a job they can love. It's not easy to find one. But the author said something very interesting. He said this the ingredients that a single before conversion. That is the ingredients of a person's characteristics or personality are seen before. Conversion the scene before conversion after conversion. This is disturbing. He goes on to say to people who expect it to be otherwise. But perhaps we will better understand our position in Jesus. If we see that God's intentions for us is not replacement of who we are but redemption of who we are like how we put that Jesus isn't looking to replace who we are he loves you He created you. But he is seeking to redeem us and to take those personality traits and sanctify us make us to be more like Jesus subdue those course a rougher edges you see inspire us if we're a little timid and shy I say it to refine us. He goes on to say God's Creation of us including our basic motivational pattern is not bad conversion has us rejoicing in the fact that we are unable to become who we originally were made to be rather than being someone entirely different and then in closing he said the renewal takes place when we are resurrected in conversion and sanctification causes a radical change. Not in the gift we have but in its purpose and in its use. So what was some of the gifts that Paul had he was a man of deep conviction. Certainly some of the talents he had he was a man of zeal and energy he had a bright intelligent mind and certainly. God didn't change those things when he was converted. What did God do. He repurposed them. He redirected them for his mission for his service you say. And so it's an important thing to just keep in mind here conversion changes our direction changes our Hot our intentions our motives. Who we are now serving who is Lord in our lives. It doesn't change the basic fabric of who we are who God made us to be if you understand what I'm saying or complicate this any more than perhaps I have already but we've got to understand that Jesus the in coming to Jesus. He doesn't change the basics of who we are he refines who we are and now. As we're able to become all that we He designed us to be in Christ Jesus. You see conversion does that we can be what Jesus wants us to be. Well that's Paul and that's who he was and and then God changed his heart change his mind and God used him in a powerful way. To push the gospel out beyond Israel to the Gentiles. Let's talk about Paul's conversion Let's go to choose those lesson. Let's talk about polls convert or souls conversion poll did you know that by the why does anyone know when the first time when is the first time that saw refers to himself as Paul does anyone know it's an X. Chapter thirteen and it's verse thirteen just a few verses before he's referring to talking about Luke is talking about soul and then in Acts thirteen thirteen. He talks about Paul. Sometimes we get to thinking that souls and name change came on the road to on the road to Damascus where when he met Jesus and it didn't happen then he was a he was a changed man a converted man who was can you think about the Bible about a name change. We think about Abraham Abrams his name was changed to Abraham father of many a multitude you see there are a I Her name was changed to Sarah. That's right. Jacob deceiver. His name was changed to Israel prince of God You see these name changes indicated a change of character a change of who the change that God wrought in these individuals lives sold changed his name to poll indicating his changed. New direction in life. His mission to the Gentiles. Well we're going to read a few verses to nine versus one through nine nine versus one through nine. It seems. As one three nine and when you're ready to go have a force. And saw everything else threatens and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord went to the High Priest and desired of him letters to Damascus into the synagogues that if he found in the of this way whether they were men or women he might bring them into Jerusalem and as he journey he came near Damascus and suddenly they're about him a light from heaven and he fell to the earth and heard a voice saying and. Saw why purpose persecuted me and he said Who art thou Lord and he said and the Lord said I am Jesus who persecute us. It is hard for the kick against the pricks. And he trembling in astonished said Lord what wilt thou have me to do and the Lord said to him Arise and go into the city and it shall be told the. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless hearing a voice but seeing and saw all of rose from the yours and when his eyes were opened he song but they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus and he was there he was three days without size sight and neither did eat or drink. OK thank you very much. So here is the conversion story of souls who became pope. On his way to Damascus and what's his intention to to persecute the Christians up in that area on his way to Damascus. Incredible experience takes place pole soul encounters whom. Jesus Christ. That's exactly ride the bright light he has a voice and and this man is is impressed more than impressed. What happens is his or already his heart has changed already his direction is change and you know that by what he