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  • Jan 13 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Keep on Speaking (Acts 18:1-22)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Keep on Speaking (Acts 18:1-22)

https://soundcloud.com/antioch-church-325593234/keep-on-speaking

Download Notes in a .MD file

Keep on Speaking!

Acts 18:1-22 (Pastor Heo)

In Corinth

1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11 So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

12 While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him into court. 13 “This man,” they charged, “is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.”

14 Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to the Jews, “If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. 15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law–settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.” 16 So he had them ejected from the court. 17 Then they all turned on Sosthenes the synagogue ruler and beat him in front of the court. But Gallio showed no concern whatever.

Priscilla, Aquila and Apollos

18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church and then went down to Antioch.


Corinth was 80km SW from Berea.

At that time, Corinth’s reputation for wickedness was well-known at that time. It was a center for trade, business, and travel. It was very notorious for its immorality.

  • “To Corinthianize” = “to practice sexual immorality”.
  • A prostitute was often referred to as “a Corinthian girl.”

This was not (seemingly) an ideal place to launch a ministry. But Paul saw it as both a great challenge AND opportunity.

In challenge, there is opportunity.

In opportunity, there is challenge.

v. 1-3

“1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.”

By the providence / guidance of God, Paul met this couple. They were “tentmakers” – they made canopies and other leather goods. They had lived in Rome, but had been expelled by the Emperor Claudius – the (fourth) emperor of the Roman Empire. His successor was Nero (fifth).

At that time, all Jewish boys were expected to learn a hand-skill. Paul was a tentmaker as his secular job. Rabbis said, “A man who does not teach his man to work, teaches him to steal.”

So, from this story, self-supporting missionaries are still called “tentmaker missionaries” today.

This couple was a wonderful role-model for modern Christian couples who wanted to make an eternal difference in the world. Their names appear here 4 times, and Paul mentions them 3 times in his letters. 2 Corinthians, 1 Timothy, Romans. “Aquila and Priscilla, my fellow workers in Christ.”

At least 4 timeless qualities enabled them to have the ability to minister with Paul.

4 Qualities of this Christian couple

1. Lives were steeped in the Word of God

They spent much time with Paul, heard him preach and teach many times, so they knew and understood the Scriptures very well.

2. They had spiritual eyes toward eternity

Even though tentmakers by trade, they were focused on something far more important and significant. They were investing in people, seeking to build Christ’s church.

3. They were always available

They were willing to go and move where needed, their house was always open.

4. They were radically committed to ministry with Paul.

They were very stable, very committed, and God worked powerfully through them.

How much does God work in your marriage? God bless your marriage.

v. 4-10

“4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” “

As usual, there was still opposition against Paul and his ministry. But we must remember that to walk by faith, this means “to see opportunities in the midst of opposition.”

  • Pessimist = opposition all the time
  • Optimist = opportunities all the time

Which are you?

  • Realist? = opportunities IN opposition

Even though Paul confronts many oppositions and abuses here, he did not close his eyes to these dangers and difficulties – but he did look at them from a divine, godly point of view. To “obey” means to follow and do the will of God regardless of our circumstances.

There is NO easy place in this world. If there is, there may be something wrong.

Timothy 3:12 “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in this world will be persecuted.”

What matters is NOT our circumstances but our ATTITUDE about our circumstances.

“Our attitudes should be the same as Christ Jesus.”


Story

There was a big shoe company. They sent workers to an undeveloped country to figure out a marketing strategy.

  • One man said, “Impossible! We cannot sell shoes because they are all barefoot!”
  • Another man, “Oh yeah! So exciting! We can sell MANY because all of them NEED shoes!”

This is the same in the Bible:

12 men of Israel when spying out Canaan experienced the same thing.

  • 10 said, “We are too few, and too small. We will die.”
  • 2 (Joshua and Caleb): “No! We can go forward and conquer them! Let’s go!”

What made them different?

  • The 10 saw only what is VISIBLE.
    • But the 2 saw what is INvisible in the visible.
  • 10 did not see the unseen God who was with them.
    • 2 saw the unseen God who was with them.

Yes, even today, with real faith in Christ, we must be able to SEE what is unseen. We must see the unseen God who is with us all the time. This is the vision.

Paul’s European mission started with a vision of the Man of Macedonia (chp 16). “Come to Macedonia and help us.” His vision ended with a vision of the Lord.

v. 9-10

“9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.””

In this vision, the first word God said to Paul was “Do not be afraid.” (The same word he spoke to Joshua in Canaan – the same word he speaks to US when we are in trouble.)

