New Heart, New Life, New Direction

The Freedom of Wise Limits

Acts 9


I.         Review - Heart Problems are THE problem in life (Jer 17:9)


A.      Everybody has problems – inside kind of problems

B.       Everybody thinks they are the way they are because it’s the way they were born – short, tall, ugly, blond

C.       Some people excuse their drinking because they think they were born to drink

D.      Some smoke thinking the same thing…

E.       Some rebel because they think it is in their genes

F.       Some murderers believe they can’t help it

G.       And the truth is that they CAN’T help it – but I want to introduce to you someone who can!

H.      The truth is, the problem is not genetic, it is in the heart! And it can be cured! That’s why we have this time this week!


II.       Preview


A.      Christianity is three things


1.        a New Heart

2.        A New Life

3.        A New Direction


B.       It is proven by the events of the life of Saul of Tarsus


III.     Introduction – The Christian Life is a New Life (2Cor 5:17)

IV.    Message


A.      The Christian’s New Heart (Acts 9:1-6)


1.        We know something is wrong with us – something is defective – something that just goes against God – sins, and doesn’t know how to stop

2.        What we need is a whole new heart (not a physical heart, but something deeper, and more important) – but how can we get such a thing?

3.        Saul of Tarsus is a great example

4.        Had such fury, and anger and hatred towards Jesus and Christians

5.        Meets up with the living Jesus - stops Saul dead in his tracks

6.        Saul surrenders right on the spot – calls Jesus LORD

7.        Saul looked the same at first on the outside, but was now clearly changed on the inside


a.        Now a follower of Jesus – a disciple – a learner

b.       Now at peace – only has ONE enemy now – Satan, not every other religion!

c.        Now very comfortable with other Christian – HIS crowd


8.        All that happened because Jesus changed his HEART!

9.        God offers it – to anyone who seriously wants it (Ezek 36:22)

10.     Jesus calls it being born again – in the heart (John 3:3)


B.       The Christian’s New Life (Acts 9:19-22)


1.        With Christians instead of with religious people

2.        Preaching CHRIST instead of hatred and religion

3.        Living DIFFERENTLY than he used to – people saw he was different


a.        Different loves

b.       Different priorities

c.        Different Habits

d.       The truth is, a change in the heart will change a whole life – as is proven by when you are in love!!!


4.        How did it happen again?


a.        1Cor 6:19,20

b.       John 5:24

c.        John 10:10


C.       The Christian’s New Direction (Acts 13:1-5)


1.        Jesus is not something that you just ADD to your life – He takes over the life – like a coach takes over your life when you join the Olympics

2.        He doesn’t share you kindly – just like a girlfriend!

3.        Before Saul was born again, he lived for himself, and really, at Satan’s beckon call – and he lived FULL throttle

4.        Now, since he has been forgiven and brought into the family of God by a new birth, he lives for God – also full throttle

5.        Two totally different directions!

6.        Now that you are headed in this new direction (you better be, or if not, you need to get saved), you need to “burn the bridges back to the old life – they are a powerful pull on your life


a.        By witnessing/telling folks about Jesus the Messiah

b.       By repenting/hating the old life you used to live

c.        By Dumping things that keep pulling you down – music, books, porn, TV shows

d.       By replacing all that with good stuff, Godly stuff


7.        Some New Things you need in your life now


a.        Time in the Bible – chapter by chapter

b.       A Bible Believing Church and Youth Group

c.        Be at home with your family more

d.       Some new friends – best friends may be right here

e.        Prayer and praise instead of frustration, anger and fighting


V.       Conclusion


A.      Christianity is three things


1.        A New Heart

2.        A New Life

3.        A New Direction


B.       It is proven by the events of the life of Saul of Tarsus

C.       And it is available to everyone of you

D.      Who of you have accepted this free gift of eternal life?


Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig