October 10, 2010
TO OUR VISITORS
The family of God here at Dowagiac Church of Christ wishes to extend to you a warm welcome. If you have questions about our worship services and why we do what we do, we will be glad to give you a biblical answer. The uniqueness of the Church of Christ is that we are trying to restore to the best of our ability those things that we see the first century church doing. We are also working hard at building the spirit, unity, and love that Jesus taught and prayed for. We have no clergy, but are working together as equal co-workers trying to serve one another and the area in which we live. Come study with us, grow with us, and serve with us as we strive to do God's will in all things.
REMEMBER CHILDREN'S WORSHIP: Our services today will start with singing, prayer, and communion. After the communion our children will be dismissed to the fellowship area for a lesson at their level while the adults listen to the sermon for today. Parents need to decide whether they want their children to stay with them or go to the children's worship, but we would encourage all younger children who can not understand the adult lesson to go and have a lesson which will be at their level. Our goal is to have lOO% of what we do here understandable by lOO% of us.
Our love and sympathy goes out to Jim Harasewicz and his family at the passing of his mother Madge this past Sunday afternoon. The funeral was yesterday.
Keep the Mathis family in your prayers. Brad's bone marrow transplant was delayed until this next Tuesday because of lab test delays. This is a delicate time for him and the whole family. Brad is Harold and Pauline's grandson--24 years old.
Dave Pickens has made a question box for us which is in the lobby. We encourage you to write any Bible questions you have on a slip of paper and leave it in the box. We will use your questions and suggestions to determine what sermons, classes, and bulletin articles are used in the weeks and months ahead. This is an opportunity for you to shape what we study and learn about.
WHAT SAUL SAW
Paul--was a great tool of God.
--Wrote most of the letters of the New TestamentPAUL SAW THAT HE WAS IGNORANT.
--Was a great teacher/preacher
--Did not just happen. We too need to see some things
1 Timothy 1:12-13PAUL SAW HE WAS A SINNER.
Paul obtained mercy (verse 16) and so do we.Words--ignorant vs stupid vs crazy
Paul had a good education (Acts 22:3).
Educated does not mean you are not ignorant.Paul was religious--Galatians 1:14.
Being religious does not mean you are right.When Paul saw his ignorance he did something about it.
Paul left being a leader in Judaism--great sacrifice.
What do we do about our ignorance?
1 Timothy 1:15PAUL SAW HE HAD TO BREAK WITH PAST VALUES
Did not hide behind conscience or rationalization--Acts 23: 1
We cannot compare ourselves to others.Why is it so hard to admit we are sinners? Romans 3:23
Look what Paul was rooted in.
Colossians 2:8; Matthew 15:9PAUL SAW A GREAT WORK BEFORE HIM
How is your past holding you back?
Paul had limitations--1 Corinthians 2:1-5.WHAT WE MUST SEE
Paul had his own struggles--Romans 7:14-8:1.
Paul finished his course--2 Timothy 4:6-8.
Realize that we are ignorant--do something about it.
Come face to face with the fact that we are sinners.
Realize we must break with traditional values, teaching.
Realize a great work is before us.
THE COMMITTED JAILER
One of the most interesting stories in the book of Acts is the story of the jailer in Acts 16:26-40. Paul had been arrested and put in jail in Philippi, a Roman city. The jailer followed Roman law. In fact when he realized that an earthquake had broken the stocks which Paul had been chained in, and thought that in all probability Paul had escaped, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself as Roman law said he should.
The charges against Paul had been that he was a Jew who had troubled the city (verse 20) by teaching things Romans could not observe (verse 21). Paul and Silas had sung hymns, prayed, and everyone in the prison had heard them (verse 25). The jailer had heard them too, and when he realizes Paul and his companions had not fled and that he does not have to kill himself he asks a strange question: "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Paul does not launch into a long sermon but he does tell him about "the word of the Lord" (verse 32) and brings that word to everyone in the house. It is the middle of the night, Paul and his associates are bleeding and wounded, but in spite of all that, the jailer and his whole house are baptized immediately (verse 33).
There are a lot of lessons here. The urgency of baptism is obvious. It would have been much more convenient to wait until the warmth of day. Baptism is not something that should be put off, because it is how we come in contact with the blood of Christ. Acting on what you know is another lesson that should jump out at us. The jailer could have found lots of ways to rationalize what he had seen. The fact that he connected Paul's singing and praying to the breaking of his bonds is a good lesson for us.
It is also important to see the jailer's commitment. When he becomes a Christian it alters his life. He takes Paul into his home, feeds him (verse34) and stands by him. I would love to know what happened next for the jailer. I have a feeling that he became a great missionary for the work of the Lord, dealing with people who were down and out. The challenge to us is whether we really act on what we believe? Do we think that living as God has called us to live is important? Does our household live as the jailer's did? Do we grow and learn and worship and serve as a family unit according to God's word and will? It surely was not easy for the jailer, but he put God first in his life and God blessed him for it. How can we do any less?