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Jewish Jihadi to Gentle Apostle

Conrad Vine
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Conrad Vine

President of Adventist Frontier Missions

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  • December 27, 2014
    11:45 AM
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If you haven't been wish to merry Christmas I like to issue Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And somebody came to our office just recently on the open day in Berrien Springs and I quite came and they were they were singing I'm dreaming of a white Christmas and I said I'm not anything but so why Christmas a Brown Christmas a Black Christmas a great Christmas a Gradgrind Christmas just don't give me snow this year and so I praise God So far we indeed have had a green or a great Christmas. But I stand before you today knowing that it is an incredible privilege generous sponsibility to stand and proclaim the living words of the Living God. And so I invite you to by your heads with me as we offer the presence of God to speak to us to father. The friends of just son I pray that you renew each one of us today just as when we see a butterfly We have no idea that was once a caterpillar I pray that when people see us they will not see our past but they will see where where we are flying to father as you change John Newton's life. Has begun to discover its the days you change the Apostle polls life. I ask this morning that your same grace will be at work each of our lives as well so father speak through me this morning May my words in deed be your words in Jesus name I ask man. Some of you know that just recently he was my privilege to be in the country of Iraq in the northeastern part portion called Kurdistan. I won't go into many great details here this morning but I want to share with you what it was like to visit with some of those who have fled the violence of ISIS and as you work through some of these large hotels all churches the sites of this and you meet with families on a pew like this you may have 2 families living on every pew and they just have the clothes they're standing in as you meet with families and they tell you that stories as they tell you their stories there's not a lot you can say I won't go into the details of the stories but for the 1st time in my life I understood why in the Book of Job it says that when Job's 3 friends came together and they serve the suffering of job they sat in silence for 7 days there are times when we come face to face with the reality of evil and the depths of human suffering and despair when words will not suffice when we simply have to be quiet and over there in Iraq there were times I listened to particularly the ladies telling what happened to their children that would Cindy did not suffice the only thing I could do was sit and listen there are times when I come face to face with the reality of evil. And on my 1st Sabbath out there in northern Iraq I met with the 3 young out of interests who are out there there's what happened to us from the Iraqi there's 3 young Westerners out there young people. I met with them in a hotel lobby the hotel was empty nobody was flying into northern Iraq I can assure you in August of this year. We sat down in the lobby of the hotel and how to worship service a public worship service and there was nobody in the lobby even the stuff would go on they were out looking for their relatives. And we sat there in the lobby of the hotel and we had a season of prayer now one of those young people was a young American lady I won't mention her name but she was young American lady and ISIS were 50 miles down the road they were from here to South Bend and at the time they were advancing Fos and we didn't know where the ISIS would be there within the hour will not and we sat there and in our press season she started praying for the g how to use of ISIS now I knew that if I was captured I probably be paraded on c.n.n. after a few months being held in a cell somewhere and then probably lose my head. But if she was captured her fate was going to be much worse than mine as a young American lady. And yet she sat there and she prayed those Gee how to use what comes know Jesus Christ and also I'm the smelling is entitle Paul from Jewish jihadi to Gentile apostle because as we look at the life of Plato we realize that indeed he may not have been a Muslim jihadi but he was a Jewish jihadi And so if you have the Word of God with you this morning I invite you to Turn to Romans chapter one which is going to be looking in detail in the 1st verse of Romans chapter one Romans chapter one verse one and the Apostle Paul he starts with one word which I want to reflect on for a few moments this morning and it is this poll that's how we stuck says let's He says poll now. How you start a letter is often significant would you agree with me. When I used to serve in Tajikistan back in the early in the mid ninety's without drama we had certain rules of communication because there was a civil war going on and Westerners were being taken hostage by the Mujahideen in the country seems I seem to follow them or they seem to follow me through life but we had some rules of communication one of them was this if you ever being captured you went on the radio and you just sat on the shortwave radio I'm going for t.v. that was the code from being kidnapped and with the