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Manage episode 219082804 series 1539172
By Ben Poole similar to Andy Stanley, Timothy Keller, Judah Smith, Rick Warren, Craig Groeschel,, Ben Poole similar to Andy Stanley, Timothy Keller, Judah Smith, Rick Warren, and Craig Groeschel. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
When God Speaks to Paul Last week Review. 1.When God Speaks he chooses correctly. 2.When God speaks it isn’t always good news. 3.When God Speaks it doesn’t always make sense. 4.When God speaks it’s to bring us into His plan. 5. When God Speaks you respond with. Speak your servant is listening. (Samuel) When God Speaks to Paul Paul’s Self Biography. Acts 22:1-5 Paul stands trial in Jerusalem. 1 “Brothers and esteemed fathers,” Paul said, “listen to me as I offer my defense.” 2When they heard him speaking in their own language,a the silence was even greater. 3Then Paul said, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, and I was brought up and educated here in Jerusalem under Gamaliel. During this time of Pompey (67 BC), Tarsus was made capital over the Roman province of Cilicia, and Jews began to receive Roman citizenship. It is located on the Tarsus River, about 12 miles from the Mediterranean Sea. Antony, who controlled the eastern provinces, declared the city free in 42 BC. Tarsus continued to receive special privileges under Augustus, who exempted the city from imperial taxation because Athenodorus, his teacher and friend, was a Tarsian. Tarsus grew into a cultural and intellectual center. Stoic philosophers like Athenodorus, Zeno, Antipater, and Nestor lived in the city in the first century AD. (stoicism as a philosophy means you take control of your emotions and don’t allow them to control you) As his student, I was carefully trained in our Jewish laws and customs. I became very zealous to honor God in everything I did, just like all of you today. 4And I persecuted the followers of the Way, hounding some to death, arresting both men and women and throwing them in prison. 5The high priest and the whole council of elders can testify that this is so. For I received letters from them to our Jewish brothers in Damascus, authorizing me to bring the Christians from there to Jerusalem, in chains, to be punished. Gamaliel was a first-century Jewish rabbi and a leader in the Jewish Sanhedrin. Gamaliel is mentioned a couple of times in Scripture as a famous and well-respected teacher. Indirectly, Gamaliel had a profound effect on the early church. Gamaliel was a Pharisee. The first biblical reference to Rabbi Gamaliel is found in Acts 5. The scene is a meeting of the Sanhedrin, where John and Peter are standing trial. After having warned the apostles to cease preaching in the name of Jesus, the Jewish council becomes infuriated when Simon Peter defiantly replies, “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29). Peter had no intention of ceasing to proclaim the gospel, regardless of the possible repercussions. Peter’s defiance enrages the council, who begin to seek the death of the apostles. Into the fray steps Gamaliel. The rabbi, “who was honored by all the people” (Acts 5:34), first orders the apostles to be removed from the room. Gamaliel then encourages the council to be cautious in dealing with Jesus’ followers: “In the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God” (Acts 5:38–39). The Sanhedrin is persuaded by Gamaliel’s words (verse 40). That the council acquiesced to his advice speaks to the influence that Gamaliel possessed. Later rabbis lauded Gamaliel for his knowledge, but he may be better known for his most famous pupil—another Pharisee named Saul of Tarsus (Acts 22:3), who later became the apostle Paul. It was under the tutelage of Rabbi Gamaliel that Paul developed an expert knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures. Paul’s educational and professional credentials allowed him to preach in the synagogues wherever he traveled (see Acts 17:2), and his grasp of Old Testament history and law aided his presentation of Jesus Christ as the One who had fulfilled the Law (Matthew 5:17). Gamaliel is also mentioned by the historian Josephus, who wrote of the nobility of Gamaliel’s son, Simon (Vita, 38). Josephus’ description of Gamaliel’s family is consistent with the picture we see of him in the book of Acts. The sources that we do possess, it is clear that Gamaliel and his family were revered as men of wisdom. In God’s sovereign plan, this Jewish rabbi preserved the lives of the apostles in the early church and helped equip the greatest Christian missionary. Saul Acts 9:1-22 Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. 2 He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains. 3 As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” 5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! 8 Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. 9 He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink. 6“As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me. 7I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 8“‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked. “And the voice replied, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene,b the one you are persecuting.’ 9The people with me saw the light but didn’t understand the voice speaking to me. 10“I asked, ‘What should I do, Lord?’ “And the Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything you are to do.’ 11“I was blinded by the intense light and had to be led by the hand to Damascus by my companions.12A man named Ananias lived there. He was a godly man, deeply devoted to the law, and well regarded by all the Jews of Damascus. 13He came and stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight.’ And that very moment I could see him! 14“Then he told me, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak. 15For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard. 16What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.’ 17“After I returned to Jerusalem, I was praying in the Temple and fell into a trance. 18I saw a vision of Jesusc saying to me, ‘Hurry! Leave Jerusalem, for the people here won’t accept your testimony about me.’ 19“‘But Lord,’ I argued, ‘they certainly know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. 20And I was in complete agreement when your witness Stephen was killed. I stood by and kept the coats they took off when they stoned him.’ 21“But the Lord said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles!’” 22The crowd listened until Paul said that word. Then they all began to shout, “Away with such a fellow! He isn’t fit to live!” 23They yelled, threw off their coats, and tossed handfuls of dust into the air. 1. When God Speaks he knocks you off your high horse. a. I grow suspicious of people who are always saying God told them this and that and its always about them. b. Paul was called into glorious difficulty 2. When God Speaks it changes you a. Saul- Asked for; inquired by God b. Became blinded. c. Paul- Small & Humble. 3. When God Speaks you respond with His Mission. a. Saul becomes Paul and changes from a Racist Gentile hater to the Apostles to the Gentiles. b. Paul becomes a missionary moved by the Holy Spirit. People who have changed at salvation. Cruz was raised in Puerto Rico. His parents were heavily involved in Santeria, and as such, Nicky was the victim of repeated physical abuse and rejection at their hands. In an attempt to escape his violent upbringing, Nicky fled to New York City in the mid 50s where he soon got caught up in the gang violence that was sweeping the city. Fearless and seemingly immune to physical pain, Cruz rose through the ranks of the notorious Mau Mau gang in Fort Greene, Brooklyn to become their War Lord. Cruz’ life was a downward spiral of violence and dysfunction. Stabbed 16 people. A court-ordered psychiatrist told the court and Nicky that he was “doomed…finished…on a one-way trip to jail, the electric chair and hell.” Then one day a skinny preacher – David Wilkerson – came to the war-torn streets of Brooklyn delivering a message to Nicky – “Jesus loves you, Nicky.” Cruz threatened to kill the preacher, but several weeks later at a rally at the St. Nicholas Arena in NYC – Cruz surrendered his life to God and exchanged his weapons for a Bible. For the past 50+ years, Nicky has been traveling around the world reaching tens of millions of people with his miraculous testimony. His life story has been told in the best-selling book, The Cross and the Switchblade, and in the movie by the same title, which starred Pat Boone and Erik Estrada. Cruz continues to minister in inner cities, prisons, and stadiums personally speaking to hundreds of thousands annually.