‘The Conversion of a Christian’ – William Houston

Just added, a new message preached by Mr William Houston from Acts chapter 9:

 

The Conversion of a Christian – Acts chp 9 – William Houston – 23042017

 

What Made Paul Great? – (1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 10)

 

Just added, a new message rpeached by J Stewart Gillespie from 1 Corinthians chapter 15:

 

1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 10 – What Made Paul Great – J S Gillespie – 24052016

 

outline notes from this message:

What made Paul great?

One of the greatest historical figures!

  • His lifes work lives on
  • His effects are still being seen today
  • His works are read more today than possibly any other author
  • Lifes are still being changed by the message he brought and recorded in the scriptures

 

What made Paul great?

He had a number of great abilities / opportunities in life:

  • ‘a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee’ (Acts 23:6)
  • ‘after the most stratest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee’ (Acts 26:5)
  • ‘Hebrew of the Hebrews, as touching the law, a Pharisee.’ (Phil 3:5)
  • ‘brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel’ (Acts 22:3)

Paul was:

  • Zealous, Religious, Well educated, Able preacher, organiser, Powerful, Successful (before men)

Yet a million miles from God and a hater and persecutor of Christ.

All of this simply made Paul a monster.

What made Paul great?

‘but by the grace of God I am what I am’ (1 Co15:10)

This was a Grace:

  1. Personal : ‘I am what I am’
  2. Persistent & Persevering: ‘bestowed upon me’
  3. Powerful and effective: ‘I laboured…yet not I but the grace of God which was with me.’
  4. Purpose: ‘was not in vain’
  5. Product: ‘so we preached and so ye believed’
  1. Personal : ‘I am what I am’

Pauls personal experience of Grace

A grace that made Paul what he was (Acts 9):

Character of Paul:

  • God meets Paul in spite of what he was and in spite of where he was going and in spite of what he was doing and in spite of how he was living (9:1) ‘Saul yet breathing out threatening and slaughter’. God is not seeking those who have first sorted themselves out! This is an appointment, an encounter on the foundation of grace! Grace is not God welcoming those who deserve it. Grace is God welcoming those who do not deserve it! This isn’t someone cleaning up their act and coming to God. This was a man with a passion and a zeal AGAINST Christ and AGAINST believers in the Lord Jesus.

Conversion of Paul:

  • Grace intervened in the life of Paul when he was close to disaster, ‘he came near Damascus’ (9:3)
  • Paul was drawing closer and closer to outright rebellion
  • He was pursuing the persecution of God
  • This was a:
  • Sovereign act of God (9:3)
  • Sudden act of God
  • Supreme act of God (Acts 26:13), ‘above the brightness of the sun’
  • God takes the initiative and the ‘light from heaven’ shines
  • This isn’t a man pursuing Christ
  • This is Christ pursing a man who is persecuting Christ
  • This is has its origins in Grace
  • ‘I am come to seek and to save that which was lost’
  • It was in Pauls pursuit of rebellion and hatred that God pursued Him

The Hound of Heaven

Francis Thompson:

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat—and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet—
‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me’.

Pauls conversion was:

  • sudden
  • sovereign
  • supreme act of God

Paul did not know what was happening, ‘who art thou Lord?’

This conversion of Paul in Acts 9 was a personal revelation of Jesus, by Jesus (v5), followed by an immediate commissioning of Saul to service (v6).

The Lord took Paul to a place of total dependence upon Himself, a place of dependence and need:

  • Blind (v8)
  • Dependent (v8)
  • 3 days of darkness (v9) – a spiritual death to all he was and had, in spite of Himself, God saved.
  • Depending in the darkness of blindness for the grace of sight (v12)
  • So wicked was Saul that Ananias, a man of God, having received a direct Word from the Lord questions he wisdom / will / purpose of God in restoring the sight of Saul!

