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Acts 23:31-35


Speaker 1: Thank you for that, ladies. Sure, do appreciate that song today and their voices go well together, don't they? That sounded great. Take your Bibles if you have them and turn to the Book of Acts Acts Chapter number twenty three is where we're going to be in just a moment. And it's good to have you here with us this morning. Glad to have others watching on live stream. And I was talking to one of one of our livestream viewers yesterday and they said, Pastor, when are we going to be done with acts like soon, soon, hopefully before next Easter? No, no, we're going to we're going to actually cover a whole chapter here today. I'm not going to make you stand to read the whole chapter, which contained a few verses, but just it's going to be the one complete package we want to get through this whole section. So that'll help move us forward. OK, we'll get all the way through X24 24. That way in a couple of Sunday's affirmations conference is over will be in twenty five. There's twenty eight chapters in the Book of Acts. Is that right? Yeah, I think so. But so anyways, you know, that's that's like three months. And I said, like I said before Easter, we'll be done with the Book of Acts. We had a great time in Sunday school this morning. The college and career class started a new series. We'd been looking at the book Mirror Christianity by C.S. Lewis, and in the very last chapter of that, C.S. Lewis was talking about finding your true self. There's a lot of methods out there in the world for finding your true self. But, you know, so I guess it's been 70 years ago. C.S. Lewis came to the conclusion that the only way to find your true self is to give yourself up to God and let him remake you, transform your life, not just reform your life, but transform your life and make you completely new. Just like the lady singing about a moment ago. I'm grateful that that's what God has done for me. You may judge me based on my successes or failures, you may judge me based on how you and I interact with one another, but God judges me based on what Jesus Christ did for me, and his righteousness has been applied to my account. I am so grateful for it. You know, when you have an identity in Christ and when you are confident and secure in your standing before God, that gives you great boldness. You know, else has great boldness, not just Christians who who know where they stand, but children who don't know any better. Man, they've got some boldness. I remember doing this to my dad, so I really can't fault my kids for it. But man, they're persistent and you can tell them, don't ask me again. And they're so bold, those little buggers will come right up to you and say, Dad, when are we going to do this? Dad, you said, maybe you said later they come to find out that if I say, I don't know, we'll see. It just means no. But man, they're bold, and they can take any situation and twist it to use it for the furtherance of their mission, the furtherance of their goals. What I want to look at, not not tonight, this morning, is an episode in Paul's life where Paul, who was confident and who he was in Christ, he was secure in his identity, but he was also bold in his witness, and he was able to do what some of your children are able to do. And he was able to take any situation and turn it to be a furtherance for not his mission, but God's mission. If you're there in twenty three, you want to go and stand with me in honor of reading God's Word Acts Chapter number twenty three Verse number thirty one. X twenty three vs. No. Thirty one. The Bible says then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul and brought him by night to and tip a truce on the morrow, they left the horsemen to go with him and return to the castle. Who when they came to Syria and delivered the epistle? The letter to the governor presented Paul also before him. When the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was and when he understood that he was a solicitor, said this. I will hear the said he were nine accusers also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's Judgment Hall. Let's pray. Father, we thank you for this day and thank you for the people that are here. Lord, I asked that you'd help us now as we look into your word. I pray that you give me the word you'd have me to say and help the folks that are here to listen and apply it here to their lives. For in Jesus name. I pray. Amen. And you may be seated. Last week, we left Paul as he was leaving Jerusalem for the last time in his life. We talked about the emotions that that must have elicited as Paul was led out of the city, the city that he loved so much by a Roman guard, protecting him from the Jews who wish to kill him. Claudius Licious, the Roman captain that was there in Jerusalem, is sending Paul to Syria, where Felix, the governor of Judah, lived. Now, as we have covered since Paul had established his Roman citizenship, Paul had the option the choice of either a local or a Roman judgment. Now we saw before that, Paul was brought before the Sanhedrin and they lost their minds. They they started bickering and fighting with one another, and it's always helpful for a group when they start fighting among themselves. That always lends itself to a good, healthy furtherance of their cause, right? Not usually the Jews had failed to come to a judgment on Paul. And so the bottom line, if you could say this would now be passed to Felix, who would initiate Paul's Roman examination, Paul's Roman trial. And as we see at the end of chapter number twenty