Central Baptist Church
Monday, November 20, 2017

Morning Worship Sermon

Galatians 6:17
Acts 14:19-22

Galatians 6:17 -  “From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”

Acts 14:19-22 -  “And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. 20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.  21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, 22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” 

Today we’re still looking at the marks of a Christian.  We saw last week that loyalty is one such mark.  Today we will think about courage.
It takes real courage to live the Christian life.  Remember Paul wrote these words while he was in prison, declaring that he had upon him the marks of the Lord Jesus. 
Lets look at some Biblical examples of courage :

1.  In our text we see Paul
Stoned at Lystra and left for dead, but God performed a miracle.  What will Paul do now?

Surely it would be foolish for him to return to the place of defeat, but he was not discouraged! 
He went right back to work facing the same mob that had stoned him.  Paul showed splendid courage.
Later on we find Paul in prison in Caesarea.  King Agrippa had Paul brought before him.  Now instead of speaking for himself, Paul spoke for the Lord Jesus.  What courage that took!
Paul preached in such an effective way that Agrippa was greatly impressed :

Acts 26:28 -  “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.”

It takes real courage to stand before a hostile crowd and say, “I am for Christ!”

2.  John the Baptist
He cried out against the religious leaders of his day :
Matthew 3:7 -  “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”

What courage he displayed as he faced Herod, the king.  There sits the king arrayed in royal robes, and there is John clothed in camel’s hair.  He is a simple country preacher – what does he say?  Will he sanction what the king is doing or will he take a courageous stand?
Look what he did, he pointed his finger at the king and said :

Matthew 14:4 -  “........ It is not lawful for thee to have her.”

It took courage for him to denounce the king as a sinner, but he had that courage. 

3.  Now let's look at Jesus
How courageous He was!
He stood before the howling mobs and faced the stoutest opposition yet He was not afraid. 
He stood against the mighty leaders of the Sanhedrin.
He ran the money changers out of the temple.
He was a real man of courage.

In Gethsemane, when the mob came out to arrest Him, He said :

John 18:4-6 -  “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?  5  They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.  6  As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.” 

In the face of such courage, they fell to the ground.  Folks, we need that same courage today, the courage to stand fast in the face of the world.

Let's look now at the need of  Courage

1.  We need courage in Church life
It takes courage to face the demands and responsibilities of the Christian life.  
Too many in the Church today sit and enjoy all the comforts and let the burdens fall upon others.
Some people feel that the Church is a elevator and all they need do is step into it, push a button and they will be carried to Heaven without any effort.
Folks, we’ll never have any great Christian courage while we are resting on someone else.

2.  We need courage to stand for the right
It’s easy to stand for the things that are right while you are inside the Church, but can you say “No!” out in the world?
We need enough courage to stand up for our convictions wherever we are.

How Can We Get This Courage?

1.  By realizing the presence of God
Romans 8:31 -  “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”

One day a great army came forth to capture Elisha.  His servant looked around him and was filled with fear.  He expressed that fear to Elisha in no uncertain terms.  Then Elisha prayed :

2 Kings 6:17 -  “And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha”. 

The Lord’s power is always around those who trust in Him.

When Paul was on shipboard and the ship was battling against the storm, he took command of the situation. 

Acts 27:22-26 -  “And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship.  23  For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24  Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.  25  Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.”

Paul sensed the presence of God.

Psalm 34:7 -  “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” 

We depend too much on ourselves – no wonder we lose courage!
We need to realize that God is near and that :

Romans 8:28 -  “…all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” 

2.  We can get Courage by having hope for the future
We can bear up bravely when we have hope.
Where there is no hope, courage is gone.
Hope keeps a man alive.

Ill. - Richard Wormbran tells of a night while in a German prison, after having been beaten nearly all night long that he had given up hope of lasting till day break.
    - Then the man laying beside him said, "Wormbran I have just written a song!"
    - Wormbran said that if that man could write a song during all this, he could surely hold on till day break!

Hope makes a man brave as he faces the future.
Hope sustains a sick person as he looks forward to the morning.

When we are brave and courageous others will be helped and strengthened and inspired to take up the Christian life.
Now the prerequisite to courage is a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Without Him I cannot stand against the wiles of the devil, but through Him "I can do all things!"
So the question is :
Do you know Christ as Savior and Lord of your life?  
Have you received Him into your life?

Let me share with you how you can have this relationship :