‘brother Saul’ – brought into the family of God he had persecuted (9:17)

  • Given sight
  • Given light
  • Given the Holy Spirit

Saul transformed to Paul:

  • Preached Christ instead of Persecuting Christ (v20)
  • Instead of dragging believers out of the synagogues he made converts in the synagogue
  1. Persistent & Persevering: ‘bestowed upon me’

Gods Grace did not conclude at conversion

Gods Grace commenced at conversion

The encouraging truth is this – that the grace God gives, is the grace that continues with us, that grace never leaves, that grace is never removed by God!

Paul realised and practised this truth

Consider the potential when such a truth is realised and practised!

  1. Powerful and effective:

‘I laboured…yet not I but the grace of God which was with me.’

We do not work alone

We do not preach alone

We do not labour alone

  1. Purpose: ‘was not in vain’

A purpose for Grace in his life

There are some things which we can fritter away our life doing, which is not worthy to be called a man!

Look back at all the way God has:

  • spoken to you, called you, saved you, equiped you, challenged you, changed you, kept you, over many years!

Has God done this for a purpose?

Grace had saved Paul but not just so that Paul had:

  • a story to tell
  • a better quality of life
  • get out of jail free card

This was grace with a purpose / prospect

Grace to live for God / serve God

Paul would spend the rest of a life he almost messed up serving Christ!

Not distracted by the:

  • Trivial
  • Apathetic
  • Introspective
  • Sin

But to:

  • Reach out
  • Preach out
  • Burn out

For Christ

This Grace bestowed on Paul was not wasted.

What does it mean for a grace to be ‘not in vain?’

It means to:

  • Preach

Paul in his ministry reached out to:

  • Damascus, Jerusalem, Caesarea, Tarsus, Antioch, Seleucia, Cyprus with the conversion of the deputy of the island Sergius Paulus, Perga, in Antioch with great blessing, Iconium with mass conversions, Lystra and Derbe, in Samaria, Troas, Philippi and Macedonia, Thessalonica for 3 weeks with conversions, Berea with many saved, Athens with converts, Corinth for 18 months with many converts, Ephesus

    Paul preached to Jews, gentiles, Greeks and Romans, Roman soldiers, Chief captains, Centurion, Sanhedrin, Chief Priest, Felix and Druscilla, Festus, Agripa and Bernice in Acts of the Apostles.

  • It means to:
  • Pen – half of the NT
  • It means to leave a legacy of teaching spanning 2000 years
  • It means to write words still read today
  • it means to be used to transform lived
  • It means to bequeath words for which men will die
  • It means to write a book to live by
  • It means to share with others the words of eternal life

What has grace achieved in our life?

  1. Product: ‘so we preached and so ye believed’

A Bomb in a Basket

Sometimes we might be tempted to look at the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and at those who preach the Son of God, crucified, buried, rejected and resurrected, and to scratch our head and wonder; ‘Is that it?’

God was about to change the world forever, through the service of a converted persecutor of the church;Saul of Tarsus. In Acts chapter 9 Pauls ministry gets off to an ignoble start as he is bundled into a basket and lowered down a city wall at night! Is this the man that will turn the western world upside down? Where is the power in that? The ‘dynamite’ of God lay not in who Paul was but in what he had found in Jesus Christ! This was a Bomb in a Basket. Taken from :

The Bomb in the Basket

William Houston

Download or listen online to sermons preached by Mr William Houston (Kilmarnock)

 

Houston William – Matthew 5 – 18012005

 

Houston William – Gospel Matt8 – 29082004

 

Houston William – Luke Chp 23 – 07062009

 

Houston William – Gospel – Lydia – 09012005

 

This Man had a Conversion – 1 Timothy chp 1 vs 12 to 17 – William Houston – 27012013

 

Joshua – William Houston – 07042015

 

The Conversion of a Christian – Acts chp 9 – William Houston – 23042017

 

Acts chp 17 – The Servant of the Lord -William Houston – 01082017

 

Paul – The Servant of the Lord and his Holiness – William Houston – 08082017