Summary: The life of Paul shows us a perfect example of Grace, Repentance and Christianity.
A Perfect Example
September 19, 2003
1. A Perfect Example of Grace
Grace: undeserved favor
Illustration: Painting of the Last Supper
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (NIV)
* “Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented Himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready…But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.” (TM)
Jesus didn’t have to die! Jesus chose to die.
Justified: Just as if I had never sinned
- never lied, never cheated, never smoked, never drank or did drugs, never stole anything, never viewed pornography, never swore, never had impure thoughts, never experimented w/ sex
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done! You can stand here tonight JUSTIFIED, just as if you have never sinned. That’s the grace of God! We don’t deserve it, but God gives it to us anyway.
2. A Perfect Example of Repentance
The life & testimony of Saul who became Paul.
A. Before Christ: He was a violent persecutor of the church.
Acts 8:1-3 “That set off a terrific persecution of the church in Jerusalem. The believers were all scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. All, that is, but the apostles. Good and brave men buried Stephen, giving him a solemn funeral – not many dry eyes that day. And Saul went wild, devastating the church, entering house after house after house, dragging men and women off to jail.” ™
Question: What was your life before Christ?
B. Salvation: The Road to Demascus
Repentance – a turning away from sin to pursue God.
Revelation 3:19 “The people I love, I call to account – prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!”
Question: Do you remember your Road to Damascus?
C. A New Man: Going to the next level
Acts 9:19 “Saul spent a few days getting acquainted with the Damascus disciples, but then went right to work, wasting no time, preaching in the meeting places that this Jesus was the Son of God.” ™
- This same man that once tried to destroy the church was now taking the church to the next level.
Question: Are you a “new” man or woman? What have you done to get to the next level?
3. The Perfect Example of a Christian
A. An eXample to the Believer
1 Thessalonians 1:7 “As a result, you yourselves became an example to all the Christians in Greece.” (NLV)
1 Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believer in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”
- A model citizen.
B. An eXample to the Non-Believer
1 Peter 2:21 “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”
- In other words, Jesus showed us how to live in order to change our world and now we must follow that example.
Illustration: So how are YOU living?
Conclusion: Read - 2 Thessalonians 3:4-9 ™
• heads bowed & eyes closed
• worship team comes “Unashamed Love”
Tonight we saw A Perfect Example of how to live.
First we talked about perfect grace…maybe you need to experience that grace now…
Secondly we talked about true repentance and its effect on our life…
Third and last, we talked about real Christian living…setting an example