ZNA-387 900114PM ENCOURAGEMENT Acts 4 I want you to go back with me to a chapter in the life of our church – Acts 4 Yes – those are our not-too-distant relatives in this chapter! We stand on their shoulders a few generations following! When we read Acts and the Epistles that’s our church that […]
ZNA-72 980308AM SAINTS IN CIRCULATION “HOW TO BE SURE YOU ARE SERVING CHRIST TODAY” SAINTS IN CIRCULATION ACTS 6, 8, 21 During the darkest hours of World War II, Britain faced a critical shortage of silver for the war industries. Informed of the crisis, Winston Churchill asked if there […]
011024WE ZNA-14 Missions Acts 29 ARE YOU PLAYING OR JUST CHEERING? Acts 29 Tonight I would like to direct your attention to the 29th chapter of Acts. As you notice from your Bibles, it isn’t there, YET. It is still being written, it is being written tonight here and across the world. It is being […]
KGD-21 XAS-34 990908WE This is the scene. We are at the gate on Saturday morning with literally hundreds of others many of them unsaved residents of the area around the church. The gate opened and people rushed in to grab their treasures to buy. Along one side a whole bank of electrical outlets had been […]
081102PM WNS-7 Acts 29.doc WNS-38 Are You Playing Or Just Cheering? Acts 29 As we have been challenged this weekend, the great commission is actually our “every day” commission as believers. We are all to be disciple-making by lifestyle. To help us all get closer to that goal, I would like to direct your attention […]
SUF-05 951203PM The Lord’s Purpose for Pain is that Suffering for God Enables Us to Experience: The Sight Giving Power of God in Job and David TO SEE GOD CLEARLY God takes Job on a divinely guided tour of pain. Along the way He teaches him and at the end He never blames Satan, apologizes to […]
SUF-04 951112PM The Lord’s Purpose for Pain is that Suffering for God Enables Us to Experience: The Song Giving Power of Suffering in Paul and Silas’ Life Acts 16 and the Philippian JailPsalm 142 The Sight giving Power of Suffering in Job’s Life TO SEE GOD CLEARLY God takes Job on a divinely guided tour of pain. Along the way He teaches […]
SUF-01 950716PM We are looking at the wonders of having the power of God through suffering. ACTS 16 IS A MODEL OF GROWING THROUGH SUFFERING Open with me to Acts 16. Here we find the events God used, that led to the founding of the church that received Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Paul went […]
060806AM EBG-06 OSL-24 THE POWER OF OUR SHARED LIFE Acts 5:20 We have gathered today to celebrate the power of endless life that we have as members of Christ. Life, endless life, abundant life, Christ’s life lived out in and through us is what we celebrate this morning. Please open with me to Acts 5:20 […]
060115AM DSS-03 David’s Epitaph .doc David’s Spiritual Secret David’s Epitaph–God’s Servant Acts 13:36 One of the most fascinating branches of history is the study of tomb inscriptions. Most famous among these are the Pharaohs and their pyramids and their guilded remains among intricate inscriptions hidden away among the rock hewn tombs in the Valley of […]
060108PM DSS-02 David’s Spiritual Secret .doc David’s Spiritual Secret Standing Alone Acts 13:22 So, whose life is considered important to God? Well, who did God chose to write more about than any other single person in the whole history of the world? The answer is the young man we met this morning. Please open to […]
When we were born again, we become citizens of Heaven. Salvation was when we entered and began to live in the Kingdom of God, while still living here on Earth. That tension between our citizenship in Heaven, and our stay here on Earth is what so much of the New Testament is written about.
There are three truths that will transform how we look at our calling here on Earth as believers. These three truths we all need to know if we are to master the discipline of disciple-making. Here are those truths:
1. Jesus Taught that Salvation was Coming Under God’s Kingdom & Rule
2. The Apostles Taught that Salvation was Coming Under God’s Kingdom & Rule
3. Disciple-makers Understand that Salvation was Coming Under God’s Kingdom & Rule
Have you noticed how dark it is getting in our land these days? Sins once unspeakably bad are now badges of honor. Things God said merit endless wrath are now the goals of an entire segment of society.
