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Summary: The church in Acts continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine - in the Word (Acts 2:42). God’s desire for His church is that we would continue to preach the Word!

SUPERNATURAL #8: PREACHING THE WORD

THE THEME OF ACTS: (Acts 1:8).

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

PREACHING THE WORD = OVER 30 TIMES IN ACTS: Here are only five examples…

4:31 they spoke the word of God with boldness

6:4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word

6:7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly…

13:49 And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region

19:20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed

THE BIG IDEA: The church in Acts continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine - in the Word (Acts 2:42). God’s desire for His church is that we would continue to preach the Word!

COMMENTARY ON THE CHURCH TODAY:

• Too many churches today are moving away from preaching the Word.

• I was listening to a sermon by the preacher of one of the largest and fastest growing churches in Canada, and was grieved in my heart by the lack of Scripture in his message.

• QUOTE: “How little of Scripture there is in modern sermons compared with the sermons of those masters of theology, the Puritan divines! Almost every sentence of theirs seems to cast side lights upon a text of Scripture; not only the one they are preaching about, but many others as well are set in a new light as the discourse proceeds. I would to God that we ministers kept more closely to the great book.” (Charles Spurgeon, How to Read the Bible). Note – this was written over 100 years ago!

• Incidentally, the church podcast I listened to – not only have they stopped preaching the Word, they have taken the name “Christian” out of their church’s name, they have started hosting violent MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) events in their church as an ‘outreach’. (Ironically, the event was designed to raise money for Mercy Ministries, a place of healing for young women who have been hurt by violence. Something is wrong here! • MY COMMITMENT TO YOU: If you come to our church, you are going to hear a sermon based on God’s Word. It’s God’s Word that brings life and freedom!

• Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation.” (Romans 1:16). Too many preachers today are watering down the truth in an effort to be ‘politically correct’ and draw huge crowds!

KEY TEXT:

“1 Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. 4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

• Here we see the disciples mourning Stephen’s death. Last week we talked about why sometimes people don’t get healed. (If you weren’t here, get the CD!).

• Here is an example of a cause and effect in the Bible: Because of the persecution (“therefore”), the disciples were scattered everywhere, preaching the Word.

• Remember Acts 1:8? Jesus had told them to get the power of the Holy Spirit to be His witnesses – first in Jerusalem, but then in Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the Earth.

• They had gotten comfortable, so God let them be shaken out of their comfort zones.

• God allows things to come into our lives to shake us out of our comfort zones too!

KEY TEXT: Continued

5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:1-8).

• Who was this man, Philip? He wasn’t an apostle or a pastor – he was a waiter!

• Here is the second example (like Stephen) of a regular guy in the church being used in a supernatural way by the Lord. He preached Jesus, and did many signs and wonders.

• As He preached the Word (not man’s ideas), what happened? Lives were transformed:

o Those demon possessed were delivered, those who were sick were healed.

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