Sermons on Acts
Luke, in Acts 20, narrates Paul’s journey to Jerusalem. Despite “hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost” (Acts 20:16), Paul took time to stop in Miletus and meet with the elders of the church in Ephesus (Acts 20:17). Luke uses three different terms to refer to those elders in his record of Paul’s conversation – “elders” (Acts 20:17), “overseers” (Acts 20:28), and shepherds (Acts 20:28). Luke’s descriptions of elders map the role of the leaders to whom God entrusts the care of local congregations (cf. Acts 20:28) and offers insights into their place within our church family. We will therefore consider the terms “elders”, “overseers”, and “shepherds” in this lesson as we prepare to begin the process to appoint additional elders for our church family.
Acts 17:11-12–God is not far from those who are eager to learn. It’s why we must be on the lookout for excusing our spiritual stubbornness. It’s easy to see in others, but easy to miss in ourselves. Christians who are learners avoid the trap of unrepentant stubbornness. They receive God’s Word with great eagerness. They examine the Scriptures every day to see what is true.
Acts 8:1-5–The first Christians were harassed and killed, robbed and evicted. The most significant action the individual Christian took was to focus on the next person they met, even if that person was a stranger. They acted like they believed the message of the gospel wasn’t just for people like them, but instead for anyone willing to follow Jesus.
Tell the Story 1 Peter 3:15 If someone asked me why I put my hope in Jesus, what would I say? I could probably give several reasons, but have you ever been caught off guard and later wished you’d said something better, or different? It’s hard to always be ready. But Paul’s recollection of his conversion in Acts 22 help us to have our eyes open. He helps us to be on the lookout for those seeking a reason for hope. He also reminds us of why we place our hope in Jesus.
Acts 10 — The idea of world-wide evangelism forms an important part of the history of Christianity, especially in the United States. Good reason exists for that focus – Jesus commissioned his church to do that very thing. This lesson will therefore consider Peter’s interaction with Cornelius in Acts 10 as a way of helping us better understand the mission Jesus has given to us.
RAISED TO RULE Acts 13:32-37 We have been focusing on Jesus’ death and resurrection this month, exploring how it guarantees us a better life in both the present and the future. This lesson concludes our focus by considering the way the New Testament portrays Jesus’ resurrection as the pinnacle of the biblical story. We will therefore consider the New Testament’s presentation of Jesus’ right to rule and the kingdom over which he rules by virtue of his resurrection and consider what his resurrection-rule means for us. Consider the following aspects of the New Testament’s presentation of Jesus’ resurrection: Jesus’ resurrection entitles him to God’s covenant with David that promised a kingdom that would be “established forever” 1 (Acts 13:32-37; 2 Samuel 7:4-16) Jesus’ receipt of God’s promise to David encompassed Daniel’s vision of God’s world-filling, enemy-defeating kingdom (Acts 1:6-9; Daniel 7:1-14) Jesus’ resurrection-authority to rule covers all powers and authorities in both the physical and spiritual realms (Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:15-23; Colossians 1:15-20; 1 Peter 3:21-22) Jesus’ rule resolves the sin problem and restores the creation to its proper place under God’s sovereignty (1 Corinthians 15:20-28; Revelation 21:1-22:5) Jesus invites us to participate in his kingdom as his co-heirs (Ephesians 6:10-13; Revelation 5:9-10; 22:5; Galatians 3:25-4:7) Applications • We are part of a story much larger than any one of us. • Even though we participate in a story larger than any of us, we hold an important, privileged place in it. • We are part of an unstoppably triumphant story – Jesus’ victory ensures our victory. • Jesus’ resurrection gave him sovereign rule; we need to submit our lives to him in order to participate in His victory.
Acts 1:1-11–Bibles label the book of Acts as “the Acts of the Apostles”, giving readers the impression that it offers a historical record of the apostles’ activities in the years following Jesus’ death and resurrection. While true, that impression fails to grasp the fuller picture Luke carefully composed in his book. Acts gives to its readers far more than merely a historical account of the early church’s activities; it uses that historical account to narrate the reality of Jesus’ kingdom…
Acts 2:1-4 Like any well-crafted story, the Bible records dramatic moments that establish templates used to shape and inform other, later events. But rather than merely being good storytelling technique, the Bible uses those moments to introduce important concepts that give insight into God’s character and His relationship with humanity. Exodus’ account of God’s descent onto Mount Sinai offers one of those dramatic, template-forming events. This lesson will follow some of the ways the Bible uses the scene on Mount…