“Do not be afraid.” can calm the storms in our lives when everything looks chaotic.

  • To Abraham: “Do not be afraid. I’m your shield, your very great reward.”
  • To Isaac: “Do not be afraid. I’m with you.”
  • To Jacob: “Do not be afraid to go to Egypt. I’m with you and will make you into a great nation.”
  • Isaiah 10:41 “Do not be afraid. I’m with you and will uphold you and strengthen you with my mighty right hand.”
  • John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled…”

Can you not hear his voice today calling to you as well?


“Do not be afraid.”

Why? “I am with you.”


Do you recognize that God is with you?

God is a spirit, within all things, out of all things, above all things, below all things, holy, presiding, supporting, sustaining, filling, he is here with us, over, under, inside us, but not confined – not shut in.

His name is “EMMANUEL” (God with us). He lives up to his name.


Story

One Sunday school teacher read to his class: Matthew 28:20 “I am with you to the very end of the age!”

  • He said, “What a wonderful promise! Isn’t it?”
  • One small student said, “Teacher? This is not a promise. It’s a fact…”

We can enjoy and feel this now and here.

So, as long as we remember and feel that God is with us – through his Holy Spirit, we can be sure that nothing can (ultimately) attack or harm us. (v. 10)

  • But we know that Paul experienced so many kinds of hardships and sufferings.
  • But God said, “No one can harm you.” Hmm. Contradictory? No.

From an eternal perspective, we are not living only 100 years on this earth. From ETERNITY, this is true.

Jesus says, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes, no one can harm you.”

Remember, Jesus FIRST concern is on his witness and witnesses.

“All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me; therefore, go and make disciples of all nations.”

This means that WHEN we go and preach of him, HIS authority will be shown through us.

Jesus’ first concern is on his witness. This is logical.

Also, “Do not be silent. Keep on speaking. Because I have many people in this city.”

This sentence implies: the doctrine of divine election because God KNOWS who will be saved. He knows those who are his.

John 10:16 “I have other sheep.”

We are Jesus’ sheep; he is our shepherd.

Jesus says, “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them to this sheep pen and they must listen to my voice. They shall be one flock and one shepherd.”

However,

God’s sovereignty in Divine Election does not negate Man’s responsibility. Actually, quite the opposite. We should remember that BECAUSE God has some set aside for himself, we must obey his commission.

  1. His job is to “save sinners.” That’s not OUR job.
  2. You know, if others’ salvation depended on OUR work, voices, skill, it would be hopeless.
  3. But because others’ salvation is dependent wholly on God, we can depend and trust him that when we preach the Word, (scatter seed), he will do the rest.

“God desires all men to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

“Here is a trustworthy saying, that Christ came to save sinners.”

God says, “I have many people in THIS city” today! (Jeonju)

I have MANY people to save, and to BE saved in THIS city (Jeonju).

So, we have more than enough reason to keep on preaching and not be silent.

v. 18-22

“18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea [seaport of Corinth] because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church [Jerusalem church] and then went down to Antioch [church].”

Paul completed his mission at Corinth and then before sailing to Ephesus, cut off his hair as a sign of a vow.

Would you do this? Cut your hair for a vow? We do not know this vow nor this reason, but it is a special dedication to God and a special expression to God for all the things he’d done through Paul’s missionary journey until now.

He then sailed for Ephesus (returning to Asia Minor – part of Turkey today). In Ephesus, the people asked Paul to stay more with them, but he said, “No, sorry, I must hurry on. But, if it is God’s will, I will return later.”

Why? According to Jewish Law, the Nazarite vow had to be completed AT Jerusalem with offerings of proper sacrifices. That’s why Paul was in a hurry to go to Jerusalem and complete his vow. Then, he went to his home church Antioch to report to his missionary team.

Still today, God is working through his workers. He says,

  • “Do not be afraid!
  • Keep on speaking!
  • Do not be silent!
  • I have many people (to save) in this city!”

That is the main reason to keep on speaking and not be silent.

God bless us all as his missionaries in this world.

Let’s pray.

  • May 31 / 2015
  • Comments Off on And Then THE END Will Come (Matthew 24:14)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

And Then THE END Will Come (Matthew 24:14)

05.31.2015

05.31.2015-PHeo

Sermon Notes

And then THE END will come!

Download Notes in an .RTF file

Matthew 24:14 (Pastor Heo)

And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then THE END will come.


 

This verse is the KEY verse of this whole chapter. I challenge you to memorize this verse in your mind, heart, and actions.

“And then THE END will come” = “And then I will come” – someday Jesus will come back bodily so that every eye can see him.

