Summary: What True Conversion Is Really All About…
“LESSONS FROM LYDIA” PASTOR Gene Cullum
Acts 16:14-15 “And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.
14: And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
15: And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.”
I love the story that unfolds before us from this chapter in Acts. One TRUTH of which we can be certain is that God Honors & Rewards OBEDIENCE…
In the first part of this chapter, you can see how Paul was Obedient to the Holy Spirit and followed His direction. Lydia was Obedience To God’s Word and Became A Convert… OBEDIENCE WILL PRODUCE A TRUE CONVERT EVERY TIME!!!
I want to use this convert, Sister Lydia, as an Example today to teach each of us, What True Conversion Is Really All About… It’s What I Call “LESSONS FROM LYDIA!” I want us to see FOUR LESSONS. FIRST OF ALL:
I. ALL TRUE CONVERSIONS COME FROM GOD:( v 14 “heard us.”)
Because she worshipped God, [Worshipping God, Stresses The Feeling of Awe, Devotion or Concern…] NOTICE: she heard them!!!
Not because of who they were, BUT because of what they said… You see, all true conversions must be a Divine Work, No conversions comes from a human source, a soul is saved not by man, but by God… Without The Divine Work Of The Precious Comforter, All You Have Is “GLORIFIED CONVICTION!”
It’s a marvelous thing when God calls a soul to salvation… Out of Darkness Into His Marvelous Light… [We Don’t See That Happening Much Today. Why Is That? SOMEONE ISN’T OBEDIENT!]
Because, When A Soul Worships God, [Has Concern] They Will Hear God’s Servant. Lydia heard God’s Servant, Was Convicted, and Was Gloriously Saved…
You might say, well, how can we be sure. We can be sure because of the SECOND LESSON WE LEARN FROM LYDIA:
II. ALL TRUE CONVERSIONS COME THROUGH CONVICTION: (v 14) “Whose heart the Lord opened…” dianoigo, dee-an-oy’-go [Compound word; dia, dee-ah’ = prep. thoroughly anoigo, an-oy’-go = to open , literally (as a first-born)
The Lord took that heart that was concerned, that heart that worshipped Him, that heart that was convicted, that heart like the heart of a first-born and opened it! [He Opens and No Man Can Shut, & Shuts and No Man Can Open]
Those who are truly saved, are those who realize their guilt the deepest… Sin must be felt to be lost. Sin must seen for exactly what it is, “SEPARATION FROM GOD…” The sinner must see their sin, and take their place as a sinner…
This Consciousness of Guilt Is Given To Us By The Holy Spirit. [The Holy Spirit Is God’s Special Agent, Making Jesus Real To Us… ]
He opens the eyes of those whose eyes have been blinded by the God of this World… The Holy Spirit Points Us To The Only Way of Escape… “The Atonement” The Blood of Jesus That Removes That Guilt… He Makes Us Brand New! It’s More Than A Good Feeling; It A New Birth!!! (as a first-born) What Lessons Does Lydia Teach Us??? All True Conversions Come From God and All True Conversions Come Through Conviction! Now There Is A THIRD LESSON LYDIA TEACHES US:
III. ALL TRUE CONVERSIONS PRODUCE NEW LIVES: (v15) “ come
into my house, and abide there.”
Lydia’s conversion brought a new understanding, a new desire… How unselfish… She offered to these men, who only moments before were total strangers, her home…
Conversion will bring the same thing to a Soul Today… Our desires will be new. Our lives will be new… Our whole outlook will be new…
-New Concern To The Danger of Unsaved Souls…[Every convert becomes concerned about loved ones… Andrew/Peter, Philippian Jailer, and Woman at the Well…]
-New Ambitions Kindled… [Growing closer to the Lord… To obey the Will of Christ… To Help With His Cause… To Exalt His Name…
-New Affections Displayed… [Loving Things you once Hated and Hating Things you once Loved…
What Lessons Does Lydia Teach Us: ALL TRUE CONVERSIONS COME FROM GOD, COME THROUGH CONVICTION, PRODUCE NEW LIVES and FINALLY:
IV. ALL TRUE CONVERSIONS INDICATE A WILLINGNESS: (v 15)
“she constrained us.”
She Willingly Received Jesus Into Her Heart. She Willingly Housed The Evangelists. Had Lydia not been willing to listen, had she not allowed the door to her heart to be opened, had she not been willing to listen to the word of God and heeded His instructions, SHE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SAVED!!!
CONCLUSION: These are just a few of the Lessons We Can Learn From Lydia… Does your heart ache to see this type of conversion?