three, Felix receives the letter that Alissa's had written to him, and he agrees to give Paul a hearing as the accusations against him. But in Bessemer thirty five, he tells Paul. He says, I will hear the nine accusers also come and see. The Roman legal system was not too dissimilar from ours. In order for a man to be convicted, his accusers had to be present. And so Paul's trial would begin when the representatives from the Sanhedrin arrived in Sensorium. I remember when I was first started driving there in the Dallas Fort Worth area. They right about that time they started putting up traffic cameras, red light cameras all over the place. And I had my dad had just gotten me a a little Hyundai Elantra, and I thought it was the coolest thing because it had a sunroof and had a spoiler. On the back. And I saw was really cool. You said, what color was it? It was Grandma Gold. I mean, but I thought it was great. So anyways, I just got this and I was driving to a friend's house. And when you know, there was one of those intersections with the red light camera and I blew right through it. I mean, I thought the yellow light would last longer, but you know how these things go. And so the the camera got me and it sent the the ticket to the former owner. Who then sent it to the dealership where my grandfather worked? Who then sent it to my dad? Now my dad comes to me one day as I get home from work, he said, Hey. I got a nice picture of your car. I said, Oh yeah, who sent it to you? It's the Texas Department of Transportation. Whoops. But you know why they took a lot of those red light cameras down? Number one, they were so effective. People stop breaking the law and the revenue went down. But also, how do you how do you face your accuser when there's a red light camera? And do it. It's a it's not a person. So they took him down there, they're not there anymore. But here's Paul, and he has to face his accusers. And so the Bible tells us in chapter number twenty four verse number one, that takes five days for in. And it's the high priest and the other members of the Sanhedrin to descend from Jerusalem and head north to Syria to accuse Paul of breaking the law. Now, remember, any time you talk about leaving Jerusalem, you always descend from Jerusalem. Even if you're going north, you're descending because Jerusalem sits on an elevated plane and so they come out of Jerusalem had to settle Syria. But it takes them five days to do this. You say, Well, what are they doing for five days? Well, no doubt they're spending time planning out their arguments. We know also in verse number one, the Bible says that they enlist the help of a man named Tertiles, and that's why they took so long. I mean, you get a guy on your team named Turtle. Yeah, it's going to take a while. So there's turtle and turtle. This is a great order. He's going to go and help them present their case. Most likely, Turtle is was a lawyer who was probably the best that they had. And so turtles and the rest come up to Syria, and Felix brings Paul out in verse number two. And they all are there in the judgment room. And Felix says, All right, accusers, you get to make your case first. Paul is the defendant. As the defendant, he will get the last word. And so journalists gets up to present the case of the Jews against Paul, and he begins by flattering the governor. Flattery will get you. It depends on who you who you are, I guess some people really like a flatterer and like, Oh yeah, tell me more good things about myself. But yeah, most of the time a reasonable person is not going to get you anywhere. But that's what Turtle says. He gets up and he begins to flatter the governor. Look at verse number two, he says to Felix. Seeing that by the Felix, we enjoy great quietness and that very worthy deeds are done until this. Our nation by the Providence, we accept it always and in all places, most noble Felix with all things giving. I mean, just like sirup dripping out this guy's mouth. I mean, he's got stickiness running down his chest. I mean, this guy is nasty personal for. Now notwithstanding. I mean, not further tedious sanity, I pray thee that us hear us of thy clemency, a few words. See what this guy's doing. He is butter and him off. I mean, he is slathering it on with a spatula. OK, if you are wasting time putting butter on your grilled cheese with a butter knife, just switch over to a spatula. It's much, much faster. Gives you a smoother spread and more even distribution. It's just it's better turtle. It's got the whole stick of butter and he rubbing it all over, Felix trying to butter this guy up. Look at her summer five. He has a general accusation to make against Paul, and it can be summed up by the idea that Paul is a trouble maker. How many of you would like to identify yourself as a troublemaker? One, Gavin, I should have guessed. Nobody wants to be termed a troublemaker. I mean, Paul has said before, Hey, I'm trying to be at peace with all men and with God, I'm not trying to offend anyone. I mean, I think sometimes we accuse people of being malicious when they really aren't trying to be malicious. That's what they say about Paul. He's a pistol. And fellow said moreover, he is a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world and our ringleader of the sect of the Nazarene. This is a pretty big, big claim to make about Paul is a pistol. He's a pest. He's trying to stir up the Jews, too, to perform acts of sedition against you, against the Empire. And about that, he's the ringleader of this sect. You can call somebody a sect. It automatically diminishes their reach. You know, I say