asked Jesus what what would you have me to do what would you have me to do not now what I want to do and what I think is best to do and I'm just going to do it my way but Lord what would you have me to do is a possible. Poles encounter a soul encounter with Jesus changed him changed him is a possible that we don't think change is possible for us. Do we have to have an experience like soul to have a transformation of heart in life. All that change that came to poll is is good for anyone who encounters Jesus. How can we be changed. Like Soul. Well I just basically said to deny we have to spend time with Jesus coming into the presence of Jesus is what changes and transforms our hearts and our lives changes our direction you see changes our thought sell our feelings our motives spending time with Jesus changes the house as. You can spend time with Jesus reading your Bible spend time with Jesus prying spend time with Jesus walking and singing and if you want to talk to him do that but make sure no one else is around this. I think you're crazy and spend time with Jesus talk to him. And spend time with him and sharing Jesus with others. These are all things that help us help us or at least through by the grace of God change us to become more and more like Jesus the secret to Poles or souls. Conversion was encountering Jesus Jesus in all his glory his magnificence and what happened. Paul recognized that he was doing wrong to recognize that he wasn't doing the right thing. Conviction came upon him his conscience pricked him he was he was humbled is hot in contrition and recognized his in need of a Savior. All this was brought about by spending time with Jesus and Jesus rightly directed his life. Now I want to take you over the Acts Chapter twenty six verses sixteen to eighteen because in this account when Paul tells a story. It expands extrapolates a little bit. What what the the answer was when poll asked what would you have me to do the answer is given and before we're going to get the X. twenty six sixteen eighteen someone has X. nine ten three nineteen we're going to continue reading his conversion story who's got X. Chapter nine verses ten through nineteen. He's got that are that I want to come to in just a minute. Mike thanks X. twenty six verses sixteen to eighteen but rise and stand on your feet. This is Jesus speaking for I have appeared to you for this purpose to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I have were yet revealed to you I will deliver you from the Jewish people as well as from the gentiles to whom and they'll send you to open their eyes in order to turn them from darkness to light from the power of Satan to God that they may receive receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me I want you to notice something interesting polls conversion experience was directly connected to. Directly connected to Mission. They just see that as soon as he opened his heart to Jesus Christ. The response came Lord what would you have been to do what should I do for you. I've been persecuting you. I've been hurting you in the person of all these individuals that I've been persecuting and now I want you to change my life my heart. What would you have me to do in Jesus. Responds and he answers and he tells poll that he's going to become a missionary an apostle to the Gentiles. Now maybe you didn't have an experience like that Jesus didn't come to you and say OK give me your heart you said Lord Here's my heart and he said you're going to be now an apostle to this group of people to these individuals. But in a special sense does he come to us and he say. Now I want you to be my my minister. I want you to be I so when a for me does in a special sense doesn't Jesus come to each of us when he when he when he comes to us and he and he in any vices to himself and we say Lord I want to be entirely yours he says Good. Now I want you to share what I've done for you with others and win them to me as well by my grace through my spirit does that come to each of us. Surely here when we converted we're not converted in a vacuum. We're converted to service we converted from mission we converted for service and sharing Jesus with others and that's very important for us to remember when we give our lives to Jesus. It involves service acts nine ten three nineteen Let's continue the story here. Mike thanks so much at nine ten through nineteen now there was a certain disciple at Damascus mean and I notice and to Him the Lord said in a vision and in us and he said Here I am Lord. So the Lord said to him Arise and go to the Street called Straight and enquire at the house of Jews for one called solve Tarsus for behold he is praying and in a vision he has seen a man named and eyes. Coming in and putting his hands on him so that he might receive his sight then and eyes answered. Lord I have heard from many about this man how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem and here he has authority from the chief priest to bind all who call on your name but the Lord said to him go. For he is a chosen vessel of mine to bear my name before Gentiles kings and the children of Israel for I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name's sake and energise went his way into the house and laying his hands on