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Sermons about Early Church
Pastor Michael continues his teaching upon the ingredients that causes missions, evangelism, discipleship and service in the early church. He shows how they came to faith through grace and as a result of God’s presence they were in awe and began to love and serve one another. Once these things begin to happen, the next progressive characteristic we see is how they continued in fellowship and praising God.
Lesson Aim: To recognize the passion God has to use His people to communicate Christ’s story.
What if all of society were against us simply because we believed in Jesus Christ? Most of us in the modern western world have not experienced that level of demand upon our faith. We walk unchallenged, and sad to say because of that, many of us live mediocre Christian lives. It was not so with the early Church
We continue on Paul's first missionary journey to the cities of Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. They faced great opposition, confusion, and division, but still boldly preached and returned time and again to present the Gospel. They finally complete their journey by returning to Antioch and reporting all they had witnessed.
This is the first of three times we'll hear Saul's conversion story in the book of Acts. Do you know anyone as "bad" and feared by Christians as Saul was? Would you be brave enough, like Ananias, to go and witness to him? Have faith that God is able. What's stopping you?
Following the spread of the early church throughout the world, we meet Philip. Chapter 8 contains almost everything we know about Philip, including his encounter with Simon the Great Power, and the eunuch from Ethiopia. What is stopping us from gospelizing like Philip?
In this life, struggles are evident. There will be personal, financial, even physical struggles that we may undergo. The early church encountered many struggles: persecution, hatred, division, etc., yet the reality is that those struggles turned out for the growth of the individual and for the glory of God. So will our struggles.
“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” - CS Lewis. When a person considers the number of people who claim to be Christian in our culture, and then actually looks at our culture it is obvious something does not compute. Unless, of course, that is Christianity is only moderately important for many (i.e., we have a very ungodly culture…is this due in part to a stance with Christianity that Lewis says “cannot be”?). How do we move Christianity to a higher level of importance? While a well-intentioned question, it is also the wrong one. A more fitting question is the title of this series - "Who am I?" We begin to figure that out by looking at what Jesus DID (not WWJD).
God commits to make a people for Himself. This is His plan, to redeem a “people,” not just individuals. We’re not saved to be isolated individuals. This church, His people, our community, is what Christ died for and it is what we are saved into. The story of the Bible is the story of God fulfilling His promise to be our God as His people. So how do we do community? We do this by calling you into a messy community life where you “devote” yourself to learning the Gospel in fellowship with one another. This is not clean and tidy, but messy and disorganized at times. It isn’t a program to be attended, a curriculum to be mastered, but instead a life to be lived as the Gospel comes and regularly breathes new life into our wandering hearts.