Showing posts from May, 2014

How to become holy- The stoning of Stephen

Read the passage here Hear the sermon here

Since Easter we have been spending time in the book of Acts watching the church be formed. After Jesus was resurrected and had ascended the Spirit descended on the disciples and they miraculously spoke in other languages. Peter changes from being frightened and hiding behind locked doors to boldly speaking publicly to the crowd and explains what they are witnessing and retells the story of Jesus. Many in the crowd, who are from all over the known world, ask what they should do and Peter advises them to be baptized to receive forgiveness and to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We are told that 3000 people joined the church that day. We then get a glimpse of the life of the church when we read that they shared the bread of Communion, they devoted themselves to the Apostle’s teaching, to prayer, and to being together in intense community (even selling what they owned to take care of the needy among them). The life of this early church was confirme…

marks of the church

Acts 2:42-47 Hear the sermon here

For the last couple of weeks since Easter we have been looking at Peter’s sermon that he gave on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit had enlivened all the disciples after Jesus had ascended to heaven and they started speaking in other languages. The crowds in Jerusalem had come from all over the known world for the festival. They hear the disciples speaking in their own languages and talking about powerful actions of God. Peter steps in front of the crowds to explain what they are experiencing. He tells the story of Jesus- his life, death, resurrection, ascension. The crowd asked what they should do and Peter invites them to repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit. Many come join the church that day. The author says about 3000.

The preacher John Stott has said a more accurate name for the Book of Acts would be- “The Continuing Words and Deeds of Jesus by his Spirit through his Apostles’”. What we read about in Acts is a group of people who ar…

What does it mean to repent?

Acts 2:14, 36-41 Hear the sermon here (this was a child-friendly service)
When we meet up with Peter this week he has preached the last line of his sermon- “Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.” This sermon was Peter’s Pentecost sermon. The crowd in Jerusalem was from all over the known world. They were in Jerusalem for the festival of Pentecost which is a Jewish harvest festival, and it also became the time they celebrated receiving the Law from God on Mt. Sainai. Suddenly this group of disciples started miraculously speaking in languages known to the crowd. The crowd starts asking questions, curious about what’s going on. Peter explains to them that they are witnessing the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel.  God’s Spirit is empowering His people. This is happening because Jesus walked among them. He was killed, resurrected, and ascended to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to his discip…