Share This Episode
Connect with Skip Heitzig Skip Heitzig Logo

Get a Real Testimony! - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
September 1, 2021 2:00 am

Get a Real Testimony! - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 968 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

September 1, 2021 2:00 am

Can you trace the steps you took in your life's journey from aimless wandering to purposeful living as a Christian? In the message "Get a Real Testimony!" Skip lays out the essential ingredients to building a testimony.

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




This week's DevoMail:

Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
A New Beginning
Greg Laurie
Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll
Clearview Today
Abidan Shah
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly
Grace To You
John MacArthur

Paul is saying, I made a choice 30 years ago. I'm still choosing it and I'm here to say trusting in anything else stinks trusting in your religious background stinks, trusting in how you were raised, forcing them to be safe. Things you need your own personal encounter with like John Dyer said the Welsh theologian Amanda go to heaven without health Amanda go to heaven without riches without honors without burning and without friends but he can never go to heaven without Christ. The apostle Paul's life shows us that God can use anyone to further his kingdom. Once a persecutor of God's people whole became a preacher of the gospel today on connect with Skip Heitzig Skip talks about Paul's encounter with Christ and how Jesus can use you to do amazing things for his kingdom.

We want to tell you about an opportunity you have to see the Bible come alive before your eyes are invited to join Stephanie toward Israel in 2022.

Visiting the places for the offense of the Bible unfold. It is a unique and significant experience of the incurrence in your faith. That's where it comes to life for you anyway. Perhaps before all the info and inspiration. BQ now were in Philippians chapter 3 as we dive into the teaching with Skip Heitzig. He says at the end of verse five not only Hebrew of the Hebrews, but concerning the law of Pharisee. No, I know, I know that you as a Western Christian in this modern era you have read enough of your New Testament to know the Pharisees were great people they know us why we put that on his resume because Jesus spoke against the Pharisees writing call them white washed up workers to call 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 is given in acts 22 the mail EL was his mentor, mail, 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 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 option to 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 the moment. He prayed that concerning Christian ethics. Those who love Judaism and turn to Christ as their Messiah. No wonder then 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 measured his religious zeal by his hatred. Now you know you're bad off when you're known more for what you're against them what you're for a six word that would describe Saul of Tarsus is morality. Look at verse six again concerning zeal, persecuting the church concerning the righteousness which is in the law. I was blameless. That is, nobody could accuse me, I live by the book. I did everything the law demanded not just the written law, but the oral law so get this Saul of Tarsus had a righteousness by rule keeping how many people do you know whoever righteousness by rule keeping, I do my best man. I try really hard I work really hard at getting God to love me doing all the right things. I'm a religious person. Righteousness by rule keeping. This is why religious people are the hardest people to see converted because they don't see that they have a need for anything you share the gospel with the look I'm I going to church all my life I've been baptized I've been confirmed. I've gone through other sacraments. I try really hard and and in going to church regularly.

It's all a righteousness by rule keeping they have enough morality to keep them out of trouble, but not enough righteousness to get them into heaven, so morality.

Now here's the question why is Paul rattling off all of the things he's done in his past because there's this group. We talked about last week on the Judaizers member the Judaizers. The next law and grace.

Together they were telling Gentiles non-Jews in Philippi.

You have to go back and keep Jewish laws and Jewish rituals to be right before God. So go back to verse three, where we studied last week. Paul says we are the circumcision, true believers, true followers who worship God in the spirit rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so and then he lists all these things as if to say, I can beat these silly arguers at their own religious game. Here's my background, here's my pedigree.

Which leads me to a question. What are you boasting in what are you trusting and what are you confident in to be right before God. Are you saying like so many people was born in America. It's about as close to God as you can get or not only was I born in America.

I was born in America by churchgoing parents and I have a Christian education at a Christian school, whatever it is you might boast in if you're not boasting in Jesus Christ alone. It's a false boast. Those things are bad all of those things are good things, but a good thing can become a bad thing. If it keeps you from the best. All of those wonderful things that were part of his background and his resume actually kept him from a relationship with God so shred your religious resume and you'll see Paul doing that second have a spiritual encounter. Look at verse seven was the first word in verse seven said out loud, but now that's a word that denotes a change it's a it's a negative conjunction jar to bring up English class or so whenever you see the word it it denotes that he is pivoting and he is changing his thinking so he think this is who I used to be, but these are the things I used to trust in, but here's a list of all the things I thought were important to me.something has changed in my life and that is I got saved. See that little word in verse seven, but takes us back 30 years from the writing of this letter to and he was going on the Damascus road from Jerusalem to Damascus to imprison believers.

