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A New Creature in Christ - Life of Paul Part 39

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
August 28, 2020 1:00 pm

A New Creature in Christ - Life of Paul Part 39

So What? / Lon Solomon

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August 28, 2020 1:00 pm

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Wonderful to see you today.

Thanks for being here have not taken a bottle opener together to Chapter 16 of the book of acts chapter 6 the work of becoming there in just a minute, but the first I want to read you a true story and I quote, at Christmas one year a guest at the hotel wanted to make a good impression on his new father-in-law, who was visiting from Milwaukee. The father-in-law wanted to cook a traditional Slovak dinner for Christmas Eve but to do so.

He needed attention. The hotel kitchen was overwhelmed amid the flurry of Christmas dining preparations so the concierge took the guest. His wife, and the new father-in-law to her home.

It was Christmas Eve and her day off, but she invited him to use her kitchen to cook cabbage soup and kill Bossi. Meanwhile the hotel shelf was cooking a fish for the family that night. The entire meal was served in the comfort of the guest suite which suddenly didn't seem so far away from Slovakia.

Now where did this happen. Some of you might have an idea this was a four seasons Hotel. The four seasons, Palm Beach, Florida, and the reason it might not surprise some of you is because of the macho four seasons which is anything against Lawrence, if it's not illegal or immoral we can do it now I have the privilege of staying at the four seasons once and I gotta tell you these people take hospitality to what they did to get to the next level. I never seen anything like it before my life and the reason I bring all that off is because were to look at a guy in the Bible today, for whom hospitality was definitely not want his distinguishing features however were to watch how God radically changes this guy by then working to bring all that forward into the 21st century and talk about how God wants to do that very same thing in your life and in my life.

So here we go little bit of background, the apostle Paul about his second missionary journey. Remember that he is going through what we think of today is turkey that is crossover in the northern Greece. Here's a map and all you can see he's gone northwest up to the city of Truax as here in Northwestern Turkey seasons sailed across the Aegean Sea to the northern Greek city of Philippi and here in Philippi. Paul is been preaching even leading people to Christ. Hundreds of them in one of the people he led the Christ was a young servant girl who was demonized.

Demon possessed and the demon that was in her enabled her to predict the future.

So her owners made a lot of money on this Dell well, of course, when Paul healed her. She couldn't tell the future anymore. So there went their source of income and furious with Paul. They dragged him down in the city square and they convinced the city officials to BDM and the beat violence is assisted and thrown in jail, not after we pick up the story here in acts chapter 16 verse 23 and after they had been severely flogged. They were thrown into prison and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully, and upon receiving such orders.

The jailer put them in the intercell maximum-security and the jailer fastened their feet in the stocks. Now the jailer when Paul and Silas were delivered to him, put them in a sitting position with their backs up against the rough jagged stone wall. Remember we said in messages past that the rods that were used to be Paul and Silas were specifically designed with claws on them to rip the skin and rip the flesh right off the bone and so their backs were in pretty bad shape.

By the time they got to the jailer. He could care less put them right up his raw untreated, backs up against the cold stone wall keychain their hands above their head and many stretch their feet as wide as they could go and put them in stocks like you see in Williamsburg. The idea this position was to cause their feed the muscles in their legs to clamp without giving them any way to move and change position to relieve it. This position was designed to cause maximum discomfort at about midnight.

Verse 25.

Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them and suddenly there was a violent earthquake so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken and it wants the prison doors flew open and everybody's chains came loose. The jailer woke up and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. There is no doubt that this jailer was a retired Roman soldier, and as such he knew full well what the penalty was for losing your prisoner is a Roman soldier if you don't believe me, you can check out the code of Justinian but did to the print of the other penalty is that so he knew they were really telling toys all the while make them go to the trouble of this drama sword and take care of it myself. What Paul shouted out, do not harm yourself, were all here in the jailer called for lights rushed in and felt trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and said Sir, what must I do to be saved.

What must I do to get eternal life. What I have to do to get a relationship with God like you guys have an Paul replied, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be safe. Paul said to this guy friend you don't have to do anything to get eternal life. You don't have to do anything to get connected with God the way we are all you really need to do is trust what Jesus Christ has already done for you on the cross, he shed his blood to pay for your wrongdoing before God and all God asked for you to do is to embrace that to trust and rely on them to put your entire weight on Jesus's work on the cross for you as the only payment for your wrongdoing that God accepts or that God needs. All you gotta do is believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you can have eternal life in a relationship with God.

