Sunday, March 23, 2014

Today´s Sermon

2014.03.23                                            Acts 9:1- 22
                  From Enemy to Advocate
Paul was the most important missionary, theologian, evangelist and pastor in the early church……
He was everything that a Christian should be…..
This morning we will begin the story of the conversion of this man...... Paul is proof that God can take  the worst of the worst….. and transform them for His Glory…. No one is unredeemable….. No one is beyond the grace of God!
Remember…. Saul was present at the Stoning of Stephen….. The explosion of Christianity moved Saul to persecute the church….. He worked against the Gospel with such anger and hatred…. That the Greek says that he was like a wild animal….
Saul was certain that these followers of Jesus were heretics….  Beginning with Stephen…. Saul went on to persecute Christians wherever he could find them…. He could not counter the Christian’s words of life….  so he tried to shut them up…
I think Stephen's ministry had a big part in convicting Saul of his sin….  and later Stephen´s death and Words of Live….. were used by God to transform this radical Pharisee into a genuine believer..….
At the age 13  he was sent to Jerusalem….and he sat under the great teacher Gamaliel……  Gamaliel was the Teachers teacher…. He was highly esteemed….
During  his study he would have  memorized  great portions of the Old Testament…. He knew the scriptures very well and was very zealous for the law….
After the death of Stephen… Saul began to do everything in his power to destroy the church…. ….. Years later he talked about this in Acts 26:9-11…..
 Acts 26: 9-11                                   NKJV
9 “Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
Acts 26: 9-11                                  Sch 2000 
 9 Ich habe zwar auch gemeint, ich müßte gegen den Namen Jesu, des Nazareners viel Feindseliges verüben,
10 was ich auch in Jerusalem tat; und viele der Heiligen ließ ich ins Gefängnis schließen, wozu ich von den obersten Priestern die Vollmacht empfangen hatte, und wenn sie getötet werden sollten, gab ich die Stimme dazu.
11 Und in allen Synagogen wollte ich sie oft durch Strafen zur Lästerung zwingen, und über die Maßen wütend gegen sie, verfolgte ich sie sogar bis in die auswärtigen Städte.
Paul a very great enemy of the believers and we see that he tried to force them to Blaspheme…. He even voted as a member of the Sanhedrin to put them to death….v10b
V10b  but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them,"
10b  und wenn sie getötet werden sollten, gab ich die Stimme dazu.
He chased them everywhere… Then he met Jesus… Turn with me to Acts 9:1..
 Acts 9: 1-2           NKJV    Sch 2000
1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
1 Saulus aber, der noch Drohung und Mord schnaubte gegen die Jünger des Herrn, ging zum Hohenpriester
2 und erbat sich von ihm Briefe nach Damaskus an die Synagogen, in der Absicht, wenn er irgendwelche Anhänger des Wege fände, ob Männer oder Frauen, sie gebunden nach Jerusalem zu führen.
verse 1 "And Saul, still," or yet, "breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest."
Saul was totally consumed with destroying the Christians…   When he discovered that there were Christians in Damascus….In these early days of the church…. The genuine believers met in the Temple and in the Synagogues….. Later when Paul went to minister to the Christians on his missionary journeys…. He always went  the synagogues….. Christianity began in the synagogues as they heard and received the Gospel…..
Damascus  was the capital city of Syria…. and it was very old…... There were many Synagogues there and the Word of God had spread to them as well …. Ananias was probably the leader of the church there in Damascus…
Notice  in verse 2….. That It says that he was looking for any of "this way." The  phrase The Way was used as an early description of Christians….
Jesus said, " I am The way, the truth and the life."
Christianity is the way…... There's only one way to God, and it's through Jesus Christ…..  
Saul wanted to bring the believers back to Jerusalem so that they could be tried….  And convicted of blasphemy before the Sanhedrin….. So he went to Damascus to catch them and bring them back…. It normally took about six days to get to Damascus…  so it was a pretty long trip….. Well, on that sixth day…..  , something fantastic happened….. the conversion of Saul of Tarsus…… Verse 3…
Acts 9: 3,4                            NKJV  
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
Acts 9: 3,4                            NKJV    Sch 2000
3 Als er aber hinzog, begab es sich, daß er sich Damaskus näherte; und plötzlich umstrahlte ihn ein Licht vom Himmel.
4 Und er fiel auf die Erde und hörte eine Stimme, die zu ihm sprach: Saul! Saul! Warum verfolgst du mich?
Here we see the Lord in His grace reaching out to Saul…  Saul falls to the ground…. Blinded by the light…. V4…. Why are you persecuting me….V5…. Who are you LORD? I am Jesus….
The Lord began a work in Saul in an instant…. He burst into Saul´s life….. What a miracle……. What a revelation…… Jesus is the Messiah…. His is truly risen from the dead….. He is LORD….…… The Lord Himself had to start this process…. He always starts the process of making Himself real to unbelievers…. because the natural man cannot understand God…... He can't know God…..    
Here is a very important point….  God is absolutely sovereign in salvation……   People do not naturally seek God…… We do not seek Him…..
We seek happiness, health, wealth…… The perfect life… The perfect wife… That´s why the false teachers of these last days offer these very things to us…. Things of this world  that we very naturally want…. The false prosperity Gospel really offers us to world…. It tells us that we are in control and we can have anything we want…. We can command God to give us to health and wealth that we want and deserve….. What a bunch of lies….  Jesus offers us something much more precious than money….. Jesus offers forgiveness…. Mercy… grace….. Salvation….. All of these truly precious things from the cross…. And…
Jesus offers us our very own cross….. In Luke 9: 23…. Jesus says….. if any man will come after me….. Let him deny himself and take up His cross and follow me….
