Faithlife Sermons

Response to Grace

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
Intro - We must never forget that we live in a world that does not desire us. The very nature of our existence is convicting to all who would either believe that you must be holy to be saved or that God doesn’t condemn anyone since He didn’t condemn you. But when you’ve experienced grace and are motivated by grace it sets you at odds with the world.
TR: When a radical move of grace is seen by others many times they will either seek to discredit you, destroy you, or deny you...


This world will attempt to discredit through disparaging and disproving
When in the court of law and the prosecution or defense is attempting to prove a case they will call to the stand a character witness. A character witness is someone who vouchs for someone’s moral conduct or behavior. They basically put their name on the line in order to address someone else’s. In order to diminish the power of their testimony, they will have their own character attacked. They will have their intentions questioned, their truthfulness examined, their history resurrected to see if THEY are on solid enough moral ground to attest to someone else’s moral ground. Like game recognizes game, righteousness recognizes righteousness.
Saul was changed but his past was still present
So it should come as no surprise then when Saul is preaching he is having his character attacked.
Because they disapproved of Saul’s message they needed to find a way to attack it.
Here is a man that is guilty of heinous crimes preaching about Jesus’ righteousness.
“Is not this the man…?” they said “was he not the person who…?”
From this we learn a valuable lesson about the enemy. The accuser of the brethren will attempt to discredit what he cannot defeat.
There was no arguing that Saul had changed his message so now they must discredit him. How qualified is he to be preaching this?
Mankind has built a structure that states only the most qualified can speak to certain things. He have to go to the best schools, say it the best way and have to have a lifestyle that matches what you preach.
Your reputation has to be developed before you can earn the right to preach. There’s a flaw in that.
I don’t need a degree to spot foolishness when I see it and I don’t need a flawless life to point to beauty when I come across it.
Some of you all are waiting around for the Certificate from Mankind University saying you can preach’re holy enough now…your past is far enough away…or your sin is light enough.
You are qualified to preach the Gospel because the Lord saved you for that very purpose.
The only qualification to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that you know the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The only thing you need is the resolve to preach the Gospel.
Saul, who is later called Paul, admonished preaching the Gospel so much he didn’t even care about your motive in doing it.
Philippians 1:15–18 ESV
Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,
The heart of self-righteousness will be deterred by their testimony being brought up…the heart filled with grace brings it up on willingly as a testimony to His forgiveness.
If you tell me about me....I’ll fill in all the details and give you a real story.
If you lie on me, I’ll say now that ain’t true but there are things much worse I’ve done. And if you tell the bust me out I’ll tell you that not only is that true but you don’t know the half of it...
You can’t smear my image
Saul was informed but his knowledge was unproven
If the enemy can’t disparage you he’ll try to disprove you.
When you’re so resolved in your forgiveness and the grace poured out on you, you’ll take the knowledge you have, submit it to the Lord and He’ll use it to confound the wise.
I’ve seen plenty of church mothers with no Bible College degrees put some wisdom on a rebellious man that got him straight while a professor quoted Greek and couldn’t reach him.
Now Saul was a learned man but he was merely an infant in Jesus and yet he rolled up into their synangogue, with their teachers and stumped ‘em. How?
Because he was “increased all the more in strength”…in Greek it’s passive, it was done TO him.
Not only was it done to him but it was done once and it kept having an effect.
Illustration of something that has on going effects.
When you have resolved in your mind to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and pursue Him no matter what…all of those experiences, all that knowledge, all those feelings that happened in the past and are done and are completed, will be leveraged to stump all the foolishness of this world.
THAT’S THE POWER OF GRACE!!! I once was BLIND…BUT NOW I SEE. My experience as a blind mind is effecting my present. I know what it’s like to be spiritually blind, the lies you tell yourself about what the world looks like, etc.
Saul had one of the finest educations in the world. He was extremely well versed in the Scripture but was a fool until he met Christ. Then all that knowledge became invigorated by the grace of Jesus and produced power!!!
TR: If the enemy can’t discredit you…he will attempt to destroy you...


