The Power Of A Testimony

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Children to children’s church...
Sharing of My Testimony
Read Galatians 1:11-24

Paul’s Past...

He was Religious
He was a Sinner
He was a Persecutor
Paul was a very religious man… consider what he has to say about himself in Philippians 3:4-7
Philippians 3:4–7 NASB95
4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. 7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
Paul states in Verse 10 that he is not seeking to please man as he shares the gospel… BUT as a “religious man” Paul was seeking to please man.
Paul was climbing the religiuos ladder… zealous for tradition
Religiosity does that… it cares only for what is external
Paul was a sinner… Even with the seeming blameless exterior he was a sinner. He stated in Romans 3:23
Romans 3:23 NASB95
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
In 1 Timothy 1:15 he declares himself the foremost of sinners!!!
1 Timothy 1:15 NASB95
15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
Paul may have well been the foremost of sinners… Paul Persecuted the church and Jesus of Nazareth! Consider Acts 9:1-2
Acts 9:1–2 NASB95
1 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
Acts 26:9-11
Acts 26:9–11 NASB95
9 “So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 “And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death I cast my vote against them. 11 “And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities.
Paul as Saul was not a good man. He very well could have been the foremost of sinners. Fully anti-Jesus Christ of Nazareth!
We all have a past
We all carry the baggage of sin
Paul shares his past to point to what Christ did but does not dwell in it. Philippians 3:12-14
Philippians 3:12–14 NASB95
12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Our past does not negate salvation's offer from Jesus Christ!!!

Paul’s Conversion is the Work of Jesus Christ!

Christ Paid for Sin
Christ Reveals Himself
Christ Goaded Paul
Christ paid it ONCE for ALL
Christ does not pay it over and over,
He does not pay as we place our faith in His Saving Work.
Christ reveals Himself to each of us in different ways… for Saul it just happened to be on the road to Damascus! Acts 26:12-18
Acts 26:12–18 NASB95
12 “While so engaged as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, 13 at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me. 14 “And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 “And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 ‘But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’
I love that this is Paul sharing his testimony with the King!
King is was going in this direction and God had other plans!
God got his attention
Notice that Paul was persecuting Christ… not the church, not people.
Our sin holds greater pain for God than any man around us
An introduction had to be made
Paul is now introducing King Agrippa to the Lord!
Christ did not just introduce Himself this one time…
Jesus was goading Saul…calling him even from his mother’s womb!
Stick with a point to move oxen… you kick it and it hurts!!!
Saul had been kicking back as Christ goaded him...
The apostles testimonies
Christ himself as he was here on earth
The saints who would not recant, who died, took beatings
Stephen as he was stoned… no pleading, asking forgiveness for those who stoned him, a face as an angel
WOW!!! What a testimony!
What is your testimony?
There is no boring testimony… Example of college girl who slapped me. John 3:16

Our Testimonies should include our spiritual growth...

Growth takes time! Salvation is instant… but growth takes time, trials, teaching
3 years in Arabia (away to study…time)
Almost 14 years before his missionary journey Galatians 2:1
Constantly growing
Paul states he was taught not by man right away but by Christ
Back to the scriptures
Not getting this message from the apostles… yet in line with and same message!
Mentored (Barnabas = Son of Encouragement)

Through It All God Gets The Glory!

We don’t share Christ to bring attention to us
We don’t share our Past, our Conversion, or even our Growth… to bring attention to us!
Rather we show people God’s Grace!!! Look what God did!
I encourage you to share your testimony with at least one other person this week and when you do… Give God all the Glory and Thanks!
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