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Summary: This message looks at the lessons we can learn from Paul's teaching as he traveled throughout Europe with the Gospel message

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INTRODUCTION

* Progression in the book of Acts:

- started with a group of men, given a challenge by Christ to take the message of Christ to all the world

- these and faithful to share that message, as were those they shared it with; a successive chain of evangelism

- the growth/flourish of the church = because of their outward focus

- hallmark event in chapter 9: the conversion of Saul

- the leadership mantle was passed from Peter to Paul in chapters 12-13

- the great things Paul has done from chapter 13 to now...

* Text: Paul in Europe; evangelizes in four cities = his European Tour

* What happened at each city teaches us something about Christ, God, and the Word

THESSALONICA: The authority of Christ (17:1-9)

* Verse 7 = Jesus is King: Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament promises of a perfect king who reigns over his people and the universe

* NT concept of the kingdom of God pictures Jesus as King, Ruler, or Lord; the culmination of that theme is found in Revelation 19:16

* The authority of Christ (Jesus as King) is both present yet future, already here and yet to come, spiritual and universal

1) The present kingship of Christ = see Luke 17:21

- refers to the rule/authority of Christ over his people (Col. 1:13-14)

- the present rule of Christ is a spiritual realm established in the hearts and lives of believers; Christ administers his authority by spiritual means, namely the Word and the Spirit

- whenever believers follow the lordship of Christ, the Savior is exercising his ruling or kingly function

2) The future kingship of Christ will be seen and understood fully when Jesus returns = see Matthew 19:28

- the future kingdom will be essentially the same as the present in the sense that men and women will acknowledge Christ’s rule in their hearts

- the future kingdom will be different from the present in that the rule of Christ will be perfect and visible (1 Cor. 15:24-25)

* What Paul’s stop at Thessalonica teaches us about the authority of Christ as King:

A. Christ desires to be the King of all nations (v. 4a) = Jews and Greeks

B. Christ desires to be the King of all people (v. 4b)

C. The authority of Christ takes precedence (v. 7)

BEREA: The importance of the Word (17:10-15)

* The contrast between those in Thessalonica and those in Berea (v. 11): how they responded to the Word

* The example of the Bereans for what we should do with God’s Word...

A. They accepted the Word (v. 11 - received): they were open to what God had to say

B. They accepted the Word willingly (v. 11 - eagerness = willingness; readiness)

C. They accepted the Word carefully (v. 11 - examined = to scrutinize, to question): they made sure what Paul said was true and squared with the rest of Scripture; wanted to follow God’s Word, not man’s opinion

D. They accepted the Word faithfully (v. 11 - every day): living the Word was a daily task

* What does Berea teach us about the Word of God and it’s importance?

A. The Word is important because of WHO the Word is (John 1:1, 14)

B. The Word is important because of what the Word does (2 Tim. 3:16-17)


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