Just like we do they know it's interesting to me that this jailer made the same mistake that so many people in our world today made his mistake was he thought that the way you get a relationship with God and the way you get eternal life in heaven is to do something, to do some good works to do some human activity to do some religious work of some kind and that eventually you'll get over the goal line, and God will say to you, okay, here is eternal life. Now all that's in the habit, but you know what, that's not at all what the Bible teaches.

And that's not all with the apostle Paul told his jailer. He said no my friend, you got it all wrong.

How do you get eternal life.

How do you get a spot in heaven. How do you come into her personal connectedness with Jesus Christ.

What did Paul say he said believe in the Lord Jesus Christ believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. That's all you gotta do and all these things gotta give you is a gift that you're here today and you got the same mistake in your mind that the jailer had his might want to correct that mistake today we want to make sure you understand that coming in or relationship with Christ and getting eternal life has nothing to do with your religious activity. It has nothing to do with your good works for your human effort. It has everything to do with your willingness to embrace what Jesus did for you on the cross and simply trust him and his blood shed on the cross to be your payment for sin is salon. That's too easy for and why would God want to make it hard he wanted, easy enough child can do and that's our problem is so simple for some of us it makes it hard because we want to do something God is. You can't do anything Jesus did for you.

Just trust. I hope if you're here today and you been making a mistake. The jailer have we cleared that up now.

What happened next will verse 32 it says then they Paul and Silas spoke the word of the Lord to him and all the others. It is how the jailer's out with the jailer did the jailer took him out of jail and took him home in the middle of the night and at that very same hour of the night and by the way what time was what time did the earthquake happened midnight. So, what time is this. I don't know 1 AM 2 AM 3 AM somewhere like that at that same hour. The Bible says the jailer took them and wash their wounds and then immediately he and all of his family were baptized 3 AM in the jailer brought them back into his house and now set a meal before them, and he was filled with joy because he had become to believe in God.

He and his whole family. Now that's what you want to stop today because it's time for us to ask the critical question of the morning and I know we have done this for couple months and I hope you guys have gotten out of practice and some of you are new with as you don't even know the critical question. Were going to teach her right now is already here we go deep breath 123 right so why is a lot. I'm so happy for that jailer God blessing, but what difference does that make me well let's see we can help you make that connect many of us know John Unitas passed away this past week Johnny and I just want the greatest football players of all time played for the Baltimore Colts.

I'm sorry coal does not belong behind Indianapolis belong behind Baltimore. Thank you very much is one thing in here but anyway John Unitas was on believable. Let the cold three NFL championships, including Super Bowl V went to temp Robles was elected to the Pro football Hall of Fame. The very first year of his eligibility 1979 and when he retired in 1974 John Unitas held 22 passing records in the NFL.

Now he still almost 30 years later still holds one of those 22 you know which one it is John Unitas passed for at least one touchdown in 47 consecutive NFL games. Nobody is ever even come close to breaking that record. The close is anybody's ever gotten his 30 and that was Dan Marino and pectoral moral who played with Johnny and I to sit in the paper and I quote no lead Mercedes if you were playing against Johnny and no game was out of reach. If you were on his team that while I bring John Unitas up well because I was talking this week to one of our staff members and he said to me said you know is I used to go to the church in Baltimore. The John Unitas came to methacrylic acid that they become often it was there all the time I saw him every week and I thought wow that's pretty cool. And then I asked the question that so often we ask about other people that will tell me do you think he was a real believer or do you think he was just a churchgoer. Now that's the million-dollar question really indifferent as a person real believer that is a churchgoer and their issue is how can we tell how can we tell if a person has the real disease. How can we tell if a person really knows Jesus Christ in a personal way. How can we tell if a person is born again, and really on their way to heaven. How can we tell where the Bible answers the question.

Second Corinthians chapter 5 verse 17 says this. If any person is in Christ, they become a new creature, old things passed away and new things, love how the message translates this incident as those who become true Christians become new persons, they are not the same anymore for their old life is gone and friends what the Bible is telling us is that when a person does with the apostle Paul told his jailer to do when a person embraces Jesus Christ as their personal savior.