there's a sector thing, OK, well, it's a small group, right? I mean, they're just they're trying to be offensive. A sect of the leader of the Nazarene and Russian mystics, who gets to the specifics to prove Paul is a troublemaker. Turtle is offers only one situation by which he can point to some evidence. He says this guy have gone about profane the temple whom we talking with have judged according to our law. But the chief captain licious came upon us and with great violence, took him away out of our hands. So the claim is that Paul had gone into the Jewish temple to profane it. He went in with ill intent. He went in with bad motivations to too profane, to corrupt to to upset the worship of the peaceful, just gentle Jewish people. I mean, these they just they just want to be left alone. But then here comes Licious, as the Jews are trying to handle the situation themselves. Licious comes in and he says with great violence, took Paul away from them. You see a turtle is is trying to say, Look, we tried to handle this matter on our own. We did not want to disturb your greatness. We didn't want to bring this and put it on your plate. We tried to deal with it. But licious? He came. And man, he just he made the situation that much worse with great violence. He took him away from us. And it is really licious his fault that all of this has been put on your plate. Says first of eight, there was Licious who commanded his accusers to come under Felix by examining of whom Felix, we expect thyself, make us take knowledge of all these things where we accuse him. And all the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so. Finally, he tells Felix, he said that if you will examine Paul, you will see that we're telling the truth. If you'll just look at the facts, you'll see we're we're telling the truth and all the Jews that were with Turtle as they they agreed this is exactly what occurred. You say this is it. This is what he said is exactly what happened. It's kind of like when you and your friends all get together because you broke a window and everyone agrees. This is the story. We're all going to tell the same story. It was a rock that flew off that guy's tires and broke the window. It wasn't the baseball that we hit up against the house. It was the rock. And with that, their accusations are complete. They the famous in his name. They try to give him a bad reputation. They tell one story about something that possibly happened. Really no specifics. Just he tried to profane the temple. They place the blame on licious for all of this happening. Now, if you're going to go into a Roman courtroom in front of the Roman governor, you really want to try and follow the Roman police officer that started the whole thing or tried to stop the whole thing. No, but that's what they do. So Robin had their say, verse number 10, it is now Paul's turn to speak in defense of himself. You see, Paul also begins his case by Con complimenting the governor, a reverse number 10, he says, then Paul. After that, the governor had beckoned onto him to speak answered. For as much as I know, the Dow has been of many years a judge under this nation. I do the more cheerfully answer for myself. Now I want you think about this for a second. Paulson. Look, Felix. I know that you've been a judge in this nation for many years. And so because I know you have seen and heard a lot judging the Jewish people, I'm pretty confident you're going to side with me. Now, what would make him say something like that? What do we see here from the Jews? False accusations are trumped up accusations. No evidence, no real witnesses badmouthing the Roman government, Paulson, I know you've seen this this you've heard this song before, it doesn't change. And I know that you know what these people are really like. So I'm pretty confident you're going to side with me because these guys are nuts. And you've seen enough of it to know that you can't trust what they're saying. And so he's I feel pretty good about this. His words give us a further peek into Paul's personality. You see, he knew that Felix had been forced to listen to innumerable squabbles and disagreements that had sprung up from among the Jews. He knew that Felix was aware of their their pettiness and their proclivities, and so Paul thinks that this will make him less likely to believe the Jews story. But Paul goes on and he tells his side of the story. He says this one because it has to understand that there are yet. But 12 days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship, and they neither found me in the temple, disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues nor in the city. Neither can they prove the things were alive. They now accuse me. He says. I was in the temple. I've been in Jerusalem for 12 days, but they never found me arguing with anybody. And it did. Did Paul Simon any time arguing with anyone? No. Go back about a month and you'll see how Paul was willing to to to humiliate himself to try and preserve the peace. He was willing to shave his head. He was willing to pay for the the vows of other men to try and calm the situation down. He did the exact opposite of what they are saying. He says I was in the temple, but I wasn't causing a problem. And in verse number 13, he says. They can't prove anything that they're saying there's no proof to their case. See, the fact that the Jews had produced no evidence in their case other than their testimony, it freed up Paul from having to produce his own evidence. They didn't produce any evidence. They're the accusers. He's not required to produce any evidence to defend