Acts

December 7, 2011 at 9:53 am | Posted in Acts | Leave a comment
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The Books of Acts records the organization and spreading of the Christian Church at its beginnings. Many of the things we do today in church – evangelism, preaching, praying, singing, fellowshipping, sharing meals, ministering to the needy, missions and missionary support – are patterned on the way things were done by the early Church in the 1st Century. Acts is an invaluable resource for Christians today. Below are links to lessons which feature some of the highlights from the Book of Acts:

1. Powerful Changes
2. The Power of the Resurrection and of the Holy Ghost 
3. Praying in Between
4. In One Place in One Accord
5. Unction in Church
6. For the Ladies…
7. Acts and the Apostles: Activated, Authorized, Audible, and Accountable
8. From Power to Proclamation to Prayer *
9. God’s Decretive Will
10. The Blessing and the Cost of an Honest Report
11. Beware the Fear that Falls
12. Exposing the Enemy and Going Forth with the Truth
13. Changing Names and Calling Names
14. Catechism Question 18
15. Testing Your Testimony

16. Preaching, Pressing, and Pushing On
17. The Life of a Missionary: Having a Fit, Making a Tough Choice, and Singing in Jail
18. The Most Important Question in Life
19. Don’t Get Caught Up the Creek Without Your Oars
20. Varied Results
21. Time Is Running Out
22. Insincerity, Inaccuracy, or Incompletion?
23. Promoted with Straight “A”s
24. The Man Who Fell out of Church (Narrative)
25. The Man Who Fell out of Church (Application)
26. Conscious of the Conscience
27. Innocent Bystanders
28. The More You See, the Better You Look
29. The Backstroke

30. When in Rome, Preach to the Romans

*most read post in series

Testing Your Testimony

December 13, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Posted in Acts, Bible Studies | 8 Comments
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When Christians speak of “giving their testimony” they are usually referring to telling the story of their conversion experience. There are qualifications for giving a testimony. The most obvious is: In order to give a testimony, you must be born again (John 3:7).

Can you describe when and where your conversion experience happened? I don’t mean the time you were delivered from some addiction or besetting sin. I don’t mean the time you had a breakthrough and resolved a big conflict in one of your personal relationships. I mean the time you realized that you were a lost sinner and you called upon Jesus Christ to save you.

Ideally, you should know your own salvation testimony backward and forward, and you should be able to – in a very encapsulated and brief way – state it clearly.

The Apostle Paul’s personal testimony is given three times in Scripture: Acts 9, 22, 26. In Chapters 22 and 26 he gave his testimony when he had been taken prisoner and was about to be killed.

At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.

Acts 26:13-15

Another requirement for giving your testimony should be that you are motivated by the right motivation.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

I Corinthians 13:1-3

“Charity” in these verses is Christian love. It’s what makes your testimony “real.” Otherwise, your testimony can become a “lure,” whereby you try to sell Christianity to people based only on what happened to you.

Let’s look at the first account of the Apostle Paul’s salvation experience.

And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Acts 9:1-2

Scripture reveals what he was before he was saved, but that is not the main point of the account.

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

Acts 9:3

Your testimony should include a description of when you came under conviction for your sins.

And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Acts 9:4-5

Your testimony should include your realization of Who Jesus is, and your realization of your need for Him.

And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Acts 9:6

It should include your account of surrendering to Him, depending on Him, and trusting Him completely for salvation.

And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

Acts 9:7-8

And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

Acts 9:20

Your testimony should include the immediate change that happened when you were converted.

But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.

Acts 9:21-22

You need to say something about the after-effects of salvation – how the Lord has blessed your life.

Your testimony can be an effective tool in your efforts at personal evangelism.

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

Proverbs 11:30

When in Rome, Preach to the Romans

December 15, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Posted in Acts | 6 Comments
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Acts Chapter 24 tells us that Ananias followed Paul to Caesarea with his lawyer, Tertullus. There, they brought false charges against Paul under Roman law. The charges were as follows:

1. Disturbing the peace (being a pest by preaching the only way to true peace).
2. Sedition by leading an illegal religion (being a true Christian).
3. Profaning the temple (being friends with gentiles).

The Jews were afraid of a revival, but they wanted the Romans to fear a riot.