address office in Moscow we had an agreement that every email I sent would starts off with the phrase Dia Pavol. Greetings from Duchamp day and he knew and I knew that if the phrase if my letter did not begin Greetings from Duchamp a that was a code that something was wrong with my situation or with the contents of that letter it was a coded signal in the beginning of a letter is often significant Thankfully I never had to use it for myself but I did have one colleague who was captured who eventually negotiate his release from the Taliban. And the 1st word of Paul's letter to the Church of Rome is simply this pole. It's a deeply significant beginning and why do I say that this morning well the very 1st thing poor once the Church of Rome snow is his new name Paul but that was not his birth name he was born sorrel we know from the Book of Acts but he was born in the city of Tire us a city on the southern coast of Turkey on the Mediterranean coast it was an important city. When he was captured in Rome a Jew Sonakshi up to 22 I'm told the Roman officer who arrested him that he was from Tarsus in Salissa a citizen of an important city but he was not merely a resident of Tarsus he was a citizen of houses which gave him citizen rights of which he was proud and made use whenever he felt the need but told us not school himself Cyril in the beginning was that he calls himself Paul not only was perilous citizen of Tarsus sir was also a Roman citizen. Now we may not think of citizenship these days as being a big deal most of us here today on American citizens by the time of course you could be a slave and maybe 2 thirds of the population of the empire of that time were slaves if you were a gladiator and you felt particularly well in the Roman Coliseum you were given you a freeman you became a freeman but you are not necessarily a citizen to be a room and citizen gave us particular social privileges and legal rights and legal protections but it was not just a citizen of an important city but when he was person he was also a Roman citizen he was from a respected family with high social standing and not only was Paul a citizen of an important city and its right and a citizen of the Roman Empire which most people of his Iraq only aspire to but never achieve. He was also Jewish and 1st slide you seen Philippians 3 buses 5 through 6 says they're on the screen said Paul describes his life he said I was circumcised on the 8th day a member of the people of Israel the tribe of Benjamin a Hebrew portion of Hebrews asked of a little a Pharisee as to Zeal a persecutor of the church as to righteousness under the little blameless Pearl was burned soul and he was burning the tribe of Benjamin and the most famous son of the tribe of Benjamin was the king of Israel Colt Sol so we can figure out the pearls parents when he was born as so they were proud of their young boy and decided to name their young boy after the most famous son of the tribe of Benjamin King Sol. Not only without him but he says he was circumcised on the 8th day he came from a very observant Jewish family he came from a devout Jewish family he had at least one brother and sister because we know that he had a Jew and nephew in Jerusalem who later saved his life he was not an only child and as a young boy young Searle as he was called was sent to Jerusalem to embark on what was perhaps the most complete education of his era he was sent to learn of the fetal most famous teachers of his era a man called commit gmail the 1st game a little of 1st was a brilliant mind and well respected even today in modern day today isn't until sense a lot of the feats of Gemayel 1st you might say he had an Ivy League education he went to Oxford or Cambridge or Princeton or Hava Dhokha or mit. But goes on to say in Acts Chapter 22 in verse 3 and I you see this light on the screen as well he says I was educated in the perfect manner of the low believe in the earth things which are written in the lead on the prophets and groomed to be zealous towards God and they are exhibiting these Alice all the traditions of the Jews he goes on to say in the next screen slide on the screen Galatians one verse 14 he said I dance in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age and I was farmers and us for the traditions of my ancestors Now what was he talking about here how well the Jews believed that when Moses went on to Mount Sinai he was given the written torah but how were you to interpret the written torah and so they came up with this idea that God also gave Moses the Torah which was the early interpretation of the written Torah. So you might say that in Adventism we have the Bible as the written torah but how do we apply about someone ourselves we have something known as the church manual which describes how we relate to each other within the Body of Christ in a way to harness this text here or we have an advantage in the working policy of the General Conference which deals with how different entities within the Welches deal with one another and relates one another well in order to uphold the principles contained within this book here and so Pearl was advanced be in Judaism beyond many of his own people his own age and he was farmers zealous for the traditions of his ancestors. These were the oral traditions of the Jews and you can find them today in Andrews University if you go to Andrews today to the library the James White