Scripture: Acts 6:1-7
Sermon Title: When the Focus is the Word of God
Introduction: We see in this chapter another serious problem that develops in the church, when a disagreement arises between some of the Greek-speaking Jewish Christians. They complain that their widows are not given a fair share in the daily distribution. Not wanted to distract from their work of preaching and teaching the people, the apostles ask the whole community to choose seven “known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom” to oversee this ministry. This would allow the twelve to remain free to devote themselves to prayer and the Word of God. In the selection of leaders to assist the Twelve in serving the needs of the people, they were given three important qualifications to look for: First, they were to seek men of “good reputation”, known for having good character and a consistent righteous lifestyle; secondly, they were to look for men living under the influence and in the power of the Holy Spirit; and thirdly, seek those who were wise. Many interpreters describe this passage as the selection of the first deacons, who would serve the physical needs of God’s people, while the apostles addressed the spiritual needs.
Principles we can learn from this passage and apply:
Treat the the Word of God as the most important thing in the church
Choose Spirit-filled people to take care of the needs of the church
Pray as we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ
When the word of God is the focus, souls will be saved
1 Timothy 3:8–13
Scripture: Acts 7: 8-60; 7:1-7
Sermon Title: Praying for Those That Persecute Us
Introduction: In Acts Chapters 6 and 7, we're given the account of Stephen witnessing to the people concerning Christ. Stephen was one of the men selected to serve as one of the seven deacons. Stephen’s testimony concerning Jesus is so powerful that in their frustration and anger the people seize and bring him before the Sanhedrin. Even going so far as to arrange for perjured testimony to be given against him. In his defense, Stephen gives them the history of Israel’s relationship with God, using this to demonstrate that their reaction is nothing new, because from the Old Testament the Hebrew people have always resisted the Lord. In order to silence them, their ancestors had killed the prophets; now they had betrayed and murdered their Messiah. The people became so incensed that they began to stone Stephen. During His killing, Stephen looks towards heaven and announces that he sees the Glory of God and Jesus standing at God’s right hand in heaven. Hearing this, the yelling crowd drags him out of the city, where they stone Stephen to death. Stephen responds by calling on God to receive his spirit and to forgive their sins.
Principles we can learn from this passage and apply:
The enemy is no match for the wisdom and Spirit of God
Stand on the truth of the scriptures, when we stand on the truth, people will hate us, lie on us and convince others to believe their lies
Don't stop sharing the Gospel, there will always be people who resist the Holy Spirit and the truth of Jesus Christ
Remember that the truth of the Gospel will either draw men unto repentance or drive them into rage
Pray for those that persecute you
1 Peter 4:14
Scripture: Acts 8: 1-8
Sermon Title: Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Introduction: The murder of Stephen set off a chain reaction of persecution against the church. This drives all of the disciples except the apostles from Jerusalem and they scatter throughout the land of Judea and Samaria. In Chapter 8, we're given another account of one of the seven men chose as a deacon to serve the congregation. Philip, described as Philip the Evangelist, was listed immediately after Stephen in the list of the chosen seven (Acts 6:5). These men were entrusted with the daily ministration of food and donations so as to remove all suspicion of partiality. After the murder of Stephen and the persecution of the church that followed, caused all of the disciples to scatter and Philip was among them. This scattering resulted in the spread of the gospel to non-Jewish regions. Philip went to the city of Samaria.
Principles we can learn from this passage and apply:
Don't quit when facing persecution, God will use persecution to bring glorify to himself, to accomplish His purposes in our lives, and to bring others to Christ
Never give up on sharing the gospel, even when the enemy seems to be winning
Never forget that the Gospel of Jesus is able to heal, deliver and set free
Remember that our job does not come from this world
1 Peter 1:8
Sermon Title: Jesus is Able to Save Anybody Christ
Introduction: Chapter 9 marks an unmistakable turning point in the book of Acts. The Apostle Paul (Saul) gradually becomes the prominent figure as the gospel spreads even more to the Gentiles. In this text, we find Saul determined to destroy those who are following the teachings of Christ, going as far as obtaining letters from the high priest that authorizes him to seize anyone he finds at Damascus, and bring them back to Jerusalem. But his plans are blocked when he has a Divine visit from the Lord while on the road to Damascus. He is blinded and without sight for three days, he doesn't eat or drink. Meanwhile Ananias, a disciple, is commanded in a vision from the Lord to go and speak to Saul, and restore his sight. Ananias is obedient and goes and lays his hands on him, and he receives his sight and is filled with the Holy Spirit, and is baptized. Afterwards Saul spends a few days with the Christians at Damascus, goes to the synagogues, and immediately proclaims Christ, and confounds the Jews.
