Summary: Through a series of testimonies, show the power of God to dramatically transform lives. Interwoven into the sermon outline, are the testimonies of members of the congregation and their testimonies
You are on the brink of a transformation that will cause you to do what you could not do, to be what you could not be, to see what you could not see, to hear what you cannot hear. This altar is going to do for you, what a phone booth did for Clark Kent.
John Calvin said the Rebirth: "By the phrase ’born again’ Jesus means not the correction of one part, but the renovation of the whole nature. Therefore, it follows, that there is nothing in us that is not sinful; for if Reformation is necessary in the whole and in each part, corruption must have been spread throughout."
C. S. LEWIS "We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive."
C. H. MacKintosh wrote: “God’s grace is magnified my man’s ruin. The more keenly the ruin is felt, the more highly the grace is valued.” The most joyful converts to Christ you will ever see, are the ones who have come to realize how utterly lost and helpless they were without Him.
In his poem, The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost wrote "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."
There’s been a great change, since I’ve been born. . .
I. SHY SAUL
And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.
II. SLAUGHTERING SAUL
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
III. SUCCESSFUL SUPPLANTER (JACOB)
IV. MARY MAGDALENE
V. JAILED JACOB
A. Jacob Koshy grew up in Singapore with one driving ambition: to be a success in life, to gain all the money and possessions he could. That led him into the world of drugs and gambling, and eventually he became the lord of an international smuggling network. In 1980, he was arrested and placed in a government drug rehabilitation prison in Singapore.
He was frustrated beyond endurance. All his goals, purposes, dreams, and ambitions were locked up with him in a tiny cell, and his heart was full of a cold emptiness. He was a smoker, and cigarettes weren’t allowed in the center. Instead, he smuggled in tobacco and rolled it in the pages of the Gideon Bible. One day he fell asleep while smoking. He awoke to find to find that the cigarette had burned out, and all that remained was a scrap of charred paper. He unrolled it and read what was written; “Saul, Saul Why do you persecute me?”
Jacob asked for another Bible and read the entire story of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. He suddenly realized that if God could help someone like Saul, God could help him, too. There in his cell he knelt and prayed, asking Christ to come into his life and change him. He began crying and couldn’t stop. The tears of a wasted life washed away his pain, and God redeemed him. He started sharing his story with the other prisoners, and as soon as he was released he became involved in a Church. He met a Christian woman, married her, and is now a missionary in the Far East where he tells people far and wide, “Who would have believed that I could find the truth by smoking the word of God?”
VII. FINE FINNEY VIII. TROUBLED TEDDY
Miss Thompson taught Teddy Stallard in the fourth grade. He was a slow, unkempt student, a loner shunned by his classmates. The previous year his mother died, and what little motivation for school he may have once had was now gone. Miss Thompson didn’t particularly care for Teddy either, but at Christmas time he brought her a small present. Her desk was covered with well-wrapped presents from the other children, but Teddy’s came in a brown sack. When she opened it there was a gaudy rhinestone bracelet with half the stones missing and a bottle of cheap perfume. The children began to snicker but Miss Thompson saw the importance of the moment. She quickly splashed on some perfume and put on the bracelet, pretending Teddy had given her something special. At the end of the day Teddy worked up enough courage to softly say, "Miss Thompson, you smell just like my mother . . . and her bracelet looks real pretty on you too. I’m glad you like my presents."