So here's this pompous religious man on his way from Jerusalem to Damascus. He has an encounter with Jesus Christ. Ellen Redpath used to put it this way when God wants to do an impossible task.

He takes an impossible person and crushes him. Listen to Paul's crushing. This is acts chapter 9 the first few verses. Meanwhile, Saul, Saul of Tarsus was uttering threats with every breath he was eager to destroy the Lord's followers, and so we went to the high priest.

He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus asking their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the way. That's with these diverse call Christians of the way he wanted to bring them both men and women back to Jerusalem and chains as he was nearing Damascus on this mission of brilliant light from heaven suddenly being down upon them, and then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me and he said who are you, Lord.

And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads that is of conviction, so he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what do you want me to do.

And the Lord said to him, arise, and go into the city and he will be told what you must do. It was this episode that changed everything. Now he goes from persecutor to preacher after this chapter he goes from Mr. prideful to Mr. humble.

He goes from religious man to righteous man from self-confident to saved he had an encounter spiritual encounter that was personal with Jesus Christ in the passage that I just read for Mac chapter 9 he refers to Jesus as the Lord, and he submits to him, Lord, what do you want me to do and the rest of his life. It's about doing what Jesus wants them to do. Here's why. Love Paul's testimony. What happened to Paul happen instantly to him when he was one way, one day, but that they changed him and he was completely different.

The next day.

I know that for some people coming to Christ as a process that hear the gospel line say listen to it. They might agree with something, but they marginalize and pass it off and then they hear it again in another time and then they hear it again and maybe one day just sinks in the go. I'm given my life to Christ, but for other people. It's instantaneous. It's like an epiphany for me. It was an epiphany when I heard the gospel. I thought I'm in trouble. I need to do this I need to receive Christ.

Now I didn't quite get that at first sight, a friend, a friend who released led me to Christ.

Gino one day he was doing drugs. The very next day less than 24 hours later he's preaching Jesus to me and I said excuse me nobody can change that fast and he said well I did the night before he went to a meeting and he went forward, and he received Christ as his Savior. He was forever changed. To this day changed Saul had an encounter with Jesus. Now this encounter was so unexpected and so transforming that I have been amused over the years, I've even collected stories of people trying to explain Saul's spiritual conversion. For example, Renan, the French were in on the French atheist philosopher said that this was a case of an uneasy conscience with un-strong nerves fatigue from the journey.

His eyes were inflamed by the hot sun and a sudden stroke of fever produced an hallucination because it's so odd that this person would change so dramatically. It must be hallucination.

Others say a thunderstorm happen to hit it this very moment and being so overwrought by guilt, he imagined that God spoke to him, but my favorite and the most popular explanation of Saul of Tarsus spiritual conversion is that he had an epileptic fit. I still hear this. I still read this. It was a case of an epileptic seizure. I did a little research and discovered, according to medical sources. Epileptics cannot remember anything that occurred during that fit.

Yet Saul seems to have great detail about everything that happened and he writes about it tells about so I love how Spurgeon answered this argument when people said all he was an epileptic fit.

He said all blessed epilepsy if it affects a conversion like this. May God give us more people with epileptic fits that result in conversion to Christ, so shrug your religious resume have a spiritual encounter number three to build your testimony need to learn how to count. Paul admits that he counted wrong for years. Look at verse seven. But what things were gain to me things I have counted loss for Christ it indeed. I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I've suffered the loss of all things and counted them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ, notice the words counted and count three times in two verses. The Greek word is hate. Gail my it is a term a mathematical term, a term of accounting and accounting for me to reckon, reason, or to count, so Paul is saying you know what I've learned how to count two more words and went to the notice. Notice the word gain in the word loss in verse seven.

What things were gain to me, these I have counted loss. Those two are accounting terms are from the business world gain and loss represent the profit column and the loss column and a set of accounting books so the books are open when columns is profit versus loss, gain, loss, Paul spent his whole life working on his spiritual, religious, resume, and he had all of these things in the profit column gain gain.

