Sunday, October 26, 2008

God’s Pattern Of Grace

Temple Baptist Church - 10-26-2008

1 Timothy 1:8-16


A. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been looking at some of the conversions that are detailed in Scripture. I want to look at one so graphic this morning that we refer to as “Apostle Paul Experience.”

B. Many professing salvation have never had a change in life though they claim to have said all of the right things and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. We often quote to them 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

C. Many others experienced radical changes in both their thinking and lifestyles. They are sold out, God loving, obedient to the Scripture Christians. We call that the “Apostle Paul Experience.”

1. The Pursuer became the Pursued.
2. The Punisher became a Preacher.
3. The Boaster became a Believer.
4. The Blasphemer became a Blesser.
5. The Butcher became a Brother.

D. Is such a conversion extraordinary or is it just plain old fashioned salvation? The unchanged professor calls such fanatic or radical Christians. Are we fanatic? Are we radical?

FANATIC - marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion. (Sounds like Christianity to me!)

RADICAL - 1 : of, relating to, or proceeding from a root: or growing from the root of a plant. 2 : of or relating to the origin 3 a : marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional b : tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions. 4 slang: EXCELLENT, COOL (I like this definition also!)

E. Paul told Timothy, under inspiration of the Holy Ghost, that God set forth his conversion as a “pattern” to those who would hereafter believe. In other words, our conversion would follow the same pattern as his because salvation is always the same and always works the same. Then why is there such a great difference in different “conversions?” Let us look at this “Apostle Paul Experience” and then measure our conversion by his God defined one.

1. A Dangerous Condition – vs. 1-2

a. He hated God! Vs. 1 - 1 Timothy 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did [it] ignorantly in unbelief. (To speak evil against God. He loved the god of his perception but hated the God of the Bible. As a lost religionist, Paul thought he was right with the Lord.) - vs. 1 – “high priest” - Galatians 1:13-14 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

b. He hated the people of God! Acts 26:9-11 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. 11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. (Religious people hate God’s people.)

c. He hated the things of God! – vs. 2 “of this way” - Galatians 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

Galatians 1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.

Philippians 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

1 Timothy 1:13-14 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. (Paul honestly thought he was right and yet was an enemy of the church and its work!)

2. A Determined Confrontation – vs. 3-4

a. The providence of God revealed - 1 Corinthians 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

b. The purpose of God revealed - Galatians 1:15-16 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called [me] by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

3. A Dynamic Conversion – vs. 5-6

a. Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ – “I am Jesus”

b. Recognition of the his sinfulness – “whom thou persecutest…pricks”

c. Repentance from sin – “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”

1) It changed his Attitude.
2) It changed his Action.
3) It changed his Appearance.
4) It changed his Associations

4. A Drastic Change – vs. 6, 20

a. A Change of Plans - 6-8
b. A Change of Prayers - 10-11
c. A Change of Purpose - 12-15
d. A Change of Persecution - 16
e. A Change of Profession - 17-18
f. A Change of Preaching - 19-20
g. A Change of Proving - 21-22

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