Saved for a Reason

How to Serve the Lord

Acts 26:12-18
Audio MP3

Pastor Craig Ledbetter                                           

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland

1 Feb, 2009  AM


I.        Introduction (Acts 26:12-18)


A.      Look at the Apostle Paul in Acts 26


1.       Standing in front of king Agrippa

2.       In trouble for starting churches, and preaching that Jesus is Lord of all

3.       Giving his testimony of salvation

4.       Hundreds of people are gathered in that great judgment hall, listening

5.       And Paul clearly says that he was saved for a reason!


B.      There are basically three reasons why a person gets born again


1.       The selfish reason is to be saved from a place called HELL

2.       The spiritual reason is to be able to worship God like He deserves

3.       The best reason is to be able to serve God, just like Jesus


C.      In other words, God saves a lost, wicked, selfish, sinner, to serve; to do something good; to work for God


1.       To make a servant out of him – a minister (26:16)

2.       To get him to open his mouth and tell people what Jesus did for him – a witness

3.       To send Paul to people who very different than him – the Gentiles

4.       To open people’s eyes to the truth of the Scriptures (26:18)

5.       To turn people from darkness to light

6.       To pull people away from the power of Satan, unto God

7.       To help people obtain forgiveness

8.       To help them obtain heaven

9.       THAT will be a lot of work!


D.      Now this is where most religions have a load of confusion


1.       Many people believe that God expects us to work to GET forgiveness


a.       To work hard at balancing out all our sins

b.       To do good deeds so that He overlooks all our bad deeds


2.       It is just the opposite with God


a.       Jesus ONLY saves sinners (Luke 5:30-32)

b.       And it is ONLY THEN that a person can actually do any good works


E.       The focus this month is on serving the Lord with our lives


1.       Working, serving, obeying, doing the Lord’s will

2.       Being steadfast in a ministry for the Lord


F.       The moment that Paul got born again, he wanted to get busy serving the Lord Jesus (Acts 9:3-6)!

G.      That must be our constant prayer as well

H.      This month has been set aside to get every believer in our church, busy, serving the Lord!


II.      Message


A.      Christians are Saved by Grace, not by Works (Ephesians 2:8,9)


1.       Grace is…


a.       Grace is completely Unmerited - Unearned

b.       Grace is a GIFT from God to unworthy people – full stop!

c.        Grace is GOD doing something that you and I can find Him and trust Him fully – that’s GRACE

d.       Grace is all about what JESUS did, not what you and I, or anyone might try and do – no comparison!

e.        Grace is JESUS being perfect, Jesus praying perfectly, Jesus reacting perfectly, dying perfectly, rising again perfectly – that’s grace

f.        That is what grace is – and thank God for it!


2.       Grace is God offering you and me the free gift of salvation from our sins

3.       Salvation is when you and I receive complete forgiveness from God (I received it 15th June, 1980)

4.       Salvation is the receiving of the forgiveness of sins – in total (Acts 13:38,39; Romans 6:23)


a.       Do you think you can work to earn it? Go ahead, be my guest

b.       You will have to be absolutely perfect – in thought, in word, and in action

c.        No mistakes, no misunderstandings, no flaws, no failures at all

d.       Just ONE sin will blow it all for you

e.        And our sins (no matter how small) separate us eternally from God – are you ready for that?

f.        That’s why everyone MUST get saved!


1)       I needed to get born again

2)       Your parents, no matter how religious

3)       Your neighbours, no matter how nice#=

4)       Your enemies


g.        This is not about religious, or differences of opinions – it is about


5.       Salvation is not religious duty, religious rituals, religious traditions - because none of those things can pay off our sin-debts to God – NONE!

6.       God does not look for our good works – not at all (Isaiah 64:6)

7.       All God looks for is faith from the heart (Romans 10:9,10,13), trusting in the name of the Son of God, JESUS to save you from a devil’s hell!


B.      Christians are Saved to Work (Ephesians 2:10)


1.       The Bible says in Eph 2:10 that we were not saved BY good works, but that we were saved to DO good works!


a.       When Paul was saved, he immediately asked, “Lord, what do you want me to DO?” (Act 9:6) “How do you want me to serve you?”

b.       Paul knew he had been saved for a purpose. He didn’t just get forgiven, he got a job to do for God, and got busy doing it (Acts 13:1,2)

c.        That is the normal thing to do. It is abnormal to hold back from serving the Lord, obeying the Lord’s will


2.       Before salvation, we WERE the servants of sin (Romans 6:17,18), the puppets of Satan.


a.       We obeyed whatever our hearts told us to do

b.       We did what everyone else was doing – mob mentality

c.        We tried to stop, but couldn’t

d.       We tried to do good, but failed!

e.        It is because SIN has an inflexible grip on us until Jesus is allowed to take over, and save us – deliver us – free us!