The greatest miracle that God does for anyone…. Is to cause him to realize that he's a sinner and desperately needs forgiveness…… The greatest blessing that has ever happened to me is when God shined the light of His Word into my heart…. He showed me the Lord Jesus Christ….. Over the millennia….. God has revealed Himself to uncounted millions in and through His word….. It is what the Holy Spirit uses to grab hold of hateful rebels like me and you…. Let´s look at the next verses…. V 4
Acts 9: 4-6                                     NKJV  
4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Acts 9: 4-6                                   Sch2000
4 Und er fiel auf die Erde und hörte eine Stimme, die zu ihm sprach: Saul! Saul! Warum verfolgst du mich?
5 Er aber sagte: Wer bist du, Herr? Der Herr aber sprach: Ich bin Jesus, den du verfolgst. Es wird dir schwer werden, gegen den Stachel auszuschlagen!
6 Da sprach er mit Zittern und Schrecken: Herr, was willst du, daß ich tun soll? Und der Herr antwortete ihm: Steh auf und geh in die Stadt hinein, so wird man dir sagen, was du tun sollst!
v4… When someone finds salvation…… It beigns with genuine repentance because of the conviction of sin…… Sin separates us from God….. Our sinfulness has to be brought to light so that we see it for what it is and repent…. Saul is convicted of his sin in the most dramatic way…. A blinding light from The Lord Jesus face….!...
Saul is on the ground trembling and hears Jesus speak to Him…. 'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?'"
Can you imagine the guilt that Saul was living with?
Saul had been living with a horrible conflict….. Believing he was doing right in persecuting Christians…… They were heretics after all….  Yet deep down he was being convicted of his anger and hatred….. I´m sure that he fought with himself and argued in his mind…. Maybe they were not heretics,,,, Maybe it was all true…… After all….. Jesus had so many followers…. Even some of the Sanhedrin and many of the priests believed that Jesus was truly the Messiah….. Saul was very zealous for God….. But he was suppressing( holding down) his nagging conscious….. But now It was no longer possible to insist on the lies that he had been telling himself….. Jesus is really the Messiah… That meant that he was guilty of murdering God´s people without a cause….
That´s why we read in verse 5… "It's hard for you to kick against the goads." Saul…. You've been fighting God, and it doesn't come easy." When he heard Jesus talk to him and say, "Why are you persecuting Me?" Can you imagine his sorrow and shame  as he realized what he had done… ? He hated Jesus…
Remember back in John 15:25, when Jesus says, "They hated Me without a cause." That had been true of Saul and it cut him to the heart…
Many of the events of this day show up in Paul testimony in the years to come…… They also show up in his teaching about the Body of Christ….. For example when Paul explains the body of Christ….. and us as Members in Ephesians…   This is Saul's first exposure to the spiritual unity of Christians with Jesus Christ their Lord…… We are one in Jesus Christ….. He is our great High Priest…. He truly bore our grief and sorrow…..
 How wonderful to know that we are bound together with Jesus…. Indeed with all the members of His body…. so that whatever hits us…. hits Him…... Jesus feels every blow….. He hurts from every insult that is ever hurled at us….
Saul had been attacking Jesus Himself….. He was ashamed….. And now he says…. LORD…
v 6… LORD what do you want me to do?...
Saul is calling Jesus LORD…. Jesus Who he had been certain was a false prophet and a heretic….. ? LORD what do I do now?
verse 7….
Acts9: 7-9                                    NKJV
7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. 8 Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. 
Acts9: 7-9                                      Sch 2000
7 Die Männer aber, die mit ihm reisten, standen sprachlos da, denn sie hörten zwar die Stimme, sahen aber niemand.
8 Da stand Saulus von der Erde auf; doch obgleich seine Augen geöffnet waren, sah er niemand. Sie leiteten ihn aber an der Hand und führten ihn nach Damaskus.
9 Und er konnte drei Tage lang nicht sehen und aß nicht und trank nicht.
The others were shocked….   They heard a voice….. but they couldn't see anyone……. The light was absolutely blinding……  Saul was knocked off of His horse….. He gets up and sees nothing…. He is blind… The Lord said go to Damascus and you will be told what you must do….verse 9….. 3 days without sight…. Welding accident…. Back to the text… Acts 9….v 10
Acts 9: 10- 16                            NKJV
10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.”And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”
11 So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”
13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
Acts 9: 10- 16                      Sch 2000
10 Es war aber in Damaskus ein Jünger namens Ananias. Zu diesem sprach der Herr in einem Gesicht: Ananias! Er sprach: Hier bin ich, Herr!
11 Der Herr sprach zu ihm: Steh auf und geh in die Gasse, die man »die Gerade« nennt, und frage im Haus des Judas nach einem [Mann] namens Saulus von Tarsus. Denn siehe, er betet;
12 und er hat in einem Gesicht einen Mann namens Ananias gesehen, der hereinkam und ihm die Hand auflegte, damit er wieder sehend werde.
13 Da antwortete Ananias: Herr, ich habe von vielen über diesen Mann gehört, wieviel Böses er deinen Heiligen in Jerusalem zugefügt hat.
14 Und hier hat er Vollmacht von den obersten Priestern, alle, die deinen Namen anrufen, gefangenzunehmen!
15 Aber der Herr sprach zu ihm: Geh hin, denn dieser ist mir ein auserwähltes Werkzeug, um meinen Namen vor Heiden und Könige und vor die Kinder Israels zu tragen!
