This a sermon transcript preached by Timothy Williams. These were preached many years back, some decades ago. Preacher Timothy Williams is not associated with any church, denomination, or ministry. Blessed are those who love the honey of God’s Word!

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
(Psalm 119:103)

This sermons transcript is located at www.luke1425.org


Sermon Area Basic Introduction

Not Even Death

Not even death can keep a preacher from preaching. A godly preachers words come from fire in the bones. But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. (Jeremiah 20:9)



On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.

Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted. (Acts 20:7-12)

The sermons normally lasted 45 to 60 but do not grumble that my sermons were long. True by today’s milk toast entertain me Christian standards they are lengthy. But not long when one considers the days are evil and that ignorance floods the church. …making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:16)


Preach The Word
www.luke1425.org


I never preached about the Word of God. Rather I was led by the Holy Spirit to preach the Word.

What I Mean By Sound Doctrine

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season;
correct, rebuke and encourage
with great patience and careful instruction.
(2 Timothy 4:2)

Audio Sermon Files


 

The Full Gospel, Part 2

We’re continuing to talk about the full message, so that we don’t present to people only one-half or three-quarters of the gospel. We need to find out what the message is that we stand on.

Acts 5:20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people the full message of this new life.”

Stand in the middle of church and declare the full message of this new life. We want to discover the full message. As you begin to declare and live the full message there will be opposition against you. If we are preaching one-tenth or one-half or we only believe just a little bit of what we are preaching, there is not going to be much opposition. There may be Pharisee against Sadducee or one man debating against another man. When you begin to take your stand in the temple courts, declare this is the full message, and explain how men come to God and what the new life looks like, that is when the real opposition begins to take place. Everything else is just a bunch of debate.

Acts 5:27 Having brought the apostles; they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest.

The officials want to know what you are preaching and declaring.

Acts 5:28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”

“We told you to obey us.” Do you see the authority with which the Sanhedrin is speaking? They are used to men obeying them and paying attention to who they are. They are trying to tell the disciples to be quiet. We need to ask ourselves how determined we are to fill Jerusalem with the full message. Are we laid back in the way we present to gospel? Do we come to people saying, “This is what it means to be a Christian and this is how you become a Christian?” Are we so laid back about what we believe that they do not feel a sense of urgency? Instead they sense it is a matter of opinion or just the way you see and understand things. They think they can take it or leave it.

Acts 5:28 Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.

We have seen in every single case where the gospel is being preached and men are confronted about their sin, it is purposeful, personal and speaks directly to them. They sense that. The Sanhedrin says the disciples are determined to make them guilty for Jesus’ blood. And that is right. That is the nature of the new life. We stand before people and tell them they are guilty and how they can escape that guilt. We tell them how they can be saved. We tell them the full message of what the new life is and how they can start walking in it.

Acts 5:29-30 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.”

I want you to notice the resolve with which Peter is preaching. On the one hand they are threatening Peter and reminding him that they gave him strict orders. They are rebuking Peter for trying to make them feel guilty about Jesus Christ. But what is the first thing Peter does? He is so determined, he says, “whom you killed by hanging on a tree.” He is in their face, direct and to the point. There is no question about what Peter is saying to these individuals. So often when we share the gospel we try to hint around, or say, “You know, I’ve got this friend who has this sin.” We talk in this third person evangelism rather than looking the person in the eye and saying this is what your life is about and what you need to repent of.

Acts 5:30-31 —whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.

In every single case we have seen that the full message is repentance and forgiveness. Not just forgiveness, not just repentance, but both hand in hand. If the gospel is being preached as only repentance constantly day in and day out, people experience no rest or grace. Where the message preached is just the forgiveness of God, there is no holiness or obedience to God. The two must go hand in hand. There must be a full message. In fact, look at verse 32.

Acts 5:32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

Who does God give the Holy Spirit to? Only to those who obey him. If we get nothing else down in our hearts, let that be in our hearts. So many people want to claim that they have the Holy Spirit in their life, but you do not see the rich obedience to God’s word. There is no obedience that comes from the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 5:9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him

When we begin to talk about salvation, we are not talking about a one-minute type of experience. Jesus is a source of salvation and we must walk in obedience. God only gives the Holy Spirit to those who are willing to obey.