I was a Jew, born of the true tribe of Benjamin The law. Although Sandra my profit column, but Paul says, but I've learned accounts since then and I see things differently. I have them in the wrong column along those things that I put in this column are actually loss so listen to verse seven and eight in a more modern translation. I think it will all come together for Paul writes this the very credentials. These people are waving around is something special.

I am tearing up and trolling out with the trash along with everything else I used to take credit for, and why, because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus is my master first and everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant dog. I have dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. So now he opens the books and looks at the profit column all those things listed in English you know what I just made a discovery.

I'm bankrupt before God.

I've had them in the wrong column they'd actually kept me from a real authentic relationship with God.

So I'm moving them from the game column into the loss column. Something else I want you to look at look at verse seven. What things were gain to me, these I have what sort counted. That's a past tense.

I counted I was 30 years ago is going back to his conversion. 30 years ago I made the estimation. What I had an encounter with Christ. These things run the wrong color. I have counted that 30 years ago. Now look at verse eight.

It indeed. I also was sort count.

Now that's present tense.

I count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ is what he saying I made a choice 30 years ago. I'm here to tell you I didn't. I don't regret the choice that I made same choice.

30 years later. Longevity is always the test of choice 1973 I made a choice watching that Billy Graham brought broadcast. I made a choice to make Jesus my Lord I was 1973, many moons ago.

Today I'm here to say I made the right choice. I still follow the same Lord.

Now look at another word. As we bring this to a close. He said all of those things I counted loss I count them loss and I count them as verse eight rubbish now to be careful with this work because it's a very strong Greek word for word scuba law, which means nothing to English readers. But if you were a Greek speaker 2000 years ago and you heard this word, will because it means as you've heard in this translation. I just read and the put it mildly, dog dung, it literally means the excrement of animals. The stuff you sweep away from the stalls because it stinks so Paul is saying, I made a choice 30 years ago. I'm still choosing it and I'm here to say trusting in anything else stinks trusting in your religious background stinks, trusting in how you were raised, if that's what you're trusting and to be safe stinks. You need your own personal encounter with Christ like John Dyer said he was a Welsh poet theologian Amanda go to heaven without health Amanda go to heaven without riches without honors without burning and without friends but he can never go to heaven without Christ. So he says and be found in him. Verse nine.

The verse will look at next week. 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.

So here's the skinny. Your heritage may be wonderful. Your upbringing may be awesome. Your education is worth something. It's okay.

However, if you are relying on any of those things to go to heaven, they stink. I got a letter a few years ago that was an amazing letter was from Utah.

The little town outside of Salt Lake City and the man introduced himself as from the Mormon church leader in the Mormon church very influential an ardent follower in Mormonism. He said I would listen to your radio broadcasts in the morning and one day I decided I'd pull over on the side of the road I'd I'd listen to the whole thing by the end of the broadcast. I realized that everything I had trusted in was wrong and I prayed by the side of the road in my car after the radio broadcasts and I just wanted to write you to tell you I received Jesus Christ as my Savior and my only means of salvation so toss your resume get saved and learn that account.

I could even reduce it down to this loser. Religion and choose your relation with reference reps of Skip takes his message Technicolor jewel want to share about a special resource that gives you incredible insight into what's going on why it matters for you.

The beating heart of Bible prophecy is the land of Israel and the Middle East.

Joel Rosenberg has his finger on the pulse of the world shaking changes happening right now and he unveils them in his new nonfiction book enemies and allies.

It takes you inside walked inside. She is in is think about how many US enemies and allies from multiple New York Times best-selling author Joel Rosenberg takes you on an unforgettable journey inside the turbulent Middle East behind closed doors to hear from the very kings and crown princes, presidents and prime ministers who are leading the charge enemies and allies includes exclusive never before published quotes insight and analysis from the authors conversations with some of the world's most controversial leaders your hardcover copy enemies and allies. Our thanks for your generous gift of $35 or more today to give call 819 to thanks to you blisters are being transformed by Castries. Listen to this letter. One person sent in. Thank you Pastor Skip your faithfulness to the word of God is definitely given me a stronger foundation in God's word than I've ever had in my life is being transformed because of it.

You make stories like this possible. With your support and to help connect even more people to password just as it connects the to get involved, or call 819 to 1819 C you to Skip Heitzigs of shared bridge. The benefits May Skip presentation of connection communications to goats, never changing to

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime