Posts from February 2019

Posts from February 2019

Prepare for His Return – The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats Matthew 25:31-46

This week we will study an important passage of Scripture regarding the return of Jesus Christ: the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. The unique characteristic of this story is that it reveals the criterion by which Jesus will judge the world. When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one…

The Lord Added to Their Number – Acts 2:47

Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47) Pastor John’s Notes: Our role in church growth is to be an authentic worshipping community and to bear witness to our faith with all those we encounter. But we do this work with the understanding that God is also working to draw people to himself. Jesus said, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32). The…

They Were Visibly Happy – Acts 2:46-47

They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. (Acts 2:46-47) Pastor John’s Notes: The way that the early Christians lived served as a witness of God’s love and power. The people around them noticed the change and spoke well of the new believers. Here is the strongest validation of the church’s effectiveness. It is not in the number of our ministries nor how full our sanctuary is, but what…

Getting Personal – Acts 2:46

They broke bread from house to house. (Acts 2:46) Pastor John’s Notes: The believers of the newly born church didn’t just meet for worship in the temple, they met together for fellowship in each other’s homes. The breaking of bread is a simple meal. Jesus meets us not only in the context of our corporate worship but also in our intimate conversations. Christianity is more than a set of beliefs; it is a network of relationships. God wants us to…

They Met Together in the Temple – Acts 2:46

Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple. (Acts 2:46) Pastor John’s Notes: The temple was the birthplace of the church and it was here that the believers returned day after day to worship God and to hear the Word. It must have been a wonderful thing to experience!  Even now, many Christians experience the same elation at the beginning of their journey. It is truly a wonderful thing to be part of God’s kingdom and to…

They Cared for Everyone’s Needs – Acts 2:44-45

Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. (Acts 2:44-45) Pastor John’s Notes: One of the first activities of the church was to care for the needs of others.  When we become citizens of the kingdom of God, the Spirit of God begins to change our perspective and teaches us to value new things. Old habits like hoarding begin to…

The Signs of the Apostles – Acts 2:43

Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. (Acts 2:43) Pastor John’s Notes: The wonders and signs performed through the apostles were an indication to the people that the Spirit of Christ was still at work among them. All of the miracles of Jesus were purposeful and showed his power and authority over the curse laid upon humanity at the fall. Sickness, hunger, suffering, and death would ultimately be overcome. The miracles…

Life Among the Believers – Acts 2:43-47

This week we will study the basic elements of life within the church: the community of believers in Jesus Christ. The book of Acts is the story of the expansion of the church. It records a series of snapshots of the church at various stages of its development. Of special interest is the first accounting of what life among the believers was like at its inception right after the Day of Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Everyone…

Keeping in Step with the Spirit – Galatians 5:25

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25) Pastor John’s Notes: Walking in the Spirit is a life of harmony. When people walk together, there is a natural tendency to match each others’ pace and step. This enables us to converse with one another while we walk. Keeping in step with the Spirit is not a hard thing to do. The Spirit sets the pace and we match it. Too often,…

Crucifying the Flesh – Galatians 5:24

Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24) Pastor John’s Notes: In order for us to live by the Spirit, the old life must die. Crucifixion is a violent act, and we are instructed to crucify our own flesh. Let’s unpack some of the language here. The “flesh” is a term used in Paul’s writings to refer to everything that has to do with our sinful self. Words like “selfishness”…
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