Junk Drawer: We all have one!
It often needs to be cleaned out and renewed.
The church of Christ is like this.
We tend to go back to our natural sinful ways
The church was like this when Jesus came the first time
Jesus brought a radical change to the world and to His Kingdom
Intro to Acts:
Sometimes called: “Acts of the Apostles” or “Acts of All the Apostles”
Some suggest “Acts of the Holy Spirit”
Written by Luke the Physician, author of the gospel and one who accompanied Paul on his 2nd and 3rd Missionary journey
it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us,
In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach,
Detail of Paul’s missionary journeys
Highly educated Gentile, high greek
Written before 70 AD - no mention of the destruction of the Temple
Luke 28 ends with Paul’s house arrest before the great fire of 64 AD that drew Nero’s attention and persecution of Christians
Luke portrays Rome as benevolent toward Christians
Paul was killed around 68 AD and is not mentioned
Luke’s phrases and language of certain terms
Continuing the story:
And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.
Acts is about how God builds his Kingdom directly after the ascension
Acts is about how God specifically builds his Church
visible and invisible
Church - the people of God
The building of God’s church takes some transformation
God’s Kingdom is about transformation
God’s church, the people, are a transformed people
Acts shows us how God’s people are transformed: the church, theology, spreading of the gospel, etc . . .
Jesus had begun breaking down traditions of men and taking his church to a new era
Jesus is the foundation of the church
for the book of Acts
Luke begins with Jesus as foundational
He starts with the fact that the two compliment each other in the redemptive historical plan of God
3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
for the church
His teaching is the basis for the church life
Illus: Leaning Tower of Pisa
The tower's tilt began during construction in the 12th century, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure's weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed in the 14th century. It gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
The height of the tower is 55.86 metres (183.27 feet) from the ground on the low side and 56.67 metres (185.93 feet) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0.06 in). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons). The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase. Prior to restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but the tower now leans at about 3.99 degrees. This means the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 metres (12 ft 10 in) from the centre.
The Holy Spirit began working in the church
Jesus works through the Holy Spirit
“after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.”
after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.
God renews the church, his people through the Holy Spirit
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
A promise from God
Baptism by the Holy Spirit
about to be fulfilled in Chapter 2
God’s church is in need of renewal
A washing away of sins
A baptism like nothing ever experienced
The church as they knew it was about to change
App: It is important for us to always remember the work done in HIs Kingdom is done through His Spirit
So, we cannot boast
Because only He can accomplish the necessary
Illus: TPC pledge cards were less this past year, yet with greater $ amount pledged
Only God can accomplish such a thing
This is why we don’t have a super day called pledge Sunday. This is why we don’t surround this event with pomp and circumstance - It isn’t us, it is God
God’s people are used to convey the truths of God’s Kingdom
While, the Holy Spirit is the source of work, God uses real people
God renews his people
John the Baptist
to prepare the way for Jesus
OT and Covenant renewal to point to the ultimate fulfilling of the Covenant
The Apostles acts
Stories and work of Peter, Paul, Stephen, Philip, Barnabas, etc . . .
Spread the Gospel and build God’s Church
God uses men to accomplish His purpose
Apostles commanded to wait on God
God gives the orders and men follow
Thank God that He keeps his promises: Promise of the HS
Thank God that He builds and is working in the life of His Church
New Years resolutions -
How will God use you to build his kingdom this year
pray and ask him to do so
prepare for the challenges he may bring before you
How will God use us as a church to build his kingdom this year
Grow us as a church
Grow His invisible church within this community
Make a new years resolution to pray for your church and God’s Kingdom
Get involved with your church and serve in God’s Kingdom
Set spiritual disciplines to help you in this process
Prepare for the changes and movement God will do in your life and the life of this church
Jesus came to drastically change His Kingdom and it’s people. He is not done doing so.