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Summary: One of the most important things we learn about Jesus is that He is our Saviour: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10).

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GOD ENCOUNTERS: THE FOURSQUARE GOSPEL #1: JESUS THE SAVIOUR:

INTRO TO TOPIC: Discuss Aimee Semple McPherson and the Foursquare Gospel Church.

Give an overview of church history through the Protestant Reformation through Pentecostalism.

The Foursquare Church was founded in Los Angeles, CA in 1923 by a farm girl from Ontario.

Foursquare Gospel: Jesus the Saviour, Healer, Baptiser in the Holy Spirit, Soon Coming King.

Theme verse: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Heb. 13:8).

THE BIG IDEA: One of the most important things we learn about Jesus is that He is our Saviour: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10).

I. SAUL WAS A TERRIBLE SINNER:

“Yet I could have confidence in myself if anyone could. If others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! For I was circumcised when I was eight days old, having been born into a pure-blooded Jewish family that is a branch of the tribe of Benjamin. So I am a real Jew if there ever was one! What's more, I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. And zealous? Yes, in fact, I harshly persecuted the church. And I obeyed the Jewish law so carefully that I was never accused of any fault.” (Phil. 3:4-6, NLT).

• From Saul’s own autobiography, he was a religious man, yet he didn’t know God.

“As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.” (Acts 8:3, NKJV). (havoc = ravage, devastate, ruin).

“Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” (Acts 9:1-2).

• Saul was also a murderer – ravaging churches and killing Christians for fun.

• Christians were afraid of him, and no one ever thought that Saul could be saved.

• “This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – and I was the worst of them all. But that is why God had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.” (1 Tim. 1:15-16, NLT).

THE HOPE OF THE GOSPEL:

• If you are a sinner, it doesn’t matter how far gone you are – Jesus is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him! (Heb. 7:25).

• If you have a friend or family member who is a terrible sinner, or deeply entrenched in a false religion – don’t give up on them. There is always hope in Jesus!

• “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21, NKJV).

• When you become a Christian, Jesus saves you – you can be saved from your sins:

• Forgiveness, freedom from guilt and shame, power to live your life for God.

II. SAUL MET A WONDERFUL SAVIOUR:

“As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:3-4, NKJV).

1. SAUL’S CONVERSION WAS A SOVEREIGN ACT OF GOD’S GRACE:

• Saul wasn’t looking for Jesus, Jesus was looking for him.

• Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” (John 15:16).

• Later on in his life, Paul wrote: “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” (Eph. 1:4-5, NKJV).

• What an amazing thought, that God chooses us and adopts us into His family!

ILLUSTRATION: As a 12 year old, I wasn’t very athletic, but I tried out for the Huskies baseball team. Why did I make the team? Not because of my abilities (good works), but because my best friend’s dad was the coach of the team! Why does God choose us? Not because of our good works, but because of Jesus!

2. SAUL’S CONVERSION WAS SUPERNATURAL:

• He saw a light from heaven, and heard the voice of God.

• Paul wrote: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17, NKJV).

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