Last time, we studied about the “Last Days” – from the Fall of Adam (Genesis 3) was the Beginning of the Last Days and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is the End of the Last Days. There were many horrors in the Last Days: love of money, self, pleasure, false Christs and prophets, wars, rumors of wars, natural disasters, droughts, famines, etc.

This verse is the sign of all signs of the Last Days. The End is not yet – all the other signs.

This sign = the End is coming.

Jesus says, “Watch out that no one deceives you.” The only way is to FOCUS our eyes and thoughts on Jesus Christ. There is no Savior outside the Bible. Whenever we look for signs outside the Bible, we become very susceptible to deception.

Another only sure way to prepare the Last Days is to preach the gospel to all nations.

Here is one question for us all to ponder: What is the most rewarding, best thing, we can do in this world but cannot do in the next world any longer? What is the most important thing we cannot do in heaven? Do you want to live a truly meaningful life?

The answer is: I cannot be an evangelist in heaven.

You may have not thought of this answer before, but to share our faith, our testimony with non-believers is the #1 thing we can do on earth that we will not be able to do in heaven. How are you doing? When was the last time you told someone about Christ?

The truth is, God has chosen us to preach the gospel in this world. Is it any wonder why more people are NOT becoming Christians? If we do not do our best, if we neglect to make the most of every opportunity to share our faith with others, they have no chance to hear the gospel, nor make a decision for Christ, they will die in their sins, and be separated from God in eternity in a very real place of torment: Hell.

Maybe you think: I have no gift of evangelism, so isn’t it OK for me to defer this task of evangelism to those who do?

Yes, some are gifted in evangelism, but this doesn’t let the rest of us off the hook. The Great Commission is to “go and make disciples of all nations.”

The first step in this is to make a decision that Jesus is our Savior, the Creator, and God.

In this short verse: 14 – the keywords are plentiful.

EACH word is a keyword.

“This gospel of the kingdom…”

The term gospel = “good news” – we are familiar with this – but the full meaning of this is “good news of great joy for all people for all time.” This gospel word is used in various ways. The first four books of the New Testament are called “Gospels according to…” – and of course the whole Bible is God’s gospel to humanity – all the revelation of God to his Creation is “gospel” – human history, revelation, human consciousness, etc. This is a very broad definition.

More narrowly, the death and resurrection of Christ is the more focused gospel “good news” message.

Yes, there are many ways to the United Kingdom, but only ONE way to the Heavenly Kingdom. Only through Christ.

Yes, there are many remedies for physical sicknesses, but the only remedy for sin is Jesus Christ.

  • 1 John 1:7 “The blood of Christ covers us.”
  • 1 John 2:2 “Jesus is our atoning sacrifice – for the whole world.”
  • John 3:16 “God so loved the world…”
  • John “God demonstrated his love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us…”
  • “If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, you will be saved.”

This is the gospel message of Heaven.

What is your decision for Christ? This is the most serious and vital question we must solve. Our decision for Christ decides our eternity.

Hebrews 9:27 “Just as man is destined to die once and after that to face the Judgment.”

No matter how beautiful a bridge may look, we do not build our house on that bridge. Bridges are for us to pass by. Don’t build your house on that bridge – this is life in this world.

James 4:14 “Do not boast about tomorrow for you do not know what a day may bring.”

Your life in this world is an opportunity to make a decision for Christ – your decision in this life determines how you will be in the next world. This is the heart of the gospel message of heaven.

“…all nations…”

  • Mark 16:14 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all Creation because God wants ALL to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.”
  • “God is not slow in delivering on his promises, but he wants ALL to come to repentance in Jesus Christ.”

In this sentence, “nation” does not count “countries” divided politically by lines. I did not count, but I heard there are 206 countries divided on this earth. Within these countries, there are the same people groups sharing ethnic culture and languages.

… Winter – from US – mysiologically? Indonesia has more than 780 nations. China has over 500 nations. Bangaladesh, Pakistan 400, Nepal 350?

Why is it so difficult to be an evangelist?

Yes, there are many obstacles that get in the way – but here are TWO and how to overcome these obstacles:

#1: Lack of knowledge barrier

This is when we THINK we do not know enough about the Bible or theology to effectively answer people’s questions.

Answer: FOCUS our witnessing opportunities on JESUS and his divinity.

How many times did you hear someone say: “OK I believe Jesus lived 2000 years ago. I know he was a good man, a good moral teacher, a good prophet. But I NEVER believe he was God, NOR that he said he was God.”?