himself because what's he defending himself against? It's a it's a, he said, she said situation. So Paul now has this captive audience. He's got the Sanhedrin, he's got tertiles. He's got Felix. He's got all these other Roman government officials. What do you think Paul's going to do with his extra time? You can tell the gospel. You see, Paul was confident, not not just in Felix and his understanding of the Jews, not just in the weakness of the Jews case against him. Paul was confident in standing before God because remember, Jesus had showed up in that fortress and told him, We have good cheer, Paul. As you have testified to me in Jerusalem, you will testify to me in Rome. Is Paul in Rome? No, he's in Syria, so guess what? He's going to make it out of Syria. He's going to get to Rome, that's confidence in God. That's confidence. Jesus said. Something's going to happen. It's going to happen. So he does he starts to share the gospel with them. He says, you know what? They aren't right about one thing. I am the ringleader of the ringleader of the Nazarene. He says in Mr. 14. But this I confess only that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I, the god of my father's believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets and have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow that there shall be a resurrection of the dead. Both both of the just and the unjust. And here in do I exercise myself to have always a conscience point of offense toward God and toward men? He says, listen. This sect that they accuse me of being a part of. Yes, I am a follower of the way. The way I remember, that's a that's a term for Christianity in Judea, he said, but but the way is not incompatible with the accepted teaching of Judaism. He held to all the things that were written in the law in the prophets, just like his accusers did. He had hope toward God, as they would also claim that there would one day be a resurrection of the dead. He says, I believe just like they do, that the just and the unjust will be raised. You see, Felix had been in jail and Judea enough times for enough time that he knew what Judaism believed. And so Paul is speaking to a man who can understand what he's saying. Now. That matter of the just and the unjust being raised, Paul's hope toward God that he referenced was that he would be numbered with the just. And here is where the difference comes into play, because what is left unsaid is the difference in criteria between Paul and the Jews or who would make up the just. You see, they were still looking for their messiah. He knew the Messiah had already come. Paul knew he was a member of the just because he had placed his faith in Jesus Christ. There was a moment as he was there on that road to Damascus, where Jesus appeared to him. And Paul became a believer. He asked Jesus to forgive him of his sins. And so this is the difference between Paul and the Jews. He believed in Jesus. See, because of the compatibility of Paul's beliefs with theirs, Paul claims in verse number 16 at the end to be void of offense before God and man. Now he's gotten this little. Gospel jab in, but he's got to close this case. You can't just leave it hanging, so he he circles back around his detoured into a taste of the hope of the gospel. Just to whet Felix's appetite. But now, Paul concludes by returning to the matter at hand. Said I came to Jerusalem to bring arms to my nation and offerings for uncertain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple. Neither were not, you know, tumult who ought to have been here before the object they had aught against me? You see also as though there were some witnesses to what happened was the Jews of Asia. Where are they? They're my real accusers. They're wrong about the the problems that took place in the temple. These guys weren't there. The Jews of Asia were, but where are they? They're not here today. I mean, this is a courtroom. They're rules. They're not here. They can't say anything about me. He said the people that are here, if they wanted to build a case against me, all they have to talk about is what happened when I stood before them. The only thing they could point to in most number twenty one is that I cried standing among them touching the resurrection of the dead. And they believe that, so I don't know what the problem is. Helix responds to the case by calling for a recess, the first 20 to. He doesn't toss the case out, he doesn't come to a conclusion, he says in verse number 22, when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way. We'll come back to that in a second. He deferred them and said Wallace is the chief captain. She'll come down. I will know the outermost of your matter is a lot. All right. I've heard your side, heard your side. I'm going to just have Lucius come down from Jerusalem. And after I talk to him then, then we'll discover the truth of the situation. But if you look at first summer twenty two at that phrase that that Felix had more perfect knowledge of that way. What is that way? It's Christianity is in. Felix already knew something of the doctrine of the way or the sect of the Nazarene. And remember, the gentile world called it Christianity. The Jewish world called it the way Felix probably learned about the way from his wife. Who guess what was a Jewish woman? So there was already a curiosity about this group before, before Paul ever showed up in the courtroom. And so while Felix waits for Lucius, who actually never did get summoned, he never shows up and says Syria. He says the version number twenty three that Paul will be kept in custody. He