3.       Because of the new birth, every believer in Jesus Christ is MADE FREE (John 8:36) from the grip and control of sin, so that we can SERVE the Lord (Exodus 9:1,13; Deuteronomy 10:12), yielding to His will now!


a.       Over 25% of the Bible is about getting people to obey God, and do God’s will instead of their own!

b.       Joshua spoke for his whole family, “We will serve the Lord” (Josh 24:14,15)

c.        The nation of Israel decided that they too would serve and obey God (Josh 24:24)

d.       Jesus, under intense pressure, declared that He would only serve God (Matthew 4:8-10)

e.        Every great man or woman, or child in the Bible dumped their will for God’s will, and served the Lord by their lives

f.        Jesus honours only servants (Matthew 25:21)


4.       We like to call ourselves “Christians”

5.       But Bible believers prefer to call themselves “SERVANTS of God” – more than anything else.


a.       Romans 1:1 “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God”

b.       Philippians 1:1 “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons”

c.        Titus 1:1 “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ”

d.       James 1:1 “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.”

e.        2 Peter 1:1 “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:”

f.        Jude 1:1 “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called”


6.       To serve is to obey, to do the will of another; specifically, the will of God


a.       The truth is, if you are born again, when we get to heaven, I will give you one guess whether we will be constantly serving, obeying, worshipping, honouring, loving, and fanatical about God – only one guess (Rev 7:15)

b.       We are NOT supposed to wait until THEN before we get busy (Heb 12:28)


C.      How to Serve the Lord – How to Work for the Lord


1.       Differently (Hebrews 9:14) – purged, cleansed, washed, forgiven!

2.       Repentantly - At the same energy level that you used to serve sin, and sinful habits (Deut 5:15)

3.       Pre-eminently – all the time. Doing absolutely everything as if to the Lord (Colossians 3:23)


a.       You serve the Lord when you obey His word, and do things His way

b.       You serve the Lord when you give up what is easy, to do what he asks, no matter how hard

c.        You serve the Lord when you put up with hard people

d.       You serve the Lord when you go to work joyfully

e.        You serve the Lord when you mother your children, and raise them for God

f.        You serve the Lord when you carry Gospel tracts, and hand them out to people you meet, inviting them to church, and prodding them with thoughtful questions about their soul

g.        You serve the Lord when you do a good job for someone, in honour of your Lord

h.       You serve the Lord when you give a glass of water to someone as a servant, not in order to show off

i.         Serve the Lord every minute, of every day!


4.       Energetically (1Cor 15:10) – more than others, not settling for less; Heartily - Do God’s will from the heart (Ephesians 6:6)

5.       Humbly (Matthew 20:25-28)

6.       Togetherly (?) – as a body – a team (Hebrews 10:25).


a.       Christ saved us to Work Together, as a Unit, called His Body (1Corinthians 12:12-27)

b.       Work together with other believers in this church toward the common goals of winning people to Christ, discipling them, encouraging them, blessing them, loving them praying for them, leaning on them, letting them lean on you


7.       Faithfully – constantly (2Corinthians 4:1)

8.       Practically – Not mystically


a.       With others in mind

b.       Honouring and preferring others over yourself

c.        Meeting people’s needs

d.       Loving the hard to love – the unlovely

e.        Forgiving, when you don’t feel like forgiving

f.        Praying for people, interceding

g.        Picking up people who need rides to church meetings

h.       Teaching a Sunday school class full of young hungry hearts


9.       Prayerfully always dependant upon the enabling power of the Holy Spirit


III.   Conclusion


A.      The last Sunday this month is Ministry Sunday. We will hold a special event after the morning service where you will be able to see al the ministries that this church already is doing, and you will have the opportunity to learn about how you can get involved in at least one of them, so that you can be an active part of this body of believers.

B.      When you were born again, did you, like Paul pray, “Lord, what do you want ME to DO?”

C.      There are basically three reasons why a person gets born again


1.       The selfish reason is to be saved from a place called HELL

2.       The spiritual reason is to be able to worship God like He deserves

3.       The best reason is to be able to serve God, just like Jesus


D.      If You are NOT Born Again… Quit trying to work your way to heaven!

E.       If you are a Christian and not busy serving the Lord: Shame on you!

F.       In other words, God saves a lost, wicked, selfish, sinner, to serve; to do something good; to work for God


1.       Christians are Saved by Grace, not by Works (Ephesians 2:8,9)

2.       Christians are Saved to Work (Ephesians 2:10)

3.       How to Serve the Lord – How to Work for the Lord