The enemy will try to destroy the church
When they persecute us for Christ sake , they are persecuting Jesus
When we believe in Jesus , our life will never be the same
Sometimes while we are calling on the Lord, he is answering our prayers
We have been chosen to suffer for Christ
We have to proclaim and stand on the truth of Jesus Christ
1 Corinthians 12:27
1 Peter 2:20-21
Sermon Title: Standing Up and Boldly Proclaiming the Word of God
Introduction: In this text, Saul, spends a few days with the Christians at Damascus. He goes into the synagogues, and immediately begins to proclaim Christ. His zealous declarations, soon leads to his life being threatened and he barely escapes the city. Saul then returns to Jerusalem, but finds that the Christians there fear him and want nothing to do with him. So Barnabas, who later will be his first missionary companion, who has witnessed his great transformation, intercedes on his behalf with the apostles. Within a few weeks, Paul’s bold and fearless preaching brings with it a fresh wave of persecution. Then we're told, the brethren “bring him down to Caesarea and he sails home to Tarsus”.
We have to prove from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Savior of the world
The Lord will sometimes reveal to us the enemies plots against us
We need to put our arms around new believers and help them on this Christian journey
God will protect us from our enemies until our work is done
2 Corinthians 11:32-33
Sermon Title: The Miracle Working Power of Jesus
Introduction: As we continue in chapter 9, we find Peter traveling about the country, teaching and healing as he visits the saints. The miracles he performs with his ministry are the revealing of Jesus’ power as he heals and raises the dead. Paul's ministry brings him to Lydda and Joppa, where the Lord uses him to miraculously heal a man (Aeneas) who had been bedridden for eight years along with raising a woman (Dorcas) from the dead. As a result of these miracles and the preaching of the gospel, many turned to the Lord. The people saw more than just a crippled man now able to walk around or a woman that had died from sickness and brought back to life. Through his preaching, Peter pointed them to the one who had endowed Him with the power to perform these miracles, as a result he people saw proof that Jesus is alive and they believed in Him. We have to be careful to do the same, God is the one that should receive glory and worship, not man.
Jesus is the one that heals, the healing power comes from Jesus
The purpose of the miracles is to cause people to believe in Jesus
Sermon Title: Jesus Gave His Life for All of Mankind
Introduction: Chapter 10 opens with the story of Cornelius, a a centurion from Caesarea. The Bible describes him as a man who fears God and prays always An angel appears to Cornelius directing him to send for Peter who was in Joppa. He obeys the instructions from the angel and sends messengers to Joppa to bring back Peter. While the messengers are on their way, God prepares Peter by giving him a remarkable vision about how he is to treat the Gentiles. When the messengers arrive at the house where Peter is staying and explains why they came, Peter is ready for them. They spend the night, and the next day Peter accompanies them to Caesarea, where they find Cornelius and his family and friends assembled, eagerly waiting for the coming of Peter. Peter ask Cornelius, why have you sent for me, following Cornelius answers, Peter preaches unto him Jesus, as the Savior of the world, and the Judge of quick and dead. While he speaks the Holy Ghost descends on Cornelius and his company; and they speak with new tongues, and magnify God. Peter commands them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
God will reveal the truth to all who seek it
The Lord knows our prejudices and will remove them from our heart
When the Lord instructs us to do something, we should do it without reluctance or hesitation
Sermon Title: Salvation is for All Who Believe in Jesus Christ
Introduction: Through the story of Cornelius, we see Peter overcoming his prejudices towards the gentiles, as he enters this home and preaches Jesus Christ to him and all of his family and friends that are gathered together to receive the message. As Cornelius attempts to kneel before him, Peter stops him and tells him that I'm just a man. Those of us in positions of authority have to make sure we do the same. Only God is to be worshiped. The vision from God is what led Peter to come without hesitation. Cornelius explains to Peter that the message from the angel is what led him to send for him immediately. Cornelius tells him that we are all gathered to hear the things commanded you by God.
Jesus is the only one to be worshipped
We have to be prepared to minister to all of mankind
We have to go where God sends us , and minister the Word of God to those He puts in our paths
God shows no partiality whoever believes will be saved
2 Timothy 4:1