Summary: God chooses and uses whom he wants

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1. FEAR (VS 26)

• Paul, after his conversion, tried to align himself with the other disciples

• The disciples were afraid, however, because of Paul’s past

Acts 9:1-2: “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.”

• Too often, we fail under the same pretenses when someone tries to renew themselves unto God through salvation

• Is this a fair evaluation?

a. Obviously not, but it is one that is seemingly unavoidable

b. Satan would have us to remember the bad in order to shadow the good

c. Zechariah 3:1-3: “And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.”

• Joshua stood before the Lord in ‘sin’ and it was the devil who stood beside him to call to remembrance his sin, the LORD rebuked his negative approach

• We too, must stand against the past when it comes to one who has come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ

• We must be slow to judge

Luke 15:1-2: “Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.”

• We never know what the spirit of God has convicted one to do and therefore must be cautious as to speaking on ones ministry

• The disciples did not believe in Paul’s conversion and very well could have prevented his ministry from beginning; this was done out of fear of the past; nothing more, nothing less

2. FRIENDS (VS 27a)

• Barnabas immediately befriended Paul

• Barnabas understood the importance of the ‘New Creature’ in Christ and was willing to protect him and encourage him

• The name Barnabas means “son of encouragement”

• “A friend is the first person who comes in when the whole world goes out.”

• We too, must be quick to support those that God places in our midst, being no more cautious of them as we would anyone else

• The Bible says that we must come together, no matter what race, creed or color

1 Thessalonians 4:18: “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

• Paul was speaking to the church at Thessalonica as to the events of the Rapture, and told the Christians to comfort each other with the words of the Lord

• We should follow the same path and encourage, not discourage one another with the Holy Scripture

Galatians 6:1-2: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

• When a brother or sister has given in to temptation and committed a sin we must:

a. Restore with Meekness

b. Protect Ourselves

c. Help bear the Burden

• We do this as not to judge but rather to encourage that person to regain focus and continue effectiveness in their ministry

• Jesus bore our ‘burden’ of sin upon the cross and we therefore, should do the same for those he places within our sphere of influence

Isaiah 53:12: “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

• Jesus bore sin that he didn’t commit and is an example for us to follow when we think about being a friend to someone who we may be fearful of

3. FACTS (VS 27b)

• Paul told of his ‘fact preaching’ in Damascus after his conversion

• He did this in the name of Jesus

• The conclusion here is not the sermon that he preached, but rather the CONTENT OF HIS MESSAGE

• Paul preached his testimony, which is something we are all capable of doing

• His message was simple; what God had done for him

1 Corinthians 2:2: “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”

• There is something about preaching Jesus Christ, not great or personal beliefs, but simply the saving ability of His atoning blood

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