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Acts Chapter 1, part II

Acts Chapter 1, part II

November 30, 2014
Qualification of an Apostle.  
Must have Seen Jesus.  (There are no apostles today) 
Charismatic churches need to be careful. 
The NT letters are letters from the Apostles.   
Catholism:  The Pope, while acting as Vicar cannot err.  So his letters (encyclicals) hold equal weight to The Bible. 
Catholic Church Councils and Church Tradition hold equal authority as the Bible. 

It’s always the same battle. 
Jesus Christ (The 66 books of the Bible) +  Nothing!  
Sola Scriptura 

Always the same battle:  Jesus Christ + Dead Works. 
[Heb 6:1 ESV] Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
[Heb 9:14 ESV] how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

The Early Church Counsels condemned heresies and shored up doctrine. 
Always leaning back on the Canon of Scripture. 

[Act 1:21 ESV] So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
[Act 1:22 ESV] beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us--one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection."
[Act 1:23 ESV] And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias.
[Act 1:24 ESV] And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen
[Act 1:25 ESV] to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place."
[Act 1:26 ESV] And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

They prayed and cast lots.   
Casting lots was a common way to determine the Will of God, in Israel. 

“Sola Scriptura” (Scripture Alone); “Sola Gratia” (Grace Alone); “Sola Fide” (Faith Alone); “Solus Christus” (Christ Alone); and “Soli Deo Gloria” (To God Alone Be Glory).

How do you and I “add religion ” to our salvation?

The Beginning!  Jesus said to wait. 
[Act 2:1 ESV] When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.
[Act 2:2 ESV] And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
[Act 2:3 ESV] And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.
[Act 2:4 ESV] And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
[Act 2:5 ESV] Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.
[Act 2:6 ESV] And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.
[Act 2:7 ESV] And they were amazed and astonished, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?

Galileans, proclaiming God in other foreign human languages 

[Act 2:8 ESV] And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?
[Act 2:9 ESV] Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
[Act 2:10 ESV] Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome,
[Act 2:11 ESV] both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians--we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God."

But : Objective Truth can also bring confusion 
[Act 2:12 ESV] And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"
[Act 2:13 ESV] But others mocking said, "They are filled with new wine."

Why does truth bring confusion?  Because we are evil and like to believe lies.
[Jhn 1:9 ESV] The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
[Jhn 1:10 ESV] He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.
[Jhn 1:11 ESV] He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
[Jhn 1:12 ESV] But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
[Jhn 1:13 ESV] who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Jesus talking to Nicodemus
[Jhn 3:9 ESV] Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?"
[Jhn 3:10 ESV] Jesus answered him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?

Jesus entry as King into Jerusalem
[Jhn 12:15 ESV] "Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!"
[Jhn 12:16 ESV] His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 

At the Crucifixion 
[Luk 23:33 ESV] And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.
[Luk 23:34 ESV] And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments.
[Luk 23:35 ESV] And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!"
The First Sermon of Church

[Act 2:14 ESV] But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.
[Act 2:15 ESV] For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.
[Act 2:16 ESV] But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
[Act 2:17 ESV] "'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;
[Act 2:18 ESV] even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.

[Act 2:19 ESV] And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
[Act 2:20 ESV] the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.

[Act 2:21 ESV] And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'

[Act 2:22 ESV] "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know--
[Act 2:23 ESV] this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

Consider the setting of this Sermon: 
Everyone there was knew all about the Jesus. Big confusing controversy. 
He was supposed to be a King of Israel,  
He had a large following.  
Many people had seen Jesus minister in their home town.  
Many had been witness to Jesus miracles. 
He was crucified, His body had gone missing, 
His followers seemed to have gone off the radar, until this day. 


[Act 2:24 ESV] God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
[Act 2:25 ESV] For David says concerning him, "'I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
[Act 2:26 ESV] therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope.
[Act 2:27 ESV] For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption.
[Act 2:28 ESV] You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.'

David died but Jesus is Alive! 
[Act 2:29 ESV] "Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
[Act 2:30 ESV] Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne,
[Act 2:31 ESV] he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.

A Holy Trinity Verse!  
 [Act 2:32 ESV] This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.
[Act 2:33 ESV] Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.

Jesus is at the right hand of God
[Act 2:34 ESV] For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, "'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand,
[Act 2:35 ESV] until I make your enemies your footstool."'

Therefore:

[Act 2:36 ESV] Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."

The reaction from the Jews. 
[Act 2:37 ESV] Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

Repent:  Turn from your evil ways,   
Baptism: Publicly declare that you belong to Jesus Christ and are willing to follow Him. 
 
[Act 2:38 ESV] And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
[Act 2:39 ESV] For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself."


[Act 2:40 ESV] And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation."
[Act 2:41 ESV] So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.



