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Know the Gospel- Paul's History

1TImothy - Life as the Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Transormed life of Paul as an example of Gods grace and mercy

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Who are you?

One of the things Paul did not have to wonder about, through his experience he knew who He was before and who he was when he wrote to Timothy. (1Tim1:1) in this passage today he offers proof of the gospel at work in his life (ACt9:1-22, 22:1-21 and 26:9-18)
1 Timothy 1:1 NASB95
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope,
Because of the gospel, because he was called he knew was an Apostle. He in our passage offers up his own personal testimony of a transformed life to prove that the gospel of grace really works.
Saul’s conversion (Act9:1-22)
Acts 9:1 NASB95
Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,
Acts 9:1 NASB95
Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,
breathing murders
Breathing threats and murder he comes authorized by the high priests to go to Damascus and along the way encounters the Christ
Acts 9:5 NASB95
5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,
And in a vision brings in another man to bring the good news to Saul
Acts 9:15–16 NASB95
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; 16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
Act9:15-16
And it lead to Saul’s baptism
Acts 9:18 NASB95
18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized;
ACt9:18
Saul the one who gave threats and murders, sent with authority; was an educated Jew and a persecutor of the Way (Christians) (Act22:1-21)
ACt22:3-4
Acts 22:3–4 NASB95
3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under Gamaliel, strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as you all are today. 4 “I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and putting both men and women into prisons,
Saul was given a charge and it was delivered by an unlikely source
Acts 22:12–13 NASB95
12 “A certain Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law, and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to me, and standing near said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very time I looked up at him.
ACt22:12-13
Act22:12
Acts 22:14–15 NASB95
14 “And he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth. 15 ‘For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard.
Act22:14-15
And it lead to Saul’s response to the Gospel
Acts 22:16 NASB95
16 ‘Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’
Saul who used threats, murdered with authority, who was a persecutor who tried to force people to blaspheme Jesus (Act26:9-18)
ACt26:11
Acts 26:11 NASB95
11 “And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities.
When he encountered the Lord was called, and commissioned
ACt26:
Acts 26:16 NASB95
16 ‘But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you;
ACt22:17-
Acts 22:17–18 NASB95
17 “It happened when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I fell into a trance, 18 and I saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste, and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.’
Acts 26:17–18 NASB95
17 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’
Through the example of Saul we can see God’s saving grace, God’s mercy and God’s transformation of Saul to be Paul the Apostle!
And if he could be transformed anyone could! He offers his own testimony to us in our passage today; the glorious gospel he was entrusted with is what we have and respond to today (1Tim1:11)
1 Timothy 1:11 NASB95
11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.
1 Timothy 1:12 NASB95
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,
Thankful Saul, was not always thankful, but God had a plan to use him.

I. What Paul was

1 Timothy 1:13 NASB95
even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;
1Tim1:13
He tells you himself he was formerly a blasphemer.
blasphemer. Noun. (plural blasphemers) One who commits blasphemy; a person who mocks or derides a deity or religion, or claims to be God.
He tells you he was a persecutor
Persecutor: To pursue with harassing or oppressive treatment, especially because of religious or political beliefs, ethnic or racial origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation. 2. to annoy or trouble persistently.
So we have a man who was a blasphemer because he denied the deity of Christ and a persecutor because he continually harassed those who believed in Christ. His aim, was to destroy the church
Acts 9:1 NASB95
Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,
That was his life, breathing these threats. He wanted to persecute the church of God (1Cor15:9)
1 Corinthians 15:9 NASB95
For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
He discovered he was not just persecuting the church but the Lord of the church and over the church, the Messiah Himself (Act9:4)
Acts 9:4 NASB95
and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
Act9:4
Saul thought he was doing the work of God but in reality it was the work against God and His anointed the Christ. Saul consented to the stoning of Stephen (Act8:1-4)
Acts 8:1–2 NASB95
1 Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him.
Acts 8:3–4 NASB95
3 But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. 4 Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.
Act8:3-4
He was a violent man, an injurious man in some translations which means he was “proud and insolent.” You know the type, the man who throws his weight around, his authority, someone who is haughty, arrogant, you know in other words a bully.
But there is a reason for it too, we need to quickly look at the verse again. (1Tim1:13) other verses used too (ACt22:3; Gal1:13-14; 1Cor2:14; 2Cor4:3-4 and reference to Php3:1-11)
1 Timothy 1:13 NASB95
13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;
The reason, was ignorance and unbelief. - He was an educated man
Acts 22:3 NASB95
3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under Gamaliel, strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as you all are today.
ACt22:3
He was zealous for God, knew the law well, trained under the best
Galatians 1:13–14 NASB95
13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; 14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.
He was advancing over his contemporaries, his countrymen. But he was blinded from the truth
1 Corinthians 2:14 NASB95
14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
See you cannot see as a natural man cannot understand the spiritual things of God.
2 Corinthians 4:3–4 NASB95
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Being religious does not mean you are going to heaven, Saul loved God, knew of God, served in a manner he believed God would want. But it was not until he put his faith in Christ that his destination changed because his relationship changed. Look at Php3:1-11
Philippians 3:10–11 NASB95
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Php3:
(take a couple of minutes and expand on the verses above)
So here is Saul, a man who man who the disciples could not change, his friends would not want him to change, but God had a plan to save him. And if He can save and convert Saul, He could do it to anyone. Paul the Christian, the Apostle continues with offering up his own testimony as evidence of his transformation, of his conversion.

II. From Saul to Paul - the conversion

How could God, why would God save and forgive a self-righteous sinner like Saul? We find the answer in the following verses.
Ho
1 Timothy 1:13–14 NASB95
13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; 14 and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 1:15 NASB95
15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
(insert slide mercy and grace - already saved on system)
God poured out His mercy on Saul and gave him grace, something Saul did not deserve, nor do we.
“Grace and Mercy are God’s love in action” - Bible Exposition Commentary
The action of God’s love in action was sending the Christ to be the perfect sacrifice. To pay the price for lost sinners (Jn3:16; Eph2:8-9, 2:4, 7)
John 3:16 NASB95
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Eternal life offered
Ephesians 2:8–9 NASB95
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Offered to those who by faith are in receipt of God’s gift of grace
Ephesians 2:4 NASB95
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
Because God is rich in mercy for us, because of His great love for us we could bve saved. Just as Saul the murderous, blasphemer, who persecuted the church and wanted to destroy it was saved.
Ephesians 2:7 NASB95
7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Why, so others may come to know!
So I mentioned ignorance before, so what did ignorance have to do with Saul’s salvation? Is ignorance and acceptable excuse before God? NO!
In Lev5:15-19 it speaks of sins of ignorance, they still had their consequences, as it also states again in Num15:22ff
Sins done intentionally under the law, the person was cut off, but sings of ignorance allowed a means of sacrifice for atonement of those sins.
Jesus prayed about sins of ignorance from the cross (Lk23:34)
Luke 23:34 NASB95
34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
Ignorance does not equate to salvation, nor did Jesus prayer give them salvation, but what it did it delay God’s judgment, making way for them to come to Jesus and to be saved, but now the times of ignorance are gone. (Act17:30) - others scriptures used or referenced (2The1:3; Eph1:19; Rom8:37; 1Tim1:15; 1Cor15:9; Eph3:8)
Acts 17:30 NASB95
30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,
How much grace was received? Abundant grace according to the verse, some same exceedingly abundant grace.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 NASB95
3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;
Grace that increases faith (2The1:3)
Grace that has surpassing power (Eph1:19)
Grace that makes us more than conquerors (Rom8:37)
While Paul is using his own testimony to be an exhibit of salvation, he makes it known it is not for him alone (1Tim1:15)
1 Timothy 1:15 NKJV
15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
so our zealot Jew, who murdered Christians, persecuted Christians wanted to destroy the church, who tells us he is the chief of sinners, if he could be saved, anyone could be ad can be today. Even in his walk he was humble
1 Corinthians 15:9 NASB95
9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
He considered himself the least of the apostles, not even fit to be called one, and the least of the saints
Ephesians 3:8 NASB95
8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
A recipient of the grace of God to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ!

III. Paul the Apostle

Who Saul was, who we were is not who we are in Christ, or are being transformed into by Christ and His Holy Spirit. Saul was given everything he needed to accomplish his service, so have we.
1 Timothy 1:12 NASB95
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,
By God’s grace and mercy given the persecutor became a preacher, the murderer became a minister and a missionary.
1 Timothy 1:14–15 NASB95
14 and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. 15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
1 Timothy 1:16 NASB95
16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.
So dramatic was the change people were leery, suspect of his change (Act9:26-31)
they were afraid of him (v.26)
but Barnabas spoke up for him (v.27)
Hellenistic Jews were trying to kill him (v.29)
This was the Lord’s ministry not Paul’s (Gal1:11-24)
Galatians 1:12 NASB95
12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
He did not get it from man, but from the Lord
Galatians 1:15–16 NASB95
15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,
He realized before he was even born he was called through grace for this.
Galatians 1:23–24 NASB95
23 but only, they kept hearing, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they were glorifying God because of me.
People were glorifying God because of him.
Think about that, can people come to glorify God because of you, your life, your testimony. You cannot testify like Paul who saw the Lord, but you can testify how your life has changed since you obeyed the gospel.
Some of the worst of the worst in the world’s eyes, sinners were were totally lost and thought to be unreachable when they are reached become one’s who are greatly used, or can be, by the Lord to save souls.
Because of the Lord, because of His Spirit in Paul it equipped him and enabled him to be a minister of the Gospel (1Cor15:10)
1 Corinthians 15:10 NASB95
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
Do we labor for the Lord in love but not obligation? Do we labor as a result of the grace given and grace received?
Paul was not only a minister he was an example (1Tim1:16)
1 Timothy 1:16 NASB95
16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.
Paul an type, an example of a lost sinner who was called, obeyed and was transformed by the gospel. He uses his testimony as a living proof of Gospel of grace by faith in Jesus Christ .
(lead to invitation)
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