Acts 5:33 when they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death.

Preach a gospel that doesn’t demand obedience and men will tolerate you all the time. Preach a gospel or talk about the commandment of coming to the new life of Jesus Christ and leave everything out except the obedience, and they will want to kill you. You will be accepted if you leave certain things out. You will see the difference when you stand up and finally say that we must be obedient to Jesus Christ and obey his commandments. Obedience is a requirement in Jesus Christ. This is what it means to follow him. You must be walking in obedience if you want to consider yourself saved. It is at that point they become furious and extremely agitated and want to put you to death. So I ask you, in your evangelism, as you share with other people, how many people want to put you to death? Have you shared so much with other people and filled your neighborhood with the message that people want to put you to death because all you are saying is that God is only a source of salvation for those who want to obey him. I was talking to a guy on the phone just the other day and I thought he made a strange comment at first. We were talking about sharing the gospel and at one point he asked, “How old are you?” I told him I was 42. There was a long pause, and he said, “And you are still alive?” It took me back for a second. Then I began to think about it, “Yeah, I guess I still am alive. It is by a miracle of God that I have not been put to death.” When you stand in front of the temple courts and declare this is obedience and the good news, men will hate you.

This is the beginning point of the Christian message. The point is men just do not want to be told what to do. We want to come to God on our own terms, with our own ideas. So everybody has their own ideas of what it means to come to Jesus Christ.

Acts 9:1-4 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

Like most of us he asks, “Who are you Lord?” He had no clue about what this voice was or where it came from.

Acts 9:5-6 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

Most of us just do not want to be told what we must do in order to be saved. Most of us do not want to be told what the new life is all about. We want God to come on our own terms. We are like Saul running around talking and blaspheming the gospel we do not understand. We are just preaching our own opinion and opposing Jesus Christ and we do not even realize it.

Acts 9:7-8 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.

Saul is on his way thinking he is doing God’s will and God comes to show him how blind he is.

Acts 9:9-10 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered.

Ananias knew the voice of the Lord, didn’t he? He knew who he was fellowshipping with and who was talking to him.

Acts 9:11 –17 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

How does this new life begin? It first starts with humility. God comes and tells you that you are completely blind and nothing you are doing remotely resembles following him at all. You are opposing and persecuting him. You are against everything he has in mind. How many of us in our religious zeal are just like Saul? We thought we were doing exactly God’s will in preaching, but Jesus Christ comes along and stands in the middle of the path where we are going and says, “OK, enough!” We have with us all our friends that support us, the men on horses, and we are ready and prepared. We have the papers and the certificates. We have it all down, but we are opposing Jesus Christ in every single thing we do. We mount our opinions and say, “This is the way you are supposed to come to Jesus Christ.” We have all of our ideas written down and have gone through the classes and have our certificates. We have everything in place to support our arguments as to what it means to live the new life. Jesus Christ comes along, if we are blessed, and says, “Enough. I don’t want to hear anymore. This is who you are. This is what needs to change and this is what it means to come to the new life.”

Acts 9:18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,

He is able to see and understand what this new life is about. He can see again and what is the first thing that he did? He got up and was baptized. Before he ate and drank, he was baptized. Before he did anything else, when he could see he immediately got baptized. It is not a minor insignificant thing is it? He is being told what he must do in order to have the new life. And what is it that he realizes he must do? He got up and was baptized.

Acts 9:19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.

The new life begins at baptism. As Timothy says that is how we compete according to the rules.

Acts 16:11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis. From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days. On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.

What was it that God opened in her heart to understand? It is the same thing that Paul experienced when the scales fell off of his eyes. She was a worshiper of God, wasn’t she? She could have claimed that she was a religious woman and loved the Lord. She could have talked about all the things she had done in Jesus Christ. She could say, “I love and worship God.” But when her heart was opened to the message of the gospel, what happened?

Acts 16:15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.

We go from her heart being opened to the gospel and the very next sentence says she was baptized.

Acts 16:15 When she and the members of her household were baptized she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.

