Jan 15, 2017 |40
The Great Feedback Loop of Faith
01.15.17 | 40
The Great Feedback Loop of Faith
God uses sinners to deliver the Gospel of Jesus Christ to other sinners. It may seem counterintuitive, but it shows how God can save anyone, no matter how unlikely it may be. Does this sound familiar? Pastor Noel Jesse Heikkinen explains how God used Apostle Paul (formerly known as Saul), who was the chief persecutor of Christians to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the masses. Through Paul’s encounter with Jesus Christ, we get to see how God uses a sinner, who still remains a sinner, but now saved through Christ, to bring other sinners to Jesus Christ.
Acts 9:1-14, 1 Timothy 1:12-16, 2 Timothy 2:1-2
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who are traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.”
Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”
But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”
But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened.
For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus.
And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon his name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.
And when he had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.
We all have a driving force in our lives, for some of us it’s impatience, self-protection, or the pursuit of success. What fuels your life?…
We tend to use good to describe circumstances that are positive but not great. So, what does it mean that God is described as good…
There is a critical link between patience and forgiveness. Do you struggle to forgive those who hurt you? Pastor Noel Jesse Heikkinen reminds us of…
Jesus wants to be the source of our joy which means he wants us to enjoy Him. How’s your joy? Pastor Noel Heikkinen reminds us…
By The Spirit
Being a follower of Jesus is not an activity we do. So what does it mean to be a Christian? Pastor Noel Jesse Heikkinen begins…
Inside [and] Out
The Gospel of Jesus is a message of hope and reconciliation for the world. For that reason, we are committed to planting churches in Michigan,…
Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory, who stepped in to His creation. Have you looked to Jesus with your life and accepted His gift…
United in and Honoring Diversity
Each one of us carries a unique and valid life experience. How have you looked beyond yourself and to the cultural perspective of others? Pastor…
Biblically Holistic and Humble
The bible is the very inspired Word of God and the outline for how followers of Jesus are to live out their faith. Do you…
Gospel Focused and Motivated
The Gospel states that we are loved by Jesus and set free from sin. How does that truth impact how you live your life? Pastor…
As a church family, we are called to love God and love others. How have we as a church failed in that? Pastor Noel Jesse…
Stay connected on the Riv app.
Series Update Emails
We'll send you a weekly email with study guides from the message, event updates, and helpful links to stay connected with the Riv fam.