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Continuing in Grace

Acts of Harvest   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Title: Continuing in Grace
What this is all about: Continuing in Grace
What I want you to know: Following Christ is divisive
What I want you to do: Continue in the grace you were saved in
How I want you to do it: Seek Gods will.
Series: Acts of Harvest
Text:
Date: March 11, 2018
Pastor Mike Ellis
Introduction:
Continuing in our journey through the book of Acts.
We are doing so with the lens of harvesting.
We get this theme from
John 4:35 CSB
“Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months, and then comes the harvest’? Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest.
John 4:35 CSB
“Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months, and then comes the harvest’? Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest.
We have learned many things about the harvest.
We know that it starts and ends with the work of the Holy Spirit
We know that faith we must be bold and courageous
We know that God has given to each one that has come to Him, gifts and talents that must be used for His glory.
We also know that salvation is for all, not to say that all are saved, but the death of Christ was for all.
Today we are going consider the harvest through the continuing look at salvation.
Today’s message is about continuing in grace.
What I want you to know is that the gospel is divisive and a lost a fallen world hates the message of it.
I want you to continue in the grace that you were saved in
This can only be done by seeking God’s will first.
Read
Acts 13:42–52 CSB
As they were leaving, the people urged them to speak about these matters the following Sabbath. After the synagogue had been dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who were speaking with them and urging them to continue in the grace of God. The following Sabbath almost the whole town assembled to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what Paul was saying, insulting him. Paul and Barnabas boldly replied, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first. Since you reject it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we are turning to the Gentiles. For this is what the Lord has commanded us: I have made you a light for the Gentiles to bring salvation to the end of the earth. When the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced and honored the word of the Lord, and all who had been appointed to eternal life believed. The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. But the Jews incited the prominent God-fearing women and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their district. But Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.
I am sure that you are aware that we have skipped a few chapters here in Acts.
But so that you know what is going on we will quickly hit the highlights
Last week at the beginning of chapter 9 we read about the conversion of Saul who is now known as the Apostle Paul.
In verse 31 of chapter 9 we read of peace within the church that caused great growth.
In verses 32-43 we see Peter at work with healing and raising the dead.
In chapter 10 we read about food restrictions being lifted and as we have already covered a few weeks back the Gentile Pentecost.
In chapter 11 we find Peter defending the Gentile salvation against his Jewish counterparts.
We also find the mention of the first Gentile church in Antioch of Syria
- This is our home church—not the church in Jerusalem
In verse 26 we find that it was in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.
In chapter 12 we find the Apostle James brother to John being executed by king Herod.
Peter gets arrested and miraculously escapes with the help of an angel and we read of Herod’s death.
This brings us to chapter 13.
For perspective it has been around 18 years since Pentecost and 14 years since Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus
Verses 1:3 speak about preparing for the mission field
Verses 4-12 speak about the mission in Cyprus and the battle with the Jewish sorcerer
Verse 13 speaks quickly about the departure of John Mark
Verse 14-41 is the sermon that Paul and Barnabas preached in Antioch of Pisidia
The sermon given
- Preached to Jews
- Based on the Old Testament Scriptures
- Showing Christ as the fulfillment OT Scriptures
- Great focus on the crucifixion, and the resurrection
- Great focus on forgiveness through faith in Jesus
- Showed how Jesus is superior to the Law of Moses
- Showed how the Jews killed their Messiah
- Showed how the Jews were fulfilling God’s eternal purpose in killing the Messiah
- It was a message that preached repentance
Picking up in
Acts 13:42 CSB
As they were leaving, the people urged them to speak about these matters the following Sabbath.
- The response
- They wanted to know more
Acts 13:43 CSB
After the synagogue had been dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who were speaking with them and urging them to continue in the grace of God.
- Paul and Barnabas telling them to “continue in the grace of God”
Acts 13:44 CSB
The following Sabbath almost the whole town assembled to hear the word of the Lord.
- Almost the whole town gathered to hear the Word of the Lord
- This is the work of the Holy Spirit
- This is the field ready to harvest
Acts 13:45 CSB
But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what Paul was saying, insulting him.
- Jealousy
*With God it is good
*With sinful man it is bad
- This is pure prejudice
*this is hate
*this is what the gospel can do
*it can be divisive to a lost and fallen world
- Contradiction to the Word
Acts 13:46 CSB
Paul and Barnabas boldly replied, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first. Since you reject it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we are turning to the Gentiles.
- Necessary to speak first to the Jews
*Israel’s call
*Verse 47
- Rejection of the gospel
- Self judgement
*Unworthy of eternal life
- A person’s choice to believe
- A person’s fault to end up in hell
Acts 13:47 CSB
For this is what the Lord has commanded us: I have made you a light for the Gentiles to bring salvation to the end of the earth.
- Messianic passages
*
- The church is to be the light for the world today
- The great commission
Acts 13:48 CSB
When the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced and honored the word of the Lord, and all who had been appointed to eternal life believed.
*Rejoicing
*Honored the Word
- All who had been appointed
- God chooses who will be saved
- Book of life in Revelation
- God’s election, person’s responsibility
- Overemphasis either way is heresy
Acts 13:49 CSB
The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.
- Spreading the word
*every conversion
- This is continuing in God’s grace
Acts 13:50 CSB
But the Jews incited the prominent God-fearing women and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their district.
- Want to get to the men, go through the women
- Division of family will always get a mom’s attention
Acts 13:51 CSB
But Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet against them and went to Iconium.
- Shaking the dust off of their feet
Acts 13:52 CSB
And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.
- Continuing in God’s grace
Conclusion:
Ephesians 2:8–10 CSB
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.
It is by grace through faith that we are saved
It is this same grace in which we must continue
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