This was Paul’s summation:

Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council, Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day. And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.

Acts 24:20-21

He brought up the Resurrection, which forced the Pharisees’ hand, and we see that Felix had some knowledge of “the Way.”

Paul was given certain liberties, but he was chained to a new Roman guard every six hours. Talk about a “captive congregation!” For two years he witnessed for the Lord in Caesarea as a prisoner.

He also got a chance to preach to Felix and Drusilla. Before them, he explained a fact of life that we don’t often call by its real name anymore. We tend to call it mistakes, weaknesses, tendencies, faults, errors, immaturity, or illness. But its real name is sin. Felix was convicted and he trembled, but he decided to procrastinate. Procrastination is one of Satan’s greatest tools. Felix thought Paul was his prisoner, but Felix was really the prisoner.

By Chapter 25 Felix had put the high priest, Jonathan, to death. The new high priest was Ishmael. Festus had replaced Felix as governor. Festus had to report to Marshal Dillon. (Sorry, I grew up watching Gunsmoke, and couldn’t resist!) Ishmael and the Jewish council revived the plot to kill Paul, so they wanted him returned to Jerusalem for his trial. They were going to kill him on the way there. However, Paul – as a Roman citizen – applied to Caesar Augustus (who we know as Nero), so he had to be protected and taken to Rome.

The last “King Herod” (Agrippa) shows up (possibly in an incestuous relationship with his sister, Bernice), and he and Festus decide that Herod will examine Paul. But Paul turned into the judge and proclaimed the Truth to Festus, Herod, Bernice, and everyone else in attendance. This is the longest of Paul’s sermons recorded in the Bible. It is found in Acts 25:32 – 26:32. Here is a loose outline of it:

1. Paul used to be very religious.
2. His eyes were opened by the Light.
3. His ears were opened by the Word.
4. He obeyed the Word.
5. He began his new life by seeing a vision and hearing a voice, but he had continued faithfully as a willing slave – even when things seemed impossible.

Festus accused Paul of being “beside himself,” and King Agrippa mocked him. However, we must wonder if this mocking was covering up an inside struggle when he said:

…Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

Acts 26:28 (emphasis added)

Do you know somebody who thinks he or she is too wicked to be a Christian?

Paul was officially declared not guilty, but still had to be sent to Rome by virtue of his appeal to Caesar. Chapter 27 shows that Satan very badly wanted to keep Paul out of Rome. Paul had already survived plots to kill him, riots, arrests, two illegal trials, and now a shipwreck!

Paul advised that they wait in Fair Havens for safer sailing after the winter, but the Roman captain listened to the pilot and the owner – the “experts.” (Warren Wiersbe says that an “expert” is a regular “spurt” under pressure.) These experts were under pressure to deliver grain and make money.

Even in Acts 28, Satan is still not done – he sends a snake to bite Paul on Malta! When Paul doesn’t die, he is tempted in the area of pride by people who want to worship him. Satan is pulling out all the stops.

For two years Paul was chained to Roman soldiers in Rome, witnessing, preaching, and being used to write Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon. He was probably released, and he probably went to Spain where he was used to write I and II Timothy, and Titus. He was arrested again in A.D. 67, and tradition says he was beheaded. The Gospel he preached and lived so passionately lives on, and it always will.

The More You See, the Better You Look

December 1, 2009 at 10:42 am | Posted in Acts, Biblical Eyesight | 12 Comments
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In Acts Chapter 22 the Apostle Paul is telling the story of how he went from being the lost, hell-bound Saul of Tarsus, to being the saved, Heaven-bound man of God. Having been struck blind on the road to Damascus by the overwhelming glory of Christ Jesus Himself, Paul is taken to a devout Jewish man named Ananias. We pick up the story in Verse 13:

…Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.

Acts 22:13-15 (emphasis added)

In these three verses there are five references to the gift of sight. Saul had received a great gift from the Lord – the ability to see again. However, that gift was not given just for the purpose of being a gift. It was a gift given for a reason. The reason was so that Saul could see the Just One, Jesus Christ, and then tell others about Him, and so that others might see Him, too.