The Core Four of the Church: 
[Act 2:42 ESV] And they devoted themselves to 
1; the apostles' teaching and 
2: the fellowship, to 
3: the breaking of bread and 
4: the prayers.

[Act 2:43 ESV] And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.

Awe = phobos fear, dread, terror

This is not socialism, this is a church Explosion.   Financially Unstainable. 
[Act 2:44 ESV] And all who believed were together and had all things in common.
[Act 2:45 ESV] And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
[Act 2:46 ESV] And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
[Act 2:47 ESV] praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Acts Chapter !

Acts Chapter !

November 15, 2014
Acts 1.

Who: Luke
To Whom:  To Whom?  Theophilus = "friend of God"
When 
Most likely Before 70 AD.  
Nothing is mentioned of the burning of Rome and the persecution of the Christians there (a.d. 64), 
the martyrdom of Peter and Paul (possibly 67) 
and the destruction of Jerusalem (70).

First Book:  Luke. 
[Act 1:1 ESV] In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach,

Luke 24 Flashback! How it ends
[Luk 24:44 ESV] Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."
[Luk 24:45 ESV] Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
[Luk 24:46 ESV] and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,
[Luk 24:47 ESV] and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
[Luk 24:48 ESV] You are witnesses of these things.
[Luk 24:49 ESV] And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."
[Luk 24:50 ESV] Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them.
[Luk 24:51 ESV] While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.
[Luk 24:52 ESV] And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
[Luk 24:53 ESV] and were continually in the temple blessing God.

Back in Acts Luke gives us more details. 

[Act 1:2 ESV] until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.
[Act 1:3 ESV] He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
[Act 1:4 ESV] And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, "you heard from me;
[Act 1:5 ESV] for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."



Restore the Kingdom of Israel? 
[Act 1:6 ESV] So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"
[Act 1:7 ESV] He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
[Act 1:8 ESV] But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Israel was looking for their leader to establish the Kingdom of Israel.  But the purpose of Israel is more than one little nation. 

The Capital of the Earth is Jerusalem 

The City of Righteousness
[Isa 1:26 ESV] And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city."

[Jer 23:5 ESV] "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
[Jer 23:6 ESV] In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness.'

Jesus is Our Leader
OT;  [Gen 49:10 ESV] The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

NT; [Phl 2:10 ESV] so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
[Phl 2:11 ESV] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

King, Priest, LORD
[Isa 9:6 ESV] For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
[Isa 9:7 ESV] Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Jesus Ascends into the skies. 
[Act 1:9 ESV] And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
[Act 1:10 ESV] And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,
[Act 1:11 ESV] and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

The Return of Jesus as King; Glory doesn’t necessarily mean Joy. 
[Dan 7:13 ESV] "I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.
[Dan 7:14 ESV] And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

All the tribes of the earth will morn?
[Mat 24:30 ESV] Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Jesus is heading for Jerusalem 
[Mat 25:31 ESV] "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.

Everyone in the world will see His return.  
[Mar 13:26 ESV] And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

[Luk 21:27 ESV] And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

A spiritual/physical translation of some people. 
[1Th 4:16 ESV] For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
[1Th 4:17 ESV] Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
[1Th 4:18 ESV] Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Two major reactions to the Return of Jesus.  Relief for a few, Anguish for man. 
[2Th 1:7 ESV] and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels
[2Th 1:8 ESV] in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
[2Th 1:9 ESV] They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
[2Th 1:10 ESV] when He comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.

Nations will wail, when they see Jesus. 
[Rev 1:7 ESV] Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

[Act 1:12 ESV] Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away.
[Act 1:13 ESV] And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James.
[Act 1:14 ESV] All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

Peter takes lead.   A Changed Man.   
Peter denied Jesus 3xs. Mark 14.  John 21, Jesus redeems Peters denials. 3xs. 
[Act 1:15 ESV] In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said,

[Act 1:16 ESV] "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.
[Act 1:17 ESV] For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry."
[Act 1:18 ESV] (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.
[Act 1:19 ESV] And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

So which is it?  Did Judas hang himself or did he fall? Is this an error?  
[Mat 27:3 ESV] Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders,
[Mat 27:4 ESV] saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." They said, "What is that to us? See to it yourself."
[Mat 27:5 ESV] And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.

The answer is BOTH.   He hung himself over a cliff, the rope eventually gave way and the body dropped. 

[Act 1:20 ESV] "For it is written in the Book of Psalms, "'May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it'; and "'Let another take his office.'

Prophecies of Judas. 
Desolate Camp
[Psa 69:25 ESV] May their camp be a desolation; let no one dwell in their tents.
[Psa 69:26 ESV] For they persecute him whom you have struck down, and they recount the pain of those you have wounded.
Loss of Vocation
[Psa 109:6 ESV] Appoint a wicked man against him; let an accuser stand at his right hand.
[Psa 109:7 ESV] When he is tried, let him come forth guilty; let his prayer be counted as sin!
[Psa 109:8 ESV] May his days be few; may another take his office!

