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I’M NOT CRAZY, I’M SAVED
Intro: This passage finds the great Apostle Paul on trial before King Agrippa and the Roman Governor Festus. Paul is given the opportunity to give a defense for his actions. Paul uses this setting as an opportunity to share his salvation testimony.
When these pagan rulers hear what Paul testify about all that happened to him, and what the Savior he claims to serve has called him to do, Festus speaks up and calls Paul a “mad man”. He tells Paul that all of his education and learning has driven him over the edge! He says, in effect, “Paul, you’ve lost your mind! You’re a lunatic! You’re crazy!”
You get the idea, right? He says, “Paul, You’ve gone crazy! You’re mad as a hatter!”
The word “mad” comes from the word that gives us our word “mania”. It means “to rave, to be mad, to be out of one’s mind.”
Mania is defined as:
When these pagans hear what Paul was before he met Jesus Christ; what happened to him he met Jesus Christ; and what he is saying about Christ and doing for God’s glory now, they concluded that he has gone absolutely, stark raving mad! They think he is crazy! When Paul hears this charge he responds by saying, “I’m not crazy, I’m saved!”
When the world looks in on this thing we call Christianity, when they look at this life we live for Jesus, they conclude that we are crazy! I would say to them, I’m not crazy, I’m saved! I want to point out three areas of Paul’s testimony that Festus and the others thought was crazy. By the way, the world thinks your testimony is crazy in these areas as well! I just want you to see that what the world thinks is crazy is nothing more than mere Christianity! I want to preach in the thought: I’m Not Crazy, I’m Saved! Let me show you the reasons why Festus, and the others who heard Paul preach that day, thought Paul was crazy.
I. V. 13-22 HIS TEACHINGS SOUNDED CRAZY
What were the claims that Paul made?
1. He Said He Saw A Light - v. 13. Paul said that at noon, a light shined around him and his companions that eclipsed the power of the sun.
2. He Said He Met The Lord Jesus Christ - v. 14-18 The One Paul said he met on the road to Damascus, was the same man everyone knew had died on a cross outside Jerusalem by order of Pontius Pilate. Now, here is the crazy preacher preaching that this dead Jesus was alive again. By the way, that is what galled this crowd the most. They knew that Jesus had been crucified, now here was Paul and bunch of other people, preaching that Jesus was alive. They were upsetting the applecart. They were disturbing the peace. They were preaching the doctrine of the resurrection and people thought they had lost their minds.
No wonder they thought Paul had lost his marbles.
Paul’s statements may have sounded bizarre to the pagan Romans, but to anyone who knows the Lord Jesus Christ, they make perfect sense! Here’s why:
1. Every Saved Person Has Seen The Light
Everyone who is saved can remember what it was like to be “dead in trespasses and sins,” Eph. 2:1. They can remember what it was like to be one of the “children of wrath,” Eph. 2:3. They can remember the way the Holy Spirit “drew” them to Jesus, John 6:44. They remember conviction over sin, and when they light came on and they saw for the first time that Jesus, and Jesus alone, was their only hope. They remember the day life came and the light came on when they ran to Him for salvation. If you remember those things, you are not crazy, you are saved!
2. Every Saved Person Has Met The Risen Lord That Paul Preached - Every person who has ever been saved has been saved the same way. They have all been saved through a personal faith encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, Rom. 10:9; Eph. 2:8. When the Spirit of God shows us our sins and points us to Jesus Christ for salvation, and when we look away by faith and believe, at that moment, we meet the Lord. When we meet Him, we are said to be “in Him” - 1 Cor. 12:13. We have been reconciled to God by Jesus and His death and resurrection, Eph. 2:13-22. He has taken us in one hand and God in the other and brought us together in Himself! Ill. He is our “Daysman,” Job 9:33.
If you have believed the Gospel and trusted Jesus for your salvation, you are saved! If you go around talking about they time when you met Jesus Christ, you are not crazy, you are saved.
When the world hears the testimony of the redeemed saints of God, they think we have gone crazy! After all, we talk about things that cannot be seen or handled, Ill. Heb. 11:1.
