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Part I:  The Gospel visible in unity  .  Acts 1-2.  

 

Prayer to the Father

Immediate needs  -  They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.  Acts 1:14 

Past problems - Peter said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, . . .  Acts 1:16 

Future promises - Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Acts 1:4

 

Power of the Spirit

One group - When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Acts 2:1

One place - When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Acts 2:1 

One Spirit - All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.  Acts 2:4

One language - All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.  Acts 2:4

 

Preaching the Son

One story - Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you.  Acts 2:14

One savior - Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.  Acts 2:36 

One message - But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.  Acts 2:24  

One response - Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Acts 2:38

 

Persecution

One warning - With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.  Acts 2:40

 

Progress

One day: 3,000 changed lives - Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.  Acts 2:41

 

God’s Message for the Church

  • Pray for God’s guidance, which leads to unity

  • Seek unity, not division, in the Body of Christ

  • Unity in message: one story, one message, one savior

  • Be transformed, and transform your world

 

 

 

Part II: The Gospel that Inspires Us to Stand.  Acts 3      

 

I.  Prayer

a. As a lifestyle - Acts 3:1 "One day Peter and Johnwere going up to the templeat the time of prayer."

b. In good times and bad - Acts 2:47 "praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

 

II.  Power

a. The man who was healed - Acts 3:2 "Now a man who was lame from birthwas being carried to the temple"

b. The ones called to heal - Acts 3:4 " Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!”

c. The power of God displayed - Acts 3:7 "instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong"

d. Awe and amazement - Acts 3:10  "The people were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him."

 

III. Proclamation of Our Story

a. Messiah came

b. Messiah died

c. Messiah raised from the dead

d. Messiah still working miracles in our community

e. Anyone can join our community if they repent

f. Messiah will return one day for his community

 

 

IV. Persecution

a. Disturbed “peace” - Acts 4:2 " They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead."

b. Put in jail - Acts 4:3 "They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day"

V. Progress

a. Growth in community - Acts 4:4 "But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.

b. Growth in Peter - Acts 4:8 "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them." 

 

What should we do?

  • The Gospel inspires us to pray always.

  • The Gospel inspires us be prepared daily for our mission.

  • The Gospel inspires Praise and Joy!

  • The Gospel inspires us to stand up!

 

The Gospel Pt III:  The Gospel in a purified community  Acts 4-5

 

I.  Prayer

a. The Christian community prays together

Acts 4:24 they raised their voices together in prayer to God.
 

b. God’s sovereignty

Acts 4:24 “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.”

 

c. Prayer for boldness

Acts 4:29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness

 

d. Prayer for signs

Acts 4:30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.

 

 

II.  The character of the church

a.  Filled with Spirit

Acts 4:31 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.

 

b.  Boldness

Acts 4:31 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

 

c.  Unity

Acts 4:32 All the believers were one in heart and mind.

 

d.  Community

Acts 4:32-33  No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all

 

 

III.  A sign of purification: preparation

a.  An intentional deception

Acts 5:2  With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

 

b.  God’s protection of his people

Acts 5:3 how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit

 

c.  The “fear” of the people

Acts 5:5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who

 

d.  heard what had happened.

Acts 5:11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events

Acts 5:13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.

 

 

IV.  The reality of persecution

a.  An attempt to silence the Gospel

Acts 5:40  They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

 

b.  Rejoicing in suffering

Acts 5:41  The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.

 

 

V.  Progress for the church

a.  Character increases

Acts 5:42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

 

b.  Disciples increase

Acts 6:1.  In those days when the number of disciples was increasing,

 

The Gospel Pt IV: Gospel Visible in Suffering

Acts 5:33-39; 6:8-15; 7:54-8:3

 

The Church Persecuted

I.  Insulted

Acts 2:13  Some made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

 

II.  Challenged

Acts 4:7.  By what power do you do these things?

 

III.  Silenced

Acts 4:17.  We must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name.

 

IV.  Jailed

Acts 5:17-18  Filled with jealousy, they arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.

 

V.  Beaten

Acts 5:40.  They had them flogged.  They were ordered never to speak in Jesus’ name again.

 

VI.  Killed

Acts 7:58  They dragged Stephen out of the city and began to stone him.

 

 

The Church Grows

Acts 2:47  The Lord added to their number daily

Acts 4:4.  The number of men grew to about 5,000

Acts 6:1.  In those days, when the number of disciples was increasing

 

 

The Reason for Persecution

I.  Jealousy

Acts 5:17  The members of the Sadducees were filled with jealousy

 

II.  Misunderstanding

Acts 4:2  They were greatly disturbed

 

III.  Religious pride

Acts 4:13.  When they saw that they were ordinary, unschooled men

 

IV.  Fear of political rebellion

Acts 4:17  To keep this from spreading among the people

Acts 5:38  If there purpose is of human origin, it will fail

 

V.  Unable to control this movement

VI.  SIN

 

 

Why was there growth in the midst of persecution?

I.  Power of the Spirit and The plan of God for growing his church

II.  Open about their faith

III.  Clear with their message

IV.  Christ-like in their faith

Publically lived the truth, even when under pressure

Willing to die for faith

Full of forgiveness

Living in the Spirit

V.  Focus on Jesus himself

Did not respond as enemies expected

Comforted by the Divine, not the temporary

 

 

 

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