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The Transforming Power of The Gospel

Galatians 1:13-24 (NKJV)

Introduction

The gospel can transform you or anyone you know. It transformed Paul. He said he was the chief of sinners.

 

 

 

1.    The . . Candidacy of Paul for Transformation. 1:13-14

13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

 

A.   Paul Was A Candidate Because of His . .

       Earlier Conduct. 1:13

13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.

 

 

B.   Paul Was A Candidate Because of His . .

       Enthusiastic Conduct. 1:13

14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

 

Illustration         Be Born in Us Today

If Jesus were born one thousand times in Bethlehem and not

in me, then I would still be lost. Citation: Corrie ten Boom in Each New Day. Christianity Today, Vol. 31, no. 18.

 

On one occasion a group of fishermen were relaxing after a long day at sea. As a serving maid was walking by the fishermen's table with a pot of tea, one of the men made a gesture to describe the size of the fish he claimed to have caught. His hand collided with the teapot and sent it crashing against the whitewashed wall, where its contents left an irregular brown splotch.

 

Standing nearby, the innkeeper surveyed the damage. "That

stain will never come out," he said in dismay. "The whole

wall will have to be repainted." "Perhaps not." All eyes

turned to the stranger who had just spoken. "What do you

mean?" asked the innkeeper. "Let me work with the stain,"

said the stranger, standing up from his table in the corner. "If

my work meets your approval, you won't need to repaint the

wall."

 

The stranger picked up a box and went to the wall. Opening the

box, he withdrew pencils, brushes, and some glass jars of linseed oil and pigment. He began to sketch lines around the stain and fill it in here and there with dabs of color and swashes of shading. Soon a picture began to emerge. The random splashes of tea had been turned into the image of a stag with a magnificent rack of antlers. At the bottom of the picture, the man inscribed his signature. Then he paid for his meal and left.

 

The innkeeper was stunned when he examined the wall. "Do you know who that man was?" he said in amazement. "The signature reads 'E.H. Landseer!'" Indeed, they had been visited by the well-known painter of wild life, Sir Edwin Landseer. God wants to take the stains and disappointments of our lives and not merely erase them, but rather turn them into a thing of beauty. Citation: Ron Lee Davis in Mistreated. Leadership, Vol. 12, no. 3

 

Application

 

The . . Candidacy of Paul for Transformation. 1:13-14

 

 

 

2.   The . . Calling for Paul’s Transformation. 1:15

15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my

mother's womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

 

A.   The . . Surprise of His Calling. 1:15-16a

       15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my

mother's womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles,

 

       1.    The surprise In The . . Place of the Call.

       “. . . from my mother's womb and called me through His

              grace,

       2.    The Surprise In The Assignment of His Call

              “. . . preach Him among the Gentiles,

              a.    1:14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

 

B.   The . . Sequence After His Calling. 1:16b-17

       I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

       1.    Conduct Immediately.

       2.    Conduct After the trip to Arabia.

 

 

Illustration         Redeeming the Past

About 20 years ago, Donna Rice's name hit the tabloids in a

highly publicized sexual scandal with former Colorado

senator Gary Hart. In the aftermath, Hart's bid for the 1988

Democratic nomination was trashed and so was Rice's

reputation. Rice disappeared from the public eye, but she's

back--passionately committed to God and to

"Enough is Enough," a Christian organization fighting to keep pornography out of the hands of minors.

 

Thankful for the support of her family, friends, and her Christian husband, Jack Hughes, Rice is most thankful for

God's work in her life: "God loves us, but he doesn't grant us

immunity from the consequences of our choices. However,

when we mess up, if we ask his forgiveness, he'll redeem

those choices, using our mistakes as a 'door of hope' for

other people (Hosea 2:14-15). I have great empathy for victims of sexual abuse and pornography. God has brought purpose to my pain." Citation: from Today's Christian Woman. Christian

Reader, Vol. 35, no. 2.

 

Application

 

The . . Calling for Paul’s Transformation. 1:15

 

 

 

 

3.   The . . Cultivation

      After Paul’s Transformation. 1:18-24

18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter,

and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord's brother. 20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.) 21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. 23 But they were hearing only, "He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy." 24 And they glorified God in me.

 

 

A.   Cultivation Through His . . Testimony. 1:19-20

18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter,

and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord's brother. 20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God,

I do not lie.)

 

B.   Cultivation Through His . . Travels. 1:22-24

22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which

were in Christ. 23 But they were hearing only, "He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy." 24 And they glorified God in me.

 

       Acts 9:26-29 26 And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28 So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. 29 And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him. NKJV

 

Illustration

I enjoyed hearing WA Criswell preach and heard him many times. I went looking at his site to see if I could find where he said Jesus spoke more about Hell than Heaven. I did not find that yet.

 

Found this sermon. I can read and imagine his emotion as he preached.

 

Last Sunday morning, there came a fine young woman, she works down here in one of these big office buildings. There came a blessed young woman. And she cried so when she came. And we knelt and prayed to God. You know what she was crying about? She said, "This week, this week, I had a dream. It was so real. I dreamed that I was at the judgment bar of almighty God, and I was lost. And I was lost, and I was lost." And she said, "I can't get away from that dream. I can't forget it. I can't put it out of my mind. And I was lost, and I was lost. And I have come to ask God to save me."

 

You know why that made such an impression upon me? Because I so well, and distinctly, and poignantly remember a day when I was not a Christian, before I gave my heart to Jesus, and one night in the middle of the night I awakened, and I went to the bedroom of my mother and my father, and I was crying my soul out. And mother listening to me sob, said, "Well son, what's the matter? What's the matter?" And I said, "Oh Mother," I can remember that dream now as distinctly as the day that I lived through it, "Oh Mother," I said, "I dreamed that I stood at the judgment bar of God, and I was lost. And God shut me away from all of those who were entering heaven. And I was lost, and I was lost."

 

Well you know how a mother would do. She put her arms around me, put me there close by her side, said those words of comfort and assurance to me, then asked God for my soul; and it wasn't long after that, that one day at a service in the church, that dear blessed mother behind whom I just happened to be seated at that morning revival hour, turned around and with many tears asked me, "Son, today, today will you give your heart to Jesus? Today?"

 

"Oh Mother, yes," I said, "today, today." I lived through all of that

when that girl came last Sunday morning and said, "Oh, and I was lost, and I was lost." That is of the Lord. When God reveals to us that we need a Savior, that sin is sin, and death is death, and judgment is judgment, and these things we must inevitably face, when God reveals these things to us, and then He points us to the grace and the mercy that is all for us, ours in Christ Jesus, oh my friend, turn, look, repent, ask, kneel, humble yourself. And the Lord will answer. He will hear. He'll save you. He'll come into your heart. He'll write your name in the Book of Life. That's why the Savior came into the world: for us who were lost.

 

And that's our appeal to you tonight in this great throng in this

auditorium. Somebody you, give his heart to Jesus. "Preacher, here

I am, here I come." Somebody who feels the call of God to put his life with us in the church, or to give his life in a special way to the

blessed Lord Jesus, you come. Make it tonight. Make it now while we stand and while we sing.

 

Application

 

The . . Cultivation After Paul’s Transformation. 1:18-24

 

 

Yes This Is The Transforming Power of The Gospel