Summary: What a change grace can make!

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Hebrews 11:31

ILL- The Arc de Triumph is a monument in Paris that stands 165 ft. in height & 145 ft. wide. It is so colossal that a daredevil pilot once flew his plane through it’s pillars. It was commissioned in 1806 after the victory at Austerlitz by Napoleon at the peak of his fame & finally completed in 1833.

All over Europe there are varieties of triumphal arches or columns, upon which are recorded the valiant deeds of their country’s generals, emperors, or its monarchs.

It seems that faith should have a monument raised to its honor, upon which its mighty deeds should be recorded. The writer of Hebrews did just that by building a magnificent pillar in the chapter before us. It recites the victories of faith with one triumph of faith after the other.

We have faith triumphing over death: Enoch entered not the gates of death, but reached heaven by another road.

We have faith triumphing over infirmity: Abraham & Sarah having a son in their old age.

We have faith triumphing over affection, as we see Abraham climbing to the top of the mountain & raising the knife to slay his only son at the command of God. Then we see God providing a lamb.

We have faith triumphing over worldliness. "By faith Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt."

We have faith triumphing over sin: "Rahab perished not with them that believed not…

Rahab is an example of the grace of God at work. Her salvation was not based on her character: she lived in a doomed city, practiced a sinful profession, engaged in rebellious activities, & lied about her actions. But she acted upon faith, & was spared the judgment of God.

Nature forms us, sin deforms us, the world conforms us, education informs us, but faith transforms us.

Here was woman who was transformed by faith.

What a terrible woman she was to begin with:

~She was a pagan living in spiritual darkness.

~She was a harlot living in sinful depravity.

~She was a Canaanite bound for sure destruction & yet this woman found grace through faith & was transformed.

She was so transformed that she married a prince of Israel. She became the great-great grandmother of King David. She became a part of the bloodline of Jesus Christ.

She went from a child of hell to a citizen of heaven; from a shady lady to a shiny star; from call girl to converted girl; from disgrace to dignity; from the house of shame to the hall of fame ---transformed by the grace of God.

How did it happen? You have to turn to Joshua 2 to see the story. God had commanded His people to take the land of Canaan. They came out of the wilderness & there between them & the Promised Land was the city of Jericho. Joshua selected two men, who were God’s representatives, who went into the city of Jericho & there they met Rahab. And through their witness she was converted.

I. She was Convicted by the Spirit. Joshua 2:9-11

****Notice Verse 11b, …for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above….

Can you imagine a sinful woman (an idol worshipper) making such a statement of faith? Who had been working on her? Who had been speaking to her? It was the Holy Spirit.

Think of the great city of Jericho…all of the people in that city. Do you think it was by chance that they happened to go the house of Rahab? NO!!! It was the providence of God! These men were in the stream of the Spirit & like a guided missile God brought them right to the heart; house; & home of a woman that He had been preparing.

What does that mean to us? All over our city the Holy Spirit is working... tenderizing hearts; & He wants you to be so led of the Spirit that a hungry heart & that a helpful soul winner will be brought together because the Holy Spirit is working both sides of the fence. Out there He’s preparing a heart & right here He’s preparing a herald (messenger).

*****In Acts 8 a very wealthy Ethiopian eunuch had been to Jerusalem to worship. The wells of this religious city were beginning to run dry. He was out in the desert reading Isaiah. God saw his hungry heart so God went up to Samaria & found Phillip who was preaching a revival. Philip left a great harvest to talk to one man, but that is the mark of a true servant of God. We must go where He sends us; do what He tells us; & leave the results w/Him. God brought him like a guided missile to a man whose heart the Holy Spirit had prepared. And that’s how that man got saved.

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Patrick Jackson

commented on Nov 25, 2006


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