But the truth is that Jesus DID claim to be God – there are many examples in the Book of John – one day he asked the Jews why they were about to stone him – “for which of these miracles from heaven do you stone me?” – “Not for these miracles, but because you, a mere man, claim to be God – blasphemy!” We can see how the Bible uses Jesus’ personal testimony as a tool for evangelism.

When a person is faced with evidence of Jesus divine stature and sees it with their own eyes, they MUST make a decision.

This is the quickest, shortest means for getting to the heart of the gospel message.

  • 2 Cor 4:5 “We do not preach, but Christ in us preaches.”
  • 1 Tim 1:15 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

#2: Fear barrier

Are you afraid of rejection? And persecution? Please remember, if you receive persecution because of your evangelism activity, BE JOYFUL! because Jesus says (Matthew 5) “Blessed are you when people persecute you because of me, for great is your reward in heaven.”

Actually, how can we NOT receive ANY persecution in this world because of Christ?

Remember, our job is NOT conversion.

Our job is just to SCATTER seed – the seed of truth that reveals the character and deity of Jesus Christ and what he has done for us on the cross.

Bible says,

  1. “God is pleased through the foolishness of what was preaching for the harvest?”
  2. “One sows, another reaps.”

Even Paul (the greatest evangelist in history) did NOT say, “Yup, that was me. I did that. I converted that guy.” Rather he said, “I just planted the seed. Neither he who plants, nor he who waters is anything. It is only God who makes something grow.” (Eph?)

The foolishness of God is more powerful than the strength of human beings.

Remember, an evangelist’s life can NEVER be fruitless. It can NEVER be a failure. But, a fruitless evangelist’s life is MORE fruitful than a fruitful businessman’s life in the eternal perspective.

If you fail as an evangelist, you are more fruitful (eternally) than a successful businessman.

This is not to say “don’t go into business” but the point is, if we are truly born again Christians, no matter what secular job we have in this world, we REMAIN in this world as an evangelist.

Are you a businessman? You are businessman evangelist. Are you a teacher? You are a teacher evangelist….

  1. Evangelists are the world’s history leading heroes.
  2. Evangelists are the world’s leading heroes throughout history.

The Bible closes with a last verse: Rev. 22:25 “He who testifies to these things, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ ‘AMEN.’”

Jesus Christ, the author of history is tuning, arranging his Second Coming’s schedule based on the activity of his evangelists.

Let us shout and proclaim this verse together:

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then THE END will come.

Do you believe this?

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 01 / 2013
  • Comments Off on All About This New Life (Acts 5:12-29)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

All About This New Life (Acts 5:12-29)

12.01

12.01.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Apostles Heal Many

12 The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.

The Apostles Persecuted

17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees,were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people the full message of this new life.” 21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin–the full assembly of the elders of Israel–and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22 But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, 23 “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24 On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were puzzled, wondering what would come of this. 25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” 26 At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them. 27 Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” 29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men! 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead–whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”


Previously, Ananias and Sapphira died after lying to the community of believers by falsifying the amount of money they’d received and given after the sale of their property.

Before that, Peter and John had been released from prison by God, and they’d prayed for signs and wonders from God for healing. There were some.

The church agreed to sell and give their money at times to give to the poor among them so that no one would be in need. Barnabas was a good example of this. He sold a field and gave all the money to the apostles.

Ananias and Sapphira also sold a field and tried to give the impression that they were giving ALL the money, BUT, that was a lie. Peter said, “Why has Satan filled your heart with these things?” Ananias fell down dead and three hours later, his wife arrived and lied as well – she also fell down dead.

Great fear came upon the church.

Later in Acts, we read that “great grace was upon them all.”

We’ve all been guilty of hypocrisy, but it was likely the intensity of the power and Spirit of God there that their attitude was taken and dealt with more harshly. It had to be cut out. (I believe they were “promoted to heaven” early before they could do anything else.)

We can’t just emphasize the LOVE of God without also emphasizing his HOLINESS. He has a HOLY love. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever, the beginning of wisdom.

Jesus delighted in that – in Isaiah we read that he was filled with and walked in the fear of the Lord. Is this enslaving fear? No, perfect love casts out all fear. There is, however, a reverence for God. A fear of grieving Him, of walking outside of His will, it keeps us from evil.

Ananias and Sapphira ignored that fear and paid the price ultimately.

The atmosphere of the early church was charged with grace and now also with this kind of fear.

In v 12, the apostles performed many signs and wonders.

A&S didn’t repent, Peter gave them a chance, so they were killed. There was a holy fear, holy awe both in and OUT of the church after this.

