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Get a Real Testimony! - Part A

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August 31, 2021 2:00 am

Get a Real Testimony! - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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August 31, 2021 2:00 am

A testimony is the story of how you came to believe in Christ personally. What's your story? Could you tell it to someone? In the message "Get a Real Testimony!" Skip explores the verses that are the apostle Paul's personal testimony.

This teaching is from the series Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians .




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If you were raised in a religious home and you have trusted in the fact that you were raised in a religious home right spiritual parents then you're going to need its appointed chair of your religious resume his life because God has no grandchildren. He only has children as many as received him, John chapter 1 tells us he gave them the right to become children of God, to those who believe in his name. In a letter to Titus, Paul warned that people can talk like Christians, but the actions might tell a different story today on connect with Skip Heitzigs, Skip shares with the first step to building your testimony of Jesus has done in your life is to shred your religious residents of his grace shines through a trip to Israel is a life changer. Your Bible study will never be the same Skip has lived in Israel, and lead tours. Many many times curios to invite you.

One is next to her. You know there's always something new to see and experience in Israel and I'm so excited to let you know that I'm taking another tour group to Israel next spring. In 2022 urine for an incredible time as we travel throughout Israel and experience the culture that's so unique to that country will start on the Mediterranean Sea and head north. Seeing places like Caesarea and Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River will spend several days in and around Jerusalem and see the temple mount Calvary, the garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of olives and much more. This remarkable itinerary is made richer with times of worship, Bible study, and lots of fellowship. Now I've been to Israel and number of times over the years that I can honestly say that visiting the places where the events of the Scriptures unfolded where Jesus lived taught and healed. It just never gets old. I can't wait to see you in Israel start planning and saving now to tour Israel with Skip Heitzig information and inspiration. ABQ. That's inspiration ABQ Philippians chapter 3 Skip Heitzigs. It starts today's Christian world testimony is the story of how a person comes to believe in Christ. You've heard people say let me share my testimony with your you've done that.

It's how a person is come to believe that Jesus is who he claimed to be now there are some churches that have testimony meetings are testimony times before meeting typical of their smaller. You can hear everybody out, but sometimes it testimony includes not only how a person came to Christ, but how God was faithful in a particular situation. Maybe they would through a trial or sickness, and they want you to know what God did for them. True them during that time and I've always found the personal testimonies are uplifting and very inspiring. Usually sometimes testimonies can seem to drag on and on and on as more details are given and sometimes testimonies more overtime they changed and it's like if I heard a person's testimony. I've noticed that there's a tendency not always, but sometimes to make those stories grow bigger than they really are like fish stories and every time you tell if it is for the fish keeps getting bigger and being pretty soon you're out on the ocean in Yukon Moby Dick, or some and so testimonies can be like that and that's because as human beings we typically like to talk about ourselves, and we like to outdo other people stories so it's like are you ready hear my testimony. So there was there was an old guy who loved to talk about how he was delivered from a local flood the Johnstown flood and he loved to tell the story about God's deliverance and told it in great detail any always look for testimony meetings where he could share. While this old guy died one day and was taken to heaven. Peter introduced himself and said, well, just want you to know the that tonight were getting everybody together and have a negative tell their testimonies, there's their stories will his eyes lit up. He thought, and I died on the right day.

He said Peter you gotta let me tell the story of how I was delivered by God. My testimony how God saved me from the Johnstown flood. The great story. Everybody's gonna love this story and Peter hesitated a moment. He said sure you can tell your story about the flood, but just remember Noel will be in the audience tonight as we think of our personal testimonies of how we came to Christ.

Let's just imagine Paul the apostle is in our audience today because in the verses that were about to read.

Essentially, Paul gives his testimony. He talks about his past and something that happened to him. He mentions that are key points of that with the word and then how things have changed.

So what I want to share with you today in principle form are three ingredients in building an effective testimony three ingredients on building an effective testimony. First, you need to shred your religious resume number two you need to have a spiritual encounter and number three you need to learn that account and explain once we get into our Texas.

Look at verse four. Philippians chapter 3, Paul continues his thought, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks that he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so circumcised the eighth day of the stock of Israel of the tribe of Benjamin Hebrew of the Hebrews concerning the law Pharisee concerning zeal, persecuting the church concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless, but what things were gain to me please I have counted loss for Christ yet. Indeed, I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having my own righteousness which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith. That is Paul's personal testimony in a nutshell. I'll never forget my high school reunion. I only went to one that was my 10 year reunion, but I remember it because I was saved and I wanted to share my testimony people, which I did. There were kind of shocked euro what you preach the gospel, you're not loaded anymore, but I remember my high school unit, a guy by the name of John Booth no John Booth in my high school was like the jock the football hero everybody you know loved him and look to him and what I noticed when I went into the reunion. It was John Booth across the room with a big smile on his face and I never saw him smile in high school and he never needed to sort of grunted his way out to the football field. Please smiling and I was talking to him and he started telling me his personal testimony always came to believe in Jesus Christ and it was it was awesome going from table to table sharing this customer will you think would be like to go to Paul the apostle's high school reunion.