Eyesight is one of the greatest earthly gifts of God there is. However, we have an amazing ability to receive earthly gifts from God, and then make those gifts, rather the Giver of those gifts, the objects of our attention, affection, and even adoration.

The same can be said of spiritual gifts. Have you been given the gift of being able to be forgiving? Then, rejoice! But do not think of yourself as an expert on forgiveness, and revel in pride over how forgiving you can be. Think of forgiveness as a gift given to help you understand how much it cost God, and how much He must have loved you, to forgive you. Forgiveness is a gift that removes a barrier so that you can see God better!

Have you been given the gift of victory over sin to the extent where you are able to live a more pure and holy life? Then, rejoice! But do not think of yourself as an authority on personal purity and holy living. Think of purity and holiness as a gift which allows you into the intimate presence of the Pure and Holy God, so that you may see Him better! (Matthew 5:8)

Have you been given the gift of spiritual insight? Then, rejoice! But do not rejoice that you have become the person that people seek out when they have spiritual questions or problems, and do not expect the praise or compensation of men when you are able to help them. Instead, think of spiritual insight as a way to better know God!

Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

Jeremiah 9:23-24

Conscious of the Conscience

November 12, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Posted in Acts | 13 Comments
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Acts Chapter 20 is the beginning of the farewell section of Acts. The Apostle Paul had a genuine love for the churches the Lord had used him to start, and he wanted to visit them one last time. It was while he was in Corinth that the Holy Ghost gave him the Book of Romans.

When Paul, Luke, Timothy, and Titus meet at Troas, we get a picture of their church services: they met on the Lord’s Day, at night, at someone’s house. They shared a meal. Then they observed the Lord’s Supper, and they declared the Word of God. The Holy Spirit gives us the account of Eutychus – the man who fell out of church (literally!)

Paul went to report to the Ephesian elders. His report is written as more of an address than a sermon. It is not what we would consider “evangelistic.”

In this report Paul describes the past (Acts 20:18-21), and he highlights his faithfulness. He describes the present (Acts 20:22-27), and explains how he had no interest in doing anything other than serving the Lord. He describes the future (Acts 20:28-35) as being a time of coming dangers.

In Acts 21 we find that a large part of Paul’s third missionary journey was spent collecting a love offering from the gentile churches to send to the Jerusalem church. He was also occupied battling the Judaizers, who were very determined.

It was Paul’s desire not to see Christianity defiled with a mixture of Judaism. This desire for the purity of the Gospel message drove him to Jerusalem despite of all the warnings not to go there. When Paul reported about his trip, the Judaizers were ready right away with their rumors. Paul tried to cooperate by not giving offense, but he could not compromise the message of salvation by grace alone through faith alone, and he could not compromise in the area of undivided fellowship with the gentiles.

Paul was arrested wrongfully when a riot broke out. The riot was caused by Jews who claimed he had brought his gentile friends into the temple. The Roman authorities kept him from being killed. They thought he was someone else at first, but he spoke Greek to them, so they let him speak to the Jews, and he then spoke Aramaic.

Paul declared what he had personally seen and been involved in:

And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.

Acts 21:19

He was impressing the Jews with this testimony until he mentioned the word “gentiles.” That word almost started another riot.

Claudius was going to have Paul scourged, but then Paul revealed that he was a Roman citizen. Roman citizens were not to be bound or scourged. Claudius had obtained his Roman citizenship by bribery. Paul had inherited his Roman citizenship from his father – he was “born free.”

It had been preordained that Paul was going to Rome – it’s just that God was making it so that Rome would foot the bill for the journey: Paul was going as a prisoner.

There is no Acts 12:5 in Acts Chapter 22.

Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

Acts 12:5

Paul was in prison. The Judaizers were probably influencing the church in Jerusalem. And Satan was probably influencing the Judaizers. We must never let Satan stop our prayers.

In Acts Chapter 23 Paul is taken by the Roman captain before the Sanhedrin. He testified as a defendant, but his testimony was really preaching.

And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

Acts 23:1

When the Bible uses the Word “conscience” in this verse, the Holy Ghost is telling us that our conscience applies the standard for our behavior, not that it sets the standard. You may have seen the stereotypical movie tough guy who lives by a “code.” He will rob, kill, and extort, but he won’t allow a lady to be insulted, or maybe he won’t shoot somebody in the back. That is the world’s idea of “conscience,” in which each person determines his own behavior by whatever happens to offend him or her. It is not the Bible’s idea of conscience.

