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The Jesus Revolution: 58 A.D. | Obedience to God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 14, 2023 3:00 am

The Jesus Revolution: 58 A.D. | Obedience to God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 14, 2023 3:00 am

"The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him." The words are often attributed to D.L. Moody, but Moody actually heard those words and they helped confirm his life’s calling. What can God do with us if we each are fully and wholly consecrated to Him? We’ll discuss that today on A NEW BEGINNING as Pastor Greg Laurie helps us see how our efforts can help usher in the next great revival in our culture.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. For more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk, enroll in Pastor Greg's free online courses.

Sign up at The main thing is, is you go where God tells you to go. You do what God tells you to do. The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him. The words are often attributed to D.L.

Moody, but Moody actually heard those words and they helped confirm his life's calling. What can God do with us if we each are fully and wholly consecrated to Him? We'll discuss that today on A New Beginning as Pastor Greg Laurie helps us see how our efforts can help usher in the next great revival in our culture. Well we're starting a brand new series starting now. Who's excited to study the book of Romans?

Yes. Okay. I am too. It's been a blast to prepare for. It's such a massive, slightly intimidating book of the Bible.

Because it's just so thick and deep and meaty and well I didn't really know where to start. But I started and you're going to hear that beginning. So I want to encourage you to read ahead. Start reading through the book of Romans and then when you finish it start over again. But today the title of my message is The Jesus Revolution 58 A.D. The Jesus Movement. Now when we hear those words our minds race back to the late 60s early 70s to the last great spiritual awakening in America. It's amazing really because in the middle of the drug revolution and the sexual revolution God sent a Jesus revolution. And by the way we didn't call it that. That's what Time magazine dubbed this move of God. Back in the day we called it the Jesus movement. We called ourselves Jesus people. Some people called us Jesus freaks. We didn't really care.

Still don't care. But Time magazine came up with this title and I thought it was a really good description because they recognized this was a revolution among people especially young people. What is a revolution? It's a word that means upheaval and change. But it's also a word that means to turn around or to rotate. To return to something. It was returning to the first Jesus revolution.

What was that? Well that was also in the late 50s early 60s. But it was around 58 A.D.

So a long time ago. That's when Jesus showed up and started the revolution. That's when Jesus began his ministry. Died on the cross for our sin. Rose again from the dead and ascended to heaven. So I want to focus on the first Jesus revolution. Back in that revolution there were no bell bottoms. But there was long hair, beards, and sandals you see.

So there was some similarities. Mighty Rome was ruling the planet and they succeeded in killing the very Son of God. That does not mean that we're placing the responsibility for the death of Jesus on the Romans though they played a part in it. Nor are we playing the responsibility for the death of Jesus on the Jewish people or the religious leaders though they played a part in it.

If you want to get technical. If you're looking for someone to blame for the death of Jesus look no further than right here. It's my fault. It's your fault.

It's our fault. Because we all sinned against God and God needed an acceptable sacrifice. And so He sent His own Son. And by the way the Son willingly went to the cross to die for our sin. So I guess you could even say it's God's fault.

Because the Bible says it pleased the Father to bruise Him. God took no delight in putting the punishment for our sins upon His Son. But His righteous demands had to be met and they were met in the death of Jesus. And Christ said it is finished.

And finished were the righteous demands of God. But the man in charge was Roman governor Pontius Pilate doing the bidding of Rome. And they killed him by crucifying him. The Romans did not invent crucifixion. The Carthaginians did.

But the Romans shall we say perfected it. Took it to another level. Made it more painful.

More horrific. Actually used it as a form of torture. And also used crucified men lining the streets leading into Roman cities to be a warning for anyone who would dare defy the power of Rome. Yes so that is how our Lord came to be put to death. It was Rome that persecuted the early church. Especially under Caesar Nero. And ultimately Rome was defeated.

Interestingly as we looked at Daniel not by another military power. Babylon was defeated by the Medo-Persians. The Medo-Persians were defeated by the Greeks. The Greeks were defeated by the Romans. And the Romans were defeated by no one in particular.

They just eventually collapsed beneath their own weight. And the church that they persecuted prevailed. And that is because the early church did not defeat Rome militarily.

But they out prayed them and they out lived them. Now we come to a letter that the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome. Paul did not start this church but he was writing to them. Now Paul of course was not always the great apostle. He used to be the notorious Christian killer Saul of Tarsus. Saul of Tarsus was a very intelligent man. He became a scholar and advanced quickly. He was born in Tarsus which was a very important city in the Roman world because it was famous for its university which ranked among those in Athens and Alexandria as one of the most honored in the Roman world. And it also gave him Roman citizenship which was not easy to come by. But he was taught in the ways of the Greeks.

