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Summary: 5 Keys to Maintaining a Clear Conscience

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How to Face God (& Your Critics)

With A Clear Conscience

Acts Series: ¡§Completely Irreligious, Yet Radically Christian¡¨ Part 30

Pastor Jeff Christopherson

August 10, 2003

Acts 18:1-22

5 KEYS TO MAINTAINING A CLEAR CONSCIENCE:

1. Be Faithful to do what God Asks You To Do.

EXPOSING 4 MYTHS ABOUT GOD¡¦S CALL:

A) God¡¦s assignment doesn¡¦t mean Smooth Sailing.

(Paul was driven out of all 3 Macedonian cities.)

B) God¡¦s assignment doesn¡¦t mean Public Admiration.

(Paul was dismissed with quiet contempt in Athens.)

C) God¡¦s assignment doesn¡¦t mean Easy Situations.

¡§After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth¡K¡¨ Acts 18:1

(Paul was now in Corinth ¡V the centre of moral depravity.)

D) God¡¦s assignment doesn¡¦t always mean Miraculous Provision.

¡§There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.¡¨ Acts 18:2-3

(Paul¡¦s faithfulness required making tents in the short term.)

Principle #1: Walking with God doesn¡¦t mean Walking on Water.

2. Take Responsibility for your Faithfulness,

not for your Results.

¡§Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, ¡§Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.¡¨¡¨ Acts 18:4-6

¡§The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also. Then they said to each other, ¡§We¡¦re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves.¡¨¡¨ 2 Kings 7:8-9

Principle #2: Walking with God sometimes means Walking Away.

3. Expect Divine Intervention in the most unexpected places.

¡§Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.¡¨ Acts 18:7-8

Principle #3: Walking with God means anticipating the Supernatural.

4. Listen for God¡¦s Encouragement.

¡§One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ¡§Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.¡¨ So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.¡¨ Acts 18:9-11

¡§Jesus came and told his disciples, ¡§I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.¡¨¡¨ Matthew 18:18-20

Principle #4: Walking with God takes the ¡¥Risk¡¦ out of Faith.

5. Bet your Life on God Keeping His Word.

¡§While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him into court. ¡§This man,¡¨ they charged, ¡§is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.¡¨ Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to the Jews, ¡§If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law¡Xsettle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.¡¨ So he had them ejected from the court.¡¨ Acts 18:12-16

Principle #5: Walking with God means Walking by Faith.

¡§And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly SEEK him.¡¨ Hebrews 11:6

Scripture passages from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.

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Home Church Discussion Guide: communion

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1. What is your favorite team (sports, work, club) that you¡¦ve ever been a part of? What made it such a joy? 2. In Acts 18:5 we see Paul, Silas and Timothy working as a team, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. If you were a fly on the wall, describe what the situation may have looked like. 3. In Acts 18:9-10, God gives a promise to Paul about his own safety and a promise about the city of Corinth. Considering that the message of Jesus had never been spoken in Corinth, what did God mean when He said, ¡§I have many people in this city¡¨? What applications should this verse have for us? 4. With the eyes of faith, look at Oakville in September 2005. With the eyes of faith, describe how the Holy Spirit has transformed our community. How are you cooperating with God in this transformation? 5. In Acts 18, the church was started in Corinth. Later Paul wrote to this congregation concerning being a team that celebrates communion. Read 1 Corinthians 11:17-34. What is the Spirit saying to The Sanctuary? 6. Celebrate communion.

㦠2003, Jeff Christopherson, The Sanctuary

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