16 Denn ich werde ihm zeigen, wieviel er leiden muß um meines Namens willen.
v10,11   Ananias go to Saul…. He is praying….. Of course he´s praying…. In an instant His entire religious world ….His life has been turned upside down…. He is talking to the Lord Jesus…. He´s repenting of his pride and rebellion….. He´s seeking forgiveness… He´s seeking the Lord Jesus….. The Lord tells Ananias to go….. Saul has seen a vision… and you´re in it…. You are going to pray for him to receive his sight….. …
v13,14… Ananias says…. Lord I have heard of this man….. He kills Christians…… I hear that he is here to get us…
v15,16… Go!...  He is a chosen vessel…. Before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel…… I will show him what great things he must suffer….. This is an awesome change in the life of Saul…… Now instead of killing Christians…. He is going to be a chosen vessel for the Lord Jesus….?
In a way he is taking Stephen´s place on the front lines….. He will become the leader of the Christian battle for the souls of men and women….
Let´s continue…. Acts 9….v17…
Acts 9: 17- 22                                NKJV
17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.
19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.
20 Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.
21 Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?”
22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.
Acts 9: 17- 22                                Sch 2000
17 Da ging Ananias hin und trat in das Haus; und er legte ihm die Hände auf und sprach: Bruder Saul, der Herr hat mich gesandt, Jesus, der dir erschienen ist auf der Straße, die du herkamst, damit du wieder sehend wirst und erfüllt wirst mit dem Heiligen Geist!
18 Und sogleich fiel es wie Schuppen von seinen Augen, und er konnte augenblicklich wieder sehen und stand auf und ließ sich taufen;
19 und er nahm Speise zu sich und kam zu Kräften. Und Saulus war etliche Tage bei den Jüngern in Damaskus.
20 Und sogleich verkündigte er in den Synagogen Christus, daß dieser der Sohn Gottes ist.
21 Aber alle, die ihn hörten, staunten und sprachen: Ist das nicht der, welcher in Jerusalem die verfolgte, die diesen Namen anrufen, und der dazu hierher gekommen war, um sie gebunden zu den obersten Priestern zu führen?
22 Saulus aber wurde noch mehr gestärkt und beunruhigte die Juden, die in Damaskus wohnten, indem er bewies, daß dieser der Christus ist.
v17 Ananias says… Brother Saul? This one who's been furiously killing Christians? "The Lord, even Jesus," watch this, "that appeared unto thee in the way." Ananias knows that Jesus was there…… and appeared to Saul….
He saw the glorified Christ….. You see, he believed that Jesus was dead…... He believed the whole thing was a big joke…... He believed Jesus was dead….. All of a sudden, he saw Him…….
This is fantastic….  Listen….  Who was the last guy to see the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ? It was Stephen…… He said, "Look  I see the Son of God standing at the right hand of the Father……
And everybody who was there heard Stephen say it….   Of What  grace to realize that Saul who was  standing there…..  He was partly responsible for the stoning of Stephen….. Now because of the grace of God…. Saul is the next one to see His glory…… That's how grace operates…..
Incredible blessings to the least deserving of people…. People like me and you…
Remember Stephen's prayer? "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge."
God heard that prayer…..  and God was gracious to Saul….. The heavens are opened again and this killer  Saul…… gazes into the face of Jesus…. He sees the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ……  What grace, that Saul saw Jesus…… Fantastic……
Salvation always begins with God´s  sovereign contact….. This a big part of the doctrine of election…… It´s the sovereignty of God….. reaching out to the sinner…… That´s what we see everywhere we look when we study the History of redemption…… God´s grave poured out to sinful people… It has always been by grace through faith…. It has always been God saving us…. Even though we didn´t deserve it….. We studied this recently when we looked at Ezekiel 36…..
Ezekiel 36: 22, 25-27                       NLT
22 “Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations.
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.
Ezekiel 36: 22, 25-27                       Neues Leben
22 Deshalb sag zum Volk der Israeliten: `So spricht Gott, der Herr: Ich mache das nicht euretwegen, Volk der Israeliten, sondern für meinen heiligen Namen, den ihr bei den Völkern, zu denen ihr gekommen seid, entweiht habt.
25 Dann gieße ich reines Wasser über euch aus, und ihr werdet rein sein. Von allen euren Unreinheiten und von allen euren Götzen werde ich euch reinigen.
26 Und ich werde euch ein neues Herz geben und euch einen neuen Geist schenken. Ich werde das Herz aus Stein aus eurem Körper nehmen und euch ein Herz aus Fleisch geben.
27 Und ich werde euch meinen Geist geben, damit ihr nach meinem Gesetz lebt und meine Gebote bewahrt und euch danach richtet.
5 times in these verses…. God tells us what He will do….. All for His great names sake…. I will…. Iwill…. God transforming us…. Paul was totally transformed by his encounter with Jesus….. Back to Acts 9…v20…
Acts 9: 20- 22                             NKJV
20 Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.
21 Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?”
22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.
Acts 9: 20- 22                             Sch 2000
20 Und sogleich verkündigte er in den Synagogen Christus, daß dieser der Sohn Gottes ist.
21 Aber alle, die ihn hörten, staunten und sprachen: Ist das nicht der, welcher in Jerusalem die verfolgte, die diesen Namen anrufen, und der dazu hierher gekommen war, um sie gebunden zu den obersten Priestern zu führen?