So imagine yourself at Tarsus high. As for Paul, graduated. It's a tenure eyes. Enter Saul of Tarsus and that you know once he walked up to hate Saul so you still on the end of the Rabbi thing is to go to Jerusalem with Gamaliel and all that Paul might look at you and say well a funny thing happened to me on the way to Damascus and he would talk about an encounter that he had with the Lord Jesus Christ. And now he's traveling the world and preaching the gospel today what I want you to do is take off your 21st century glasses and put on your first century glasses instead of just thinking of Paul as the great Christian apostle. Remember that he had a Jewish religious background was very well educated and he was very well trained in a religious system, but he had an encounter with Christ that changed everything.

I have a book called the Jewish 100 was barred Michael Shapiro. That's the author and this is up a biographical study of 100 of the most influential Jewish people of all time know it's interesting to me is who's in the top tier. So number one in the book the number one influential Jew of all times. According to Michael Shapiro in his book was Moses.

Moses is the number one on the list. Now I understand that because Jewish people look back to Moses as the great lawgiver the covenant giver number two on his list is Jesus Christ because even as a Jewish person who recognizes that Jesus changed history so he gives him the number two slot number three on the list is Albert Einstein. Interestingly, number four, Sigmund Freud, I would put them in the top tier, but he did number five was Abraham, and number six on the list of most influential Jews of all time. According to Michael Shapiro in his book Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul the apostle very interesting background. We know that Saul was a Roman citizen that's huge because it meant that he had the right to have a trial before Caesar and he pulls out that card when he is on trial in Caesarea. He said I appeal my case to Caesar. We know that he was born in Tarsus of Celestia which was a Roman province if you were to look today on a map, you have to look to southeast Turkey defines Tarsus the area he was born in was known for its black cloth cults, a lithium and solicit him was used to make attempts and other items that we know that Paul professionally was a tent maker you go from place to place and make these black and leather tents that were sold on the marketplace.

But what makes him so unique is his testimony.

So let's look at it a little more carefully and noticed these three ingredients.

First of all if you have a real testimony at some point you need to shred your religious resume.

I need to explain that because some of you have had no religious background at all. So this is a really an issue and it wasn't an issue with my wife.

My wife had no no spiritual baggage whatsoever.

She was raised in atheist and so she just came out of atheism, to an encounter with Christ. But if you were raised in a religious home and you have trusted in the fact that you were raised in a religious home buying spiritual parents then you're going to need at some point to tear up your religious resume and here's why.

Because God has no grandchildren. He only has children as many as received him, John chapter 1 tells us he gave them the right to become children of God, to those who believe in his name. You can't go to heaven because your parents took you to church and they themselves had a personal relationship with Christ. It always has to be personal. It's always one generation at a time. So Paul has a huge religious resume and what we notice here in the taxes he tosses it out the window, throws it away now and looking at his resume and we want to look very carefully.

Beginning in verse five. There are six words that would describe Saul of Tarsus and his spiritual religious resume number one heredity. Heredity notice what he says in verse five concerning himself circumcised the eighth day of the stock of Israel. In other words, he wasn't converted as a Gentile into Judaism. He wasn't a proselyte he was a Jew by birth and by ritual circumcised the eighth day of his life so he could say I'm a true blue Jew I'm a Jew by birth. I was born into this and my circumcision was and as an adult proselyte, but it came when I was in that covenant relationship as a child. It's funny if you do make it to Israel with us and when you go to Jerusalem and they take you to the Western Wall and you see that enclosure of where the temple once stood.

At the time of Jesus. Locals will tell you to go up and pray at the Western Wall and they sorta say this tongue-in-cheek, but I think they kinda believe this at the same time so you know that we understand you can pray to God anywhere in the world but here it's a local call during Jerusalem and you're in the holy city you talk to God here and it's just a little bit better. It's a little bit closer, Paul could boast that he was circumcised the eighth day of the stock of Israel. He had one time trusted and that and there's a lot of people like Saul who trusted in some ritual of their past to be right before God we mentioned this last week could be baptism could be confirmation. It could be christening and I've even noticed that people say not only was I baptized but I was baptized by this person in this church like Sir some special form or formula, so there was a little boy who was going to a Baptist Church and he decided to turn his cat into a Baptist, so we filled up the bathtub and he was going to do it the Baptist way.

Full immersion baptism and are you going all the way under not sprinkling on the porch all the way under so he Philip the bathtub while you now Castle about water. So as he started up and he accidentally sprinkles.