But he was also schooled under the great master teacher Gamaliel who was called the teacher's teacher on the steps outside of the city of Jerusalem. So he schooled in the way of Scripture. He knows the culture and teaching of the Greeks.

He knows the laws and the ways of Rome. And he was a deeply religious man. He decided to become a Pharisee which was a relatively small group of people who were super devoted to their faith. And even more he decided to become a member of the Sanhedrin.

The Sanhedrin were sort of like the Supreme Court of their day. But here is Saul of Tarsus now. He's a young man. He's climbed the corporate ladder if you will.

Risen in the ranks. A scholar. An intelligent man. A religious man.

But interestingly a hateful man. Because he heard about this new group. This sect. They probably regarded it as a cult. These errant Jews who followed this Jesus of Nazareth. I thought he was killed and dealt with. Oh no they say he's alive and their numbers are growing. Oh are they thought Saul of Tarsus. Well I'll take care of that.

I'll hunt them down and kill them. And in fact Saul of Tarsus presided over the death of the first martyr of the church Stephen. And I believe on that day when Stephen was stoned for his faith that a seed was sown in the heart of Saul. Because we read in Acts 7 59, as they stoned him Stephen prayed, Lord Jesus receive my spirit. He fell to his knees shouting, Lord don't charge them with this sin. And with that he died. And so Saul under the conviction of the Holy Spirit said, I'm going to hunt Christians down.

I'm not happy to just find them in Jerusalem. He got special extradition orders to find them wherever they were. And he was leaving town and he was on the Damascus road. And he had an unexpected encounter with Jesus. Jesus personally encountered Saul of Tarsus and said these words, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?

Interesting. Jesus did not say, why are you persecuting my people? He said, why are you persecuting me?

Because when people oppose God's people or persecute Christians they are actually at war with God himself. And then Saul said, who is this that is speaking to me? He says, who are you Lord? And Saul is probably thinking, don't say Jesus, don't say Jesus, don't say Jesus. And then Jesus said, I am Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, echo chamber, whom you are persecuting. The hardened wicked Saul said, Lord what do you want me to do? And he surrendered. His conversion was so unexpected that people in the church didn't believe it. When he was brought into the church, hey look who came to the Lord. What are you letting him in here for?

He will arrest us. I mean can you imagine? This is like the most unimaginable person coming to Christ. Right?

But no one is beyond the reach of God. Would it shock you if I said, hey I am going to invite our brother in Christ Howard Stern to come out and lead us in prayer. What? Howard Stern.

That is not even possible. Hey Bill Maher is going to teach a message next week from the book of Romans. Oh Lady Gaga is going to lead us in worship.

It is going to be awesome. Now the point is, oh that is silly. Those people.

Why do you laugh? You don't think God can't reach them? God can reach anyone.

If he can reach Saul of Tarsus, he can reach anybody else anywhere. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We are thrilled when we hear from listeners that join us from all across the country. Pastor Greg, I am from New Jersey and your messages are the reason I have balance in my life. For years I have listened to your daily podcast.

I start every day reading the Bible and journaling. I am proud to be a Harvest Partner and provide monthly support to your ministry. I appreciate you Pastor Greg. It is a privilege to bring these studies your way. And we are thankful for our Harvest Partners who make them possible. Would you consider partnering with us so they can continue? Make a donation online at

That is Pastor Greg continues his opening message in the book of Romans, a study called The Jesus Revolution, 58 A.D. I am going to share with you five ways to start a Jesus revolution in your own life looking at what we see in the first part of Romans. Number one, if you want to experience a personal Jesus revolution you need to humble yourself.

If you want to experience a personal Jesus revolution or a revival you need to humble yourself. Second Chronicles 7 14 again God says that my people which are called by my name will what? Humble themselves and pray and seek my faith and turn from their wicked ways. Then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.

Humble themselves. So Saul changes his name to Paul. What did Saul mean? Saul was a name that meant requested one.

Asked for. So if you are going to throw a party you invite Saul. Don't forget to invite Saul.

Better call Saul. Right? Because he is the one. He is the popular one. He is the powerful one.

He is the requested one. Saul says yeah I am not that guy anymore. So he becomes Paul. What does Paul mean? It means little or humble.

Little or humble. You know today it is of course a popular name. We name our sons after apostles. Peter. James. Paul. John. You know in the day Caesar was the name above all names. Now we name our sons after apostles and we name our dogs after Caesar. Or maybe our solid. I like Caesar's solid by the way. Hold the anchovies.