22 Saulus aber wurde noch mehr gestärkt und beunruhigte die Juden, die in Damaskus wohnten, indem er bewies, daß dieser der Christus ist.  
v20 And Saul immediately proclaimed the Good News… Jesus is the Messiah…. He is the Son of God… Saul´s life was totally transformed …
Paul's conversion experience changed his whole life…. and It transformed his Theology from works righteousness to Salvation by the grace of God…..  through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…. . He speaks of his three times…… in Acts chapters 9, 22 and 26…… He also mentions three times in his letters that he was once a blasphemer…… and a persecutor and a violent man…… who persecuted and tried to destroy the church of God……. That is why he said  he was the least of the apostles……
v21 they were amazed at the change in Saul´s attitude toward Jesus…. And there in the Synagogues…
v22 he proved that Jesus was the Christ….
If you're here this morning and you are a sinner….. You are lost…..  If you die and go to hell, it'll be because you refused to repent and acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord……
Jesus…. Do you know Him……. If not…. Today is the day….. cry out to him…. He will forgive you and wash away your sins…. Do not harden you heart…. Today is the day of Salvation….. repent of your sins and come to Him….
I know that many here are already believers….. Paul knew there was only one thing that was needful in his life…… obedience….. "What wilt Thou have me to do?" That's the   question a Christian needs to   ask the Lord every day of his life….. "What do You want me to do?"
This is the goal for every Christian……. We all need to stop doing what we want….  what I want, what I desire, what my ambition dictates, and do what He wants me to do…… Over time we discover that the will of God is good…..  and exactly what we need to find genuine Happiness in our Christian walk…. Paul discovered that truth…. He never forgot that day when he met Jesus… Blindly light and instant clearity to his heart and mind….
Paul said that the Love of God is shown to us in the face of Jesus…
2 Corinthians 4: 6                           NKJV   Sch 2000
6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
6 Denn Gott, der dem Licht gebot, aus der Finsternis hervorzuleuchten, er hat es auch in unseren Herzen licht werden lassen, damit wir erleuchtet werden mit der Erkenntnis der Herrlichkeit Gottes im Angesicht Jesu Christi.
This verse was written by Paul….. It shows us what a great Bible scholar and Theologian he was…. Paul is Quoting part of Genesis 1…  the account of Creation here…. This is the place where Rabbinical scholars say we see the first mention of the Messiah…..  They teach that the Spirit of God moving on the face of the waters….. was the Spirit of the Messiah and that the light was the Messiah…..  The Rabbis taught that the Aramaic word Nehora, 'light'… is one of the secret names of the Messiah….. It appears in several places as a title of the Messiah… Especially in the Gospel of John we see a contrast made  between light and darkness….. Good and evil…. Jesus is the light of the World…
When Jesus stood up in the Temple and said….. I am the light of the world……. The leaders of Israel knew that he was saying…. I am the Messiah… We all know John 3:16…. I´m going to begin there and read a few more verses….. Notice what John says about salvation and the Light of the World in verse 19….
John 3: 16- 21                          NKJV
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
John 3: 16- 21                          Sch 2000
16 Denn so sehr hat Gott die Welt geliebt, daß er seinen eingeborenen Sohn gab, damit jeder, der an ihn glaubt, nicht verlorengeht, sondern ewiges Leben hat.
17 Denn Gott hat seinen Sohn nicht in die Welt gesandt, damit er die Welt richte, sondern damit die Welt durch ihn gerettet werde.
18 Wer an ihn glaubt, wird nicht gerichtet; wer aber nicht glaubt, der ist schon gerichtet, weil er nicht an den Namen des eingeborenen Sohnes Gottes geglaubt hat.
19 Darin aber besteht das Gericht, daß das Licht in die Welt gekommen ist, und die Menschen liebten die Finsternis mehr als das Licht; denn ihre Werke waren böse.
20 Denn jeder, der Böses tut, haßt das Licht und kommt nicht zum Licht, damit seine Werke nicht aufgedeckt werden.
21 Wer aber die Wahrheit tut, der kommt zum Licht, damit seine Werke offenbar werden, daß sie in Gott getan sind.
Salvation happens in an instant…. but it takes a life time to understand what it really means….  Saul spent the rest of his life serving and teaching the body of Christ…. What a trophy of the Grace of God he is….
Praise God for this man…. On the road to Damascus…. One of the greatest scenes in history has just passed our eyes……
In the coming weeks we will get to follow him as the Lord shows him what great things he must suffer….. As he spends time walking in the Light…. He will teach all of us to better know our great God and Savior … the Lord Jesus Christ….
Let's pray.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Today´s Sermon

2014.03.16                      Acts 8: 26-40    
                  Phillip and the Ethiopian
Our text for this morning shows us the next step in the spread of the Gospel in the early church….…… You'll remember that the church was formed on the day of Pentecost as God called out a group of men and women to form a body of believers that could carry the message of Jesus Christ to the world…… Jesus gave orders to that early church that it should begin in Jerusalem…..
The church fell under persecution led by The Pharisee Saul….. He was  persecuting the Christians like a wild animal..... The persecution caused them to scatter…. They carried the gospel to Judea and Samaria…… In the early part of chapter 8 we remember that Philip had begun to preach in Samaria…… Verse 4 of chapter 8 says, "They were scattered abroad everywhere preaching the Word". And the next verse says, "Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them".
Many were saved….. Miracles were done….. The persecution is driving the spread of the Gospel…. They went everywhere proclaiming the Good News….
