Posted by: Madelyn (Starlie) | August 21, 2011

How God Saves His Enemies ~ August 21st

How God Saves His Enemies [click here to download] (August 21st, 2011)

Acts 7:58 “And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.”
Acts 8:1-3 “And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

To reject God’s Word is to hate it, even though you may not realize that hate. All sinners are inwardly enemies of Christ. Man cannot naturally love God and His Word in it’s entirety.  Sin brings out the enmity in one towards God.

1 Timothy 1:11-16 “According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

God can save anyone, even the worst of sinners, as Paul claimed himself to be. No one deserves to be saved. We all deserve to go to hell. But God had mercy on us and sent His Son that those who believe might be saved. All truth is liberating. Men will attempt to intimidate by condemning/judging. Let them accuse, it doesn’t matter if we are friends of our Saviour. The past is past; as Christians we are now seated in Heavenly places.

1 Corinthians 11:1 “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”
Philippians 3:17 “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.”

Paul is a pattern Christian, a model for others. By following Paul, you follow Jesus. Paul wasn’t “special” in a sense that makes him better than us. The same Lord that lived in him, making him the man he was, can also live in us. True Christians follow Jesus, so by following them, you are following Him. In your spirit, learn to discern whether or not someone is in tune with Jesus. If one’s words and actions are consistent with Scriptures, he is a worthy example.

Acts 9:1, 4, 5, 6 “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest…..And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”

Can God bring a man down? Absolutely. God and God alone can save us. We could sooner create a new world than save even our most beloved acquaintances.  Only He can send the truth revealing light of salvation. When Jesus intervenes, He takes over.  Paul thought he was persecuting “fanatical” Christians. He thought he was doing good. What he did not realize was that he was actually persecuting Christ.

Lord means boss. Is Jesus your boss? Do you believe God can talk to you? Can you recognize His voice?  In this passage we see the power of the name of Jesus demonstrated. Paul was an enemy of Christ. In one sentence from God, his life changed radically.

Most churches today are little more than religious social clubs. They just haven’t seen the light. The spirit of conviction isn’t there. Do we even believe in conviction of sin anymore? Conviction causing weeping, and life changing repentance? Theologians and religious folks don’t get to heaven, followers of Christ do. Our God is a consuming fire. We stand no chance against Him. Will you be His enemy or friend?

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