Our text is Acts 9:1-19 (a).
Children’s Message: Pastor Chad Sadorf has been including a series of Children’s Messages, based on the I Am statements of Jesus found in the Gospel of John. This week’s lesson is provided as a video; this link appears just after the Gloria Patri in the service (where it would normally occur in our church service). Click on these links for printable activity pages and a children’s bulletin to accompany this message: Gate Activity Page with Instructions, Gate Activity Page 2, and Children’s Bulletin.
Service for Family Worship:
Call to Worship: Hebrews 12:28-29; Psalm 96:8-9
28b let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.
8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!
9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!
Almighty God, we bow in your presence this morning as your people, and we rejoice in you. As your church, we want to recognize and proclaim your infinite worth and your majesty.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you are the only true God, and you alone are worthy of our praise. And this morning, while our worship should be active, oh, how we need to be still and know that you are God, as we recall the words of Jesus to his disciples that “they come apart for a little while to rest” (Mark 6:31).
Father, we recognize that you have given us the Lord’s Day to refresh and restore the hearts of your children. Many of us are so busy that our hearts have grown cold and we’ve forgotten what it was like to quiet our hearts, to sit still in your presence, and to delight in gazing upon your beauty and your perfection.
Will you guide us by Holy Spirit to bring you worship that is pleasing and acceptable in your sight as we offer it through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Corporate Scripture Reading: Luke 18:9-14
9 He [Jesus] also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Father, we have so often trivialized the gospel by failing to see the depth of our own sin. We confess that even the good works which we bring to you, are defective in both motive and performance. We have also broken your law, in thought, in word, and in deed, in order to please ourselves and other people.So Father, help us today to know the joy of true repentance, as we look to Christ in faith, and rest in his perfect righteousness. Forgive us for the totality of our sin. Transform us, and sanctify us by your Word, and through your Spirit, for your glory and for our good. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Our Lord Jesus became a curse for us, so that we might be freely justified by God’s grace through the instrument of faith. This is one of the wonderful promises we have in the gospel. Glory be to God!
Affirmation of Faith: Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 10, Of Effectual Calling
All those—and only those—whom God has predestined to life, he is pleased to call effectually in his appointed and accepted time, by his Word and Spirit. He calls them from the state of sin and death—in which they are by nature—to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ. In this calling, God enlightens their minds spiritually and savingly, so that they understand the things of God. He takes away their hearts of stone and gives them hearts of flesh, renews their wills, and by his almighty power turns them to what is good and effectually draws them to Jesus Christ. Yet he does this in such a way that they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.
This effectual call is from God’s free and special grace alone, and not from anything at all that God foresees in man, who is entirely passive in it, until—being made alive and renewed by the Holy Spirit—he is enabled to answer the call and embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.
I Am the Gate of the Sheep and the Good Shepherd, Part 1 (Click here for a link to the video of the Children’s Message) (You may want to take a moment to pray with your child or children for your family, your church family, our country and world.)
Offertory: Hebrews 13:15-16
15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
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Pastoral Prayer: (Click here for the Pastoral Prayer)
Sermon: An Unlikely Convert (Click here to watch or to listen to the sermon)
Acts 9:1-19 (a)
I. A hostile man is confronted
II. A broken man is commissioned
III. A brother is comforted
Benediction (Click here to hear this week’s benediction)
Questions for Further Discussion
- Read some of the other passages related to Saul’s conversion and note similarities and differences: Acts 22:1-21; 26:12-23; Galatians 1:11-24; Philippians 3:4-11; 1 Timothy 1:12-17.
- What does this passage teach about God’s grace in salvation? Effectual calling?
- What does this passage teach about Jesus?
- What practical lessons might be learned from Ananias’s inclusion in this story?
- What about Jesus’s commission of Saul most resonates with you?
Lesson 5: I Am the Gate of the Sheep and the Good Shepherd, Part 1
For the past few weeks, we have been learning about the seven I AM statements Jesus made, which are recorded in the book of John.
Each time Jesus says “I AM,” we are reminded that he is God. Each I AM statement tells us a little more about who Jesus is.
So far, we have learned that Jesus says:
• I AM the bread of Life,
• I Am the resurrection and life
• I AM the light of the world
Today we will learn about another I AM statement that Jesus says twice in chapter 10 of The Gospel of John.
For the last few weeks we have been learning about the I Am sayings of Jesus recorded in the Bible in the book of John.
We have been learning about who Jesus says he is. When Jesus says, “I am,” he is saying that He is God.
We started off the series with Jesus saying, “I AM the bread of life”. For Easter we looked at Jesus saying, “I AM the resurrection and the life”. Last week we looked at Jesus saying, “I AM the light of the world.”
Today we are going to look at Jesus saying, “I AM the gate.” Jesus, says this twice in John 10:1-10.
What I want you to know is that when Jesus says, “I AM the gate” he invites you to come to him in faith. You have to walk through that gate and listen for his voice calling to you, to come and follow him, to love him, and to know that your sins are forgiven and your life is filled with good things.
And if you love him – he says he will keep you safe and protect you from harm. He will feed you and make sure you are okay because he is the good shepherd who loves his sheep. Jesus is the gate to eternal life – That is great news!
Scripture Passage: from the New International Version (NIV)
1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.