 These early believers were always proclaiming the Good News….. They always knew what to do…… Proclaim the Good News….  The Spirit of God had filled them and when you're filled with the Spirit you speak the Word with Boldness, Acts 4:31….
That's what they kept doing no matter what happened to them….. No matter where you put them they shared the Good News… Being Led by the Holy Spirit…. Phillip and later Peter and John……. Proclaimed the Good news and Samaria received the gospel……
And now it's time for the Gospel to spread to the uttermost part of the earth…. That means the hated Gentiles…
Since the beginning….. The plan of God has  been to reach the world with His  saving truth…. all the way through the Old Testament…. and God always designed at the beginning in the Old Testament for all of this communication to come through Israel…… Remember Israel was not a reservoir of the Good News of redemption…… Israel was a channel through which the Good News of the Gospel would spread to all nations….
Phillip was quick to obey His Lord even though he didn´t understand God´s plan….
How about us… Are we quick to obey the Lord…. Even when we don´t understand what He is asking us to do?...
Philip went where the Spirit told him…. and Phillip reached that first Gentile…..
The Abyssinian (Ethiopian) church is the historic church of Africa…. The ancient peoples of most of northern Africa trace their Christian experiences to that Ethiopian Eunuch and to Phillip… From the beginning… God had planned for gospel to go to the Gentiles….. That´s what he meant when He told Abraham….. In you shall all nations of the world be blessed….The Good News is for the Gentiles too…. That´s where we pick up the text…. Acts 8:26….
Acts 8: 26-30                            NKJV
26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet.
29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”
30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

Acts 8: 26-30                        Sch 2000
26 Ein Engel des Herrn aber redete zu Philippus und sprach: Steh auf und wandere nach Süden auf der Straße, die von Jerusalem nach Gaza hinabführt; diese ist einsam.
27 Und er stand auf und machte sich auf den Weg. Und siehe, [da war] ein Äthiopier, ein Kämmerer und Gewaltiger der Kandake3, der Königin der Äthiopier, welcher über ihren ganzen Schatz gesetzt war; dieser war gekommen, um in Jerusalem anzubeten,4
28 und nun kehrte er zurück und saß auf seinem Wagen und las den Propheten Jesaja.
29 Da sprach der Geist zu Philippus: Tritt hinzu und halte dich zu diesem Wagen!
30 Da lief Philippus hinzu und hörte ihn den Propheten Jesaja lesen; und er sprach: Verstehst du auch, was du liest?
Philip meets a man from Africa, an Ethiopian eunuch…… Now in this encounter with the Ethiopian we see some great things….. The First thing we see is a willing servant….. Phillip was available to serve the Lord in what ever way That the Lord wanted….. He was being mightily used in Samaria….. But now the lord says go….. And Phillip doesn´t ask why are you sending me to the desert…… He gets up and goes out into the desert…. Phillip is an evangelist …. Who is he going to evangelize out in the middle of nowhere?... An entire continent….. Millions represented by this one eunuch….

There are three basic things that I want you to see under this concept of the faith that saves.
Saving Faith
1 preparation…. God himself prepares the heart
2 presentation… The Gospel must be proclaimed…
3 personal response…… genuine repentance and faith
let's look at the preparation….. If it is to be real saving faith….. It has to be a sovereign work of the Holy Spirit…. That´s what we see in verses 26-29…
Salvation begins with the Spirit of God…… Salvation is God's work…… It is not ever man's work…. It is the sovereign grace and mercy of God reaching down to a world full of dead men´s bones…. And saying Live…..
Nobody deserves God´s grace… ……   Nobody of his own accord finds it….. Turn to  I Cor. 2:14…..
 1 Cor. 2: 14                           NKJV   Sch 2000
14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
14 Der natürliche Mensch aber nimmt nicht an, was vom Geist Gottes ist; denn es ist ihm eine Torheit, und er kann es nicht erkennen, weil es geistlich beurteilt werden muß.
Do you  remember in I Cor.1….
Paul says that when we try to preach Christ crucified to the Gentiles it's foolishness….
And so the natural man in his own naturalness cannot understand God…… It's all foolishness…… It is spiritually discerned and he is spiritually dead… Man cannot approach God because of his own naturalness he is unable…..  But it´s even worse than that… II Cor. 4 Tells us that Satan has blinded their eyes to the truth….
Without the help of the Holy Spirit…..  No one would or ever could choose Christ and come to saving faith.…  
Ephesians 2:1  says, man is dead in sin…… Dead men don't respond to anything…..
In John 6:44 Jesus said this, "No man cometh unto Me unless the Father Draw him."
It is always God's first action….. He breaks the barrier that is put there by our sinful humanness and Satan himself……. God uses the Holy Spirit for this transformation…. Remember Ezekiel 36 from last week?.... God said that he would wash us clean and take out our heart of stone…. He said that He would give us a heart of flesh….. He said I will put my Spirit in you and you will obey … Jesus told us about the Holy Spirit´s work in John 16…. Turn there please…
John 16: 8- 11                      NKJV
8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
John 16: 8- 11                      Sch 2000
8 Und wenn jener kommt, wird er die Welt überführen von Sünde und von Gerechtigkeit und vom Gericht;
9 von Sünde, weil sie nicht an mich glauben;
10 von Gerechtigkeit aber, weil ich zu meinem Vater gehe und ihr mich nicht mehr seht;
11 vom Gericht, weil der Fürst dieser Welt gerichtet ist.