I. His Teachings Sounded Crazy
II. V. 4-12 HIS TESTIMONY SOUNDED CRAZY
1. He Was A Religious Man - v. 5; Phil. 3:4-11.
2. He Was A Zealous Man - v. 9-11; Acts 7:58; Acts 8:1-3; 1 Tim. 1:12-13.
3. He Was A Man Of Considerable Wealth, Position, Power And Influence - v. 12.
Yet, when Paul met the risen Lord, he simply walked away from the old life and began to serve the Lord. Ill. v. 19-22. He was feared by the church and respected by his peers. Now, just because he saw a light and talked to a man everyone believed was dead, he has thrown everything he ever knew and loved away. He has abandoned everything that defined his old life.
It seemed absolutely crazy to those who saw and heard about the changes in Paul’s life.
Everything changes - Ill. 2 Cor. 5:17, this verse points out the radical nature of the changes that take place.
One creature has differing habits, interests, likes, tastes, etc, from another creature. Ill. The animal kingdom. Those same kind of differences show up in the lives of those who have been saved by grace.
The redeemed still have their old natures and that old nature is still controlled by its old desires and lusts. There is still a hunger within the flesh for “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life.”
But, when a lost sinner is saved, that redeemed sinner is indwelled by the Spirit of God. They literally become the Temple of the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 6:19-20. At the instant of salvation, a battle commences within the saint of God that will last until they lay down the flesh in death, Rom. 7:24-25. The flesh and the Spirit both desire to control the life of the one who is saved, Ill. Gal. 5:16-18. Which one we yield to determines who we serve, Rom. 6:16.
Paul fleshes this truth out in Rom. 7:14-23. While the saint of God still has an old nature that craves sin, and while the saint of God is still capable of committing any sin that can be imagined, the saint of God has help on the inside now. They are indwelled by the Spirit of God and He acts as a spiritual buffer. He strengthens the child of God helps him in his fight against sin. He empowers us and enables us to say, “No” to the flesh.
That is why we are said to be different. They is why the Bible says we have been “changed.” The flesh still desires the things of this world, but the new man, the spiritual man, desires things the saint was dead to before salvation. We were dead, and only desired the things that pertained to the realm of our deadness, Ill. Eph. 2:1-3. When we were saved, we were made alive by Christ, Eph. 2:4-6. Now, there is a desire within us for the things of God. The Bible, the church, His worship, His glory, and much, much more, becomes the delight of our souls when we are saved. We are difference, and it shows!
This transformation within us is the result of the “new birth.” You cannot meet Jesus Christ and stay like you were before you came. He changes every life He touches!
So, if you have the testimony that Jesus changed your life, you are not crazy. If you can’t go where you used to go, do what you used to do, be who you used to be, talk like you used to talk, walk like you used to walk, or live like you used to live, you are not crazy, you are saved!
I. His Teachings Sounded Crazy
II. His Testimony Sounded Crazy
III. V. 16-22 HIS TASK SOUNDED CRAZY
When you turn your back on the world and live for Jesus and tell the world about Jesus, it does not mean that you are crazy! It just shows us all that you are saved!
Conc: In that kangaroo courtroom that day all the roles were reversed! The only sane man in the room was in chains while the nuts were running the show!
The craziest people in the world today are not in places like mental institutions and the like. The craziest people in the world are those who are lost in sin and will not come to the Lord Jesus Christ! The real lunatics are those who hear the Gospel and turn a deaf ear to it. The nuts are those who refuse to come to Jesus that they might be saved!
May we who are saved never be ashamed of who we are or what the Lord has done for us! We are not crazy! If you have believed the Gospel and trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are headed to Heaven, you are saved by grace, your sins have been all washed away. You are not crazy, you are just saved!
That crowd that does not know Jesus, they are the crazy bunch! They’re the ones running here and there looking for love, help and satisfaction in all the wrong places. We are the ones who have found the answer to all life’s questions and the solution to all life’s problems. The answer, the solution is Jesus Christ!
Don’t be intimidated by a bunch of people who have been driven insane by their sin. They are the ones with the problems. They are the crazy ones! As for us: We’re not crazy, we’re saved!