library and you go on the 1st floor you can find the Talmud. Now the Talmud but the total document is about $6200.00 pages. It's a good Sunday off an injury. $6200.00 pages with with $63.00 tracks in it divided about 7 or 6 major subdivisions and these include the Torah known as the Mishra and also the Kemar which is a commentary on the early Torah so you might say that the pen to choose Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers you draw me from the original Torah and then the Jews have the teachings of the rabbis on the outside of the Oral Torah that's known as the mission and then they have further commentary on the mission which is a commentary on the Torah that is known as the Gamala is so packed into those $6200.00 pages and resent us for those that as he calls them here the traditions of my elders plan was you might say conservative within Judaism he joined the sect of the Pharisees and in Proxima promise to be a brilliant career ahead is a legal scholar and I thought leader within contemporary Judaism this young man call Sorell had everything going for him he had a proud social heritage a proud racial heritage a proud civic legal and religious heritage he had a world class education and he was advanced in Judaism beyond many others his own age he had a blessing in Korea well ahead of his contemporaries you might say he was the rising star of Judaism at the time that Jesus was crucified yet there was a problem in the life of soul because those traditions which he was so zealous to defend were precisely the traditions that Jesus explicitly condemned. The next slide on the screen it was a quote from Jesus mocked up to 7 in verse 8 which Jesus is discussing what constitutes true cleanliness and the rabbis focused on external cleanliness. I know how to wash your hands and when to wash your clothes and so forth and so forth and how to wash pots and pans and what constitutes a clean and unclean food and Jesus he condemns the Pharisees men like servile a contemporary of Jesus who lived at the time of Jesus who would have known of Jesus' teachings Jesus says you abandon the commandments of God and you hold to the human traditional the traditions of men and so the stage is set for a clash between Jesus of Nazareth and Saul of Tarsus both brilliant young man perhaps in their thirty's in year 830 and Jesus is condemning the very traditions that so is Ellis Lee upholding. There is no evidence sword ever met Jesus before the road to Damascus but you can imagine what So would a federal 20 Hood's the teachings of Jesus his contemporary Jerusalem in Matthew 23 now I don't have these slides on the screen but if you turn your Bibles to Matthew 23 you see how Jesus relates to Pharisees Matthew 23. Verse Phil Jesus talks about the Pharisees and he says they tie up heavy burdens hard to bear and lay them on the shoulders of others but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them and you wonder what kind of burdens to the Pharisees bind on people's box Well if you were a Jew in Jerusalem and you wanted to know the Sabbath has now come and the candle has gone out on the window shelf and the window so sure I have the right to put my candle on will not to see during the Sabbath hours and if you asked a rabbi or a scribe or a Pharisee you buy gets a nonce like this they say Well Rabbi Ben you who during the 1st century b.c. said it's not Ok under any circumstances to realize that candle because striking the flint constitutes work. But Rabbi dentally A's are from the 3rd century in Babylon where many Jews lived he says that as long as you light it from another candle it's already let's the not doesn't constitute work but Rabbi Ben Yosef from Nazareth He teaches that you may light it from existing candle but you may not work more than 5 feet from one candle to the next because then that would constitute work and you literally read through the teachings of the Jews the traditions of the Jews and Rabbi just says that rabbi that says the other rabbi over there says this rabbi over here says this and if you're not thoroughly confused by the end of it you understand why when Jesus spoke on the sum on the Mount he said you have heard it said that you shall not commit adultery but I say unto you you read Jesus' teachings in some amount from a Jewish perspective nobody ever spoke like Jesus spoke and that's what the people of his era said they said such teaching with such authority because Jesus never quoted the rabbis of the past he simply said you have heard you shall not commit murder but I say unto you Jesus presumes an authority to teach that a Pharisee like would never presume. Jesus he goes on in verse 13 he says whoa to you scribes and Pharisees people I saw my contemporary you up pops the most zealous of the defenders of these of these traditions of the Jews Jesus close and you are a hypocrite in verse 13 verse 15 what you scribes and Pharisees hypocrites verse 16 someone like Sorel will do to you blind guides verse 17 you blind fools says Jesus to a man like soul verse 23 were to you scribes and hypocrites. 