Most people cannot persuade me of anything. But what is she saying to them? She says, “I have been baptized and I give myself to God. I am a Christian. If you consider me a believer in Jesus Christ, then come to my house.” It is the beginning of the new birth. It is where we start the process. If she who was a worshiper of God needed to be baptized, then how much more do we need to preach the full message which includes baptism? They must learn to compete according to the rules. Jesus Christ is the source of salvation to those who obey him. In other words, he is not a source of salvation for those who are disobedient to him. We can use all the excuses, reasons, and “what if” questions but the bottom line is, this is how the new life begins.

Acts 16:22-25 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

This gives a whole new meaning to rejoicing always and trusting God in all circumstances. Indeed, it helps us to be thankful when these things come about in our lives. When he comes to crucify our sin and deal with us, instead of whining and running away, complaining and blaming other people, we go into the prison where there’s lots of pain and begin to sing hymns.

Acts 16:26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.

When God comes in with the message of the new life, then all of our prison doors fly open and our chains become loose. But all of man’s opinions will never accomplish this and all of our religious ideas will never cause us to experience this. We talk about what we believe in Jesus Christ and what we think scripture means, but the chains are still there. We are still locked in our prison because we have not experienced the new life according to the rules of Jesus Christ.

Acts 16:27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.

Always when the new life first comes to us we are totally shaken and we think we are going to die.

Acts 16:28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.

Let us call for lights and ask for his insight.

Acts 16:30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

What must I do to have this new life? Of course, Paul does not have to sit down and explain the cost to this jailer, does he? It would be absurd. He does not have to go through this long dissertation. The guy does not have to go through discipleship class. He saw the wounds and he was the one who put them in the stocks in the first place. He saw their pain and heard them singing unto God.

Acts 16:31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.

He is explaining what it is to believe in Jesus Christ. He is speaking the word of the Lord to them. He is saying, “This is what it means to believe in Jesus Christ.” Have we explained to people what it means to believe in Jesus Christ?

Acts 16:33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.

At that hour of the night! It was done as soon as it could be done. In every single case we have seen the baptism had been immediate, right on the spot, now, right at this moment. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is an event so significant and powerful that we will not want to put off baptism once we understand it. Are we going to explain to people what it means to be baptized in Jesus Christ with all the power and significance of how it will change them, wash away their sins, forgive them and give them new life in the Holy Spirit. If people think they can change completely in six weeks, we either have not explained it to them or they do not understand what is happening.

Acts 16:34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.

Do you notice they are always eating after the fact? Feeding our bellies comes last and preaching the gospel first. The church should not be known for its eating and drinking,

potluck dinners and everything concerning feeding their bellies, instead it should be known for its baptisms and preaching of the new life. Eating becomes secondary, it is actually of no thought.

Acts 16:34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.

What does it means to believe in God? He is a source of salvation for those who obey him. Belief encompasses your whole life; it is not a one-minute salvation experience that says, I was saved at a specific time. It is an event for the whole life of the man, which begins with obedience and ends with obedience. They explained the word of the Lord to him and he came to understand what it was to believe. They had great joy because they had come to believe in God—he and his whole family. Unless we are standing in the temple courts declaring this message, we are not declaring the full message of God. We are leaving people handicapped, at best. We are at least sending them down roads that they are going to have to walk and find out are a dead end alley leading nowhere, offering them no benefit at all.

Let us talk a moment about the believer’s prayer, because that is how most people come to Jesus Christ. Little kids lead other little kids on the playground to ask Jesus in their hearts. People will often point back to a certain time in their life when they were “saved.” We get them to a small place of conviction and we immediately turn and say, “Let’s pray and ask Jesus into your heart.” And of course, you tell them exactly what words to pray. In the back of the Bible there is a little card that you sign, saying you have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. You just sign right there. How foolish and wicked to leave people totally uninformed about this new life that is in Jesus Christ. We are not even close to the full message because we are so eager for numbers or to feel good. We do not want people to feel guilty for any length of time and we make it easy for them to do. Yet no where in scripture or action do we find it remotely saying that in the book of Acts they asked Jesus in their hearts and became believers.

Romans 10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.