The world destroys by turning friends to foes but faithfulness delivers
When grace has overwhelmed your life it leaves no room for facades.
Grace has unimaginable power to reveal what has been hidden all along in the dark.
Many times what has been lurking in the dark is that some of your partners are parasites.
They are parasites because they lived off of your zeal, your opinions, your knowledge, off of your time, money, success, you name it and they’ve benefitted from it.
As long as Saul was selling the Jews were buying. Selling hatred, murder, self-righteousness, etc. they were all in.
However, when Saul tried to introduce them to a life of their own they filled with rage and murder. The very thing they had be dieting on all along.
Be very careful to see what people unify with you on. The love from this world is conditional.
John 15:18 ESV
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.
The world will hate you, not promote you, comfort you, opens doors for you, appreciate you because you are aligned with the very person that they hate. You have to be ready for that.
When an opposing army cannot conquer a city’s defenses. When it can’t get passed the walls, the motes, the shooters on the wall, it will attempt to cut off it’s supply line. It will place it under siege. Nothing goes in or out of that city.
The world believes this will destroy you. If they can just cut off your life line you will be destroyed.
The Jews attempted to do that by waiting by the city gates, placing Saul under siege and waiting for him to show up. They knew the nature of this message and it was to get out and spread!!!
What some of ya’ll don’t get the world already knows and it’s why it attacks you. The Spirit that is inside of you wants to spread the Gospel all over the world. Yet some of you have quarantined it, just like the Jews tried to do here.
But there is something great when the Gospel is presented, it not only gives life to the hearer but also invigorates the sharer.
If you want to have more abundant life, don’t just live holy but PREACH holy!
However, Saul had not only come alive through the power of grace but had been faithful to his call and that grace now had produced disciples.
While the world was seeking to destroy, Saul was seeking to disciple
While the world was confounded, Saul was confessing
While the world was plotting, Saul was preaching.
Saul remained resolute in his purpose irrespective of what the world was doing!!
And in doing so the siege didn’t work…the faithfulness in his preaching met up with the faithfulness of His God and led to his deliverance.
Listen if you’re faithful to what the Lord has called you to do, you will be delivered every time. Now it may come after heartache, loss, and discomfort but deliverance will come.
But when you’re delivered, it won’t be into comfort, it’ll be into a continuation of what the Lord has called you to do. Some of ya’ll want deliverance into something that God hasn’t promised…freedom from suffering…God will deliver but it’s deliverance from your destruction
TR: Even if the world can’t discredit you and can’t destroy you, you still have to contend with folks that will deny your fellowship...


People will deny your fellowship when they doubt your authenticity
There is a fundamental principle in people and that is I will only keep you as close to me as your genuineness allows me to.
Where as the world will use you to achieve it’s own gain and deny you the moment you tell it about itself, the church has a different approach.
Because His Word has promised us that there will be wolves in sheep’s clothing that will attempt to separate us, we do a behavior check. We check for fruit!
Before Saul had ravaged the church and now he’s seeking to become accepted by them who he pursued.
Imagine what that reunion would have been like…He had just been in Jerusalem that very same year more than likely and had murdered the families and friends of THESE VERY SAME PEOPLE!!!
Acts 9:
Acts 9:1–2 ESV
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
Now he’s being doubted by these people, not out of their pain, not out of their vengeance but out of their doubt that HE IS A DISCIPLE!!!
Let’s switch up the vantage point…some of you all deny people fellowship with you not because you doubt whether they’re a disciple but because of the pain that they’ve caused you.
However, there is only ONE basis for fellowship and that is unity in the Gospel. Let me be your Barnabas today...
Some of you all are still holding on to past hurts toward each other, spouses, former friends, when you are the means of provision God has provided for them.
However, once fellowship is determined by what matters to God rather than what matters to you than there will be peace...
See how the Gospel changes you when you yield to it!!!
The very same people he once sought to take life from were now preserving his life…when the people in Jerusalem sought to kill they helped continue on with the message.
Some of you all aren’t fighting people anymore you’re fighting your pain, your hurt, your desire to be vindicated!!!
Your vindication was nailed to the cross!!! Yes it still hurts, yes they were wrong, yes they brought you pain and yes it’s hard…but has the Lord done any less for you?
As the family of God the most important thing in your life MUST be the preaching of the Gospel.
When that happens you will have true peace because that’s what is promised
Not only will you have peace but that peace will be multiplied as will the comfort of the Spirit...
When you’re motivated by grace unity in the Spirit prevails.
Related Media
Related Sermons