Just a few drops in his hand the cat the cat freaked out and ran down the hallway on the little boy yelled after him and said fine BMF. It is then Paul would say I'm not a Methodist or Baptist. I was circumcised the eighth day of the stock of visual, that's his heredity. A second word to describe him as nobility, for he says. I was of the tribe of Benjamin. If you know your Jewish history understand the Benjamin was one of the noble lines because the very first king of Israel came from the tribe of Benjamin's name is King Saul. In fact, it could be that Saul of Tarsus was named after Saul the first king of Israel was also a benchmark. Also the tribe of Benjamin was the only tribe loyal to the tribe of Judah when the kingdom split so heredity and nobility third word would describe him as pedigree, for he says I was circumcised the eighth day of the stock of visual of the tribe of Benjamin. No notice. The next phrase, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. In other words, I was a Hebrew, born of Hebrew parents.

I wasn't raised a Hellenistic Jew or Greek culture. Greek speaking Jew. I was raised in the Hebrew style midgets explained it this way in ancient times in that Greco-Roman world. There were Jewish people in the Diaspora. The dispersion reactions all over the world were raised in that culture, and often with pagan customs, but those who learn Hebrew by Hebrew parents in Hebrew speaking synagogues felt themselves to be a little bit more superior than the rest.

I Hebrew of the Hebrews, to give you a quick little biographical sketch of Saul of Tarsus growing up in his educational background as a toddler he would've learned to recite the Shema. Have you heard of the Shema. Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse four he learned in Hebrew. So imagine little Saul is a toddler saying the words out loud. Shema East and Adonai Latino Adonai five hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Internet is a toddler at age 5. He would begin studying the Scriptures at age 6 he was sent to the synagogue to learn to read and write the Scriptures at age 10. Saul would already have memorize large portions of the oral law that is not just the Scriptures, the traditions of the elders at age 12 he would be preparing for his bar mitzvah, which would take place at age 13.

Bar mitzvah means son of the commandment. It was a rite of passage where you are now considered an adult member of the Jewish community. At age 15. He would have more rigorous study where he would study the codified oral traditions. The town unit writings and somewhere in those adolescent years. Shortly after that, he was sent to Jerusalem for 5 to 6 years of rabbinical study so heredity nobility pedigree. He's giving his background of Fort Worth that would describe Saul of Tarsus is piety because notice what he says. He says at the end of verse five not only Hebrew of the Hebrews, but concerning the law, a Pharisee, now I know I know that you as a western Christian in this modern era you have read enough of your New Testament to know that Pharisees were great people they know us. Why would he put that on his resume because Jesus spoke against the Pharisees writing call them white in our sepulchers.

He called them hypocrites. However, the original word Pharisee, part machine means to be separated and when they started around 200 BC. They continued into the first century. They believed that they would give their whole life to studying and obeying the written law as well as the oral law. They started off really good. They just evolved into a hypocritical group. According to Josephus, the Jewish historian. The Pharisees were the leading sect among the Jews, the most accurate interpreters of the law as a Pharisee, he studied under a very particular mentor remember his name.

It's given in acts 22, the male EL was his mentor male EL is one of the most famous scholars in Jewish history regarded even to this day what what Gamaliel taught him to do was to argue there was an ancient form of discourse called the diatribe question-and-answer format to learn how to think and talk on your feet very persuasively, he would've had to memorize large portions of the Old Testament, which would become very profitable as as time went on in his ministry.

So, heredity, nobility, pedigree, piety, 1/5 word that would describe him is intensity. This dude was intensity verse six. Concerning zeal you want to talk about my zeal, persecuting the church Saul of Tarsus. As you know was a zealous defender of Judaism know why it's important to understand a little bit about Gamaliel is understanding that he sat under Gamaliel's mentorship helps you understand him, because Gamaliel was hateful toward the Christians. He called Christians.

Christian heretics and a very famous prayer uttered by Gamaliel goes this way. Let there be no hope, to them who apostatized from the true religion and let these heretics. How many soever they be all perish in a moment he prayed that concerning Christian heretics.

Those who love Judaism and turn to Christ as their Messiah. No wonder that we read about Saul in acts chapter 8 verse three. These words Saul was going everywhere to devastate the church he went from house to house dragging out both men and women to throw them in the jail, he learned that in part from Gamaliel. No wonder we read acts chapter 9 about Saul breathing out threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. So this dude was so intense that he measure his religious zeal by his hatred know you know you're better off we are known more for what here against the desk with a message from the series Technicolor. Now we want to tell you about a resource that will help you grow stronger in your times you hear a sermon he speaks to you almost as if the pastor knows what you personally going through and he teaches a message like you're the only one listening. Well it's not that the pastor knows you personally that God knows you personally hear Skip I think in nearly 40 years of expository teaching. I still love hearing that one of my messages spoke to someone better for them on to know God better or become more like but that's not because of me that's just the power of the word of God doing the work of God in the hearts of the people get to know the God who knows you pastor Skip next the collection of some of pastor skip's most memorable teachings, including the rapture.

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