We have to admit, there is zeal associated with all of this, but their zeal is not based upon knowledge. It reminds me of the scripture in Proverbs, “You simple ones love your simple ways.” It is not based on the knowledge of God with a full understanding of the complete message of Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:3 Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.

What is the cause of their ignorance and the fact that they will not come to accept what God has to say? They do not want to accept his way of salvation. We have our own plan.

So we complain that water baptism is a legalistic act and its earning salvation. We whine and complain. We moan and groan saying its making this salvation by works when you say someone has to be baptized. So I turn to them and say, “You mean we are not supposed to do anything?” And they say, “That’s right.” Then I ask, “Then why do we have to ask Jesus in our hearts? Why do I have to say the believer’s prayer?” If they are right in their understanding of legalism, then I should be able to stand up and do absolutely nothing, not even ask Jesus in my heart because you are making that a work. Each church has their idea as to what you must do to have this new life. Why is my teaching legalism? Because it is according to the word of God but theirs is according to the doctrines of their church. The issue is not that we must “do” something in Jesus Christ, but rather, that we are submitting to what God has set down and it’s a manifestation of our faith.

Romans 10:3 Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.

Man in his rebellion just will not submit to what God has set down to be done. So we find all kinds of arguments, books, ideas, and complaints about God’s method of men submitting to his righteousness. When a man comes to God and says that he will give his life to him, he knows God is going to take that life. You either submit to it or you don’t submit to it. The man who comes to you in his wisdom apart from God does not demand your life. He cannot crucify you. He can make it easy for you.

Romans 10:4-8 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Moses describes righteousness that is by the law in this manner: “The man who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’“ (That is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’“ (That is, to bring Christ up from the dead). The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,

The believer’s prayer is based on Romans 10:1-9. This is the crux of the whole argument for the believer’s prayer, as if Paul and Peter missed this whole particular passage in Romans. No where in the book of Acts do we find this method of coming to God. Yet it is still true. It is still in scripture.

Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Now how do we put all these scriptures together? Well the first thing that you have to realize is that salvation is not a one-moment experience. For instance, if I were to be baptized, come up out of the water and start the new life, but then stop right after that and say, “OK, I was saved there,” I would not be in the salvation of God. He is the source of salvation for those who obey him. So God’s salvation is throughout my whole life and being. It is in my mouth and in my heart. That means every time my heart beats, it beats with this testimony. Every time I move my hands or open my mouth or go anywhere to do anything, I am declaring Jesus is Lord. It is a life-time event, not a one time singular type event. It is called a new life. What is a life, but a full life time experience?

He who wrote Romans 10 is the same person who wrote Romans 6:1. It is our definition of “belief” that is the problem. Is there a place in Romans where Paul says if you would like this new life, please sign here and date? He who wrote Romans 10 also wrote Romans 6:1.

Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

How does a man get to a place in his life where he is dead to sin?

Romans 6:3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

That is how a man dies. That is how he begins the new life. It does not say water baptism because we have already seen in 1 John that the three are in agreement: the water, the blood, and the Spirit. We are baptized in his Spirit, immersed in his blood, and baptized in water. So when he says those who are baptized into Jesus Christ he’s talking about a full message. We are not just preaching water only, or blood only or only the Spirit. We are preaching the full message of all of those things together which testify to Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

A man who is not baptized has not been baptized into his death.

Romans 6:4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father; we too may live a new life.

Does it say baptized through the believer’s prayer? Does it say through confessing with your mouth?

Romans 6:4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father; we too may live a new life.

It is baptism that brings about the process of the new life. It is the beginning point. It is the birthing place. Then I begin to live this new life and as my heart beats the gospel, I declare with my mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord. But this is where it starts. So when a man comes in and asks, “What must I do to be saved?” If we even get him to such a point where he cries this out, we should say to him, “Repent and be baptized.”

Romans 6:5-6 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin…

“If” is a very significant word. How does a man know that his old self is being crucified and put to death? Those who are buried in baptism with Jesus Christ are having the old self crucified and put to death. That is how I know. I can point back and know that when I was water baptized, my old self was being put to death and crucified. It was being buried with Jesus Christ and I am being raised up to have a new life. How is a man freed from sin? Whether we like it or not it is through water baptism that everything should come together.

