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Summary: We need to stand on the promises of God.

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Praise The Lord And Pass Me A Copperhead

Text: Acts 28:1-10

Introduction

1. 24 year old Danny Simpson was sentenced to 6 years in jail for robbing a bank. Danny got 6 years in the clink for stealing $6,000. But the gun he used in the robbery ended up in a museum. The .45 caliber Colt semi-automatic turned out to be an antique made in 1918 by the Ross Rifle Company. His pistol was worth up to $100,000 on the collectors market. If Danny Simpson had known what he had in his hands, he would not have ended up in jail.

Many Christians live like this. They spend their lives searching for God’s power and presence, not realizing it’s already in their hands.

2. As Christians we all too often forget that when God makes a promise he keeps it.

A. He promised to send us his Holy Spirit...and he did!

B. Acts 1:8 (NLT)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

3. This morning we are going to look at a few of God's promises...

A. Promise of deliverance

B. Promise of protection

C. Promise of miracles

4. Let's stand as we read Acts 28:1-10.

Proposition: We need to stand on the promises of God.

Transition: The first promise I want us to look at the morning is the...

I. Promise Of Deliverance (1-2).

A. Safe On Shore

1. So far Paul and his companions have been through

A. Two weeks in a horrific storm.

B. The sailors tried to abandon ship

C. The soldiers wanted to kill them

D. A ship wreck

2. The one thing they had to keep them going is that God had promised Paul that he and everyone on the ship would make it to Rome.

3. As always God keeps his promise. In vv. 1-2 we read, "Once we were safe on shore, we learned that we were on the island of Malta. 2 The people of the island were very kind to us. It was cold and rainy, so they built a fire on the shore to welcome us."

A. The Lord had assured Paul that he must go to Rome. He had also promised to give him the lives of all the 275 others who were on board.

B. He did as He had promised. After arriving safely on land they found out the island was called Malta (Phoenician or Canaanite for "refuge").

C. It was south of Sicily and its people were descended from Phoenician colonists who settled there about 1000 B.C., and who probably spoke a dialect closely related to Hebrew.

D. The islanders received them graciously.

E. Throughout this passage Luke uses the Greek term barbaroi to refer to the "islanders."

F. Barbaroi is translated variously, including "natives" (NASB), "rough islanders" (NEB), and "barbarous people" (KJV).

G. But Luke does not mean that they were degraded or uncivilized.

H. To the Greeks any foreigner who could not speak Greek was a barbarian. Later they gave the Romans a certain level of inclusion by redefining "barbarian" as one who could not speak Greek or Latin.

I. It is easy to see that the citizens of Malta were good, friendly people even if they could not speak Greek.

J. Their kindness went beyond the ordinary. They lit a fire and welcomed all 276 of these strangers who had escaped the shipwreck.

K. Because of the rain and the cold, the fire was an act of great kindness and must have been a welcome sight to all from the ship (Horton, Acts: A Logion Press Commentary, 401-402).

4. The point that we need to see here is that God made a promise to Paul, and God was true to his word.

B. Rescue

1. Illustration: The September 11, 2002 issues of TIME magazine has a touching article about 31-year old Genelle Guzman. Genelle was the last of just four people caught in the debris of the Twin Towers to be found alive. After the planes hit the World Trade Center, Genelle was descending a stair case from the 64th floor of the North Tower. Steel beams weakened to their breaking point. Solid concrete was pulverized. But somehow her body found an air pocket. Her right leg was pinned under heavy concrete pillars. Her head was caught between stacks of wreckage. But somehow she was still alive. For twenty-seven hours Guzman lay trapped and seriously injured. In recent months before the attacks Genelle had started attending the church called Brooklyn Tabernacle, and wanted to get her life turned around. So while she was stuck in the rubble, she started to pray. She’d trail off into sleep – wake up and pray some more. Shortly after noon on Wednesday the 12th, she heard voices. So she screamed as loud as she could, "I’m here! HEY, I’M RIGHT HERE!" A rescue worker responded, "Do you see the light?" She did not. She took a piece of concrete and banged it against a broken stairway overhead—probably the same structure that had saved her life. The searchers find the noise. Genelle wedged her hand through a crack in the wall, and felt someone grab it. She heard a voice say, "I’ve got you," and Genelle Guzman said, "OH GOD, THANK YOU." It took 20 long minutes, and then she was saved. In many ways, Genelle Guzman represents the plight of all people. We are buried under an enormous mess of spiritual black marks – ways we have wronged our perfect God. The Bible calls these things sin. We have no hope of freeing ourselves. We are truly stuck. In need of rescue.

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