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Sermons about Growth
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.
The church grows through the proclamation "Jesus saves!" But this is not only evangelism. It is the truth that we are perpetually needy and the Gospel is perpetually sufficient for our neediness.
I.D. – Character April 21, 2013 Text: Romans 5:1-5; Philippians 1:11-14, 3:17-20 Key Thought: The character God builds through our toughest times makes us shine as we follow Christ. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. Romans 5:3-4, NLT
Besides looking cute, what do babies do best? They grow! Sometimes slowly, others times quickly, but, step by step, over the years babies turn into kids, into youth, into adults! Physically we are programmed to grow, the same is true spiritually! There is an expected growth curve to the Christian life. The good news is that while our role in the growth process is often difficult it is always quite doable! We can view God’s growth map in four levels…
Besides looking cute, what do babies do best? They grow! Sometimes slowly, others times quickly, but, step by step, over the years babies turn into kids, into youth, into adults! Physically we are programmed to grow, the same is true spiritually! There is an expected growth curve to the Christian life. The good news is that while our role in the growth process is often difficult it is also quite doable!
We grow better in community than we can on our own.
The Christian life is not pain free. God uses the pain to help us grow. This is a very challenging concept but unfortunately a very true reality. Seeing a larger purpose in pain can help us as face it.
Paul writes this last will and testament to young Timothy with strong admonitions to not be ashamed, but be strengthened by the grace of Christ as you entrust the truth of God's divine revelation to faithful men who as spiritual leaders in the home and the church will pass it on to next generation. Beginning in chapter 2 Paul uses a number of metaphors to explain: teacher; soldier; athlete; and today in verse 6 he uses farmer. What does a hard working farmer do? He needs 4 things to succeed: seed, soil, water, and time.