The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to convert people…. He will convict the world of Sin…. and Show God´s righteousness….. and warn of certain judgment for all who refuse to repent…. He will testify of Jesus…. the Christ…. the redeemer…. The Holy Spirit has been sent into the World by the Lord Jesus for exactly these purposes… back to Acts 8…

Verses 26-30…. ….. The Holy Spirit leads Philip into the desert…. The Holy has already prepared the Eunuch’s heart…..  God´s sovereign plan has a prepared heart in exactly the right place and the right time….. For this man …. Today is the day of Salvation… He´s on the road to Gaza…
Gaza was a city of the Philistines….. It had been originally built as a fortress…. It had been destroyed but the old road went through the ruins and that´s the road the Ethiopian Eunuch is using…..
He told him where to go…. But he didn't tell him what to do…. Phillip knew what to do….. These early Believers went everywhere proclaiming the Good News….
Verse 29… Go and join that chariot…..

God uses human instruments…..  but we only join Him in His work…. We are along for the ride…
Saving faith begins with the right preparation…..  the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit….. The Spirit does His work….. The heart is prepared to repent and believe the Good News…
That brings us to the second part…. The Spirit does the work….. but He uses us…..  I like that, don't you? He initiates we participate…… He could use anyone…
We´re just   cracked pots… We´re nothing special….. He has already done the heavy lifting……  We´re only tools for the Masters use…  It's nice to be a tool, isn't it?
Phillip was a tool ready to be used…. The Holy Spirit uses human instruments…... But there's a qualification to be used….. and that's holiness…… We find that in II Timothy 2:20-21 ….
2 Tim 2: 19-22                       NKJV
19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  
2 Tim 2: 19-22                       Sch 2000
19 Aber der feste Grund Gottes4 bleibt bestehen und trägt dieses Siegel: Der Herr kennt die Seinen! und: Jeder, der den Namen des Christus nennt, wende sich ab von der Ungerechtigkeit!
20 In einem großen Haus gibt es aber nicht nur goldene und silberne Gefäße, sondern auch hölzerne und irdene, und zwar die einen zur Ehre, die anderen aber zur Unehre.
21 Wenn nun jemand sich von solchen reinigt,5 wird er ein Gefäß zur Ehre sein, geheiligt und dem Hausherrn nützlich, zu jedem guten Werk zubereitet.
22 So fliehe nun die jugendlichen Lüste6, jage aber der Gerechtigkeit, dem Glauben, der Liebe, dem Frieden nach zusammen mit denen, die den Herrn aus reinem Herzen anrufen!
If you want to be a vessel for honor… you purge yourself from sin…… God uses holy instruments to do His finest work…… Back to Acts 8….He needed an available tool and He found one in Phillip…. verse 30…Phillip ran to the chariot and he opened his mouth….

Let´s look at a 3rd element in this man´s conversion…. This man was a sincere seeker….
We see Not only
1 the sovereign work of the Spirit…
2  the submissive willingness of a man to be used to proclaim the Good News….  We see …
3 the searching seeking heart of the Ethiopian……
Something was going on in his heart….. He was searching for the true God….. This Ethiopean was very rich and he had much power…. He had everything the world could offer…… But despite his weath…. He was empty inside…. He  was searching for God…..    
in verse 27 we see that he is returning from Jerusalem and that he is reading the scriptures….. Isaiah….. The 5th Gospel…
He was from Ethiopia…..   Ethiopia in that day was a massive kingdom….. It was everywhere from the Red Sea to the great desert to the west of Africa and from Egypt south…  Most of Africa was under the control of Ethiopia….. He was very powerful and well respected…. The bible also says that he was a eunuch…..  Eunuchs often rose to places of prominence…. He was the treasurer of the Queen…. He had honor and great wealth…..   He was searching for God….. He had become a convert to Judaism…. There were many Jews in Ethiopia… He had come a very long way…  He had a searching heart…..
That´s the kind of heart God honors…..   
So he went to Jerusalem…. He wanted to know and understand God…. He followed and obeyed the law of …. But it was not enough…. Genuine faith …. Genuine salvation has nothing to do with being religious….. It is the >Love of God reaching out to sinful people…. People like us….. And transforming us…. Forgiving us…..  Rules and traditions do not transform the hearts and lives of people…. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us…. 4 Aber Gott, der reich ist an Barmherzigkeit, hat in seiner großen Liebe, mit der er uns geliebt hat… ,This man  wanted to know God….. He bought a bible and studied it……  That´s exactly what I did when I was 18…. He was hungry and thirsty for righteousness….
He was seeking and that's all God asks…… He said that he will be found by us when we seek Him with all of our hearts….. He had responded to the Spirit of God's touch in his heart…..  We know that because the natural man doesn't seek God does he? Romans 3, "No man seeks after God"
The Spirit of God had begun to work in his life…. there was a little light coming through the law and the Prophets and he  moved toward the light…. Turn to Jeremiah 29:13….
Jeremiah 29: 13    NKJV   Sch 2000
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
13 Ihr werdet mich suchen und finden; denn wenn ihr mich von ganzem Herzen suchen werdet,
If you really want to know God’s will you can know it….. If you're really hungry….. God satisfies your hungry heart……
This man sought God…….
His heart is prepared….. God´s chosen instrument is on hand…. His mouth is open….. Enter the Word of God… The Good news  according to the Prophet Isaiah……
He probably had the complete scroll of Isaiah and the Spirit of God just made sure he got to Isaiah chapter 53…..
There he was…. the right  place the right time… he is reading Isaiah 53….. This  is the suffering servant passage…. It is a great  presentation of the death of the Messiah…… and purchase of salvation through His sacrificial atonement……. It's right there…..   Everything comes together perfectly……..