him he said brother saw the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road as you came has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales and he received his sight at once and he arose and was baptized. So when he had received food. He was strengthened and saw spirit some days with the disciples mask this. You so much Mike. And so pole is led by the hand to Damascus and there he is staying with Judas the Siple Judas and and and a nice is told to go talk to Paul or receive pole and he tells and a nice Jesus tells analyze envision what his mission. What what his purpose for pole or soul of this time is and so on and I see beauty and a little reluctant at the beginning and you would be a little bit too wooden to poll was always zealous in persecuting the Christians and you tell me Lord that is really have a change of heart. Can I be so sure. Jesus speaks to me says God he's my vessel he's going to be my instrument for the Gentiles and so he spent three days without an ice and during those three days and you can read the account in Acts of the Apostles inspired commentary on on on the situation on this experience. We're told that he was in during this time his heart his heart was so his sorrow sad and sorrowful for what he had done to the Christians. He was studying the prophecies he was and and link of to link of truth was being connected together in his mind you know going to annoy him he had to. Most part most parts of the Old Testament memorized. He understood the prophecies of the Messiah and as he was studying them again the Holy Spirit was in Latin in his mind and he was realizing that these prophecies all pointed to Jesus Christ the one who met him on the road the one who had been persecuted through his followers through these three days he was studying and and confessing and repenting of his sins he gave his entire life over to Christ. He rose and he was baptized this interesting and I want to just read this to you from Acts of the Apostles page one twenty one as Christ had performed the work of Revelation and conviction and now. And now the penitent was in a condition to learn from those whom God had ordained to teach is true God connected soul to his church in order to provide him with instruction and with direction and here he is encouraged to work for the gentiles and wondering what this should tell us about the important work Christ has given to his church. What is the purpose of the church and we can say for missions and evangelism sharing the gospel Yes but there's another part of the of the work of the church and what is that disciple and the question is does disciple. That's exactly right. I'd so Jesus had soul connect with and in the eyes he was a part of a member of the church and throughout a nice through the church Paul was Paul received instruction guidance and direction and the same is for us today. How do we help in Gauge people in service once they've given their lives to Jesus. Maybe the question should be do we try to engage people in the service after they've given their lives to Jesus. Here's a here's a very important question is this work to be left solely to the pastor alone to accomplish. Be impossible. Wouldn't it mean. Magine if three thousand souls were converted in one day here in Sacramento would be impossible for the palaces to manage that would all have to do something about folk around let them let them see how we live the Christian life nurture them encourage them in sir. This will have a part of played out way God is God connects his people to the church and that's very very important we have a question that's come in this is from Timothy in Sacramento. The question is Is there much evidence Paul use scripture of prophecy in his missions. That's a great question and what I'm going to do with that question is I'm going to Timothy refer that to next week's lesson but I'll say this. Yes poll often referred to Old Testament prophecies. To talk about his encounter with Jesus and to establish the Jesus he meant he didn't just talk about his own conversion experience in meeting Jesus but he talked about the Old Testament prophecies confirming that Jesus had met the qualifications for messiahship he was the one whom the prophecies talked about. So certainly yes Timothy thanks for that. Good question. But next week we're going to talk more about his message and his mission and we'll will deal with that in more detail and we'll get to that. Now we've got a last couple of verses here in chapter nine. Accept a nine versus twenty to twenty two who has that for us right over here. All right thank you so much accept a nine those is twenty to twenty two. I'm going to read for you before we come over. I'm going to read for you. Actually the Apostles page one twenty four. I want you to notice these words of God in His providence not only spared souls life but converted him thus transferring a champion and a severe critic pole with his stern purpose and undaunted courage possessed the very qualifications needed for the early church and we talked about this before you know in the in warfare if you kill the kill the general or you kill the leader. You've accomplished a great feat. You can't serve the enemy anymore. Not that you're going to do that but you understand my