Encounter With God – Gospel in Life
Sermon

Encounter With God

Tim Keller |  November 26, 1995

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Topics:
  • Salvation
  • Understanding the Gospel
Duration:
44:24
Scripture:
Acts 9:1-8, 17-19
SKU:
RS 63-12

Acts 9:1–8, 17–19

When Saul of Tarsus became Saint Paul, he showed us what it truly means to change from a non-Christian to a believer. This kind of change was common among early Christians and holds lessons for us today. It’s important to understand this change and try to live like Paul.

1. Everyone needs to become a Christian

Saul was a very moral and religious man, but he still needed to become a Christian. This shows that being moral isn’t enough — we need to have faith in Jesus. It’s not about how strong our faith is, but who our faith is in. Jesus himself said that everyone needs to change and become a Christian.

2. Becoming a Christian involves using your brain

Being a Christian is more than just changing your behavior. It starts with thinking about the historical evidence for Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. There’s a lot of historical proof and eyewitness accounts that support Christianity, but we need to be open-minded enough to accept this evidence. To become a Christian, we need to be willing to think hard and let the facts guide our beliefs.

3. Becoming a Christian means seeing spiritual things

One of the key parts of being a Christian is realizing that you were spiritually blind before. Meeting Jesus, like Saul did, often symbolizes gaining spiritual sight — you start to see aspects of faith like God’s holiness, his love, and the depth of sin. This realization, which goes beyond just thinking and evidence, is a key part of becoming a Christian.

4. Becoming a Christian is a process

Becoming a Christian usually takes time and involves struggle and doubt, as it did for Paul. His journey began with realizing his own flaws and need for mercy, and was deeply affected by seeing Stephen’s strong faith despite persecution. This shows that our own journeys to faith are shaped by God’s work in our lives and the influence of other believers, and how we respond to difficulties in life can show the truth of Christianity.

5. Becoming a Christian is accepting the gospel

The gospel shows us that we’re more sinful than we thought, but also more loved than we could have hoped. This realization, that we’ve been fighting against Christ in trying to control our own lives, but are still deeply loved by him to the point of his own death, changes everything. It brings us closer to others and emphasizes the need for everyone to become a Christian and accept the personal nature of the gospel, no matter how moral we are or what we’ve done in the past.

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