Romans 6:7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

You see the “Ask Jesus in your heart” has nothing to do with the cost to the man. He does not have to die or give up his life. All he has to really give is his heart. I hate to tell you, but we are supposed to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our mind, all our soul and all our strength. We are not going to preach a partial gospel but a full message. When you come to Jesus Christ you fall to the ground and die. You lose it all, not just your heart.

Romans 6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

Of course this all has to do with faith. It all has to do with belief. It involves all of a man. God repeats this story and so we will repeat it today. There is more to look at.

Acts 22:6 About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me.

Always at noon! We are basking in the light of all our religious activity. We have all the works we have done. We are marching forward with our entourage of men on horses and the permission of the high priests. We have our arguments all down and everything is laid out. We know exactly where we are going. We know exactly what we are doing and know we are on the right course following Jesus Christ. God is blessing us and we can hear the scriptures in our hearts. We have it all down. The commentaries are with us. We are all set and ready to roll and Jesus Christ comes at noon, if we are blessed, and says, “Enough of this sin.”

Acts 22:6 About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me.

This light is brighter than anything that we can declare. It is brighter than any opinion that man can declare. I know many people who come to the gospel who still want to look back in the past and say there was some good things back there. If this is the case, you have not seen as you ought to see. This light is so bright that compared to the power of the gospel of Jesus, you did not know anything. Indeed, what you thought you knew was in opposition to the cross of Jesus Christ and you were doing more harm than good. It would be better that you did not preach at all. We must let God come on his own terms, his own power, and in his own way.

Acts 22:6-7 About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, “Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?”

Let us see that we must have the full message or we wind up scattering and persecuting people.

Acts 22:8-9 “Who are you, Lord?” I asked. “I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.

A lot of people can see a little bit of what you are talking about but they do not hear his voice. You can talk about the message of the cross, the new life, and water baptism, and they can pick up a little bit on it. They know something is taking place and there is some significance, but they do not understand it. They do not receive that personal contact with the living God and are not being convinced by the Holy Spirit. It is just human argument, wisdom, and ideas. I know churches that preach water baptism, but it is with human wisdom. There is no contact with the living God. There is no confrontation where Jesus Christ stands in the middle of our road and says, “Stop!” Our preaching is with human wisdom. Our presentation of the cross is by our own efforts and we empty it of its power every time.

Acts 22:9 My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.

Let us understand the voice and ask God to speak to us about this. Do not take my word for it or the logic of it, but go back to God and say, “Show me, O Lord.”

Acts 22:10 “What shall I do, Lord?” I asked. “Get up,” the Lord said, “and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.”

In every single case in the book of Acts what do people always ask? “What must I do?” A man is finally teachable! He can finally sit back and hear what God has to say, because he is finally listening. Yet when people get a little bit of conviction nowadays we hand them a quick fix rather than waiting for them to ask, “What must I do?” They are not in an alarm situation, shocked, or devastated. Therefore, they are not teachable. The arguments have stopped, and when we present the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit they finally shut up and listen to what God has to say about what righteousness is in Jesus Christ. Until they shut up, keep going. If they are still under conviction yet arguing with you, just keep going because they’re not ready. When a man is devastated and sees who he is and when Jesus Christ has appeared to him at noon and he finally asks, “What should I do?” he is ready to listen. But a man who continues to debate, argue, or hangs on to one little point, that he is trying to prove might approve of 99.9% of what you are trying to say but there is one part he is hanging onto, is not yet ready. He may be close, but he is not ready.

Acts 22:10 “What shall I do, Lord?” I asked. “Get up,” the Lord said, “and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.”

As we have always seen, this is not some lone ranger type of Christianity where you go off by yourself just to hear between you and the Lord. There can be no false humility or words that try to cloud over the fact that you do not want to learn humbly from a man. Jesus Christ has just appeared to Paul and he says that he must still listen to a man. Jesus says you still have to learn from one another. You still have to test things because that is the way he works in terms of fellowship.

Acts 22:11 My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.

Do you see the work of humility? Let us begin to believe that when God begins to work the new life in people they will be willing to be led by the hand. We are so used to people coming to God under human conviction, we do not believe anymore that this kind of conviction can take place. Let us stop preaching and start praying for God to bring this kind of conviction where men are willing to be taught, led by the hand, and told what they must do.