That's the Spirit of God controlling everything…..
Everything has come together and now the Spirit of God uses the Word of God to lead this man to Christ Jesus the Messiah…. The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world…
If a man really wants to know the truth of God…. he only needs to open the bible…..   God will reveal it to him if he's got a searching heart…..  Do you remember what Jesus said  in John 5:39....
 John 5: 39,40                        NKJV 
39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
"Testify of Me." And then in verse 46 He says, "You if you really believed Moses you'd accept Me because he wrote of Me".
John 5: 39,40                         Sch 2000
39 Ihr sucht in der Schrift, denn ihr meint, ihr habt das ewige Leben darin; und sie ist's, die von mir zeugt;
40 aber ihr wollt nicht zu mir kommen, dass ihr das Leben hättet.
Now Phillip presents Jesus to this man…. He said do you understand what you are reading? Then we pickup the text at Acts 8….v31…v 31…
Acts 8: 31                               NKJV    Sch 2000
31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.
31 Er aber sprach: Wie kann ich denn, wenn mich nicht jemand anleitet? Und er bat Philippus, aufzusteigen und sich zu ihm zu setzen.
How can I understand this without a teacher….
 Boy, what a terrific opportunity…. What Boldness, he just moves right in there……   How often do you run into a bible teacher in the middle of the desert? Here he was. It must have been exciting as Philip jumped up into the chariot and they began to talk….. He had a humble attitude…. He was ready and he was teachable… Don't you love a humble teachable attitude?  God loves a humble and teachable heart…You know what the bible says in Psalm 25:9, it says:
Psalm 25: 8,9    NKJV   Sch 2000
8 Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
9 The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches His way.
8 Der HERR ist gut und gerecht; darum weist er Sündern den Weg.
9 Er leitet die Elenden recht und lehrt die Elenden seinen Weg.
This guy was ready….  He was studying  the right chapter of Isaiah….. Isaiah 52 and 53… There we read prophesies about Jesus…  These prophesies show the Messiah…. The Savoir…  as the suffering servant of God….. Laying down his life to redeem sinners…. People like me and you…. reading from  Acts 8…v32…
Acts 8: 32,33                               NKJV    Sch2000
32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth.33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.”
32 Die Schriftstelle aber, die er las, war diese: »Wie ein Schaf wurde er zur Schlachtung geführt, und wie ein Lamm vor seinem Scherer stumm ist, so tut er seinen Mund nicht auf. 33 In seiner Erniedrigung wurde sein Gericht aufgehoben. Wer will aber sein Geschlecht beschreiben? Denn sein Leben wird von der Erde weggenommen!«
 So he read from 53: verses 7 and 8….. the great 53rd chapter of Isaiah…  which prophesies…  Christ´s sacrificial substitutionary death…….. The great Jewish scholars all through the years have always said it's the Messiah….. On the Sabbath portions are read….. The suffering servant passage is no longer read in the services…. V34…
Acts 8: 34, 35                         NKJV  Sch 2000
34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.
34 Da wandte sich der Kämmerer an Philippus und sprach: Ich bitte dich, von wem sagt der Prophet dies? Von sich selbst oder von einem anderen? 35 Da tat Philippus seinen Mund auf und begann mit dieser Schriftstelle und verkündigte ihm das Evangelium von Jesus.
V34..  he says, I don't understand this… Who's he talking about?
Well Philip took his opportunity and he taught him the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ.
verse 35, "Then Philip opened his mouth and began at this  "Scripture, he preached Jesus to Him….  
Isaiah 53…. Sure I can help you….  let me explain that to you….. Phillip was a student of the Word…. He was well prepared…. There is  never an end to the study of the word of God…….  We need to know the Word of God so that we can pick it up and proclaim the Love of Jesus  Jesus to anyone….
Sometimes I've been ashamed because I was not able to immediately address their questions with the Word of God…. We should be like Phillip…. He was prepared because of his diligent study of the Word of God…. Philip said…  Isaiah 53….. I'll explain it verse by verse….. We should be so well prepared that we can open the Bible And show Jesus while we explain the scriptures to someone…
 Peter put it this way…..
 1 Peter 3: 15                       NKJV   Sch 2000
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
15 heiligt aber den Herrn Christus in euren Herzen. Seid allezeit bereit zur Verantwortung vor jedermann, der von euch Rechenschaft fordert über die Hoffnung, die in euch ist,
We should have something to say about Jesus and His work in our lives to every person that we meet….
The Presentation of the Good News
1  is centered on  the Word of God…..
2 it's centered on the Savior….. Jesus is who he preached…..
3 shows the way to genuine Salvation…..
Back to the Ethiopian Eunuch…. Phillip told him how to be saved from the scriptures.…    He went through the substitutionary atonement in Isaiah and announced the whole truth of Christ, salvation…..
Philip didn't talk about religion…... He talked about Jesus….. and he told him how to be saved……True evangelism presents the whole plan of salvation…..
back to Acts 8….v.35…..
Acts 8: 36- 38                        NKJV  
36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
Acts 8: 36- 38                           Sch 2000
36 Als sie aber auf dem Weg weiterzogen, kamen sie zu einem Wasser, und der Kämmerer sprach: Siehe, hier ist Wasser! Was hindert mich, getauft zu werden?
37 Da sprach Philippus: Wenn du von ganzem Herzen glaubst, so ist es erlaubt! Er antwortete und sprach: Ich glaube, daß Jesus Christus der Sohn Gottes ist!