illustration. But what happens if that leader defects and joins the opposite side. That's the last thing the opposition wants isn't it. And what happened to what happened a soul that soul defect. He defected and became a mighty powerful instrument the hand of God to push the got the claims of the Gospel the message of the Gospel beyond Israel to to the Gentiles and so poll with a stern purpose and undaunted courage possessed the very qualifications needed in the early church and we're ready to come to accept a nine and verses twenty to twenty two. Immediately he preached the Christ in the Senate that he is this and then all who heard were amazed and said Is this not he who destroyed those who called on the name in this day in Jerusalem. And has come here for that purpose so that he might bring them down to the chief three. But Saul increased all and more in strength and founded the Jesus who dwelt in Damascus for the thing that that Jesus is the Christ. Thank you. So what was happening was after his back to the monopole do kind of hung around sat around. He was energetic enthusiastic. He went straight to the synagogues and started opening the scriptures the Holy Scriptures declaring that Jesus was in fact the Christ and he grew in strength and then there was some nervous Christians around for sure and you'd be too and I would be but they saw that God was using soul in a powerful way and they became more and more convinced and soul was used more and more in the service of God. Well let's go to Wednesday's lesson. Let's talk about poll in the mission field poll in the mission field. What are some of the aspects of polls successful missionary work that we can put into practice today. There's several things number one Christ was central in Paul's preaching Christ was central impulse preaching. We're going to come to a few verses in just a second but secondly secondly through polls activities through his missionary work missionary Centers of Influence churches were stablished all across the region. And thirdly pole was very very much engaged in the work of nurture. In caring for the newly established members they were his constant concern and his his constant concern their welfare was his constant concern. That's what when we think about the letters that he wrote in The New Testament there were two churches to these a lot of these folk who are new converts and his concern for them as expressed in these pastoral lettuce to them and so poll was very successful and we can probably learn the same from him today count making sure that Jesus Christ is central to our preaching now teaching and sharing making sure that that way of planning more churches as God leads us when we want to fall for this church to plan another church Grana Baze going like gangbusters would be wonderful to establish a church and Folsom over there by that light that's drying up a little bit and we pray for more rain but want to be great to plant churches where there is no Adventist Church in that particular area planning churches left right and center and then of course nurturing caring for newly established members. Let's take a look at polls preaching want to read a few verses someone has collation six verse fourteen is that you Diana. OK done has got that we're going to come right over to you in just a moment Romans Chapter fifteen and verse one thing notice pull in mighty signs and wonders by the power of the Spirit of God so that from Jerusalem and around about. You know I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. What did Paul do all around the region he did he done what preached the gospel of Jesus Christ notice first Corinthians Chapter one Verse twenty three. Paul says but we preach Christ crucified to the Jews as a stumbling block because why they had rejected Jesus as Messiah and to the Greeks it was what it was foolish ness that didn't want to accept. This idea that the death of this man could accomplish much of anything that's humiliating so is foolishness to the Greeks elations Chapter six most forty. Good lation six fourteen but God forbid that I should stick cept in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by whom the world has been crucified to me and I. Have a question for you. Diana. Why is it. Why is it so important to keep Jesus central in our preaching in our teaching in a now sharing of him. What is Why is it so important to keep Jesus central in our messages in our preaching because only Jesus can say no man. Neither doctrines nor prophecies alone can do that. OK appreciate your answer. Thank you so much May that mean the doctrines or prophecies can alone can save us you who saves us friends. Jesus. That's why Jesus was central to the preaching of pole lifted Christ Jesus said If I believe that up to it will do or draw all men to me he didn't save my doctrines or my teachings or lifted up. Now our doctrines and teachings important Absolutely. We know that they are probably goes without saying. Certainly goes without citing the very essential very important doctrinal prophecies can save us. Is there a risk that we can get off track and think that uplifting in defending doctrines only is sufficient in converting people. Surely surely we can get off track and start thinking that but we need to remember