When a person relies on what Jesus did on the cross for them as the one and only payment to God for their wrongdoing and when a person does this transaction sincerely genuinely and authentically. The Bible tells us that something supernatural happens inside that person that God the Holy Spirit comes and takes up residence inside that person and he begins to morph them into a completely different creature completely different being a person who has different values and different morals. A person who has different desires and different goals for personal uses new language of a person who has new behavior around members of the opposite sex.

The person who has a new level of joy in their everyday experience or personal has a new definition of success.

The Holy Spirit comes in and changes a person and having a new level of conscience in their life as well as a new attitude towards others and a new purpose in life. Jesus spoke of this radical change in Matthew chapter 13, when he said the kingdom of heaven is like he's which a woman mixed into a single lump of Joe and it leavened it completely change the character of that entire lump of dough a few years ago my in-laws for Christmas gave Brendan the breadmaker. Now you know I was 45 years old and I've never seen bread made my whole life is a wax that your mother make bread. Did your mother cook muffins or did your mother make pastries or do anything like that. Now my mother you know Saturday night live Mike Myers Linda Richman coffee talk on getting the clamp talk among yourself. You know her. That was my mother let me tell you my mother cooked away Whoopi Goldberg. Remember Whoopi Goldberg's recipe for chicken soup. Step one. Send the letter to the store for chicken. That was my mother. My mother did grocery shop she can cook anything she didn't want dishes and she definitely did not bake bread. My mother was the original Jewish American Princess. If you understand what I'm saying. Well, I'm 45 years all I've never seen bread made my whole life is that we got this breadmaker and we start to make this bread you get this big old wanted no and then assist with these so I'm thinking you put a cough or maybe a cup and 1/2.

Will I don't know (to be what you crazy now you put in you put it in so I said that work coming is hardly anything she said watch sweep of the little county pension there and come man until he went off like an atomic reaction inside his bed and I will change from the little bitty I could not believe it but you know that's exactly the way Jesus says it is when you come to Christ. Jesus said right here that when we come to Christ, God the Holy Spirit, God supernaturally. He's come to live inside of a lump of dough that we are, and he begins working on us from the inside out like an atomic reaction and begins changing completely everything erratically that we are. This is the one way you can tell whether or not you got the real disease and I want to go back now for a moment let's go back and look at the jailer and let's see if the jailer really show this kind of new creature changed. Let's see if he became a radically new person as a result of his commitment to Christ. Well, what happened with him.

Number one the first thing that we can see where he became a new creature is that after believing in Jesus is jailer demonstrated a spiritual excitement that he didn't have before. Verse 32, Paul spoke the word of the Lord, all the others in his household, as we saw the jailer rushes home with Paul and Silas.

He wakes up his wife. He wakes up his children. He wakes up the neighbors whoever's around because of all into his living room and he said okay okay okay you have got to hear this, Paul, Paul told me, "now you will not believe what he's going to tell you. And then after that he rushes out in the middle of the night to go get baptized.

Don't you think. His wife said to him, honey. Can't we wait till the morning. No, no, no, we don't do this right now you go get the torches we are going down the river were getting… I don't care but 3 o'clock in the morning. Now it is in character for this God is God's entire saw T-shirt the other day that said I'm retired and this is as dressed up as I get well. I thought that the great T-shirt because this guy had a close retirement job. He was a cynical Roman soldier who would reach your retirement and about the only thing he ever got excited about anymore was dinner.

It was fast asleep at midnight.

He wasn't up with much vigilance doing his job. This guy had been excited about anything in his life and now we so excited about what happened. He wakes his own family up goes to get baptized.

Patty explain the change like that in this guy out tell you how he's become a new creature number two after believing in Jesus is jailer demonstrates a compassion that he didn't used to have verse 33. At that hour of the night.

The jailer took them and wash their wounds. Paul and Silas will remember when Paul and Silas were delivered to them with their backs bleeding and torn open. Frankly, he could care less people to write up against the stone wall and he didn't give a flying flip what their back, look like here's a guy who's killed.

Who knows how many men up close and personal in brutal hand-to-hand combat. Roman soldiers were not known for their compassion and and when Paul and Silas were delivered to him. They were just two more pieces of meat source. He was concerned and now all of a sudden, in the middle of the night. He takes water.

