connecting people to the gospel
Sermons from Faith Bible Church Greenfield Illinois
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Total Sermons: 47
Total Amens: 6
It’s Father’s Day and as I promised on Mother’s Day, it’s time for us to talk about the responsibilities of a Christian man. In Titus 2 Paul tells Titus, first of all, what to speak to the older men about when it came to their conduct. Secondly, what to exhort the younger men to do, and finally, what he a man in the middle was to do. I’m older than some here today and younger that others, so there should be things that apply to me and most of us in all categories. I am going to share with you what Titus was told to say to the older men and younger men around him and then what Titus himself was to be like. I. Older men (Titus 2:2) A. What they are to be 1. Sober – earnestly thoughtful – considering each action 2. Reverent – Showing deep and solemn respect toward God 3. Temperate – Moderation and self-restraint (I Cor. 9:27) B. How they are to be 1. Sound in faith 2. Sound in love 3. Sound in patience II. Young men (Titus 2:6) A. Be seriously minded B. Remember you are an older man to those younger than you III. Men in the middle – like Titus A. Be sound in doctrine and teach it (Titus 2:1) B. Exhorting the younger men to be serious (Titus 2:6) C. Show yourself to be a pattern of good works (Titus 2:7) D. Showing an example in doctrine of 1. Integrity – consistent standard of honesty and good conduct 2. Reverence – serious respect for not offending God 3. Incorruptibility – Living what you believe E. Have sound speech that cannot be condemned (Titus 2:8) 1. That your opponents might be ashamed 2. That they won’t have anything evil to say of you To sum it all up we should first of all be men of thought…seriously minded…Considering our actions. Secondly we are to be men of sound conduct, men of sobriety and moral character…Men that stand apart in integrity. We are called to stand apart and be different…to think out and consider our actions. What we think, what we do, and finally what we say has consequence and we need to consider what we think, do and say. We are men who are cool under fire. Who are solid in their faith, dependable, incorruptible, sound in speech, self-controlled. That is the man of God.
The cross is the cure for the people wondering in the wilderness as well as for those in the New Testament.
Our focus last week in Acts 12 was the rescue of Peter, but today we are going to look at the prayers lifted up by the Church of behalf of Peter and their reaction to the answer to their prayers that they received. From examining this I think that you will see that sometimes we miss the answers to prayer that God gives. We’re so focused on looking for the answer we’re expecting, or we want, that we miss the answer God gives. I. The Church was praying (Acts 12:5) A. Constantly B. Earnestly C. The stress of the moment drove them to more intense prayer D. This should be the state of the Church…We should be in earnest, constant prayer 1. There is power in united prayer (Matthew 18:19) 2. There is power in intense prayer (Jeremiah 29:13, James 5:16-18) II. When we pray like this the supernatural happens A. I know for certain the Lord has sent His angel (Acts 12:11) B. He has delivered me from Herod C. He has delivered me from the expectation of the Jewish people D. He considered for a moment what he should do next E. He decided to go to Mary’s house (Acts 12:12) 1. The mother of John Mark 2. Many were gathered there praying F. He knocked at the door – evidently it was locked III. When we pray like this, surprising things happen A. Rhoda – referred to as a girl – answered the door (Acts 12:13) B. She didn’t open the door but she asked who it was and recognized Peter’s voice C. Rhoda believed God had answered their prayers – in an unexpected way (Acts 12:14) 1. She was excited 2. She didn’t let the answer in D. The praying adults inside weren’t expecting this answer (Acts 12:15) 1. They thought that she was just being emotional and was imagining things 2. They decided it couldn’t be Peter, must be his guardian angel – rationalized E. Peter kept knocking F. Eventually an adult opened the door and discovered Peter (Acts 12:16) IV. The answer to prayer realized by all (Acts 12:17) A. The praying church’s reaction when they understood God’s unexpected answer? 1. They were all excited and noisy then 2. Peter even had to quiet them down B. Peter tells his story and takes next steps 1. He told them to go tell James, Jesus’ brother 2. Peter, in the mean time, departed and went to a secret location When we pray we should be looking for the answer and be ready to receive the answer. Many times we’re so focused on looking for the answer we’re expecting that we miss the answer God gives. When we do that we miss out on the joy of answered prayer.
