Turning The Page Sermon Notes

Follow along with Pastor Jay as he preaches and teaches the Word of God.

A Clear Testimony For The Lord (Part 2)

Summary: A new year is often viewed as the turning of a page, the beginning of a new chapter, the entering into a new season of life. Our new life in Christ should be viewed the same way. It is the conclusion of who we used to be before Christ, and who we are now in Christ. We are to be transformed into the image of Christ so that we can be a vessel meet for the Master’s use.


Key Scriptures


(Acts 26:22): "Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come."

Review

We found that in Acts chapter 26, the apostle Paul is standing before King Agrippa and he essentially does three things:


(1) Paul shares his PERSONAL TESTIMONY with King Agrippa


Throughout chapter 26, Paul breaks his testimony down into three sections:


(A) He begins with WHO HE USED TO BE before he came to know Jesus Christ as his Saviour (Acts 26:9-11)


(B) He then shares WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM when he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savour (Acts 26:12-18)


(C) He then concludes with WHERE HE IS NOW because of his relationship with Jesus Christ as his Saviour (Acts 26:19-23)


(2) Paul defends his PERSONAL ACTIONS


That’s really what the next three messages are about


(3) Paul shares his PERSONAL DESIRE that others were like him, except for the bonds.


Paul made it very clear that Christ enabled him to TURN THE PAGE of his life, and, as a result, he was a CHANGED man, a NEW man, a BETTER man. The exciting news is that we too can TURN THE PAGE of our life if we will simply FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL.


In this sermon series, we’re discovering four powerful principles that can radically transform us for the better, not just this year, but every day of our life until we step into the very presence of Jesus Christ.


1) A CONFESSION OF PERSONAL NEED


The Christian life is about us experiencing more of the power of God in our life. While the help of the Lord is AVAILABLE, ABUNDANT, and EFFECTIVE, we have to first ACKNOWLEDGE that we need God’s help and then we need to ASK God for His help.


2) A COMMITMENT TO PLEASE THE FATHER


The Christian life is about us making the decision to please God with our life continually until we step into the presence of Jesus Christ. It is obedience to the will of God and the Word of God with a refusal to stop.


3) A COMPASSIONATE HEART FOR OTHERS


A commitment to please God with our life will show up in two VISIBLE AREAS: it shows up in how we LOVE others and in how we LIVE our life. We will love more like Jesus, and we will look more like Jesus. Jesus cared about the PHYSICAL needs and the EMOTIONAL needs of others, but He never neglected the SPIRITUAL needs of those around Him. We need to understand that a person’s current SITUATION and STRUGGLE is not their greatest need; their SOUL is their greatest need. We are to love people, but we are to love toward a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.


4) A CLEAR TESTIMONY FOR THE LORD


Paul was given an opportunity to give a DEFENSE, but the reality is that everyone that was there that day was there for one reason – they wanted to DISCOVER, and they wanted to DIG UP AS MUCH DIRT AS THEY COULD on the Apostle Paul.


In this life, there will always be someone trying to get you, trying to dig up dirt on you, and trying to bring out the worst in you. We need to recognize them for what they are – distractions designed to DISCOURAGE you, to DEFEAT you, and to DESTROY you. DON’T LET THEM. Let the work that God is doing on the inside of you shine through you, don’t let who you use to resurface.  


How did Paul keep a clear testimony when it seem like everyone was against him and nothing seemed to be working out in his favor?


A) He did not develop the mindset of a VICTIM; he was determined to have the mindset of a VICTOR.


He did not live like a DEFEATED person; he lived like a DELIVERED person. In spit of everything that was a part of Paul’s life so far, Paul was a DIFFERENT man, he was a CHANGED man, he was a BETTER man.  


We found that Paul could have seen himself as a victim of both his PAST CONDITIONS and his PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES.


We considered the first one this morning and found that his past conditions included his RELIGION and his past DECISIONS.

Message

1) He did not develop the mindset of a VICTIM; he was determined to have the mindset of a VICTOR.

A) Paul could have seen himself as a victim of his PAST CONDITIONS, but he chose not to.


(1) Paul chose not to remain a victim of his RELIGION.


(2) Paul chose not to remain a victim of his DECISIONS


Acts 26:9-11 says, “I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.


1 Peter 1:13-16 says, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.


B) He could have seen himself as a victim of the PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES, but he chose not to.


Acts 26:21 says, “For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.


1 Peter 4:12-14 says, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.


Job 23:10-12 says, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.


(1) Paul chose not to THROW A PITY PARTY

(2) Paul chose not to play the BLAME GAME and CULTIVATE A ROOT OF BITTERNESS


Hebrews 12:14-15 says, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.


1 Peter 4:12-14 says, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.


Job 23:10-12 says, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

2) He did not let DISTRACTIONS prevent him from his DUTY

Acts 26:19-20 says, “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.


Acts 26:22 says, “Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come.


Romans 15:14-16 says, “And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

3) He did not let his FRUSTRATIONS trigger a FLESHLY RESPONSE

Acts 26:24-25 says, “And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.

4) He did not let his FEAR keep him from FUNCTIONING

Acts 26:22 says, “Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come.