God’s Word teaches us a doctrine called “believer’s baptism” which means that: God has only designed baptism to be applied to believers. Believer’s Baptism started when Jesus Christ said that the way that people were to declare God’s ownership of their lives after they were saved, was when they were baptized in His Name. Jesus included this baptism of believers into the plan for the church.
Jesus came into the world to seek and to save the lost; and that is what it says as we open to Luke 19:10. Jesus spent three plus years talking to groups, and individuals, pointing them to salvation. Then He died for sinners, commending God’s love towards us, as Paul said. That is the heart of our Savior. That is the love of Christ. Jesus is still seeking and saving the lost, every day, all over the world; and He will keep doing that until the last moments of human life on Earth before the end.
The Eternal, Infinite God of the Universe is a Savior, and offers to anyone who will call upon His Name some amazing, supernatural transformations within. That is what the Gospel has been doing from the start: changing humans from the inside out. That is what Paul watched happen across the pagan world of the Roman province of Asia.
SALVATION: THE MIRACLE FROM GOD
Salvation is also the most amazing miracle that we get to see up close throughout our lives as believers. That we were even saved is in itself is a miracle of God’s grace; and those around us who are saved are also part of a constant stream of miracle we get to see and touch personally through life. Getting to disciple a miraculously saved individual is such an encouragement for our faith and walk.
From God’s perspective all humans are born into this world infected with a blinding, crippling virus that left alone: leads to eternal death in darkness and endless pain. So as God looks down He sees us all sitting blindly in the dark on the edge of a deadly chasm. Salvation is when He opens our eyes and turns us from sinful darkness lovers: to God loving and following saints.
Of the millions and millions and millions of people that lived before and during the time period of 15 centuries when God’s Word was written, the vast majority are nameless. People were born, lived, and died without most of the rest of humanity before or after them even knowing their names. The Washington DC think tank called the Population Reference Bureau calculates that by the time of the first century over 40 billion humans had lived and died.
God has given us an amazing picture of salvation in Acts. Salvation has only one Door (Christ), but has many descriptions (these accounts). Every one of us who comes to Christ, finds that He does what these accounts describe when He enters our lives.
God wants to use people. He provides everything needed. All God wants is willingness mixed with humility. When He finds that mix there is no limit to what God can do.
GOD WANTS TO USE US
Paul is an example of the limitless ways God can, did, and continues to use Paul. As God already told us in 1 Chronicles 16:9, His eyes are searching today, as they have always been, looking for those who will seek Him wholeheartedly. God found a whole-hearted servant in Paul. Just the fact that we are reading this account is quite a testimony to what God can do if we invite Him to control our lives.
The only trustworthy, reliable, authoritative explanation of God is right here in our hands: it is God’s Word the Bible.
The Bible is the only real key to unlock truth about God, thus it is: the only sure doorway into His salvation, the only official map that leads to God, the only trustworthy reference book that defines and reveals God, the only verified classification guide to explain what God does, and the only navigational chart that leads us to the True & Living God.
Have you ever wondered how people in the Bible shared the Gospel, and did evangelism way back then? Last week we looked at our Discipline of Discipleship and saw that we have the very same Gospel, the very same Mission, and the very same power source of the Spirit of God. This week we need to go onward to examine exactly how they communicated that Gospel.
1. Each scene in Acts seems more amazing as we walk through these salvation messages. But of all the presentation of the Gospel, this is by all measures the best, most important, and the deepest impact. Paul shares the story of how Jesus Christ met him on the road to Damascus. In Acts 9, the details are sparse, but here the fullest and clearest account comes to us.
As the summer winds down, and we stand before the freshness of a new start this fall. Have you pondered what would be the best investment of your spiritual capital in the fall of 2009? In other words, where are you going to focus your time in pursuit of Christ Jesus the remaining months of this year?
To help you with that choice listen to the incredible challenge Paul lays out in Ephesians 6:18
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints
Paul says that we as believers are to have the priority of prayer in our lives. Prayer should be our first choice, the first option, our first pick when we have a chance to pick an activity.