No kale. Ok so he is a humble man. He is a humble man who has been brought low by God. And he wants to serve God. So he wants to write this letter to Rome. But he has never been to Rome before. But he wants to go to Rome. And so his original plan was to make a journey to Spain and then to Rome. But he needed to take an offering to the poor believers living in Jerusalem. But when he arrived there he was arrested and put in prison for two years. So he invoked his right as a Roman citizen and said I appeal to Caesar. So they released him from prison. Put him on a boat. Going to Rome. And the boat was shipwrecked.

Man talk about having a bad period in your life. And the Bible actually says in Acts that they got him the little pieces of wood and rode them into shore, which I think is the first case of surfing anywhere historically. No it didn't start in Hawaii.

It started in the book of Acts. Because surely if you are riding a board into the shore someone had to stand up. Right. Just even for a moment.

Just for a moment. So he finally gets to Rome. But then he is put into prison in Rome for two years.

Bringing me to point number two. When you are having a personal Jesus revolution you will go where God wants you to go. Sometimes we feel God wants us to do something that we are not able to do. Don't fret about what you can't do.

Do what you can do. David wanted to build a temple for the Lord. He thought why should God dwell in a tent. A tabernacle. Let's build him a temple. Hey I live in a palace.

God should have a palace better than mine. So David started putting it together. Drawing up the plans.

And the Lord showed him that the prophet, sorry buddy you are a man of war. You can't build this house. So David did everything he could. He drew up plans. Gathered materials.

Lined up the work crew. And he had his son Solomon build the temple. The point is simply this. He did what God wanted him to do. Sometimes we want to do a certain thing and God says, no I want you to do another thing. And then while we are doing the other thing the Lord opens the door for that thing we originally wanted to do. The main thing is is you go where God tells you to go. You do what God tells you to do. Going back to what Paul said when he was Saul.

Lord what do you want me to do. So he writes them a letter. A letter to Christians living in Rome. Rome at this moment in time was the cultural and governmental center of the planet.

Her population was around one million. And by the way many of the people who lived there were slaves. Because the Romans would conquer territories. Take people into slavery.

And make them build all these structures and do the work that they didn't want to do. The Roman world was very impressive. You had all the temples to the Roman gods. Jupiter. Saturn. Apollo.

Nike. That is a god. It was just a giant shoe. No it wasn't. But that is where they got the name by the way. But anyway all of these temples. And then there was the Hippodrome. The Hippodrome is where they had the chariot races. Then there was the Colosseum. And that is where they entertained the citizens of Rome and the other gladiator matches. And it is also where many Christians lost their lives as they were fed to wild animals and such. So that was Rome.

This powerful kingdom of the day. And the Romans built a road system to most of the world that they had conquered. The Roman roads.

So they would send their armies on those roads to enforce peace. So it was called Pax Romana. Pax Romana was a forced peace. You submit to Rome or you pay the price. And so it was on these very roads that the Romans built for conquest that God used for the apostles to walk in to conquer the world with the gospel.

So God uses all kinds of things for His glory. So here now is Rome and all of its power. And God directs Paul to write them a letter. You know it has been said that all roads lead to Rome. Well it could also be said all roads lead to Romans. It is such a significant book. It has been defined as the gospel taught to believers. Point number three. Studying the book of Romans can bring a personal Jesus revolution in your life.

That is why we are doing this together. Studying the book of Romans can bring a personal Jesus revolution or revival in your life. Let me give you a few examples. Years ago there was a young man named Augustine. He was raised in a Christian home by his godly mother. But he rebelled and he moved to Rome to live a carefree life. He was into drinking and partying and sex. In fact he got a young girl pregnant.

He had a son with her. He was living in rebellion against God. But he was empty and he was searching. And one day Augustine heard a child singing like a little song with the words take and read.

So he rushed over. He found a Bible. He opened it up and it fell to Romans 13 13 which says we should be true in everything we do and not participate in wild parties and getting drunk or in adultery and in world living or fighting and jealousy.

But let the Lord Jesus Christ take control of your life and don't think of ways to indulge your evil desires. And Augustine committed his life to Christ. And he went on to be one of the greatest leaders in the history of the church.

Now fast forward many years. There was a German monk named Martin Luther. He wanted to know God. He wanted to please God.

But he could not reach God through all of the rituals of the Catholic church. And he read a verse from Romans chapter 1 verse 17 that says, the just shall live by faith. And like a lightning bolt from heaven Luther realized salvation came by faith in Christ and Christ alone. It changed his life and he went on to lead a modern revival in his day.

