Sermon Notes

Acts: The Living Church

“The Living Church” series – Part 3 (1/19/20)

Acts 2:14-39 “The True Gospel”

Intro: Pick a major person or event from history. The facts of their life or the event are what they are, whether known or not. In other words, there is only one set of facts, regardless of whether the correct information is told, or even known. What actually happened, is what really happened. Telling the story of the gospel and the early church is the same way. The true gospel of Jesus; which are the facts of His life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, establishment of the church, and sending of the Holy Spirit happened as they did, and communicating a true version is relating a biblically accurate one (not a loose or edited one).

Read Acts 2:14-39

I. The True Gospel is Doctrinal

A. Built on the foundation of the old Testament (v.16-21, v. 25-28, v.34-35)

B. Facilitated by the scripture:

“So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” – Romans 10:17 NKJV

II. The True Gospel is Historical

A. Jesus’ life on Earth divided time (even if modern historians try to change the reference to a non-Jesus acronym like B.C.E. etc.)

B. Jesus’ accomplished mission launched the church

III. The True Gospel is Transformational

A. The example of Peter

B. The new beginning (2 Corinthians 5:14-17)

C. The on-going transformation (sanctification) (Ephesians 5:8-21)

IV. The True Gospel is Available

A. It’s an open call (for now) (v.21, v.39, John 3:16)

B. It’s a personal call (Romans 10:9-10)

V. Conclusion

Questions: “What is the Gospel to you? How do you describe it to others?”

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“The Living Church” series – Part 2 (1/12/20)

Acts 1:15-2:13 “4 Ways the Church is Empowered”

Intro: “Wireless”

  • Wireless listening devices (personal story)
  • They are enabled to do their work (playing music, voice by the base unit)
  • Holy Spirit enables us in the same way to produce something as ones “connected” and empowered

Before reading the text, there are a couple of points of interest:

  • Story of choosing Matthias
  • Description and context of Passover, crucifixion, resurrection, Offering of First Fruits in the Law of Moses, 40 days, ascension, Feast of Weeks in the Law of Moses (Pentecost-Hellenistic “50 days”)
  • Pentecost Feast was on a Sunday-The Lord’s Day

Read Acts 2:1-13

4 ways the church is empowered:

I. There is Empowerment Beyond Natural Limitations (v.4)

A. Holy Spirit’s filling included all disciples (not just the 11 or most likely) (v.3)

B. Other languages – unique and specifically the listeners heard in their own first language, not a common one like Greek, Latin or Aramaic

II. There is Empowerment of Unlikely People (v.7)

A. Their heritage: Galileans were known as uneducated, less sophisticated, at times rough and rebellious

B. Completely without position or official recognition

III. There is Empowerment for God’s Glory (v.11)

A. True empowering from the Holy Spirit directs glory to God (not the messenger)

B. True empowering identifies God’s involvement and goodness

IV. There is Empowerment that Prompts Reactions

A. Many reacted by seeking answers (v.12) (as many will do today when presented truth)

B. Some reacted by mocking what they didn’t understand (v.13) (as many still do today)

V. Conclusion

Questions: “Are we empowered?” Constrained by our natural limits? Feel unlikely? Remember, it for His glory and expect various reactions

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“The Living Church” series – Part 1 (1/5/20)

Acts 1:1-14 “3 Ways the Church was Established in Power”

Intro: 40 days with someone is long enough for the opportunity to have many good conversations. 40 days ago, it was the day the before Thanksgiving. Imagine having an important quest with you since then and every day was committed to having meals together and engaging in conversation. That was the case for the disciples and the time spent with Jesus between the resurrection and the ascension was powerful, encouraging, enlightening, affirming and necessary. Jesus didn’t leave the disciples to simply figure it out to preach a half-baked gospel. He spent weeks with them to answer questions, share new information, ease fears, correct misunderstandings, forgive sin, restore confidence and give guidance.

When we read Luke’s account of the origin of the Church, it’s the story of a unified fellowship moving forward (without all the future details) with a confidence in the Savior.

Read Acts 1:1-14

3 ways the church was established in power:

I. The Power of Jesus’ Resurrection

A. Proof of life (v.3)

  • 40 days of physical presence and seen by many (including 500 at one time-I Cor. 15:6)
  • Debunked false story of body theft being spread by Jewish leadership
  • Coupled with the fact that Romans proved He was dead by a spear to the lungs/heart, resurrection was undeniable

B. Proof of payment (Luke 24:44-49) His death fit all the specifications to meet the Law’s requirements (Paid in full)

C. Proof of a new body (I Cor. 15:50-58 – Last Adam, firstborn of the grave)

Power over sin and death achieved!

II. The Power of the Holy Spirit (v.7-8)

A. The Holy Spirit changes us

  • Initially in salvation transformation
  • On-going in sanctification

B. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin (John 16:5-15)

  • The Lost to be saved
  • Th Saved to be obedient

C. The Holy Spirit guides (John 16:5-15)

  • In truth
  • Only according the Father
  • Points glory to the Son (according the Father’s plan)

Power of the Holy Spirit’s presence and ministry!

III. The Power of the Message

(The job of a witness is to tell the truth of what they observed, did, etc., not to be creative and try to fill in the blanks)

Based on the early church’s example and the scriptural mandate:

A. We are to be witnesses of the scripture record

  • Not getting creative by “reading between the lines”
  • Not attempting to “fill in the blanks”
  • Not adjusting the text to be more palatable to a sinful culture
  • Not pulling verses from context to support non-connected points
  • Witnesses to the Biblical record!

B. We are to be witnesses to a changed life/active faith

  • Your personal story of faith and what Jesus has done in your life
  • Your personal story of on-going life as a believer (not glossed over, but an honest one)

C. We are to be witnesses to a future hope (Colossians 1:24-29) “Christ in us the hope of glory!”)

D. We are to be witnesses wherever we go as God expands the kingdom through us

  • Like He did with the early church (He orchestrated the process)
  • He does the same with us (guiding out steps)

Power of a message that changes lives!

IV. Conclusion

Question: “Is there power in your life?” If you have been transformed by Christ, then:

  • Prayerfully consider the power that lives in you (Holy Spirit)
  • Prayerfully consider the power of the message that changed you and can change others

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