25 were to you hypocrites you getting the point yes verse 27 you are like right wesh tombs you are clean on the outside but inside you are full of moral filth he goes on to call him in verse 23 you brood of vipers. If you want to have do not know why. Persecute the followers of Jesus. Well how would you respond if Jesus had been speaking to you and your professional group and said You are a brute of vipers your blind guides you are rank hypocrites you are whitewashed Tunes and so play that so as he was before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. He was in direct conflict with Jesus the very things that Jesus explicitly condemned are the very things that Sorell made his life made his life he was going to uphold full of the entirety of his life. And so the next screen on the slide. We come to the 1st time that we meet the Apostle Sol. So while they were stoning see Stephen this is 834 or about 3 years after Jesus rose and ascended to heaven Stephen prayed Lord Jesus receive my sight then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice low do not hold this sin against them when he had said this he died and surly approved of that killing him we would that serve was standing that he was holding the coat suppose who was stoning Stephen the 1st matzah of the Christian era this is the 1st time we meet the Apostle sold and we find out the not so new d. approve of the killing of Stephen but in the next slide on the screen Galatians one verse 13 he goes on he describes the Church of glaciers he said you've heard no doubts of my early life in Judaism I was violently persecuting the church of God I was trying to destroy it he goes on to state in the next slide on the screen. It says but so was ravaging the church by entering house after house jacking off both men and women he committed them to prison not only did he commit them to prison but when he was before Agrippa he testified in Acts 26 and verse 10 the next slide we read that it says I have to this and this right in Jerusalem says Sorrell to grip and when he is on trial he says with our thoughts you receive from the chief priests I don't so only looked at many of the saints in prison but I also cost my votes against them when they were being condemned to death had pulled been alive today he would be no different to the ISIS jihadists of northern Iraq you might say he was a Jewish jihadist. But when Pearl stops the book to Romans he doesn't say a word about this he doesn't announce himself a soul he announces Himself as Paul so why would he do that well that's beneath his professional veneer as a defender of the traditions of Judaism and his professional veneer as a self-righteous killer of Christians God was at work in the life of soul poor so reveal this in a turmoil when he states to Agrippa that he persecute as you persecuted Christians he said in Acts 2611 he said I was furiously enraged at them I was furiously and raged at them you see that up on the screen that I punished them often all synagogues I tried to force them to bless fim and since I was so furiously enraged at them I push them even to foreign cities even when they fled from one city to another I tracked them down but I may put them in prison I don't some of the cost of vote for them to be executed and why this in a turmoil Well again while he was on trial and in on that slide. When Pearl was on trial he said this. When we had 1st into the ground he's reflecting on his conversion on the road to Damascus I heard a voice saying to me in Hebrew language several soul why you persecuting me it hurts you to kick against the goads reflect on that final sentence for a minute it hurts you to kick against He goes what does that tell us about Saul It tells us that while he was a defender of Jewish traditions which Jesus explicitly condemned and while he was a killer of Christians whom Jesus had died for jesus was working on souls hot but further road to Damascus experience Jesus Serby hind beyond the evil of this Jewish jihadi and you realize that here was a man who could do mighty things for the Kingdom of God if only he could meet Jesus for himself and so on to the trend of the twin pressures of his brilliant career in Judaism and in the promptings of the Holy Spirit per lashes out as many conflicted men do in acts of extreme violence the next light on the screen is some the teachings of Jesus in Luke Chapter 6. Jesus but I say to you that listen love your enemies do good to those who hate you bless those who cuss you. Pray for those who abuse you if you love those who love you what credit is that to you for even sinners love those who love them love your enemies do good and lend expecting nothing in return for your words will be great and you will be children of the most high is a beautiful passage isn't it but it's so hard to apply. As I sat in northern Iraq this summer I look listen to my sister in Christ young 7th Day Adventist lady who teaches English out I listen to her praying for those jihadists this is the text that came to my mind she was praying for the men who might despitefully use or were they to get their hands on. And this tech stocks make sense in a profound way to me. Because we tend to judge others by the actions that they do but God reads the hot we tend to condemn a model condemn a woman because of the things that they do or the things that they say without realizing that like Cyril before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus Jesus was already working on his heart in a profound way and Sir were struggling with Jesus Christ before he met them on the road to Damascus and despite the fact that he was killing the photos of Jesus Jesus was still working on his heart to bring to the kingdom of God and we think of those who hurt us