Qualification of an Apostle.  
Must have Seen Jesus.  (There are no apostles today) 
oops Mormons. 
Charismatic churches need to be careful. 
The NT letters are letters from the Apostles.   
Catholism:  The Pope, while acting as Vicar cannot err.  So his letters hold equal weight to The Bible. 
Catholic Church Councils and Church Tradition hold equal weight as the Bible. 

It’s always the same battle. 
Jesus Christ (The 66 books of the Bible) +  Nothing!  
Sola Scriptura 

[Act 1:21 ESV] So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
[Act 1:22 ESV] beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us--one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection."
[Act 1:23 ESV] And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias.
[Act 1:24 ESV] And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen
[Act 1:25 ESV] to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place."
[Act 1:26 ESV] And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

They prayed and cast lots.   
Casting lots was a common way to determine the Will of God, in Israel. 

The wisest thing you could ever do is Ask Jesus Christ to save you from the Wrath of God that is coming. 
Jesus is the ruler of the Universe whether you like it or believe it. 
Jesus is either, your Lord and Savior
Or He is your Lord and Judge. 
Will you yield or perish?

Intro To Acts

Intro To Acts

November 8, 2014
Acts:  Intro
Who wrote It?
Luke, 

Luke was not an Apostle. 
Most likely a Greek/gentile.
His writing is certified by the Apostles.  (That is why it’s cannon)
He is mentioned by Paul, Colossians and 2 Timothy. Philemon  
Written about in Acts and as third and first person in Acts. 

Occupation: physician, Well educated. Used his education to become a historian.  Luke and Acts. 

Paul mentions Luke in three of his letters.
[Col 4:14 KJV] Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
[2Ti 4:11 ESV] Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry.
[Phm 1:23 ESV] Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you,
[Phm 1:24 ESV] and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.

When, Most likely Before 70 AD.  Nothing is mentioned of the burning of Rome and the persecution of the Christians there (a.d. 64), the martyrdom of Peter and Paul (possibly 67) and the destruction of Jerusalem (70).

To Whom?  Theophilus = "friend of God"
Why?
[Luk 1:1 ESV] Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us,
[Luk 1:2 ESV] just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us,
[Luk 1:3 ESV] it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
[Luk 1:4 ESV] that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

It appears Luke teamed up on the adventure when Paul was in Troas.  Notice how the “Third person changes to the first person. 

[Act 16:8 ESV] So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.
[Act 16:9 ESV] And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
[Act 16:10 ESV] And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
[Act 16:11 ESV] So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis,

The Purpose of the Book of Acts: 
1 To present a history of what happened after Jesus’ ministry. 
2. To give a defense. One finds embedded in Acts a record of Christian defenses made to both Jews (e.g., 4:8–12) and Gentiles (e.g., 25:8–11),
3. To provide a guide.  ** lots of confusion when discerning if something should be a precedent. Or Timeless Truth to be practiced or observed 
4. To depict the triumph of Christianity in the face of bitter persecution and church confusion. 

In this account we will find 
Jesus’ Ascension: 
[Act 1:8 ESV] But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
[Act 1:9 ESV] And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
[Act 1:10 ESV] And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,
[Act 1:11 ESV] and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

Miracles, 
[Act 3:1 ESV] Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.
[Act 3:2 ESV] And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple.
[Act 3:3 ESV] Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms.
[Act 3:4 ESV] And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, "Look at us."
[Act 3:5 ESV] And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them.
[Act 3:6 ESV] But Peter said, "I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!"
[Act 3:7 ESV] And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.
[Act 3:8 ESV] And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.
[Act 3:9 ESV] And all the people saw him walking and praising God,

A Growing Jewish Church
[Act 2:41 ESV] So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
[Act 2:42 ESV] And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

The beginning of the Gentile Church.
[Act 10:15 ESV] And the voice came to him again a second time, "What God has made clean, do not call common."
[Act 10:17 ESV] Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon's house, stood at the gate
 [Act 10:28 ESV] And he said to them, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.
[Act 10:44 ESV] While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.
[Act 10:45 ESV] And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.
[Act 10:46 ESV] For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared,
[Act 10:47 ESV] "Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"
[Act 10:48 ESV] And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

Persecution
Jewish Persecution: [Act 7:56 ESV] And he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
[Act 7:57 ESV] But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him.
[Act 7:58 ESV] Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.
[Act 7:59 ESV] And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
[Act 7:60 ESV] And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Gentile Persecution: 
[Act 12:1 ESV] About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church.
[Act 12:2 ESV] He killed James the brother of John with the sword,
[Act 12:3 ESV] and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread.

