Summary: 2nd part of 5 week series on ACTS: WITNESS IN JERUSALEM – PROGRESS OF THE CHURCH
WITNESS IN JERUSALEM – PROGRESS OF THE CHURCH
Last we began our 5-week series on Acts where we saw that the Church began well under the topic: Witness in Jerusalem: power of the church (chap 1-2)
This morning we continue with Witness in Jerusalem: progress of the church (chap 3-7)
But due to the large amount of text to cover, I will only cover chapters 3-6 and leave chapter 7 for next week.
First, let’s have a quick recap of some of the key things highlighted. (Show transparency)
• Are we marked by Obedience?
• Do we wait for God’s timing in the things that we wish do for God? ?
- WAITING PRAYER
- Patient in preparation and prayer?
• Do we witness when God opens the doors?
• Is our church marked by “universality”
- Is everyone welcome irregardless of race, age, sex, social status?
- do “outsiders” fit in?
• Is our church marked by power and purity?
• Does our church have the five signs the early church had?
1. Worship – they believed in glorifying God
2. Instruction – they believed in training disciples
3. Fellowship – they believed in loving one another
4. Evangelism – they believed in winning the lost to Jesus Christ
5. Service – they believed in caring for the needs of each other.
• Are people being added to your numbers?
And we left off with the fact that the church began well,
but did it always continue in the like manner as described in Acts 2:47?
And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Acts 3 opens with Peter healing in a dramatic fashion, a man crippled from birth.
Let’s read it: Acts 3:1-10
We are told that the apostles did many wonders and miraculous sign sin chapter 2:43 but this is the first miraculous sign that Luke chooses to describe to us.
Again, Peter performs the miracle as a sign that allowed him to witness to others about Christ (preach the gospel)!
This time 5,000 (counting just the men) believed and became Christians (2,000 more than the time Peter preached).
But for the first time, the apostles face opposition.
Read Acts 4:1-4
If you read the rest of chapter 4, you will find that they were not only jailed, but they are out on trial and threatened!
They were told in no uncertain terms that they were not allowed to preach about Jesus!
But the apostles did not back down.
Remember that they were obedient to Jesus’ command to Wait and Witness.
They waited and received the promised Holy Spirit and
that made them bold (powerful) in their witness.
That was all they needed
Read Acts 4:7-13, 18-22.
Let’s pause for a moment to further reflect on this incident. There is a lessons I would like us to consider:
Anyone who is obedient to God, and allows the Holy Spirit to take control and guide them can be a bold and effective witness. Remember the fact that the Peter and John were unschooled BUT they God’s power and thus wisdom and abilities.
You may not think that you have significant gifts or abilities that God can use. BUT God thinks differently.
Very often, I think God would rather use less naturally gifted people because such people more naturally choose to depend on God not their gifts.