God, lead us right…because we’re determined.
MAY 3, 2022
God, lead us right…because we’re determined. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown. He doesn’t want to be your guru and he’s not trying to be your mother. He just opens the Bible and gives you the simple truth that will make you free. Steve’s a lifelong broadcaster, author, seminary professor, and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking and in fact, we’re finished, almost. I’m going to land this plane and we’re going to go to the next text, but we’ve been looking at how you know where Jesus is going, so you can follow him. And that’s true of the church and it’s true of individuals. And the normal things that we say about knowing God’s will still stand. But we’ve looked at it, kind of different way. We have seen that God prepares circumstances. We have seen that God prepares leaders. We have seen that he prepares the hearts of his people and that God provides where he leads. If at first you don’t succeed, give it up. And I don’t think that should be applied universally, but sometimes it should. If you hit that wall a thousand times and nothing moves, you were probably not called to hit that wall because God begins to do things when you’re moving in his will. And, those are good things to remember when you’re talking about your, where Jesus is going, so you can follow him. And Luke in the book of Acts gives us an insight to how the early church did that. Somebody said, when it comes to the point that only you and the enemy and God will be on the battlefield, make sure you’re on God’s side. And the Westminster Divines and that was a bunch of strong Christians. And we’re going to talk about that in the next text. But one of the, a lot of them had been tortured, were missing arms and noses when they got together and decided to make some decisions about the direction they were going in. And one of the guys at the Westminster Assembly said.
Oh God, we beseech thee to guide us aright, for we are very determined.
So, I hope what I taught you has been helpful. Now, let’s move to the next text and that’s Acts 13: 4 through 12. This is gonna offend some of us because we’re supposed to be nice. And in this particular text, the apostle Paul was not nice at all. I mean, you read what Paul said to the Galatians, when he said.
If anybody’s preaching something other than what I’m preaching, I want them to be accursed.
And then he repeated it. This is not a nice person. I, one time wrote a book, I don’t know if it’s still in print. We may have some copies here at Key Life, but it was titled No More Mr. Nice Guy. And, it was a book about, and it was not a contradiction of the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is to be present in the life of the believer, but sometimes we’re called to be bold. Sometimes we’re called to speak truth. Sometimes we’re called not to be nice. When one of the, Peter Cartwright, one of the early Christians in our culture, would come into a city and they would stand on the hill and look down on the city or the town and Cartwright would turn to one of his colleagues and he would say, I smell hell. Man, you look, I have a book in my library that’s called Bible in Pocket, Gun in Hand about the early circuit writers. And that’s true about them. You look at church history and you see people who were faithful, but who weren’t always nice. And you read about the boldness of Christians in the book of Acts and you get blown away. And so, we’re going to talk about the rest of this week and probably into next week, Christians with brass. I mean, I probably should say Christians with steel in their backbones, but at any rate, let me start at the fourth verse of the 13th chapter of Acts. And this is what Luke writes. Now, remember Paul and Barnabas have set off on the first missionary journey.
So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. When they had come through the whole island of Paphos, they came up on a certain magician, a Jewish false teacher named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) withstood them, seeking to turn away the proconsul from the faith. But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “You son of the devil, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed,
Duh, of course he did.
Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
I love the book of Acts and I love the stories that are told here. There are a lot of war stories in the book of Acts. You know what we’re going to do when we get to heaven, more than anything else, we’re going to sit, well, we’re going to praise God and worship him, that’s going to be a major part. And we’re going to do it, right. It’ll be the best choir you ever heard, the best worship band you’ve ever heard. And we’re all going to praise God. But not all the time, we’re going to do other things. Elyse Fitzpatrick in her book on heaven said.
Heaven’s going to be the place where we get to do the good stuff we wanted to do, but didn’t have time to do when we were on earth.
But mostly what we’re gonna do, is we’re gonna sit around and tell each other war stories, stories of the fight, stories of the victory, stories of how Jesus was faithful at every point. And this 13th chapter of Acts is a war story, and it really jumps out and it gets at you. So, one of the things that we want to talk about is the boldness of Christians and when it’s appropriate and how is it appropriate and how can it be expressed? And first by way of corrective to the other things that I’m going to be teaching you, I want you to notice that with Paul and Barnabas, when they went on their missionary tour, they were sent and empowered under the authority of the Holy Spirit. They were men of God and they because it was the Holy Spirit manifested the Fruit of the Spirit that Paul talks about in Galatians. There is a gentleness about them and a love and a kindness about them that you can see. But in Acts 13:4 it says.
So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went out to Seleucia.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
One of the problems with Christians sometimes, is that we are bold for the wrong reasons. We’re bold because we’re just pains, and when we become Christians, we were pains, when we were pagans and we remain pains, when we’re Christians. In this instance, Paul is speaking under the power of the Holy Spirit. And with a sort of gentleness, because the text says that the blindness that was inflicted on this magician was only for a short time. In other words, Paul said, you did bad. I’m going to fix your wagon. Break it. And then I’m going to put it back together cause you’ll be able to see later on. When we, as Christians need to recognize that one of the most dangerous sins among Christians is self-righteousness. It’s an anger that says I’m right and you’re wrong. It’s a kind of condemnation of anybody who disagrees with us. It’s an action that says to the world, follow us and we’ll make you as miserable as we are. That’s kind of sad. And so, I’m going to be talking about, we’ll start this tomorrow. I’m going to be talking about Christians with brass. But it’s important before we begin to recognize they were sent by the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit gives fruit and that fruit should be as apparent as the boldness. You can think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. For the last few days, we’ve been learning about how to know where Jesus is leading us. And today, we moved along to Acts 13:4 through 12 to discover that maybe being nice isn’t the end all be all, that we’ve been told it was. More from the second section of Acts 13 tomorrow. Don’t miss it. Hey, do you know the name Philip Yancey? Well, even if you do know him, there’s a real chance you do not know his amazing story. Recently, Phillip joined us on Steve Brown Etc. And man, what a deep and moving discussion about the journey that led him to God. We put that entire conversation on a CD and if it’s okay with you, we’ll mail it to you, for free. Just let us know where to send it by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. And if you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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