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Grace Summit Community Church is a nondenominational church which focuses on authentically living out what the Bible teaches. It’s also a church with a big heart—toward its members, guests, and those in our community.
Grace Summit leadership and members desire to make a difference in our world by demonstrating through our lives that God is real, that He loves people and that He wants a relationship with each person. The mindset of “making room for more” underlies the plans and activities of Grace Summit as we strive to include and connect with more people in all we do. We’d love to have you be a part of what God is doing here at Grace Summit!
This Week's Message
Humility And The Gospel Message
God, thank You for taking on the nails, and the shedding of the blood – that is humility. May Your will be done.
Every time I see that video – it is a powerful image to me – it goes will with the passage we are going to go over.
II. Intro: (Show Video) 5 min.
The Bible describes humility as meekness, lowliness an absence of self. God places a high value on humility.
For you save a humble people,
but the haughty eyes you bring down.
God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble...
Humility is the linchpin to us serving God to the fullest of our God given abilities. No matter the circumstances or situations we may find ourselves in. Humility is what Paul had to demonstrate in his situation now before Festus the Governor after two years on Trial with Governor Felix. For nothing he did wrong or broke the law. It takes HUMILITY, to endure this mistreatment humility.
III. Focus Of Scripture: Acts 25 (Pew Bible Pg.792)
Paul before Festus
25 Festus then, having arrived in the province, three days later went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea.2 And the chief priests and the leading men of the Jews brought charges against Paul, and they were urging him, 3 requesting a [a]concession against [b]Paul, that he might [c]have him brought to Jerusalem (at the same time, setting an ambush to kill him on the way). 4 Festus then answered that Paul was being kept in custody at Caesarea and that he himself was about to leave shortly. 5 “Therefore,” he *said, “let the influential men among you [d]go there with me, and if there is anything wrong [e]about the man, let them [f]prosecute him.”
6 After he had spent not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caesarea, and on the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. 7 After Paul arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him which they could not prove, 8 while Paul said in his own defense, “I have committed no offense either against the Law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar.” 9 But Festus,wishing to do the Jews a favor, answered Paul and said, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and[g]stand trial before me on these charges?” 10 But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you also very well know. 11 If, then, I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar.” 12 Then when Festus had conferred with [h]his council, he answered, “You have appealed to Caesar, to Caesar you shall go.”
13 Now when several days had elapsed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea [i]and paid their respects to Festus. 14 While they were spending many days there, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, “There is a man who was left as a prisoner by Felix; 15 and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. 16 I answered them that it is not the custom of the Romans to hand over any man before the accused meets his accusers face to face and has an opportunity to make his defense against the charges. 17 So after they had assembled here, I did not delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought before me. 18 When the accusers stood up, they began bringing charges against him not of such crimes as I was expecting, 19 but theysimply had some points of disagreement with him about their own [j]religion and about a dead man, Jesus, whom Paul asserted to be alive. 20 Being at a loss how to investigate [k]such matters, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these matters. 21 But when Paulappealed to be held in custody for [l]the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him to be kept in custody until I send him to Caesar.” 22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I also would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he *said, “you shall hear him.”
Paul before Agrippa
23 So, on the next day when Agrippa came [m]together with Bernice amid great pomp, and entered the auditorium [n]accompanied by the [o]commanders and the prominent men of the city, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. 24 Festus *said, “King Agrippa, and all you gentlemen here present with us, you see this man about whom all the people of the Jews appealed to me, both at Jerusalem and here, loudly declaring that he ought not to live any longer. 25 But I found that he had committednothing worthy of death; and since he himself appealed to [p]the Emperor, I decided to send him.26 [q]Yet I have nothing definite about him to write to my lord. Therefore I have brought him before youall and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after the investigation has taken place, I may have something to write. 27 For it seems absurd to me in sending a prisoner, not to indicate also the charges against him.”
IV. Points Of Focus:
Paul’s Humility And Others Authority
Paul’s Humility And The Gospel Message
Persecution Comes With Humility
How To Become Humble
1. Paul’s Humility And Others Authority V.V8-11,21
- Being accused of breaking the law falsely, he did not lose his cool and demand that he should be released. If it had been me, I’d have been like – I didn’t do anything! You guys are crazy!
- He pleaded his case with humility V11 If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die.
- Paul was willing to be put to death if he broke the law- now that’s humility.
See humility moves us to respect authorities even when being wronged. Humility does not demands it complies, it is enduring injustice without resentment. This is what Paul did for the sake of the Gospel. His goal was to get to Rome. Chp.27 Paul Sails For Rome
To me, this does not look right – but that is what God wanted him to go through.
Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. (It was wise for Paul to cooperate with the authorities.) And it was Christ like humility that inspired him to comply! When we comply, it moves us to do God’s will.
2. Paul’s Humility And The Gospel Message V.V11,12,18,19
- Since Paul knew Roman Law, he knew that if he appealed to “Caesar”. That Festus would be moved to grant his request, since he was a Roman citizen. V.V11,12
- Paul’s humility moved him to embrace his situation of a two year imprisonment. Because his goal was to be on mission for God, and “testify in Rome”. Chp.23:11
- Paul was blamed by his accusers for speaking “about a dead man named Jesus” and claimed that he was alive. V.V18,19 Now that was true! If someone is going to accuse you, have them accuse you for something that is true!