Luke, the writer of Acts uses “ecclesia” for the first time in the book – this is the Greek word for “church.” He uses it to describe both the local and the universal church. This is a different word from “synagogue.” It actually means, a citizen’s assembly. These are the citizen’s of heaven – so it is appropriate here.

Church sometimes has bad meanings that ecclesia doesn’t.

  1. Do we “go” to church? We are the church. We GO.
  2. Is the church the building? We are the church.

Luke writes that the apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. Earlier they’d prayed that God would do this. A&S’s deaths were also examples of supernatural powers (this was a negative example among many positive examples). In fact, the supernatural powers of God were so great that if people merely lay under Peter’s shadow, there were ALL healed. Imagine that. People lining the sides of the street…

It was in this atmosphere that people were healed.

Jesus had also said that the apostles would do greater works than he had. In fact, even just the amount of the converts on Pentecost was greater than Jesus’ work previously. But, it was Jesus’ spirit in them that enabled that.

When a woman came asking Jesus for help for her daughter, Jesus tested her faith. “It’s not fit to give the children’s bread to the dogs.” She responded well, “But it’s OK for the dogs to eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.” She wasn’t a Jew, she wanted the crumbs from the Master’s table – Jesus was pleased with her faith and said, “Go, the demon is out of your daughter.” This was an instance of a distance healing.

In Acts 19:11, through Paul, God did extraordinary miracles through Paul – just by touching a handkerchief he touched, people were healed.

The church now regularly meets in Solomon’s Colonnade – a part of the temple. And they are held in such awe and reverence that “no one dared join them.” (v. 13). No one was willing to pretend to believe unless they actually did. They’d seen what had happened to others.

Yet, more and more DID believe and were added to their numbers. There were some whose minds and hearts were opened and who joined the community.

William Barclay: “Of the others, no one dared to meddle with them – interfere without invitation.”

v. 16 – Gospel is spreading to the towns around Jerusalem and is advancing into all of Judea. But the effectiveness of the words and deeds of the apostles causes the religious leaders to become jealous and take action.

The High Priests and the “Sad You Sees” arrested the apostles – ALL of them and put them in the public jail. Essentially, they are being punished for the (Counsel’s) order to not preach in Jesus’ name. Yet, another miracle happens – the doors are opened by angels – and they tell them to go BACK to the temple and continue preaching about this “New Life”.

The new life has a present and a future tense.

  • Future: resurrection – some to eternal life (great for those who believe) some to eternal condemnation (not so hot).
  • Present: those who believe begin a literal NEW life RIGHT NOW. They grow in faith, the fruit of the Spirit, try to go away from sin and toward God.

1 Corinthians 15: “Now brothers I want to remind you of the gospel which I preached and on which you’ve believed…if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you, and haven’t believed in vain.”

The new life also means the “after-conversion” life. They are buried with Jesus in his death (in baptism) but are also raised with Christ in his resurrection (Romans 6:4). “We too may live a new life.”

Do we have that new life? How do we get it?

By believing that Jesus was the Son of God, came to earth to die for our sins, to be a substitutionary attonement for our sins, to grant us forgiveness for our sins, reconciliation with God, and eternal life forever after. And to continue believing that.

We begin the life of faith by believing, we live the life of faith by belief, and we end the life of faith by belief.

In the Counsel, someone rushes in and says “Hey guys! Those guys! Preaching to other guys!”

An angel set them free and they are back making more trouble in the temple. So, the religious guys go from the temple, to the jail, back to the temple, back to jail – they aren’t there, back to the temple, arrest them AGAIN (they don’t resist) and the religious leaders are concerned that they are being singled-out for the death of Jesus “The apostles are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” Apostles, “No, no, no, it’s all about repentance man!” They say, “we should obey God rather than men.”

Communion next. Let’s prepare our hearts. Examine your hearts so that we can partake worthily of the elements that represent the body and blood of Christ.

  • Jan 11 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Genesis 31-33 (Bible-365.11): Esau’s Christ-likeness
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Genesis 31-33 (Bible-365.11): Esau’s Christ-likeness

Observation

In Genesis 31, Jacob flees from Laban his uncle with all his possessions and family. But first, he spoke to his wives about it to convince them of his “truth” and set their hearts against their father and for him. The daughters agreed with him – “Our father treats us like foreigners! So, everything he has is rightfully ours!” And they all set off secretly, while Rachel stole her father’s gods (so Laban is not a God follower then? Is Rachel? Is Jacob even?). Laban pursued them, caught them, and searched for his gods, which his daughter Rachel lied about and deceived him again. Then Jacob and Laban set up a marker to forever divide their lands and families.

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So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen