The Apostle's Testimony
Anyone ever been accused for something they didn’t do? ...
What do you do when you get accused? You make your defense! You start lawyering and explaining how it couldn’t have been you right?
Any one seen the movie Legally Blonde? I had a girl friend in high school who was obsessed with that movie. It’s about… She ends up defending a famous fitness instruction in court. The lady says she has an alibi but she won’t share it because it would ruin her. The famous fitness instructor’s alibi was that she was getting liposuction done at the time of the murder!
When you are accused of something and you didn’t do it, you have to give your testimony to explain why you’re innocent. Tonight, we’re looking at a passage where the Apostle Paul has been wrongly accused and he gives his testimony to show that he is innocent. The testimony he gives is the one of how he became a Christian. Paul’s testimony reveals God’s goodness and is an example of the truth of the Gospel.
Every Christian has a testimony. They are all different… but we all have a testimony. And every one shows God’s goodness and the truth of the Gospel. So as we look at Paul’s testimony tonight, and hear another testimony, think about your own!
So we’re looking at Paul’s testimony, but we need some set up to understand the situation.
Paul knows pretty much all the people in this church, but when he left a group of people came in running their mouths about Paul.
They said the Gospel he preached was something he and some others got together and came up with, and Paul shares his testimony because it shows how the people saying this are wrong!
Kind of like when you get accused of something you didn’t do and you turn into a lawyer all of the sudden...
Read and PRAY
Your Gospel Source Matters
Your Gospel Source Matters
We can’t just get our information about God from anywhere.
So, I used to think that our brains were in our stomachs. Here’s why; I loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when I was a kid (yea, they’re that old). I loved them! Had all kinds of toys and action figures and play sets… Saw the movies when they came out in the theatre, the original movies. The best ones. Well when I was a little kid the cartoon used to come on after school, and one day when I was watching it Krang was attacking the city, and as the turtles were fighting and April O’Neal was trying to help, this other reporter looks at Krang, who was in his new body made by Shredder, and he yells, “Look at him, his brain is in his stomach!” So, I thought brains were in stomachs until I was almost ten or so.
Our sources for information matter! Especially when it comes to info about God!
Paul says he didn’t come up with this Gospel or receive it from a human source. We have to learn about God from his revelation to us.
A revelation is when something is revealed to you.
God has revealed Himself to us in his Word. Anything you hear me or anyone else tell you about God, you need to check it against his Word!
I was talking with a student in Texas one time. He was a senior. He says he has a question about where Satan came from, and I’m thinking, “this will be a fun one!” He says, “if Satan was a fallen angel, but he was there when Adam and Eve were alive, how is that possible since angels are people who died?”
He was really thinking! But his source of information for where angels come from (probably a movie or something) was bad!
The Bible is the only source for information about God and the Gospel that is never wrong.
If you want to talk more about that then we can have that conversation later.
But always check your info against Scripture!
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness,
If you hear something that goes against what the Bible says, only one of them can be right. Guess what, it’s the Bible!
Paul says he has the right information, it was delivered to him be Jesus himself! And because of that, he was saved! This is his testimony of being freed from sin and death!
Your Gospel Testimony
Your Gospel Testimony
Paul gives his testimony to prove that he didn’t make the Gospel up and he wasn’t taught it by the other apostles, he goes through and shows this...
Explain this part of it.
But in doing this, he shares his testimony and gives us a great example! He talks about who he was and what he worshipped before Jesus, how He came to know Jesus, and what’s changed since. I think we all have these three parts to our testimony. The before, the “but God”, and the since.
Very briefly share your three parts.
Paul tells his three parts...
verse 14 is before...
verses 15 and part of 16 are how he met Jesus
the end of verse 16 and verse 23 tell what he did after becoming a Christian.
Your testimony is one of the most powerful tools that you have in trying to win others to Jesus. And your testimony proclaims God’s awesomeness. It proclaims his love for his people. His grace and mercy. Your testimony brings God glory! Whatever it is!
I want y’all to hear another testimony as an example of this, and to give you the opportunity to praise God for his goodness in salvation. I’m excited for y’all to hear from...
Bring Emma up.
Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff —they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.
Thank you so much Emma!
Where is your testimony at? Have you had your “But God” yet? If not, I’m going to invite you to have it in just a minute. If you have, praise God for that, let me show you why that’s happened for you!
Your Gospel Reason
Your Gospel Reason
We are saved to make the Gospel known and to give God glory.
If there is time, use illustration.
You know that phrase “have your cake and eat it too”? I used to not understand that phrase. I mean, I knew it meant you couldn’t have two things, but I didn’t understand how cake had anything to do with that. I used to think, “You can’t eat your cake unless you have it!” Cause that’s what cake is for, right?! To eat! Chocolate cake and chocolate icing? Or fudge icing if you’re really going for it! The king of all cakes is Cracker Barrel Coke cake. The reason you have cake is to eat it, right!? So what does this phrase mean, you can’t have your cake and eat it too? Makes no sense.
The one day, don’t remember how or why, but I finally figured it out! You have your cake right, but if you eat your cake, you don’t have it anymore. You can’t still have your cake if you eat it. Well that’s dumb! Who wants to just have a cake and not eat it?! The reason for the existence of cake is to be in my belly quickly followed by a glass of milk or ice cream!
Having the Gospel and not sharing like Paul did is like just having your cake and not eating it. Having the Gospel and not letting God be glorified because of what He’s done in you is like having your cake and not eating it.
We are saved to tell others.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
We are saved for God’s glory.
He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.
Every Christian has a testimony and it tells of God’s goodness.
Share your testimony with others so they too might believe and God will be glorified. The Gospel that saved you is from God and it has to be shared!
If you are not a Christian, you haven’t had a “but God” time in your life, why not tonight? You can believe this Gospel that changes lives and put your faith in Jesus tonight...