We do not know if the Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Hebrews, but we do know that one reason it was written was to explain the difference between being a Jewish Christian and a Jew who wants to be called a Christian. Hebrews explains the seared and the evil conscience. The Apostle Paul used the word “conscience” 21 times in his letters.

Paul didn’t particularly enjoy being slapped in the face as a petty raging insult by Ananias the high priest, and he called him a “whited wall.” Then he brought up the Resurrection – which he knew would divide the council. The Sanhedrin had now officially rejected Jesus, Peter, and Paul.

Paul’s sister and nephew warned Claudius of a plot to kill Paul, so Claudius knew he had to get him out of Jerusalem. He had Paul taken to Caesarea and turned over to Felix the Roman governor and imprisoned in the palace.

Promoted with Straight “A”s

October 28, 2009 at 7:44 am | Posted in Acts | 7 Comments
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May the Lord grant our true Christian local churches sweet fellowship of the kind we see in Acts. In Chapter 20, we see a church meeting that got straight “A”s. First of all, they had the right Attitude. They met on the first day of the week, because, in all things, they endeavored to put Christ first.

And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together…

Acts 20:7

Second, they Ate. The breaking of bread (enjoying a meal together) was common practice for these believers, and it also allowed them to observe the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper.

…the disciples came together to break bread…

Acts 20:7

Third, they Assembled. How important it is for Christians to regularly attend church!

And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.

Acts 20:8

Fourth, they Announced the Good News. The preaching of God’s Word must be the central component of any church service.

…Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

Acts 20:7

Fifth, they saw the power of the Lord in Action. Wonderful blessings are often imparted to believers when they gather together in obedience to Scripture.

And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.

Acts 20:9-12

Start each week off right! Give God your first and your best by heading for His house each and every Sunday morning.

Insincerity, Inaccuracy, or Incompletion?

October 12, 2009 at 8:51 am | Posted in A Little Alliteration, Acts | 4 Comments
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In Acts Chapter 18 Paul goes from Athens to Corinth. Corinth was a very unlikely place to start a church. Since Paul went to Corinth alone, it was clear that, if he was to be successful there, God would have to intervene. Corinth was the Las Vegas or New Orleans of its day. It was a place of vice, greed, and wicked spiritualism.

God knew that many of those in Corinth who pretended to be involved in spiritual pursuits were actually trying to manipulate people out of greed. So He allowed Paul to be distinct by earning his living making tents.

And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

Acts 18:3

God took care of the problem of Paul being alone in Corinth by providing Aquila and Priscilla, a married couple. Paul worked during the week and preached on the Sabbath. Then God sent financial help with Timothy and Silas, which allowed Paul to preach full-time.

When Paul encountered opposition in the synagogue, God sent Titus Justus to open a place for him to preach right next to the synagogue.

And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue. And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

Acts 18:7-8

The chief ruler of the synagogue was saved!

Paul carried out the Great Commission, and he received the assurance from Jesus that is attached to it.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:19-20

And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:

Acts 18:8-9

Paul never quit; opposition only strengthened his commitment. The blessing of the Old Testament is prosperity; the blessing of the New Testament is persecution.

When the Jews tried to take the Christians to court, God intervened, and caused Gallio, the Roman proconsul, to declare the preaching of Christianity a Jewish religious matter, and not a matter of Roman law.

Paul was in Corinth for about 18 months. Then he went back to report at Antioch, and then back to Ephesus. This would be his third missionary journey.

Ephesus did not have Corinth’s reputation for wickedness, but it had a population of about 300,000 people, compared to Corinth’s 200,000. Ephesus was steeped in idolatry. It was the capital of Asia. The temple of Diana there was one of the “seven wonders of the world.” Paul stayed in Ephesus about three years.

In Acts Chapter 19 we see a historical oddity: people who sincerely professed to be Christian disciples, but who were lacking the Holy Spirit. Their testimony was not insincere, but it was probably inaccurate, and it was it was definitely incomplete.