Acts 22:11 My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.

Let them so experience Jesus Christ and let us believe and pray that he will come and stand before people and they won’t know how to act. They will feel completely lost. This message of the new life and the cross will so devastate them that they will just stand there not knowing what to do next. Then a man is teachable and ready for the new life “…because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.” Let us believe and then we will no longer tolerate man’s way of preaching the gospel. We will no longer tolerate the advertising and the way man does it in his own effort and wisdom.

Acts 22:12-16 A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. He stood beside me and said, “Brother Saul, receive your sight!” And at that very moment I was able to see him. Then he said: “The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.”

It is right in line with Romans, isn’t it? Is this not the process of the new life? Be baptized; wash away the sins, the new birth, and life, resulting in a new creation. This is crucifying the old nature and having the new life and then calling on his name for the rest of your life. It is exactly what Romans is telling us. There is no contradiction. There may be a narrow understanding by simple ones who love their simple ways, but there is no contradiction. It is the Christian life. If a child is just born and the mother comes out and says, “Here’s the new baby,” You wouldn’t say, “Gee, he just graduated from college, that’s lovely.” No, there is a time period where the baby has to learn to walk, and to run. He has to be educated and grow. He has to call upon the name of the Lord to have the new life. Salvation is not a narrow sliver of time experience; it is the full life of a man.

Romans 10:10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

It puts me in a position of being saved, doesn’t it? But what more does it say about salvation?

1 Corinthians 15:2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

Salvation is not an experience I get to call mine at that moment and can never lose it. Salvation is a life. Think of it in terms of the whole life of the man. He is saved, he is being saved, and he will be saved because it is a life.

1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

A living hope. It is alive! It doesn’t happen in just one moment but it goes on and on and on. It is alive, active, and powerful, and I lay hold of it every single hour of every single day. It is the new life.

1 Peter 1:4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

I have a salvation that is coming even as I am saved now. Salvation is something that begins and continues on forever. When Jesus Christ comes I will receive the fullness of that salvation. That is why when someone says they were saved on a particular date, that is all they understand and experienced. My salvation is coming, I am currently experiencing it and I will hold on to it. It is a whole process.

1 Peter 1:5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

It hasn’t been revealed yet, but it will be. I am saved, I am being saved, and I will be saved.

1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

There is a testing process that takes place. It’s not a false security that says, “I accepted Jesus Christ at 12:05 on December 5, 1968.” There is a testing process to see if my faith is genuine and real. Is it really in Jesus Christ? Do I have the new life? Do I belong to him and do I walk in obedience with him? For he is the source of salvation for those who obey him.

1 Peter 1:8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

I do not have the goal of my faith yet and I really cannot say, “I am saved,” even though I can say that. I am in the process of running toward the goal. And what is that goal?

1 Peter 1:9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Once again it is a new life that begins and grows. I continue to grow up in that salvation until I reach maturity. Then I attain my goal, which is the salvation of my soul.

John 3:1-2 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

He came to Jesus at night. He doesn’t want to be in the light with this whole business. He is an expert in the law and the word. He has it all down, divided, separated, examined, and everything is in its proper place. He knows the Greek and the Hebrew, but he has this gnawing inside of his soul that something is not quite right. He does not want to stand up in front of everybody and admit, “Hey, I don’t know if I understand all of this stuff about Jesus Christ” or “I don’t understand all the things of God.” So he comes to Jesus Christ at night to talk and examine.

John 3:2-3 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

Wait a minute. Nicodemus has just said, “I have seen the kingdom of God. I have seen the miracles being performed. I have heard the teachings.” Jesus Christ is saying, “You are not really seeing the kingdom of God or understanding what it is about. You are seeing some manifestations and outward things that the kingdom of God produces, but you are not seeing the kingdom of God. Something else must happen first.”

John 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

Remember Romans 6:4?

Romans 6:4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father; we too may live a new life.