Confusion
Confusion getting organized
[Act 6:1 ESV] Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.
[Act 6:2 ESV] And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, "It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.
[Act 6:3 ESV] Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.

Confusion of what to do with the Gentile believers?
[Act 15:1 ESV] But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."
[Act 15:2 ESV] And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question.
[Act 15:3 ESV] So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers.
[Act 15:4 ESV] When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.
[Act 15:5 ESV] But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses."
[Act 15:6 ESV] The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter.
[Act 15:7 ESV] And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, "Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.
[Act 15:8 ESV] And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us,
[Act 15:9 ESV] and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.
[Act 15:10 ESV] Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?
[Act 15:11 ESV] But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will."
[Act 15:19 ESV] Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God,
[Act 15:20 ESV] but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. 

Living for Jesus is a Narrow road, but it is not a smooth road. 

Image if 100,000 Adam and Eve’s in the garden right after the fall and God came walking in the Garden. 
Mass hysteria!  

Have Hope.  
As mentioned last week. The Truth brings confusion. Fear, anger, division.  
[Gal 5:18 ESV] But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
[Gal 5:19 ESV] Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
[Gal 5:20 ESV] idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
[Gal 5:21 ESV] envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

It’s like when parents walk in on two lusty teenagers.   
When God walks in our works of the flesh, we panic. 
However for all who Yield to The Truth
[Gal 5:22 ESV] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
[Gal 5:23 ESV] gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
[Gal 5:24 ESV] And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
They Did It, We can Do It. . . IN Christ!

They Did It, We can Do It. . . IN Christ!

November 1, 2014
Hebrews Chapter 12; They Did It, We can Do It. . . IN Christ!

Consider all the people from chapter 11 who had Faith. 
God told them something, They obeyed. 

[Heb 12:1 ESV] Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

What sort of things do you think are more important than the 5 disciplines?

There are things Jesus did, that we can follow as He demonstrated.  
[Heb 12:2 ESV] looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Consider Him. 
[Heb 12:3 ESV] Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Who was against Jesus?  Every human being.  The “righteous” people, The loser sinners, the popular sinners, the wealthy sinners, the poor sinners.   

Now Consider Your struggle against sin.  
[Heb 12:4 ESV] In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Christians are disciplined by God.  Part of the Sanctification Process. 
This is first speaking of - You chose wrong, “SPANK”!  
However, we can be Trained By Turmoil.  (No Good Deed Goes Unpunished)

[Heb 12:5 ESV] And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.
[Heb 12:6 ESV] For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."
[Heb 12:7 ESV] It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

No discipline? Then You Are Not A Christian. 
[Heb 12:8 ESV] If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

[Heb 12:9 ESV] Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?



But He disciplines = Position Us. 
[Heb 12:10 ESV] For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

[Heb 12:11 ESV] For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Reset Your Expectations.  
How do you know when you have arrived at maturity?   When it’s no longer a big deal.

A ministry in the local church.   
Inexperienced View:   I did an event, worked hard, gave gave gave.  
False Expectation:   Appreciation, Thanks, Praise. “Wow, aren’t they great!”
True Expectation:  No one may express appreciation.  As a matter of fact, people may criticize my efforts. 

Also: direct rebellion will lead to the spanky kind of discipline. 
Wrong way!  “whack”
To Slow!  “whack”
Too Fast, your gonna fall.   “Bump”  

Get Strong!  What Is Your Spiritual Workout Routine.  Ministry, Discipleship.
[Heb 12:12 ESV] Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,
[Heb 12:13 ESV] and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.

[Heb 12:14 ESV] Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

A chain reaction of sin. 
[Heb 12:15 ESV] See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; (stained with sinned)
[Heb 12:16 ESV] that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.

If folks do not experience the Grace of God from Christians, bitter people; say and do bad things, which to more bad things. 

Esau making a chain of wrong choices reached a point of no return.  
[Heb 12:17 ESV] For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

Old Testament Mountain of Fire and Smoke 
[Heb 12:18 ESV] For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest
[Heb 12:19 ESV] and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them.
[Heb 12:20 ESV] For they could not endure the order that was given, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned."
[Heb 12:21 ESV] Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I tremble with fear."

We approach Jesus who Reigns in Heaven as King and is waiting to receive us. 
[Heb 12:22 ESV] But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,
[Heb 12:23 ESV] and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,
[Heb 12:24 ESV] and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

To Reject Jesus is far worse than anything the damned experienced in the Old Testament. 
[Heb 12:25 ESV] See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.

In the past, God shook the Earth, In the future He will shake the Universe. 
[Heb 12:26 ESV] At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens."
[Heb 12:27 ESV] This phrase, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of things that are shaken--that is, things that have been made--in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.

[Heb 12:28 ESV] Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,
[Heb 12:29 ESV] for our God is a consuming fire.

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