See humility moves us to embrace, or endure our circumstances. No matter how crazy they may be, because of humility we are determine, we are fixed and focus, to be on mission for God and share the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Regardless of our personal dilemma. (Just like Paul)
With humility comes persecution! There is a scene from Rocky – I love Rocky – I have them all – Rocky 3 – they interviewed Mr. T – what do you predict? PAIN! If you are going to serve God, what do I predict? Pain!
3. Persecution Comes With Humility Chp.24:27,V14
- The persecution that Paul went through was Hostile with a two-year imprisonment - ill treatment. He was falsely accused, sought after to be murdered by 40 men.
- Constantly questioned as though they were trying to catch him in a lie.
- Jesus went through it – what makes you think we are exempt?
Truly persecution comes with Christ like humility. Persecution comes from the enemy of our souls to test our humility. To see if it is Christ like humility or if it is fake external façade of humility, our flesh only produces that. And if it is the flesh humility, the enemy of our souls can get us distracted with his barrage of attacks. The enemy wants to get you off-track.
We were coming back from Chicago – fun times with friends – and I have issues on the road… My wife is Jiminy Cricket snapping me back to reality. This red car cut us off – I saw red – and I gunned it – and my wife said, RAY! Let it go! Let it go!
And God allows those things to happen to build Christ-like humility in me.
Real Christ humility is developed through the firer trials of dealing with life issues in obedient to Christ. Job 23:10
When they try gold, they heat it up and scrape off the impurities. If you’re going through something, God is testing you like gold.
2 Timothy 3:12
Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
Do you desire to live godly? You will be persecuted! Wow!
10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Here in America, we think we have rights, to not go through those things. But that is not what Jesus said. If you’re going through something – ask God to give you the strength to be humble – because God wants you to be like Christ.
If you are going to seek to be like Christ – you will go through persecution – and it will be painful – life issues – job issues – home issues. But even in the midst of all that – the goal is to share the gospel – like Paul, ‘to get to Rome’
4. How To Become Humble
1 Peter 5:6
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
• Be Obedient – obedience means obedience! We just got a dog. We had to get rid of one – I cried that day – and we didn’t have a dog for a long time. He is ten weeks old – We call him Benzey Benny Benton – mixture of a pinscher and a Chihuahua – and this dog is more obedient than any of my kids. At 8 weeks he was potty-trained. This dog is OBEDIENT! Stands by the door when I get home from work… - I ask him – are you sure you’re a puppy?
If we are going to be humble – you have to be obedient.
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
• Why do you do what you do in ministry or at your job? Why?
• Do nothing from selfish ambition
• Count others more important than your self
How do we become humble? * Look first at the interest others
• This mind-set follows Christ example
• Bankrupt yourself and take on the form of Christ
• Nail your flesh to the Cross daily
• This is not a one-time thing – it is a daily thing. I have to choose – to walk in humility
• Humility is hard for me – my family was going to the lakeshore on the 4th of July – had a great spot from last year – but they would not let us stay there – we were parked – and the cops were coming over – and as I’m getting ready to go, this officer in a motorcycle had the gall to bang on my window – and yell at me – and I yelled back – and my wife yells, RAY! I apologized – I got everyone else riled up – and I said, that’s not right. I did not respond in humility – in the heat of the moment – if we are walking with God in private, when the heat comes, we are able to respond the right way.
V. In Closing: (Paul humility meant he had to bear his cross being falsely accused for the sake of the Gospel. His humility helped him to overcome his persecution. That’s what humility does!
I would like to conclude this teaching with a interesting article I read called; “NAILS” By Michael M. Smith
(Show on screens/ Play Instrumental; I Need You Now, by Smoky Norfol)
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23
Why are these familiar words of Jesus so hard to put into practice?
We know the cross was an instrument of death that gave Jesus no comfort. We know too that Jesus took up His cross of His own free will. No one forced him to do it.
It was not a circumstance beyond His control, but a decision he made, like our early morning decision to “take up our cross daily.” We tell the Lord in the beginning of the day that we want to do His will regardless of the cost. Yet we often find by nightfall that our cross, so earnestly accepted in the morning hours, has been dropped somewhere along the way.
Why is our cross so difficult to hold on to, while Christ persevered to the end? What did the cross of Christ have that ours lacks? Nails.
When Jesus let the soldiers drive the nails into His hands and feet, the cross took on new meaning. It was no longer simply a burden or a mere symbol of death. It was death as reality. The nails were not very large, but they made the cross very real. A cross, after all, is not for simply carrying around. It is something you get nailed to.
Those few nails Jesus accepted were small, but painful. Have you noticed the three or four “nails” that are offered you each day? They are momentary situations in which you have a choice to make: not exploding in anger at the driver who cut sharply in front of you on your way to work; helping someone when you’re rushed for time and don’t feel like helping; being honest even if it cost you time, money, or position; not insisting on having things done your way, though you’re convinced you are right.
The nails are the cross what your obedience is to Christ’s Lordship. Obeying means always saying yes to these nails---so small, yet so essential.
When you take up your cross today, don’t forget the nails.
(Set Up For Communion)
If you have never accepted Christ – let this be your first act of humility. If you are a believer – it is your reasonable service to serve Him in humility. If you serve Him – you’ve got to be humble -