has a centurion that is assigned to him. But Felix says to let him have liberty that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come under him supports him. He kept their ancestry, kept in containment. Well, listen, Tyrion guarding over him, but he's going to be free to receive visitors and see his friends, and he just can't leave. But wouldn't you know, one of those visitors that came to see him so often was Felix? Felix comes and brings his wife, Priscilla. The reason for their visit, according to her number twenty four. I want to hear more concerning the faith in Christ. They wanted to know more about Jesus. See, Paul was successful in planting a seed of curiosity in Felix's heart. Paul, of course, was always ready. He was always willing to talk about Jesus. And so the Bible says in verse from twenty five that he reasoned of righteousness, temperance and judgment to come. There's a reason why I believe those three things were mentioned. We say a little bit more about Felix and Priscilla. Brazil is on her second marriage. Felix is on his third. Both of them had had an affair with each other while they were still married to their previous spouse, and they became so enamored with each other that they divorced their previous spouses in order to marry one another. Now. How much self-control does that show? Not much. That's Temperance. Righteous are on righteous behavior. You help me. Unrighteous, here's Felix, he's one of the most powerful men in the region. He probably thinks he is to some extent above the law. But what was the third thing Paul talked about? Judgment. Judgment that comes from God, that is no respecter of persons. See, Paul. Developed his message to fit the audience he was speaking to. And Felix responded by trembling and answered, Go that way or this time when I have convenient season, I will call for the. This is Felix's moment of salvation, or it should have been. He said the gospel preached to him. He came specifically to hear about Jesus. Paul is there being accused of crimes, and yet he turns the situation into a preaching moment. Felix is intrigued, is curious, and so he goes to Paul and he hears more about it and he is feeling conviction of the Holy Spirit. He's trembling the thought of judgment. The thought of being held accountable for the things that he had done and as he comes right up to the point of seeking forgiveness from Jesus, he backs away. Backs away. He holds Paul vs. number twenty six, hoping that somebody would give money for him so that he could let him free. But, you know, I mean, Christians are usually known as being very wealthy, especially missionaries, really, aren't you? I mean, I know you just didn't even know what to do with all the money is so much money, you didn't know what to do with it. No money came for Paul. And so he holds in verse twenty seven for two years. Paul is held and Syria. Likes his time as governors up. He's been replaced. So here comes this new guy, Festus. Sounds like a nice guy as this. Felix has an opportunity to let all of his inmates free. But, you know, the Jews have been good to him, so he wants to do them a nice thing and his nice thing. Let's keep Paul in prison. So Paul stays in prison. Felix, never, as we can see, gets same. The gospel have been preached. It's in this morning's passage. We see that Paul was committed to fulfilling God's plan for his life. He was. Confident in what God would have him to do in every situation. As an ambassador of the Kingdom of Heaven, he was to be a messenger of the gospel. If he was on trial, it was an opportunity to share the gospel if he was in prison. It was an opportunity to share the gospel. Don't you think that of Felix never had come? Paul would have been sharing the gospel with other people too? Or sure. Paul never stopped looking for opportunities to share the gospel like a little kid with a one track mind. Paul was always looking for a way to advance his mission. Your kids are starting to put together Christmas gifts lists, you know, for Santa, for mom and dad, or for grandma and grandpa, a list that might as well be written on a on a roll of toilet paper. It's so long, you know? And they start thinking about those things. I can remember we didn't have a video game system for a really long time and I really wanted an Nintendo sixty four. Super Smash Brothers, the original Super Smash Brothers. I wanted it so bad, I bugged and bugged and pleaded with my parents to get me a Nintendo and I wore them down. What happened in that incident? It's in my office, in the closet. My brother tried to take it, not that brother, a different brother, but I got it back. Paul was always looking to advance the mission of the gospel. He couldn't control the fact that he was under arrest. He couldn't control the fact that he was facing false accusations. But he could use his trial as a forum for the gospel. He couldn't control the fact that he was wrongfully imprisoned. I mean, legally under Roman law, Paul should not have been held by leaving the case open, they held him for an indefinite amount of time. But he could use that time to witness to anyone that would listen. Paul couldn't think about this. Paul couldn't control the response from Felix to the Gospel. But that didn't prevent him from sharing the gospel with him anyways. Because as we've seen, Paul knew the transformation that Jesus could bring. Paul knew the the security and the freedom and the power that comes from receiving a new identity in Christ. Once Paul had tasted it, he wanted everyone else to experience it, too. My message this morning is simple. First, if you