Last night Bethany and I attended a church meeting up in Lawson where one of the elders from our church (Christ Fellowship) was preaching. I am so thankful that we were able to go to this as it was such a blessing. Before going I had prayed that God would really speak to me through the preaching of His Word that night, and He definitely answered that prayer. Here are my notes from the first session. Lord willing, I’ll be posting my notes from the other session soon.
Acts 16:11-15 ~ The Conversion of Lydia
Four things that always happens when God makes a Christian:
1) The gospel of Jesus Christ is preached
~ Throughout the book of Acts the main emphasis is “Jesus is the risen Lord who is coming to judge the world. You must repent of your sins and believe in Him.” They did not go around saying “Jesus loves you” or “Jesus died for you”
~ All men are born sinners – selfish, God-despising rebels. God is righteous. God sent His Son, the God-man, to save sinners. When Christ died on the cross the wrath of God was poured out on Him. God’s wrath toward His people has now been spent, exhausted, and satisfied.
2) The listener repents and believes
~ To repent is to forsake what you once loved, and love what you once hated.
~ Faith is not a correctly worded prayer. Faith is not a walk down the aisle. Faith is not feeling sorry for your wrong doings. These are not the response to the gospel that we find in the Word of God, and we are not to find our assurance of salvation in these things. Faith is giving up on yourself and putting your trust in Christ.
3) The Lord gives life to a dead soul – Regeneration
~ How did Lydia believe? God opened her heart (verse 14)
~ Since the Almighty God is the one who saves sinners, that shows us how helpless we are! Yet, since God is the one who saves sinners, there is hope for the worst of sinners.
4) The believer will follow Christ
~Lydia was immediately baptized (verse 15). Baptism is a first act of obedience once we have been saved and is very important to Christ.
~True believers love the church and other believers.
~True believers are interested in more than just the benefits of the cross. They are not just believers to escape hell and gain heaven. True believers hate their sin and desire holiness.
~It is impossible to be a Christian if your life is not characterized by a growing in holiness.
What is the application to our lives from this?
1) Examine yourself
~Has God made you a Christian? Do you love the gospel, and have you renounced your sin?
~If you are not following Christ, you are not a follower.
2) Make Bible reading a priority.
~Whether you are a Christian and already love the Word or an unbeliever this is so important!
3) If you are a believer, proclaim the Good News!
~Proclaim with urgency
~Proclaim without man-made strategies
~Be faithful in proclaiming and remember that God is the one who opens the hearts of men
Has God made you a Christian?