in our lives and sometimes oftentimes are generally we tend to condemn those who hurts us without recognizing that maybe Jesus is working on their hearts and maybe they will only see Jesus in person and how we respond to their evil treatment after so many G.'s on the road to Damascus he spent some time in Damascus where he was baptized he then went to Rabea before returning to Damascus not to 3 years he journeyed to Jerusalem where you got a 2nd vision of Jerusalem pull discusses this in Acts 22 verse 21 he says that while I was in the temple Jesus appeared to me in a vision and he said Agger appestat app I Apostol I am sending say you Jesus commission circle to be the apostle to the gentiles and the next text upon the screen Acts Chapter 13 versus one through 3 this is the beginning of the 1st missionary journey having been commissioned by Jesus in the temple of Jerusalem we read that in the Church of Antioch they are prophets and teachers bottomless Simeon who is called Nisha Lucius of Sirene Monday and a member of the cult of Herod the ruler and soul he is not yet called poet while there worshipping the Lord and fostering the Holy Spirit said set apart for me bottomless and soil for the work to which I have called them then up to fostering and praying they laid hands on them and they sent them off. So sort of bonded us was set aside as Pioneer missionary to the Gentiles and they sailed for the island of Cyprus where I used to live with my wife many years ago and now on the western side the island of Cyprus there's a beautiful little city that and I'm trying to member the name of it now. But it's a beautiful little city and it's full of British Air retiree's who've made it kind of a 2nd England you can buy beautiful bags of fish and chips on the west coast of Cyprus I know I've sampled them for myself. And there they met a Roman governor cool surges Pulis and they were posed by a magician called animists who was promptly rebuked rebuked by Sorel But Acts 13 in verse 9 when soiling gauges of missionary activity and he repeats this magician the book of Acts recalls that he was now called Paul. So servile but Insel he stopped his letter to the Church of Rome with one word poll why the name change. It could be but his 1st convert was the Roman governor whose name was so just pull us all to the English poll that may be the reason why Sorrels name was changed to Paul it may well be that deferral his 1st missionary journey sir will spend most of his time in the Jewish community where he was known as circle and after x. 13 when he spent most of his time with the gentile community he was he was known as Paul which is the Lacson equivalent that may be the reason but I find nowhere in scripture that somebody is name is changed out of spiritual Russia not. Abraham becomes Abraham said I become Sarah and so forth Jacob becomes Israel each one of us in heaven will get a new name written on a white stone that only we ourselves will know will be indicative of our spiritual experience so why the name change was simply this when Paul writes to the Church of Rome he wants them to know that he is a completely changed man that there is no hints of what lay behind and they don't need to know stuff I've told you about in the Smalling that's immaterial the fact that the thing they need to know is my name is Paul I am a changed man that I met Jesus on the road to Damascus and now I am and I'm a Gus I'm a gentle an apostle to the Gentiles and though we live in year 2014 we're about to turn 2015 each one of us in a sense has a b. c n n 18 our own lives like sir we can say I was sir when I was b.c. before I met Christ and after I met Christ I now live in a d. the year of my Lord and I have a changed name I have a change spiritual experience so I went to Perth from murder to Mata Well sir I want to tell the Church of Rome is that I now put Bill I've had a complete conversion I'm a changed man with a new purpose in life and a new identity in life because I met the risen Lord Jesus Christ and how about us can we say in our own lives that I have met the risen Lord can we say in our own lives that this is who I was every sinner has a past but this is who I am now every set saint has a future the next slide on the screen just summarizes us a scripture reading for us it says that spiral a sense of Jesus Christ called to be an apostle set apart for the gospel of God which he promised before and through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures now we may not meet Jesus on the road to Damascus. But this week in our week of prayer we focus on practical skills how do we study the Bible and we're not just studying how do we study the Bible because we believe from scripture that Francis preaching is the proclamation by the spoken words of the living words from the written word we study the Bible in order that we not we may not just know history but we study the Word of God that we might meet the living would himself and this we cannot in and I week of prayer were going to be studying some basic skills how do I meet Jesus Christ within the words of this book we may not meet Jesus on the road to Damascus but we can meet the living would in the written word sir has now become perilous was a credible conversion you see Searle does not defend his apostleship to the Church of Rome of nowhere does he feel it necessary to say by the way I killed your brothers and sisters in Jerusalem