He takes oil he takes have any don't make his wife go do it any Damascus children to go do it. He goes out personally gets on his hands and knees and washes and cleans their backs out. How do you explain this, compassion and a man like this, all of a sudden I'll tell you how he's become a new creature third, after believing the jailer demonstrated a hospitality that he didn't have before. Verse 34 says in the jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before he sent his wife into the kitchen at 3 AM to cook a meal that's dangerous. Ask any woman to do in the middle of the night, and he did it and how often do you think is jailer took people out of jail and brought them home and offered him a meal. It is stable. Can you say never mean the four seasons. This guy was younger than what I'm saying.

How do we explain this change in this man will frenzies become a new creature.

Finally, after believing the jailer demonstrated a spiritual conviction that he had never had before. Remember, this jailer was a retired Roman soldier. It was mostly an honorary position being a jailer. The really want a whole lot to it is basically sat around and slept like he was doing to midnight. Did you get a job like this. Such a cushy job while tell you how you got it you get it by never bucking the tide never going against the flow never creating ways and never giving your officers a hard way to go.

You get it by being a good soldier who keeps her mouth shut and if you have an opinion you never share with anybody that's how you get a job like this and now all of a sudden this jailer decides to go public for Jesus Christ at 3 o'clock in the morning. All of a sudden this guy decides to go out will walk to the town would torches think people woke up and said where is ego. I'm sure they did always going to baptized whatever he allies himself with the apostle Paul keeps the apostle Paul in his house and the apostle Paul is somebody that everyone in his bosses is mad at what is going to jail people to his retirement job at risk by doing this he puts his income at risk. He puts his family at risk people to standing in the community and risk with his old friendships at risk.

This is out of character for this guy, this guy never had a conviction in his life that he was willing to go public about why all of a sudden is he willing to go public about Jesus because he is a new creature. You know, the same change happened to a fellow named John Newton to John Newton who was he's even got it that invented fig newtons. No wrong guy. This is a guy who lived in the 1700s and he was a slave trader a Bit of a ship.

He went to Africa he kidnapped men and women from Africa he sailed them across the sea under his ship losing 50% of his human cargo sometimes and sold them his merchandise. He was a drunkard. He was profane. He was godless. He was a ranch and then one day John was walking down the street to Liverpool, England, and he heard some commotion anyone over to see what it was. It was George Whitfield, the leader of the great awakening in America preaching in the open air, and he listens and he decided that what George Whitfield was saying was right and he gave his life to Christ standing right there on the streets of Liverpool and he became a new creature.

He stopped me in the sea In any stop being a slave trader. He turned into a pastor and a hymn writer and you all know, one of the great hymns that he wrote it goes like this amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me I once was lost but then I believe in Jesus and God showed the use of the Holy Spirit in my life in Lebanon right now… Exactly on song goes with that. The idea that the point of the song that God so radically transform this godlike that you not even the same person anymore friend a little bit of time I have left.

I like to go from preaching the Medlin if you don't mind. Second Corinthians chapter 13 says this it says examine yourselves and see whether you are truly in the faith test yourselves and use it a lot if I wanted to give myself a test to see if I was truly in the faith, what tests would I give myself what I give myself to go to church does know what I give myself to sing in the choir test. No, what I give myself to put money in the offering plate test know what I give myself to teach Sunday school test. No, the test you got to give yourself a friend is the new creature test. Have I become a new creature.

As a result of my faith in Jesus Christ. All my attitudes radically different for my values radically different if my language radically different or my desires and my goals radically different is that my level of conscience, radically different MRI different person because of my faith in Jesus Christ and is this a supernatural thing that flows from the inside out in my life is something that I can even control is a lot. Are you saying that a new creature never does anything wrong, but a new creature never messes up disobeys God no not saying that but I am saying that if we are new creature in Jesus Christ. There is a Holy Spirit given zeal in our life to want to please God to want to obey God to want to make God happy.

And when we let God down and when we disobey God and when we fail to wear a new creature. There is a sadness.

There is a contrition. There is a sorrow that we feel that is so deep and so nagging that we will not go away till we repent and get things right with God and this is not something you faith friends you either got it or you don't. God is just. Either there or in their this is how I knew in 1971 that I really had become a new creature in Jesus Christ. I gave my life to Christ and within the first week there was no huge outside looking difference in my life. I didn't dress different pastoral smoking dope and I was still drinking, but I knew on the inside, something happen supernatural in my life and let me tell you how I knew because the stuff I could get away with a week ago and never feel one minute guilt one pang of conscience.