John 3:4-5 “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

Nicodemus has asked a very straightforward question and he is getting a very straightforward answer. He is asking, “How can a man be born again? That is a direct question and Jesus Christ is beginning to explain how a man is born again, not how he was born the first time. Nicodemus already knows how he was born the first time. How can a man go back into the womb? He does not need to explain the birds and bees. He asked Jesus Christ directly how a man becomes born again. How does he get the new life? And Jesus Christ begins to explain very directly how that takes place. I want to remind you of 1 John 5:6 because Jesus Christ very clearly says you cannot enter the kingdom of God unless you are born of water and spirit.

1 John 5:6 This is the one who came by water and blood—

Now it is interesting that in 1 John 5:6 he mentions water first even before he lists the blood. Now I am not trying to de-emphasize the blood at all, but I am trying to get us to see that the water is equal to the blood.

1 John 5:6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

So John puts the water, the blood, and the Spirit on the same level. It is absurd to come back to John 3:5 and think the water is earthly water while the Spirit has some spiritual connotation. They are of equal value before the Lord. How else could you turn to a man and say, “Wash away your sins and be baptized,” if it didn’t have any significance or power to it. Of course it has to do with faith. I baptize my dishes but they have no faith. It all has to do with belief. Water is listed with the blood. Do we understand the

significance?

John 3:6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

He is telling Nicodemus to get his mind off this earthly connotation of what it means to have a new life. He is saying, “Nicodemus, you are being silly. I’m not talking about some type of physical rebirth where you go back into your mother’s womb. When I say water and Spirit, I am not even remotely talking about your mother giving birth again! Flesh gives birth to flesh. I am not talking about that. We are not even into that realm. This is not a medical seminar. I am telling you how to be born again. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying that you must be born again.” The whole business of the Christian walk is to have a new life. A man who just asks Jesus into his heart is not getting a new life. He is not being born again. He is taking a small portion from Jesus, but that is not how the new life starts. Nicodemus asks how a man can be born again, and Jesus lays it out. Remember 1 John 5:10?

1 John 5:10 Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

What was the testimony? The water, the blood, and the Spirit. God has come down and said, “My son came by water, blood, and Spirit. And any man who does not take that testimony is calling God a liar.” We are basically saying to God that there is some other way we can be born again.

Mark 16:14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

The problem with Mark 16:14 are the footnotes saying some of the earlier manuscripts do not include this passage. We could debate this issue, but I tend to believe God wanted to make sure it was not left out. There is nothing else written that one could disagree with or find opposing scripture. There is only this one little troubling verse, this one little sentence that causes everyone a bunch of trouble.

Mark 16:14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

Nobody disagrees with that. No problem there. Not a single man who is half way in Jesus Christ would disagree with that.

Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”

All are in agreement with that. Now verse 16 is the troubling passage.

Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

And yet with everything that we have looked at and examined, there is nothing that says that this should not be in there!

Mark 16:17-20 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

If a man wants to throw this out, that’s fine. I’m not going to debate it forever. If that’s the only passage we have that talks about water baptism, fine. I would understand their objection. Just one more gem, one more thing God puts in to confound the wise and to frustrate those who think they understand. Let us stand in the temple courts and declare the full message, that men’s joy might be great and God might be glorified.

Let’s pray:

Father we praise you for the living hope that you’ve given us, the new birth that is in you. We ask, O Lord, that you keep us weak, as we share the good news with others that you might stand before them. Though it is noonday in their life, your light and your brilliance would shine around them, Father. That you would humble men in their pride and their opinions, that they might be willing to be led, Father, by the hand, to be taught, to have true eyesight, to have that new birth. And let us, Father; rejoice fully as we see men give them to you, for the new life. In Jesus name, we pray, Amen.

This transcription has been edited to a reader friendly format. Every effort has been made to be true to the speaker’s original message. Any mistranslations are unintentional.

 


Post #    5557


© Luke1425 • All rights reserved.
• Opinion From His Righteousness •
Psalm 119:102

Because Jesus said “sit down.”

| Other Sites |

| Justice Alone | The Offense News | Sit Down Count The Cost |

| Videos |

| Justice Alone Videos | Enumclaw Hate Crime Videos |

Everything here concerns repentance and living a holy life.
“The time has come,” Jesus said.
“The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)