and I'm really sorry about this search conversion wasn't just a complete conversion it was a credible conversion we might ask ourselves as well is our own conversion credible dry lives at home. Our choice of entertainment and the way we spend our money what we rush on the internet I got to choose towards minorities or the homeless or those who disadvantaged in life what do these say about the depth about conversion experience let me bring it really close to home to our children see Jesus Christ in us or not we have a missionary who's just returned he's living Cambodia among Muslims. The Muslims had a different name for every Western in that community one guy was called Joseph another guy was called Ben and so forth. And as he was leaving this young man. Who now works for us on the West Coast of the United States and the community leaders they gathered together and they said you know we never told you what we call you when your back is turned he said well what do you call me he says we call you Isa That is Jesus in the Muslim mind we call you Jesus you are a living representation of Jesus in our midst so could write to the Church of Rome and say pull because his conversion was credible and as we enter this new year we also need to reflect on our own conversion experience and ask ourselves is my change of life is my conversion experience is my profession of faith credible to those who know me the best so that was a converted man he was a changed man he was it was a credible conversion. And as you see on the slide the next thing that Paul wants us to know is he is a servant of Jesus Christ now some does not say to the Church of Rome I was a proud Pharisee he does not say to the Church of Rome I am a brilliant scholar though he was he does not say to the Church of Rome I had a brilliant career in Judaism and I gave up to serve the man from Nasr he doesn't say this he simply says I'm a servant of Jesus Christ or more accurately this is a softens Translation I'm a slave of Jesus Christ he's gone from being the rising star of Judaism to me a slave he has been purchased by Jesus Christ he is not a hired man working for a wage he belongs to Jesus Christ and therefore is obedient to the commands of Jesus Christ and each one of us should be able to say the same myself included I do not work for Jesus for a wage I am his slave I merely obedient to His leading and his commands in my life. Before Herod Agrippa Paul stated that he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision he was entirely obedient to his calling from Jesus Christ and even when facing execution on our next slide in his final letter to his a young protege called Timothy and the Church of f. assists in 2nd scene with each up to follow of a 6 through 8 these are some of his last writings Pearl says this he said as for me I am already being poured out as a lib Asian or a sacrifice and the time of my departure has come I have 30 the good fight I have finished the race I have kept the faith from now and those are reserved for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord the righteous judge will give me on that day and also needs to me but also to Earl who have longed for his appearing Pearl. Was faithful to Jesus Christ he could say in oral honesty I have kept the faith I finished the race I fought the good fight no where does he say I run from the fight I finish short of the finish line and there are times when I waved my faith no I kept the faith pro was entirely obedient to his lord and master This is the 1st things that Paul wants the church of Rome know about himself we may ask ourselves today what do we want people to know about us on our Facebook page on our business cards when we meet people maybe at a party and we and you and you make polite conversation the people say What's your name then the 2nd question people always ask is What do you do because once we know what we do we kind of pigeonhole people I know your income levels on a background I've come some kind of social stereotype what it means to be a teacher accountant or physician or a lawyer. But the 1st thing Paul wants us to know about him is that he is a slave to Jesus Christ not that he's a brilliant Skala not that he had a brilliant career. He wants us to know that he is the slave of Jesus Christ on next slide on the screen Roman 623 for the Apostle Paul being a slave Jesus Christ is the only important thing in life because he goes on to say that we are the slaves to say no slaves to righteousness and where is the wages of sin is death the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord being a slave of Christ is really the only option for a truly converts individual as you move on through his 1st verse he says Jesus Christ and then he says I'm clueless to be an apostle now he goes from one extreme I was a slave and now I'm an apostle these are 2 extreme ideas and the next slide on the screen Galatians one in verse one describes as clearly says Pearl an apostle sense neither by human Commission nor from human authorities but through Jesus Christ and God the Father Pearl wants the church of Rome to know when he wants us to know today that God did not give him the job of an apostle through the old boy network penalty not land the job of an apostle because he had great educational background he didn't learn land the job of an apostle because he was well connected with a conference of the union of