One sorrow about what I did those very same things.

The week after I trusted Christ, my conscience beat me black and blue and which would not turn me loose and I know I didn't do this because frankly those days. I did want my conscience to be around, but it was. I knew I hadn't created this use a reason for that is because you've been a senator for not been the seminarian was the reason I was always good. Now you you knew the Bible I know the Bible. Let me tell you what happened in my life when I trusted Christ, the Holy Spirit moved in the my life, anything you are new creature in Christ. Now that's you used to get away with on you not get away with not in his body. You don't anymore and when I would try it.

He would beat me black and blue and say those days are gone.

Friend, you could live like that and I knew I wouldn't do in this. That's how I knew people friends would come up to me and say Jesus you believe in Jesus. What are you crazy you smoke one too many joy. What is wrong with you nothing.

It is Jesus stuff is all just a bunch of money making hocus-pocus, don't you know that well friend I don't care what they said to me, the one thing I knew, is it inside of me. Something did happen supernatural, but it never happened before and I didn't do it and so I said, you can tell me anything you want to tell me, but all I know is some happiness to me. I can explain any other way than I became a new creature in Jesus. My question is has that happened to you is that happened to you because friends if it hasn't been. I don't care how many church services you attend and I don't have any Bible verses. You can quote you are not where you need to be in your relationship with Jesus Christ as it will.

What if I fail this new creature test, what if I failed well I got great news for you for fail it and that is that you can alter and change that situation anytime you want to.

It's easy to change and that's what Christianity 101 is all about Christianity 101 is six weeks of us trying to help you get your questions answered work through any issues you God. On the way to making a decision for Christ that is so real, so authentic and so was so genuine that you will become a new creature radically in Jesus Christ. You won't even recognize the person you used to be. I'm telling you I look back now to the person I was in 1971 is not even the same human being gets like I live two lives typing here. That's not even me anymore. It's so foreign and so strange I can even relate to the person I used to be. That's what we want to see happen in your life. We want you to be able to look back go you know the person I was last year. That person is did that person is gone is not me anymore.

I'm a new creature in Jesus Christ. We want to help you achieve for one to be tragic if somebody sat in this church for weeks or months or years and missed heaven be tragic to other people sit in churches all over the world that that's going to happen to him. Sad to say, because nobody is telling them that it's not about church and it's not about the rosary and it's not about Yom Kippur war and it's not about coming to church and doing something for God has nothing to do with it has to do with faith in Jesus the Messiah the turns you into a new creature will were telling you that here and that's what we want to help you do so if you're not sure not be brutal with yourself beyond what is with you still friends.

The stakes are really high. Don't dupe yourself and don't play games be really honest this is true of you and if it didn't then walk right out in the lobby.

The minute word on and sign up for Christianity 101. Let us help you get here so that the next time somebody says to you, pay you a new creature in Christ. Did you really radically change because you trust in Jesus, you can look right in the ball and say man you wouldn't believe it blew me off like he's blows up a lump ago. Man, I'm telling you I'm not even the same person I was anymore and that can happen to you to. We want to help you with that if you're not sure you're there yet. Going out there check out Christianity 101. It will help spread for Jesus. Thanks for reminding us today from the example of the Philippian jailer. The true measure of what it means to get the real disease. It's not a measure of going to church and it's not the measure singing in the choir and it's not the measure say in the rosary. That's not the measure of put money in the offering plate is not the measure of reading the Bible are praying, it's the measure becoming a new creature whole new person because of the work of God in our hearts and lives supernatural thing in my prayer father is that you would help everyone of us here to be really honest with ourselves.

If were not totally sure that we can say we became new creatures, we can see in every part of our life, the Lord, I pray you would give everyone who isn't there, the courage to go out and let us help them in Christianity 101. It's a little risky churches. The Lord, the stakes are worth eternal life, heaven a relationship with God to give us the courage we need to take that little step of faith.

Lord, the little risk and granted many people here today six weeks from now can say well you know what I couldn't set it six weeks ago, but brother I decided today. That's our goal. Lord help us achieve that as we work together with every person in this auditorium, and we pray these things in Jesus name, amen

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