that it's that we need to remember that is that it is the truth in Jesus that has converting power doctrines alone prophecies alone doesn't have power to convert change people it can arrest a person's attention they can probably satisfy the their rationale and reasoning and their curiosity to some degree but it doesn't have converting power if Jesus is not lifted up and doesn't come with the power of the Holy Spirit. What is the what the purpose of doctrines in the believers life. What's the main purpose of doctrines in the believers life will essentially doctrines clarify the nature of the character. The intention the plans and purposes of God doctrines give us a little clearer picture of who God is and as you study study doctrines as they are in Jesus. We're drawn closer to him and now understanding of who God is is enhanced and in it is increased we've got to consider doctrines like like a skeleton the backbone of the of the of the church and the gospel as the flesh the sinews the muscles you see doctrines are essential but we need when we preach the truth. We must always preach the truth as it is in Jesus Jesus must always be central We must always lift him up teaching someone about the Sabbath as important as it is and as necessary as it is cannot convert a person unless people understand that Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath you understand. So when we preach it to a doctrine Jesus must be uplifted always first and foremost to say we must preach the doctrines. But we must priest Jesus in those doctrines. This one of those days lesson those days lesson multiculturalism the lesson tells us that according to the Oxford English Dictionary this word first appeared in the one nine hundred sixty S. as much as a recent turn if we go back in time people were categorized into two groups you and me or them and us. The Greeks thought about those who were known Greeks as barbarians the Jews called non Jews while Gentiles AND And so the early church struggled with this Jew gentile divide as the gospel spread beyond Israel's borders. The question was Should a gentile become a Christian without first becoming a Jew. Now Richard you've got up to two verses eleven through fourteen. I'm going to come to you in just a moment here the mission in multiculturalism the Gospel goes to all people. It's not just for certain people. It goes to everybody. Richard when you're ready. Let's take a look at glaciers to live in through fourteen zero one. Peter was coming to an E.R. I was told him to face it. Because he was to be blamed for before that certain came from James he did eat with the Gentiles. But when they were calm he was Drew and separated himself from them which were of the circumcision. And he other Jews dissembled Likewise with him and so much that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation but when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel. I said to Peter before them all if you being a Jew live after the manner of the Gentiles and not as the Jews. Why do you compel the Gentiles to live as Jews the Jews. Richard what did. What did pay to do that was so wrong. That Peter allowed. What other Jews thought about his association with the gentiles to influence his actions ride. Exactly. So as soon as the Jews of come down. He got a little disturbed that they might think Ill faults of him and so we disassociate himself from the gentiles you see. Before he was eating with them but in the presence of the Jews. He got a little concerned to let them influence his actions. I'd like to read for you. Acts of the Apostles page one ninety seven and one ninety eight to help you understand what was going on here but I'm going to give you that reference and you can read that later. Fortunately paida did seek to us to work out and to to correct his mistake that he had made when he was confronted by poll but there's a lesson that we can learn in this incident in our ministry with those who are not Christians or who are not of our faith does a person have to know Adventists the language of Adventism or eat Loma Linda foods before we accept them into membership and surely not. Can we take this too far below this idea too far by thinking this certain distinct terms don't need to be taught and accepted before welcoming posts and into Welcome ship ship. Yeah we can't take it too far and unfortunately some do. It's always very important that we know the difference between the Adventist message and the and cultural Adventism when we win people to Jesus Christ. Times there is a difference and we talked a little bit about that earlier on. Sometimes the sometimes the two blend blend cross paths. Sometimes I do not and we need to make sure we make that clear distinction well in closing the Apostle Paul through strength from his experience with Jesus in order to become better acquainted with unbelievers in order to win them to Jesus Christ. The question for you and I this morning is what lengths are we willing to go to to bring somebody to Jesus Paul went to great lengths in the question is will we go to great lengths for Jesus as this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse. If you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.

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