In Acts we read about a time where things got tough for the Church in Jerusalem. The gospel had been spreading and was now being taught to Jews, Hellenist Jews, Samaritans and Gentiles. The gospel was beginning to spread into the whole world, but in Jerusalem Satan was working on a counter-attack to strike at the leadership of the leading Church. His tool of choice against the Church this time was the government. I. Herod was the king A. He laid violent hands (Acts 12:1, 2) 1. On some that were in the Church 2. On James the brother of John B. He had James killed with the sword C. He saw that this pleased the Jewish leadership and brought political advantage D. He arrested Peter too. (Acts 12:3) E. Peter was arrested during the feast of Unleavened Bread 1. Many devout Jews would be in town for the feast 2. He figured this might bring him the maximum amount of good will II. The impossible situation A. He had Peter put in prison (Acts 12:4) B. He delivered Peter over to four squads of soldiers (Acts 5:19) 1. They guarded him 24/7 2. We’ll see that two were chained to him C. He intended to bring Peter before the people after Passover 1. The intention, no doubt, to execute him to please the people 2. So Peter was kept in prison D. The Church was lifting up earnest prayer for him (Acts 12:5) III. Peter is rescued A. It sounds like God waited till the night before he was to be brought out (Acts 12:6) B. Peter was in prison and he was sleeping between two soldiers 1. Bound with two chains 2. Sentries before the doors were guarding the prison C. An angel of the Lord suddenly stood next to him (Acts 12:7) 1. The cell lit up with light – that didn’t wake Peter up (I Peter 5:7) 2. He had to hit Peter in the side to wake him 3. He told Peter to get up and when he did the chains fell off his hands D. The angel told him to get dressed (Acts 12:8) 1. He put on his robe and sandals 2. The angel told him to put on his cloak too E. What was Peter thinking? (Acts 12:9) 1. He followed the angel thinking he was seeing a vision 2. He didn’t know that what was going on was real F. They passed through the guard stations and finally the iron gate at the entrance 1. They went out along the street (Acts 12:10) 2. Then the angel left him Peter then realized what happened. God had rescued him (Acts 12:11). The Lord has sent His angel and has delivered me from Herod and from the expectation of the Jewish people.
We read in the book of Acts that the gospel continued to spread, not only geographically, but to more diverse groups of people. In the church at Antioch we see the type of spiritual progression that should go on in the life of an individual growing in their faith and in a church that is growing more mature. I. Where and how the gospel went A. The gospel spread because of persecution 1. At first, just to the Jews in various areas (Acts 11:19) 2. Some began to preach to the Hellinist’s too (Acts 11:20) B. The hand of the Lord was with them (Acts 11:21) 1. A great number believed 2. They turned to the Lord II. The first step of spiritual growth is, of course belief A. They believed in Jesus B. They placed their hope in Him for the resurrection C. The Church in Jerusalem heard about this. (Acts11:22) 1. They sent Barnabas to Antioch 2. He saw the grace of God 3. He was glad (Acts 11:23) 4. He exhorted them to remain faithful with a steadfast purpose D. Barnabas was a good man (Acts 11:24) E. A great many people got saved III. The second step of spiritual growth is discipleship A. For this step Barnabas went to look for Saul to get help (Acts 11:25) B. He brought Saul to Antioch 1. They met with the Church for a whole year (Acts 11:26) 2. They taught a great many people 3. They made disciples 4. The disciples there became known as Christians IV. The third step of spiritual growth is outreach A. A crisis was coming 1. Prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch (Acts 11:27) 2. Agabus was used by God to tell the Church about a problem (Acts 11:28) a. There would be a great famine b. And indeed, Luke says, it happened B. The Church decided to take up an offering 1. Each according to their ability (Acts 11:29) 2. They would send relief money to the Christians living in Judea C. They did it 1. They sent an offering to the elders (Acts 11:30) 2. By the hand of Barnabas and Saul Get saved, grow, get a mission and then keep growing and ministering…become the one that disciples. God will give a mission to people who are growing. The church in Antioch didn’t have to create a mission. God gave it to them as they grew God brought them a need and they responded. Soon they would be like Saul and Barnabas, discipling others.