The ministry of John the Baptist – probably through Apollos – had a big influence in Alexandria and Ephesus, so these men were disciples of the teaching of John the Baptist.

Here is what the Bible teaches about the Holy Spirit in connection with salvation:

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Romans 8:9

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Ephesians 1:13

The requirement today for Holy Spirit baptism is not water baptism. It is not the laying on of hands. It is salvation. These men in Acts 19 knew that John the Baptist had prophesied about the giving of the Holy Spirit, but they did not know at first that it had already happened.

Varied Results

September 24, 2009 at 9:29 am | Posted in Acts | 4 Comments
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From Thessalonica the Apostle Paul and his missionary team went to Berea.

And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Acts 17:10-11

These were people who met daily to study the Scriptures. They must have almost been an easy “slam-dunk” for the Apostle Paul in terms of making converts, since his practice was to always use the Bible to witness in the synagogues.

In the meantime, Satan was using Jews from Thessalonica to continue to hound Paul in Berea.

But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.

Acts 17:13

Satan must have thought he was accomplishing something by at least keeping Paul constantly on the move – but that was exactly what God wanted.

In Athens Paul encountered a city of idolatry, novelty, and philosophy. The Athenians were so open-minded that it was as if their brains had fallen out.

Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.

Acts 17:16

Paul had another “paroxysm” – a fit. He seemed to be caught between Epicureans, whose theme was “enjoy life,” and Stoics, whose theme was “endure life.” He went to the synagogues and the marketplace. He was mocked and ridiculed.

Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.

Acts 17:22

When Paul was invited to speak on Mars Hill he proclaimed that God is great.

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

Acts 17:24

Then he proclaimed that God is good.

Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

Acts 17:25

Then he proclaimed that God governs.

And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

Acts 17:26

Then he proclaimed the grace of God.

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Acts 17:30-31

Some rejected the message, some wanted to hear more, and a small group was saved.

Don’t Get Caught Up the Creek Without Your Oars

September 14, 2009 at 8:22 am | Posted in Acts, Common Expressions | 15 Comments
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The first Christian church in Thessalonica was in many ways an exemplary church. The Holy Ghost, through the Apostle Paul, commended their faith and zeal for the Gospel in I Thessalonians 1:8-9: “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;”

The church members in Thessalonica had been converted by the method of preaching and teaching which had been taught to Paul by Christ Himself. It is outlined in Acts 17:1-3: “Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days REASONED with them out of the scriptures, OPENING and ALLEGING, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I PREACH unto you, is Christ.”

I have capitalized four words in the above passage of Scripture, and devised an acrostic (O.A.R.S.) to help remember the Biblical means for telling people about Christ Jesus.

O.pening – The Apostle Paul opened the Word of God, and it is of great importance that all our teaching about Jesus be straight from the Bible.

A.lleging – To “allege” means to take two ideas and lay them alongside each other for comparison or contrast. Paul showed his listeners that what He was claiming about Jesus matched up to what the Bible said.

R.easoning – Reasoning, in an evangelistic setting, involves a back-and-forth dialogue. Paul encouraged questions from his listeners, and he endeavored to answer them according to the Scriptures.

S.peaking – Actually, “speaking” is probably too tame a word for the “preaching” that Paul did. I just couldn’t make “preach,” “proclaim,” or “announce” fit the acrostic. But, the fact is, the Gospel is shared by the bold verbal proclamation of the truth about Christ Jesus. (“…faith cometh by hearing…” Romans 10:17)

Christians often speak of “flowing in the Spirit,” but there is a danger in floating blindly downstream. A limp body carried on the current can be washed into dangerous coves, or dashed against a protruding rock. We want to flow in the River of Life, but we must remember to use our “oars” to guide us toward those who are floundering, so that the Lord might use us to rescue them.

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Time Is Running Out

September 11, 2009 at 11:50 am | Posted in Acts, Salvation | 10 Comments
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Time is running out. Everyone who reads this post will one day stand before God, and that day is coming faster than you think. The appearing of Jesus Christ will be a joyous day for those who have trusted in Him as Savior. It will be a terrifying day for those who have refused the Gospel:

God… now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Acts 17:30-31

The Bible is very specific in this COMMAND – repent and believe the Gospel NOW.

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