Acts - The Expansion of the Church

The Mixed Fruit of the Gospel

There are some preachers and teachers in Christendom today that would have you believe that Christianity is all about health and wealth. While this may sound good—and sell a lot of books—it is unbiblical. Over and over again, the Bible asserts that believers will go through difficult circumstances in life—this is God’s work in us to conform us to the image of His Son. As Paul and his companions continue on their first missionary journey, they experience both good and bad along the way. It is important for us to follow the example of Scripture in how we respond to both good and bad fruit in life.

The Untapped Power of Prayer

The situation facing the church in Jerusalem was seemingly hopeless. King Herod had just executed the Apostle James, and Peter was in prison awaiting execution as well. The church was praying for his release, but they really didn’t think it would do any good. How would they continue without Peter and James? Is there really power in the prayers that we pray? Can we really trust that God hears us and acts upon our prayers?

Nickname for the Believers

What does it mean to be called a Christian today? We live in a time when the term Christian has become one of the most unclear descriptors in the English language. Many people today are willing to say, “I am a Christian” but would never consider saying that they are “disciples” of Jesus Christ. They are merely cultural Christians. Sometimes I wonder, if people were to look at us and our church and evaluate us today, what nickname would they give us?

The Life-changing Light of Christ

In our study today, we will spend some time thinking about the transformational work of Jesus in the life of Saul. Saul was a brutal and bloody man whose goal was nothing short of the complete annihilation of those “belonging to the Way.” God interrupted Saul’s plans with a miraculous encounter with Jesus. This encounter dramatically changed Saul’s life, but we cannot overlook the years and years that it took to prepare Saul/Paul for his eventual mission to the Gentiles. It takes time to build a life that can be effectively used in the service and ministry of God. In the same way, God is still working on you and me—shaping us according to His will.

The Transforming Touch of God

Part 2 – In this week’s message, we continue to learn more about Philip and how God used him as a witness of the gospel. Last time, we saw how God used him to transform a large group of people in Samaria, but this time God has a different kind of assignment for Philip. So what was God’s big new plan for Philip? How would God use His transforming touch next? God sent him down to Gaza—which the Bible refers to as a deserted place. To go from a growing church to a place where no one even lives—I would have struggled to understand what God was thinking if I were Philip. We cannot know what Philip was thinking, but we do know what Philip did. Let’s read this story to find out!

The Motivation for the Gospel

Part 1- It is amazing to see what motivation can do in a person’s life! In this message, we’re going to take a few minutes to think about the motivation for the gospel in Acts 8. We will pick up this story with the persecution of believers in the church at Jerusalem. Because of this intense time of persecution, all of the believers (not including the apostles) left Jerusalem looking for safer places to live. As they went, they shared the good news about Jesus. This passage tells us the story of Philip and his experiences in the city of Samaria.