Summary: The man Saul of Tarsus had lived much of his life under the law. After a miraculous encounter with Jesus Christ, He came to have faith in Christ. Ananias was sent to tell Saul his need for salvation. The joy Paul experienced in going from life under the
THE JOYFUL TRANSITION FROM LAW TO GRACE
1.) With the greatest of joy and excitement, one of the old Sunday School choruses proclaims:
“It’s bubbling, it’s bubbling, it’s bubbling in my soul; there’s singing, and laughing, since Jesus made me
whole. Folks don’t understand it, nor can I keep it quiet. It’s bubbling, bubbling, bubbling, bubbling, bubbling, day and night.”
2.) Do you have that kind of excitement because of the knowledge you are living in the abundant love, mercy, and grace of God?
3.) If you are a Christian, there had to be a definitive point when you lost the burden of your sin, and received the joy of living in the grace and mercy of God.
4.) Today, I want us to look at this turning point in the life of the man we know as the Apostle Paul.
I. THE APOSTLE PAUL HAD KNOWN LIFE UNDER THE LAW.
1.) The law of God is good.
A.) 1 Timothy 1:8
B.) The very fact that the law came from the hand of God, shows that it is good, and not only good, but perfect.
C.) It is the law that reveals the perfect will of God for mankind.
D.) Even though God’s law is perfect, it fails to meet the needs of mankind.
E.) If we were perfectly holy and righteous as God our creator is, we would never have a problem with the law.
2.) The law is not made for the righteous.
A.) 1 Timothy 1:9a
B.) The righteous do not need the law because they are already righteous and perfect.
ba.) The problem is that only God the Father, and Jesus His Son fit into that category.
bb.) For the rest of us, the law gives us God’s standard to live by even though we consistently have failed to keep it.
3.) Paul reminded Timothy that the law was made for law breakers and rebels.
A.) 1 Tim. 1:9b-11
B.) Most of us as we look through this list or the many other lists of sinfulness given in the New Testament Scriptures can excuse ourselves as being better and more Godly than most of the wickedness described in these lists.
C.) It is easy to say this is referring to those who are truly vile and wicked by what we would describe as the more wicked sins.
D.) Paul also addressed sin in a more general manner in this passage: He speaks of: “the ungodly, and sinners, unholy, and irreligious.
da.) We can be sure that each of us are found in that list, and though we perceive our sinfulness as small, God considers our sinfulness as a very major violation of His Word and Will.
db.) It is not just the big sins. When Paul speaks of being unholy, and irreligious, he is not speaking of what we would call the big sins.
dc.) Paul is talking about sins that we would consider quite small. He is talking about the kind of sin where we do not necessarily engage into something of a terrible nature that will raise the eyebrows of those who hear it.
dca.) Some of what Paul is describing to Timothy here is just the matter of taking God for granted.
dcb.) He speaks of being irreligious. That is not something we see as a major sin. It is simply the idea that at times we not whole- hearted in our dedication to God. It means that at times we are careless in what we say and do.
E.) Now Paul records this as being sin, but does God actually see it as being that bad and sinful as
how Paul describes it?
ea.) To answer that question, we need to realize that God’s Old Testament standard as revealed in the law is a standard based upon absolute obedience at all times and in all circumstances.
eb.) Under a standard that is as holy and pure as God himself, the only thing of any merit
is to be like God, without even so much
as even one sin in our lives.
ec.) Jesus himself expressed the sentiments of
God to those under the law:
eca.) Matt. 5:48
F.) Paul and everyone else who has ever been under either the law of God, or the law written on our hearts has found that it has accomplished not our salvation, but only an acknowledgement of our sinfulness before God.
fa.) Romans 3:10-12;20, 23
G.) So the question comes, what is God’s view of us
under the law?
ga.) Rom. 6:23
gb.) See under the law, the way God will deal with us is on the basis of the wages owed to us which is death.
gc.) The good news was that Paul found he did not have to receive the wages due his life of sin, but that through Jesus Christ he could receive God’s gift of eternal life.