don't know that Jesus is your savior. Wouldn't you make that decision today? You see, we all have the same problem. We're born sinners and there is a penalty for our sins. Just like if you break the law of the United States, there are penalties and consequences that come with that decision. We have broken God's law. There are penalties and consequences that come with that. You know, Jesus came. And paid that price for you. He came in and died on the cross, he lived a perfect life and gave himself for you. So you wouldn't have to do this so that you wouldn't have to suffer the consequences of your sins. Say, I believe Jesus came and died on the cross, I believe that. Have you ever asked him to forgive you? If not, why wouldn't you do that today? I mean, what would you think if I told you right now? You know what? In two thousand years, people will still be talking about your life. What if this morning you would see the testimony of this man who 20 years ago, his life was changed by Jesus? Maybe you would say, you know what, I want that to happen for me, too. I want to experience that confidence, that strength, that purpose to be so convinced of what you believe that you would speak up boldly. So you when you've experienced the freedom that comes with eternal life. You're going to want everybody else to experience it, too. Maybe this morning. You do know Jesus. You know, Jesus, as your savior, you've been saved for a long time, maybe you got saved as a child. Maybe you got saved as a teenager or an adult. But the fact of the matter is Jesus has changed your life. You are not the same as you were before the trajectory of your life was altered. Because Jesus Christ came in. If that's the case. And when was the last time you leveraged the events of your life to be a forum for you to share Jesus with someone else? Was the last time you took an opportunity or you made an opportunity to share Jesus with someone else? I think about this in the way in, you know what, there's probably somebody here. Oh, here we go again. Tell me all about Jesus. Job to church, tell him all about Jesus. That's witness, Mary, share the gospel. Well, I mean, missions conferences this week. So what else would you want me to talk about? What were you thinking? How does this how does how does this help my marriage? How does this help me be a better parent? How does this help me be a better son or daughter employee? Let me ask you this. Can we read this and maybe see it go in a different direction? I know about you, but I really don't like it when I'm falsely accused of something. Do you? Some of you are responding, so you must like it. I'll look for you on the news, I guess. We don't like that. You think there was anything in Paul's flesh that liked being falsely accused? No. He didn't look at this as well, this is unfair or worries me. No, he looked at it as an opportunity to share the gospel. Man, what are some of the things that cause problems in your marriage? You just think. You think maybe if you were more focused on sharing the gospel with people as opposed to protecting your rights, that maybe that would have an effect? Maybe if some of your parenting decisions were not based on what everybody else in the world is letting their kids do, but what is best for a family of ambassadors of Jesus Christ? What should they do to share the gospel to be a representation and an example of what Jesus can do? Don't you think that would affect your parenting? Maybe at work, you know, instead of just jumping right in with the other employees as they bash the boss and complain about every little thing and every customer that comes to the door, who doesn't, you know, do exactly the right thing to make you happy with them? Maybe instead of doing that and you just focused on, Hey, how can I share the gospel with these people? But that wouldn't change some of the experience at work. So I think this is very applicable to your marriage, your parenting, your work life, your neighborhood life, sports life, social life, whatever the case may be. Maybe even social media. Paul was confident. In the power of the gospel, he was confident in the transformation taking place in his life, and so because of that, Paul looked at every opportunity, every situation in his life as an opportunity to share the gospel, whether he was on trial, whether he was in prison, whether he was with the small or the great. Paul wanted them to know Jesus. That should be our goal and our motivation as well. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, we thank you for this day. Thank you for the opportunity. We've had to look into your word. Thank you, for example, of Paul and applaud for the change that you made in his life, the transformation that took place and how we can read and see how that transformation affected him and his purpose and his mission in life. But I pray that you would help those of us that are here who know you as our savior to be like Paul, to be totally convinced of your saving power, the difference that you've made in our life so much so that we'd be willing to. Not have to be slapped upside the face to to realize it's a gospel presentation opportunity, but we would be looking for opportunities to share the gospel. Well, if there's someone here today that doesn't know you're saving power, I pray that today would be the day that they would come and they would let somebody show them from the Bible. How their sins can be forgiven? Lord, we love you so much. Thank you for all you do for us. It's in Jesus name, I pray. Amen. Let's all stand

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