38 Und er ließ den Wagen anhalten, und sie stiegen beide in das Wasser hinab, Philippus und der Kämmerer, und er taufte ihn.
 Is Baptism important? Yes….  Philip taught him about it….. Is it important for salvation? No….. But it's important as a public testimony of the new birth that the Lord has given to us…...
Here we see an instant genuine response   to the work of the Holy Spirit in this man´s life…  
The eunuch said, Look water", this is unbelievable… In the middle of the desert….fantastic… 'What hinders me from being  baptized?"
His faith was real and he wanted to be baptized…..
Verse 38…. Phillip baptized him….
Phillip was a soul winner…. Acts 8…v.39…

Acts 8: 39                          NKJV   Sch 2000
39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.
39 Als sie aber aus dem Wasser heraufgestiegen waren, entrückte der Geist des Herrn den Philippus, und der Kämmerer sah ihn nicht mehr; denn er zog voll Freude seines Weges.
verse 39….. There is genuine faith here…… and there's public confession of his faith here…. The Holy Spirit took Phillip immediately away….. That was a miracle….. Don't you think that eunuch didn't know it….. And the Ethiopian eunuch went his way rejoicing…… He knew that he was saved…. He knew that his sins were forgiven… As I said earlier….. He proclaimed the Good news in his home land and the fruit of this desert meeting continues to this very day…  
 Soul Winning
The Scripture says,…. He that wins souls is wise… Proverbs 11….v30….
Proverbs 11: 30                          NKJV   Sch 2000
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.
30 Die Frucht des Gerechten ist ein Baum des Lebens, und der Weise gewinnt Seelen.
Charles Trumbull was a great soul winner….He sometimes used Isaiah to preach the Good News to sinners….
Isaiah 53 and 55 for example… He said that personal soul-winning  is the main way to win souls….. The Romans road… Verse 40…  
Acts 8: 40                                  NKJV   Sch 2000
40 But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.
40 Philippus aber wurde in Asdod gefunden, und er zog umher und verkündigte das Evangelium in allen Städten, bis er nach Cäsarea kam.
To confirm the Word… God did a miracle…  As they came up out of the water…. Phillip disappeared… That whole caravan saw it…..   I can imagine that others in his caravan were also converted that day…. For sure the miracle established a topic for that eunuch to preach all the way to Ethiopia…… Azotus was the name of the ancient Philistine city of Ashdod…. And look at this, What did Phillip do…..  What did he always do? He preached Jesus as he went….. He went everywhere telling everyone about Jesus…  Think about this…. Phillip is proclaiming the Good News to the bitter enemies of Israel…. That´s grace and mercy….  So there he goes preaching  till he came to Caesarea."
Here you have an illustration of one man's availability to reach one other man for the Lord Jesus….. Just one Gentile man in the desert….. Suddenly a continent reached for the Gospel…. The #1 ability in ministry is availability…. Phillip was available and he was willing to open up his mouth…He proclaimed the Good News about Jesus…..  To some…. It is foolishness…. To those who repent and believe…. It is the power of God…. Transforming and saving men and women….
Ephesians 2: 1- 10                   NKJV
1  Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2: 1- 10                   Neues Leben
1 Auch ihr wart früher tot aufgrund eurer Sünden.
2 Ihr habt genauso in der Sünde gelebt wie der Rest der Welt, beherrscht von Satan, der im Machtbereich der Luft regiert. Er ist der Geist, der in den Herzen derer wirkt, die Gott nicht gehorchen wollen.
3 Wir alle haben früher so gelebt und uns von den Leidenschaften und Begierden unserer alten Natur beherrschen lassen. Wir wurden mit dieser Natur geboren und waren Gottes Zorn ausgeliefert wie alle anderen Menschen auch.
4 Doch Gott ist so barmherzig und liebte uns so sehr,
5 dass er uns, die wir durch unsere Sünden tot waren, mit Christus neues Leben schenkte, als er ihn von den Toten auferweckte. Nur durch die Gnade Gottes seid ihr gerettet worden!
6 Denn er hat uns zusammen mit Christus von den Toten auferweckt und wir gehören nun mit Jesus zu seinem himmlischen Reich.
7 So wird er für alle Zeiten an uns seine Güte und den Reichtum seiner Gnade sichtbar machen, die sich in allem zeigt, was er durch Christus Jesus für uns getan hat.
8 Weil Gott so gnädig ist, hat er euch durch den Glauben gerettet. Und das ist nicht euer eigenes Verdienst; es ist ein Geschenk Gottes.
9 Ihr werdet also nicht aufgrund eurer guten Taten gerettet, damit sich niemand etwas darauf einbilden kann.
10 Denn wir sind Gottes Schöpfung. Er hat uns in Christus Jesus neu geschaffen, damit wir zu guten Taten fähig sind, wie er es für unser Leben schon immer vorgesehen hat.
Phillip proclaimed the Good News from Isaiah…. As a young Christian I learned the Romans road…. The Word of God is filled with the Good News…… It´s all about Jesus…… He is the Lamb of God who takes away the Sins of the world!
Jesus has saved us for a reason…. We are living in a lost and dying world…… He has sent us to go out and proclaim the Good News…. Reach out to whoever God places in your path… Don't ever estimate  the importance of anyone…. let God take care of that….. Just be ready….. And when the opportunity comes….. trust the Lord and open your mouth….. Proclaim the Good News…..  Learn to condense your personal testimony….. You can learn to tell the essentials in 2 or 3 minutes…… Don't minimize your usefulness…… trust the LORD…  

Let's pray.