Then fast forward many more years. There was a missionary named John Wesley. He sailed across the sea to reach the American Indians. The problem was Wesley wasn't a believer yet. And after returning to England he said quote I went to save the Indians but who will save me end quote. So one night Wesley is walking along the streets there in England and he comes across a little church and the pastor was reading the commentary written by Martin Luther on the book of Romans. And Wesley says quote my heart was strangely warmed end quote. And Wesley came to Christ and he went on to be a part of a great revival in England.

Fast forward many more years. There is a middle aged pastor. His church isn't all that large. He is wondering what to teach from his pulpit next. He heard if he taught the book of Romans that people would really enjoy it. So he decided to teach verse by verse through the book of Romans. But what he discovered was the book transformed him.

His name was Chuck Smith. Chuck said quote I really discovered grace. I have been trying to serve God by works. I have been trying so hard to do everything right and obligate God to bless me. Then I began to realize that God's goodness and blessings were on the basis of what God had already done.

God was preparing Chuck because he left the church, went down to Orange County and became the pastor of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. And in short order the Jesus movement happened. So you see God has used the book of Romans to bring revival historically. Swiss commentator F. Godet wrote that in all probability every great spiritual revival in the church will be connected as effect and cause with the deeper understanding of this book. So let's pray that God brings revival to you and to me and to us as we study the book of Romans together. We will be studying the book of Romans for the next few weeks as Pastor Greg Laurie launches his series called Relentless Grace, Paul's Letter to the Romans. Hope you'll be along for a new beginning as often as your schedule permits. Well, we're talking with Pastor Levi Lesko today. He and his wife Jenny have authored The Marriage Devotional, a wonderful resource we're making available.

Levi, let's be candid. Some people are married to some pretty tough customers, you know. No one's perfect but some people are particularly prickly and challenging.

Let's give some encouragement to someone who's just plain worn out from all the drama. Well, we like to say that, you know, first of all, you'll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. So consider your tactics, right?

Are you making it easy for them to change? Sometimes it's easy to get into a rut of almost speaking negatively and only focusing on and pointing out the negative things. Kind of like when you start researching to buy a new Honda Accord, all of a sudden every car on the freeway is a Honda Accord. You'll see more of whatever you're staring at.

It's a cognitive bias. So similarly, in your marriage, you can be focused on the towel they left on the floor and the way they forgot to pick up the dry cleaning. But if you begin to look for the good, you'll see more of it and you'll start to comment on the good.

And everybody, it's human nature, wants to repeat what they got praised for. So even if it's really hard to be creative, you can find one thing your spouse did that was awesome. Comment on that. Enlarge that. Thank them for that.

Write them a little simple note. Hey, thank you for making the coffee before I wake up every day. It's always nice to come down in the pots full.

Thanks for taking the trash out last week. And if they notice that's happening, they're going to eagerly look for ways to do more of that. So if you can find and spot that blessing, speak about it, use your lips, use your ability to comment on it, and then they're just going to naturally, hopefully, begin to grow in that area. These are some great insights from Levi Lusko, who's on air with us right now, telling us about his new book called The Marriage Devotional that he wrote with his wife Jenny. And this is one of the things I appreciate about this book is you get both the husband and the wife opining on marriage. And it's honest. And there's a vulnerability in this book. But it's based on Scripture.

And it's based on experience of a 19 year marriage that is very strong. So if you want to strengthen your marriage and you want to know more about what you can do to bolster it each and every day, because there's 52 devotions here to go through with your spouse, then order your copy of The Marriage Devotional by Levi and Jenny Lusko. It's our special gift to you this month at a new beginning.

Now, here's how it works. We don't charge you for the book, we give it to you for your gift of any size. But we're hoping that you'll be generous. If you were to order this book online or get it in your local bookstore, it's a pretty expensive book and rightly so, because it's chock full of great information and biblical truth. However, we want you to be generous and invest in this ministry so we can continue to offer resources like this and teach God's word and proclaim the gospel. So order your copy of The Marriage Devotional by Levi and Jenny Lusko. Dave, tell folks how to get a copy.

Yeah, it's easy to do. Just give us a phone call at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime and we do appreciate your partnership with us. Again, dial 1-800-821-3300 or go online to You know, there's nothing like hearing the word of God and worshiping the Lord together. I want to encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home.

It happens every Saturday and Sunday at You can join Christians from around the world as we worship and we study the word of God together. So join us for Harvest at Home at Well, next time Pastor Greg continues with this opening message in the book of Romans, it's foundational insight for every believer in Jesus Christ. Join us here on A New Beginning with Master and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries, follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to And to find out how to know God personally, go to and click on Know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-14 05:13:17 / 2023-04-14 05:23:06 / 10

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