the division of the g.c. he was called by God his apostleship was a direct commission from God himself so the obvious question is are we ready to listen. If this is a message from God to a Gentile church which we are here today are we indeed ready to listen important did not say that he was called to the job of an apostle he was called to be an apostle is a subtle difference. You see this was not a question of having the 40 hours a week of being an apostle and then you clock off the end of the week to be a pestle it was not a question of having an exam or nonexempt row as the us government would say that with the f.s.a. regulations there was no provision for overtime and being an Apostle there was no keeping of work hours no workman's comp if you were injured while being thrown to the lions to be an apostle meant you were ready to be stoned shipwrecked beaten imprisoned persecuted falsely accused chased and ultimately mottled if oh sure Department of Labor was at the job description from Apostle to day they would say that job is illegal. Pearl was not an apostle by profession he was an apostle and his very being on the next slide. Accepted 20 he describes what it was to be an apostle. To the to the elders of f.s.s. this is when the elders of f.c.s. came to him is the about say good bye to them you yourselves now how I lived among you the entire time from the 1st day that I set foot in Asia serving the Lord with all humility and with tears remembering that for 3 years I did not cease night all day to work on every one with Tia's. For Perl to be an apostle was not a 40 hour week calling it was something he leads he lived he breathed he slept he ate being an Apostle we ready to hear his message are we really need to read what is written in his book of Romans. The next thing that Paul has to say about himself in Romans one is that he sets apart for the gospel of God Now the root word for sets apart has the same the same root as word for fire see notice this when Paul before he met Jesus Christ he was a Pharisee which meant he was set apart for reaching God through keeping the little to being blameless through keeping the law. But then God Sex them aside sets him apart for another way of reaching God through the gospel of grace at the very beginning of this god of this latter person raises the tension between learning gospel as alternative and exclusive ways of reaching God he said I'm a set apart for the gospel of God. Before you met Jesus Christ he says As to keeping the Law I was blameless before you met Jesus Christ he was earning his salvation through his 100 percent obedience to the teachings of Judaism that was what he was committed to that was what he taught that was what he lived as a Pharisee but now or Jesus has set some aside sets him apart not for reaching God through human works but through reaching God through accepting the free gift of salvation so the very beginning of his letter we have the struggle each one of us has to deal with in our own lives and if I may quote prior faces the right to judge it's yagis in one place in the writings that that Pharisaism is the natural condition of every human being and she means that that each one of us instinctively thinks that grace is too good to be true and we have to do something to earn our salvation and the good news of salvation is that God could take a man called Circle and so could enter the Kingdom of God Not so after a lifetime of good works but after a lifetime of persecuting the church and he spends 3 days in Damascus and then he is baptized and scarred could do that to so we can do it for many can do it for you there is hope for every sinner today no matter where we come from a lot of what's been going on in our lives in this past week there are 2 ways to reach in God and generally we beat ourselves up because we think we have to earn our salvation but Powell says I've been a sex Apoc now not for reaching God through human works as a Pharisee but not being set apart for the gospel of God The now we receive salvation as a gift from God. If you choose to verses a through Tennessee woman one of those beautiful passages of Scripture For by grace writes Paul later in his life you have been saved through faith you might say he could have said For by grace I was saved through faith and this is not your own doing it is the gift of God beautiful words indeed not the results of work so that no 1 May boast for we are what he has made us created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. So beautiful for us I ask the missionaries when they come home on foot on it and I ask you the same question today when was the last time you were personally overcome by a sense of God's grace to you I'm not talking about when was the last time you understood the concept of grace I'm asking when was the last time you felt overwhelmed by a sense of God's grace to you that you allowed it so Russia view like a cleansing way because if you have experienced God's grace to you not just you know about it but you have experienced it you cannot offer God's grace to other people but if you have never experienced God's grace for yourself and you have no sense of your need of His grace then you will never be able to offer grace to anybody else and your Christian experience will be a graceless grinding experience. For the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that God saves us through His grace we are