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The Only Evangelism That Works: Be An Imagebearer

Week 7 of Reading The New Testament 5×5, Acts Chapter 15 – Acts Chapter 19

Acts Chapter 15

This chapter continues on in the Gentiles being converted and challenged. The New Testament is all about how Jesus came to save the world, everybody who calls on His name. It doesn’t matter what nationality, race, ethnicity, etc. a person is. The sad thing is, people all through history have laid out classes of people and called some more important than others. With Jesus, everyone is equal.

Acts Chapter 16

In this chapter we are seeing what people in that day, living in that culture had to endure when they spoke up for the Lord. It isn’t the same today, today people for one don’t take it very seriously. In that day, being so soon after Jesus rose from the grave, it caused havoc for the religious leaders and the political figures when people converted to Christianity or The Way. I imagine that we will move more and more back to this being the case as the time for Jesus return comes closer.

Acts Chapter 17: 10-12

10 That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. 12 As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.

In order for a person to find the truth, they have to be invested in the truth and in order for a person to be invested in the truth it takes work. Not many people are that interested in finding anything more than a quick fix and easy answers. Corrie ten Boom once said that kittens being born in an oven no more made them biscuits than people being born into a Christian family made one a Christ follower. This is one reason for so much darkness in the world today, many people in the church on membership rolls are not Christ followers at all. Search the scriptures, we are told many times throughout in various ways to study.

Chapter 18

9-11

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! 10 For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me.” 11 So Paul stayed there for the next year and a half, teaching the word of God.

God spoke to Paul here for a specific situation but there is precedent throughout the Bible that we are to not be afraid to speak up on behalf of Christ. Much of our problems and fears of speaking up for Christ come from a history of people who stand on street corners and in pulpits and condemn people. Jesus never called us to condemn people, as a matter of fact, Jesus told us not to judge. When we speak up for Christ it can be done in a positive way. Jesus said He is the light of the world and as Christians we are to go out and light this dark world. We can do that by sharing the “Good News” and the good news is that Jesus came to save the world. Just tell people what Christ has done in your life, it really is that simple.

Chapter 19

I have received some questions about receiving the Holy Spirit and how that actually happens as well as questions about the gift of speaking in tongues. Let me try to be brief here and answer a couple of things. Scripture is clear that we receive the Holy Spirit at the point of accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Scripture is also clear that we need a continual filling of the Holy Spirit, not that one will ever lose the Holy Spirit but that one can walk closely with the Lord and the life of Jesus spills out of the believer. It is also possible to walk at what a friend calls, “walking at a guilty distance from the Lord.” the person walking in constant communion with God has the Holy Spirit present in his or her life as does the one walking guilty. If you know Christ, you have His Holy Spirit living inside you, this is the sign of being a Christian. It is also obvious that in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit would come for a purpose but not reside in the person, this changed soon after the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. There are various instances in scripture of people speaking in unknown tongues and other languages after being filled with the Spirit of God. The bible in various places lists speaking in tongues as a gift of the Spirit. I see no evidence to say this gift has ceased. I have friends who have spoken in tongues and pray in tongues on a regular basis but this has never happened to me. The fact that I don’t have the gift doesn’t make it false. This is another area where the church at times has majored on the minors and minored on the majors. Paul says the greatest gift of all is love so focus on loving people in the name of Jesus Christ. If you have the gift then I celebrate with you and if you do not, I celebrate the gifts that you do have.

Verse 11

11 God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. 12 When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled.

Notice that God gave to Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. This means two things. #1. God doesn’t give everyone the power to do likewise and #2. God does as He chooses and miracles are still happening today.

no perfect people allowed (3)

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February 27, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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