Tag Archives: Church growth

The Church We Strive To Be

The three names “Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus” are the Roman forms of the names for Saul of Tarsus (see Acts 13:9), Silas (see Acts 15:22,27,32; 1 Pet. 5:12), and Timothy (see Acts 16:1-3). The Church at Thessaloniki is located in an area that is predominantly Gentile in its culture. When Saul took on the name of “Paul”, he abandoned his Jewish privileges in order to reach out to the Gentiles in the name of Jesus. The name “Paul” in the Greek actually means “a little one”. The Apostle Paul did great things for Jesus because he minimized himself, but maximized serving the Lord. Paul was “little”, not “big” headed. Paul wrote of himself in humility, saying …

1 Corinthians 15:9 … I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Paul the Apostle not only minimized his office as Apostle, but also wrote:

Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

Though Paul considered himself a “saint” (the Greek ἅγιος hagios, which means “a person set apart for God’s use”), he considered himself to be “less than the least” of all the Saints. On the other hand, when Paul considered his brokenness as a sinner, he wrote:

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Paul did not see himself as someone “special”, but as a terribly broken person. His acceptance of his brokenness made it possible for God to use him in a mighty way. When we humble ourselves, Jesus can do great things for us. As the Apostle addresses the Church at Thessaloniki he says:… Continue reading

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Message From A Basket

Turn with me in your Bibles to Acts 9:15.

Last week we saw a man named Saul knocked down on the Damascus Road by Jesus Christ our Lord. The man was arrogant. The man was self righteous. The man was murderous. The man was calloused, with a hardened heart. But Jesus had a plan for this man’s life. Knocked down and blinded, this now repentant man was led to Damascus, where he waited three days without sight, food, or water (Acts 9:9).

Saul waited on the Lord … and on the Lord’s servant Ananias. On the third day Jesus spoke to Ananias and told him to “put your hand on him, that he might receive his sight”. Jesus was talking about more than just physical sight. When Ananias touched Saul, he would gain both physical and spiritual sight.

Saul Is A Chosen Vessel

Ananias was scared to go to Saul, but the Lord assured him. Read with me:

Acts 9:15-18 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. 17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy {Spirit}. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized … Continue reading

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Sermon From A Chariot

When we read through the Book of Acts, we see how the early Church – even in the midst of great persecution in pagan Rome – was caused to grow by God. The Holy Spirit was given on the Day of Pentecost, just as Jesus promised (Acts 1:8; John 14:26). God’s people were willing to obey the voice of the Lord.

The Kingdom of God grows when members of that Kingdom – Christians who are “children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26) walk in partnership with God, following His direction.

The Bible commands Christians to “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16). We are to “yield ourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead” (Romans 6:13). We are to “bring forth fruit unto God” (Romans 7:4). We do this by telling others about Jesus and the great Grace we enjoy.

In every instance where the Kingdom of God grew in the Book of Acts, it grew because believers shared what Jesus Christ did for us. God saves us by faith in Jesus. Once a person is saved, they are changed to live their lives for Jesus. An old song we often sing, Amazing Grace, says:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but NOW am FOUND,
Was blind but NOW I SEE.

Those who experience the Amazing Grace of God become workers together for God’s Kingdom (2 Corinthians 6:1). The stepbrother… Continue reading

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