Tonight (12/16) I finished my series “A Biblical Church Life” from Acts 6:1-6. Since I already addressed 8 biblical principles from Part 1 and Part 2 I began tonight with the 9th principle and more. They are as follows:
9. Organized structure is a means to glorify God in a local church.
10. Ministry exists only when there is a need (v. 3).
11. God has his standard for those who serve in his church (v. 3).
- “Select from among you (plural),” which refers to leadership that is homegrown.
- Plurality of men.
- Leadership of men – all the nouns are gender specific, namely, in masculine plural.
- Men of good reputation (martureo in Greek, where we get “martyr” from), which has to do with bearing witness, being a witness and being well spoken of.
- Full of the Spirit.
- Full of wisdom.
- Men who are tested and proven.
If you want to hear how these points flesh-out, you can click here.
Last night (12/2) I preached Part 2 of “A Biblical Church Life” from Acts 6:1-6. I believe what we can learn from this particular text directly impacts the life and growth of our church and other churches too. Since I already addressed first four points in the previous message, I started with #5 last night. And I pointed out four more principles:
5. Diversities should be welcomed in the local church (v. 2).
6. The priority of the Word over social work in the church (v. 2).
7. Understand the primary duty of pastors (vv. 2 and 4).
8. Delegation is biblical, not optional (vv. 3-4).
If you want to hear how these points fleshout you can listen here.
Last night (11/11) I continued my exposition on Acts and preached 4:32-5:11, a message entitled “Joy and Judgment in a Local Church.” This particular text portrays a crystal clear distinction between God’s pleasure and God’s displeasure in a local church. One demonstrates joy; the other, judgment. This particular narrative strongly implies that both pictures can be found in a local church. God’s pleasure is demonstrated in the latter portion of Acts 4; while God’s displeasure and disapproval are found at the beginning of chapter 5.
From the text, I pointed out what brings God’s joy and what brings God’s judgment. Here’s my brief outline.
I. What Brings God’s Joy in a Local Church?
- A church that strives for true Christian unity brings joy to God; but not at the expense of doctrine.
- A church that demonstrates sacrificial giving and sharing brings joy to God.
- When the priority of church ministry is given first to her members.
- When there is a continual proclamation of the resurrected Christ.
II. What Brings God’s Judgment to a Local Church?
- Your private sin not only can kill you (literally), but it affects others in a local church.
- When you sin against a church, you sin against God.
III. Some Final Implications
- God will remove individual(s) from a church for the sake of her purity and testimony.
- Although there is God’s judgment, there is also God’s grace.
If you want to listen how these points flesh-out click here.
Last night (11/4) I preached Acts 4:1-31, entitled “Persevere in Persecution.” Acts 4 records the first persecution against the early Christian church. It provides a tremendous lesson for all of us in terms of how we should react when we experience a religious/spiritual persecution against us. So I addressed ten implications that this particular narrative points out.
- Persecution comes when we are actively doing God’s work.
- When you teach and proclaim God’s truth, not everyone is going to like you.
- Those who oppose you are often times the most religious ones.
- In spite of discouragements and persecution against God’s spokesmen, God always saves all those whom he has sovereignly chosen.
- A genuine persecution is generally over doctrine.
- God will not abandon you during the time of your persecution but empowers you with His Spirit to testify.
- The key to teach God’s truth effectively and authoritatively is simply this – “having been with Jesus” (v. 13), namely, being in God’s word and prayer.
- Individuals who are thankful and loyal to God will stand with those who are thankful and loyal to God.
- Our loyalty belongs to God than people.
- Persecution should drive us to God through prayer.
If you’re interested, you can hear how these ten implications flesh out.
After finishing a long 10-week series on the Disciples’ Prayer, last Sunday I decided to take a break from the Sermon on the Mount and preached Acts 3:1-10. I enjoy reading, studying, and preaching the book of Acts because the book is filled with actions and adventures. Although the title in our English Bible has it “The Acts of the Apostles,” it is more like “The Acts of God through the Apostles” in which the emphasis should be on God and what he did. I say this because if not careful, it is easy to put the spotlight on instruments rather than the One who sovereignly plays the instruments. Hence this book is filled with redemptive-actions of God in which ultimately, at the end of the day, points to the glory of God.
If you are not familiar with this particular narrative, you should. Although it is a simple story, it contains profound and powerful demonstration of how God is glorified through a local church. I’ve learned that this particular biblical narrative is not so much about the two apostles than the ultimate Apostle (with capital A), namely, our Lord Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, the author of Hebrews said, “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession” (3:1).
Also, this story is not so much about the powerful healing than the powerful Healer. And finally, this story is not so much about people and power of the church than power and Possessor of the church. With that in mind, I see seven ways in which how God is glorified through his local church. Hence, I’ve titled the message “Seven Ways How God is Glorified in the Local Church.” And here’s my brief outline:
- God is glorified in the ministry of teamwork and plurality of leaders, not by pontification of one man.
- God is glorified when we pray faithfully and fervently.
- Continual and fervent prayer opens possible ministry opportunity, where God is glorified.
- God is glorified when we take action to the opportunity he opens instead of looking around for others to do.
- God is glorified by demonstrating that only he can do what others cannot do.
- God is glorified by the right method and the right message.
- God is glorified when you express your joy to God.
My notes are humbly available upon request if you want to see how I arrived at those propositions and/or visit our church’s website to hear this recorded message.