saved not because we deserve it but because God loves us we do not have to salvation Romans one verse 5 the next slide on the screen. Pearl talks about the gospel of God brings about the obedience of faith. And it would not be a balanced presentation of this passage this morning if we would not sit well for a couple of moments on what Paul means by the obedience of faith sheep you can understand this 3 ways you can either understand it to say this is the obedience to the faith that means we are obedience and true to a body of doctrine but this isn't says he doesn't have the definite toxically doesn't have the obedience of the faith so we really can't understand it this way will turn simply we could say the obedience which consists of faith which means that I'm faithful to to believe in Jesus Christ but the Bible does draws a clear distinction between faith and obedience so we have seek another understanding perhaps the best understanding of this phrase the obedience of faith the gospel of God is seeking to bring about the obedience of faith as we look at the example of Abraham who by faith obeyed Hebrews 11 verse 8 this is the obedience that comes from faith the obedience of faith not u.p.d. and simple it means a true living faith in Jesus Christ includes a submission to him in his teachings a submission to him and his leading a submission to follow the Good Shepherd West where he leads for he is our little world just as much as he is our Savior it is not possible to accept Jesus Christ as Savior without also surrendering to him as Lord of our lives this is the obedience of faith my children sing in the back of the car as we're driving on a road journey they love singing the song that singing about marriage maybe I've shared this with you before and they sing and they sing the song trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in marriage but to trust and obey and they sing that so me and I realized there is truth and not because if I want a happy relationship with my wife I need to trust and obey and I found that is the greatest way to harmony and happiness. And this is the gospel of God says Paul is not made up by Pearl but has been revealed to him by his loving heavenly Father who today in 2014 continues to seek out and save the lost to look for the lost lambs now midst and to welcome home each and every prodigal son who turns their life towards him so what are you saying conclusion this morning will the end of his life and we see this text on the next screen before us when he was facing execution in some the last words he ever wrote wrote from his prison cell to Timothy and he pleads with him this plaintiff cry the end of his last what Paul says to Tim and his When you come bring the cloak thought left with Kopassus trust Pearl is cold in prison also the books on the bottle else bring the parchments and why would spill say this. Paul yearn for physical comfort he wants his cloak. But above all else he wanted his Pocho and so his scrolls because in the Scriptures he found Jesus Christ once again he found Jesus Christ in the Word of God as written just as surely as he met Jesus on the road to Damascus Perle as a mature Christian did not join for more entertainment but he Younes to encounter Jesus Christ afresh. This Christmas season we've celebrated the Beyblade in a physical manger but in truth as Luther said the Scriptures with the manger in which the babe was laid for the scriptures point to him they reveal him and they explain him in all his wonder and His glory and they exclaim Jesus 20 who would slow down to chew over the Word of God So how do we respond today while the next light on the screen very simple by God to draw on knowledge and 8 days of Pratt starting tonight through next Sabbath nights we're going to be focusing on basic skills of Bible study so come learn and practice your body believe as your brothers and sisters Secondly the next line let go God to mold our attitudes treasure what we hope not how on is this book of Romans the writer was beheaded and the translation into English Mankell Tyndale was burnt at the stake we do not have this book likely in our hands so not only do we come from knowledge to how getting basic knowledge of Bible study but we will come that God might mold our attitudes we may treasure what we have in our hands we're going to be looking at the story of Tyndale in the movie form over the last next 8 days man who translates the Bible into English and died at the stake and as he was dying at the stake his crying prayer was God open the King of England's eyes and just a few years later that same king when 2 burnt Tyndale at the stake wealth arised of the Bible to be issued across the land of England in pulpits and finally. Let God change our practice. So I pray the each one of us will not just carry the word of God church and Sabbath morning. But as will our God to change our knowledge and our skills as we allow God to mold our asked to this world's This word of God The God will change our practice and that means that we will feed on the Word of God day by day. So that when we say to people so instead of soul they know the Dr conversion is complete and it is credible. And what we say is worth listening to you know be our experience reasoning say I mean. 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 sermon leader visit w w w audio verse or.

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