Category Archives: Acts

And Stephen

The very first man the Church chose was called Stephen (vs 5). Stephen and these other six men did what they were supposed to do. As they MINISTERED, the MURMURING ceased. Rather than the cancer of murmuring killing the Body, we are told:

Acts 6:7 … The number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith”

The Church began to reach even the hardest to reach. “A great company of the priests were obedient to the faith”. The priests were part of the group that called for Christ’s crucifixion. Now, through love, these “enemies of the Cross” became “children of Christ”.

At this point the narrative in Acts focuses on the standout named simply Stephen. A lot of time is taken with Stephen, because Stephen would have the privilege of being the first martyr of the Church. We saw earlier that Stephen was “full of the Holy {Spirit} and wisdom”, and now read:

Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Stephen refused to allow anything in his spiritual walk that was negative or degrading. Stephen would not allow himself to be filled with FEAR, nor CONFUSION. Stephen refused to entertain notions of darkness. Stephen did this by staying busy in Christ, giving to others as Christ gave to him. The Apostle said:

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,… Continue reading

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What’s Your Power Source, Part 3

Please turn with me in your Bibles to Acts chapter four.

I have a workshop outside my home, one that I love to go and tinker in. I love woodworking. I love taking raw wood, and turning it into attractive and useful things. There’s a pleasure in working with your hands and your mind. Anyway, I have three basic types of tools in my shop.

• I have tools that require no external power source, things like chisels, hammers, screwdrivers, hand crank drills, hand saws, etc. These tools are ME powered. It takes MY energy to drive them, and they stop working when I myself get tired.
• I have tools that are battery operated. I love these things, because they have no power cord to get in my way. They run off of lithium batteries, which store a charge for a long time, and are able to deliver a lot of power to my tools. When the battery dies, that is, runs out of charge, it stops quickly. When this happens I have to put in another battery that is charged, or let this battery charge before I can continue my work.
• I have tools that are power cord operated. Though the cord limits my freedom of movement, the tool will keep on running as long as I have it plugged into the wall AND pay my electric bill.

What does any of this have to do with the Christian way of life? Our God has given us resources to enable us to live in this world, but empowered by His Kingdom. Sometimes we want to live out our lives in our own power. We use our strength, just as I use hand tools in my shop. Sometimes this is effective – but after a while we just run out of energy. The Lord said:… Continue reading

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What’s Your Power Source, Part 2

This morning we were in Acts Chapter Four asking the question, “What’s Your Power Source?” We will shortly be in Acts Chapter Five as we continue this subject.

I believe the weakness of the Church in America today can be attributed to many programs and many human solutions, but we pay little attention to God the Holy Spirit. We fill ourselves with our own talents and abilities. I was reading an article the other day where the Author said something like this:

“God was invented by man when we lived in simpler times. But now that we have become technologically advanced, now that we have medical science, now that we make our own miracles, we no longer need God. God is obsolete. We are our own God.”

I think this is foolishness – and delusion. As Solomon said, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, ESV). Solomon was caught up in the accomplishments and abilities of his advanced age. Solomon in his wisdom did much good in Israel. And yet, without God, Solomon said “vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:2-3, KJV). If God is not in it, if you live a life with no greater purpose than to satisfy yourself, in time life itself seems meaningless! Solomon for all of his riches and all of his knowledge, ended Ecclesiastes with:

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man…. Continue reading

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What’s Your Power Source

So now we come to chapter four. Peter is preaching the Gospel in Solomon’s Porch (Acts 3:11). This is the exact same porch where Jesus told the Pharisees and Priests that He was the Christ (John 10:23), and the “Jews took up stones again to stone {Jesus}” (John 10:31). They could not kill Jesus, as it was not yet His time to be crucified. “Jesus escaped out of their hand” (John 10:39). But they tried to kill Him.

It is on this same porch – Solomon’s Porch – that Peter and John are confronted by (guess who?) the same curmudgeons that Jesus had to meet. The lost world despises the true Jesus, but desperately needs to Gospel!

Acts 4:1-2 And as they {Peter and John} spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

As Peter is preaching… Continue reading

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About The Ninth Hour

Turn with me in your Bibles to Acts chapter 3. This historic Gospel was written – along with the Gospel of Luke – by the Physician Luke, a companion of the Apostles. Luke, thought by many to be a Gentile, also wrote the Gospel of Luke. An early Church Pastor named Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 130-202) wrote, “Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him.”

In the Book of Acts the outreach of the Apostles are recorded. The Apostles ministered in a culture that despised Christ. The Jewish hierarchy thought Jesus was a heretic, and His followers a cult. The Gentile hierarchy thought the “Christians” (a term invented by unbelievers to mock the followers of Christ) were either simple minded or treasonous. Yet the Apostles preached the “Good News of Salvation” through faith in the name of Jesus Christ.

After the Day of Pentecost some 3000 believers were added by God to the Church. The Church “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42). The Bible says the Church “continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat… Continue reading

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Why Sunday School?

The early Church, started on the Day of Pentecost by God and His people, grew and excelled. This is amazing, because the Church itself owned no real estate, had no buildings, and usually met on “Solomon’s Porch” in the Temple. The Church grew even though it was attacked as a cult by the Pharisees, priests, and Ruling Elders of Israel (the Sanhedrin). It was also considered seditious by Roman authorities, for Christians would not acknowledge “Caesar is Lord” as all good Romans would do.

Yet the Church grew. It excelled. Why would it grow in such a toxic environment? The Church did three things:

The Church Obeyed Jesus… Continue reading

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The Mob And The Rule Of Law

I never know what I’m going to preach until God puts it on my heart. This morning I was searching the Internet for news. The major news networks do not give news, but opinion and bias. I just want to be informed. Anyway, in one of my news feeds I found an article entitled “Tennessee In National Spotlight With Harsh Penalties For Protesters”. The article, written by Nikki Junewicz, focused on a bill passed by our state legislature. Bill 8005 passed in the Tennessee House with 71 Ayes, 20 Noes. The Bill passed in the Tennessee Senate with 25 Ayes, 4 Noes. Governor Bill Lee signed… Continue reading

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The Gospel In Three Words

Our message today is part of a larger sermon preached by the Apostle Peter. On the first day of the Church, this first of the Apostles preached the first sermon the Church ever heard foillowing the ascention of Jesus. Three words stand out in this sermon Peter preached, three very important words, the basis of the Gospel of salvation. Continue reading

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More Blessed To Give

The Apostle quotes the Lord Jesus Christ, and tells the young Church to remember the words of the Lord Jesus. He was quoting a word that Jesus said that many had heard. Yet here’s what’s interesting. If you look through the Gospels you will NOT find this word anywhere. Neither Matthew, Mark, Luke, nor John record these words from our Lord… Continue reading

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