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Summary: The first sermon in a series through the book of Acts

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INTRODUCTION TO ACTS

Acts 1:1-2

I. INTRODUCTION

A. We all struggle to know what our purpose is

B. The purpose God has for us here on earth

C. The purpose of the church we call Bethany Church

D. We are gathered together this morning as Christians

E. But what are we really here for?

F. This is a big question

G. What is our purpose?

H. And what is the purpose of [your church name here]?

II. PURPOSE: OURS

A. Rick Warren tapped into this in our personal lives in his book The Purpose Driven Life

1. Tagline on the cover says, “What on earth am I here for?”

SLIDE:

Picture of Warren’s Book, The Purpose Driven Life

B. That book touched something inside of us

1. Came out in 2002

2. Best selling lists on The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Publishers Weekly.

3. Best selling book of 2003 and 2004

4. The best selling nonfiction hardback in history

5. Over 30 million copies sold

6. And it’s a devotional!

C. You think maybe people are looking for a purpose in their lives?

D. And yet, you open up the book to chapter one and the first thing it says is, “It’s not about you”

SLIDE:

It’s not about you

E. A book designed for people to find their purpose and he starts off by saying, “It’s not about you.”

III. PURPOSE: THE CHURCH

A. Things get a bit more complicated when we gather at church

B. What are we gathered here for?

C. What is the purpose of coming to God’s house every Sunday?

SLIDE:

What is the Church created to do?

D. We gather here for a lot of reasons:

1. See friends once a week

2. Sing or hear songs

3. Get our batteries recharged

4. Parents make us

5. It something a good person should be doing

E. But let’s examine those things

1. See friends once a week

a. Why not just go to Starbucks once a week?

2. Sing or hear songs

a. Buy a nice stereo and sing along

3. Get batteries recharged

a. That could work

b. I usually go to the YMCA for that

4. Parents make us

a. That’s my childhood

b. Most kids that I know that were made to go to church no longer go as adults…. They did their time.

5. It’s something a good person should be doing

a. I suppose a good person should go to church

b. But wouldn’t getting involved in another ministry really help out society more?

i. The Haven Network

ii. Carpenter’s Place

iii. Red Cross

iv. The Habitat for Humanity

6. How does coming to church on Sunday morning help the rest of the community the other days of the week?

IV. TRANSITION TO SERMON SERIES

A. I don’t ask these questions to be a smarty pants.

B. They’re genuine questions.

C. I believe the answer lies in the purpose of the church

D. What is the church here for?

E. What is the church supposed to do?

F. Why did Jesus build the church?

G. That’s what this next sermon series is about.

H. Today we’ll begin a journey through the book of Acts

V. BASIC INFO ON THE BOOK OF ACTS

SLIDE:

Acts

A. The book of Acts is generally believed to have been written by Luke

1. The author of the Gospel According to Luke

B. It’s considered a sequel to Luke

1. In fact we’ll hear in a minute how Acts seems to start off precisely where Luke ends his gospel story

C. Acts is an account of the birth and the growth of the Christian church

SLIDE:

Acts is an account of the birth and the growth of the Church

D. Some of the themes of Acts include:

SLIDE:

Themes of Acts

1. The Church’s beginnings

2. The work of the Holy Spirit

3. Church Growth

4. Witnessing

5. Opposition to the Church

E. In Acts you’ll read about:

1. The transformation of the church

2. The transformation of Saul to Paul

3. The formation and purpose of the Deacons

4. Who the apostles targeted in terms of sharing the gospel

F. Acts is about God building his church and working through the people to change the world

G. The Book of Acts has often been called the Acts of the Apostles

H. But it may be more accurate to call it the Acts of the Holy Spirit

SLIDE:

The book of Acts can be called the acts of the Holy Spirit

VI. SCRIPTURE READING

SLIDE:

Scripture Reading: Acts 1:1-2 (pg. 947)

A. Like all stories, Acts has a beginning

B. It starts with 2 verses

C. Just two but they say a lot

VII. CONTINUATION OF LUKE’S STORY

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