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The Only Evangelism That Works: Be An Imagebearer

Week 8 of Reading The New Testament 5×5, Acts Chapter 20 – Acts Chapter 24

This is why we have shorter services in 2013, just kidding but you may be asked about this on a trivia question. Someone fell asleep in the service and fell to his death. Wow

Chapter 20

As Paul spoke on and on, a young man named Eutychus, sitting on the windowsill, became very drowsy. Finally, he fell sound asleep and dropped three stories to his death below.

Verses 19-24

19 I have done the Lord’s work humbly and with many tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews. 20 I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes. 21 I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus.

22 “And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, 23 except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. 24 But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.

Here we have a great testimony from Paul about what is important in life and that is sharing Christ with the world. He said he had done this faithfully through tears. I have actually come to the place in my life where “most” of the time I don’t get angry with people who are doing things that will mess up their lives, I actually mourn for them. Paul had gotten to that place in his life.Paul is testifying to the fact that there will be trials in this life lived for God. Anyone who tells you that Jesus promised life would be easy, that you would be wealthy, and healthy all the time has lied to you. It won’t happen in this life but in eternity only. Paul even says the Holy Spirit told him ahead of time to expect trials and hardship and based on God’s Word, as your pastor and friend  I am telling you to expect the same thing. We live in a fallen world and we’re not home yet.

Chapter 21

Throughout the New Testament we witness Paul and others who say they were led by the Spirit to do or not do certain things. To go and not go to certain places. We are not told details about how the Spirit led but I believe we can gain from Scripture that as the Spirit lives in us we get to know Him Intimately as we study God’s Word and it may be hard to explain but when the Spirit leads me to do something, I now that I know that I know.

Here are a couple of guidelines. The Spirit will never lead you to do something that is contrary to the teaching of scripture so study to show yourselves knowledgeable  Then, scripture gives accounts of people discerning the Spirit’s leading. You may discern something you feel is God leading by surrounding yourself with a group of people whom you trust and who you know to be knowledgeable in the scripture. The Bible teaches that the church will often confirm and affirm what God is leading you to do. Overall, when God is leading me, I know it. I also know when it is me leading me in the direction my flesh says is the right way.

Verses 8-9

The next day we went on to Caesarea and stayed at the home of Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven men who had been chosen to distribute food. He had four unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophecy.

Would somebody tell me what this means?

If the text said that Phillip had 4 sons who had the gift of prophecy we would automatically say, oh, Phillip had 4 preacher boys.

How do we read this and deny that women had the same opportunity of gifts the men had? I know there are places in scripture where it says that women are to remain quiet in church and learn from their husbands at home but you might want to go and read that in context.

Let’s deal with this passage a little more.

The word in Greek is προφητεύω

A Couple Of Translations to consider:

GWT: Philip had four unmarried daughters who had the ability to speak what God had revealed.

GNT: He had four unmarried daughters who proclaimed God’s message.

Prophecy is a form of preaching. The problem comes where some teach that the gifts of prophecy and speaking in tongues  as well as the gift of healing have ceased to exist with the coming of Christ. I find that no where in scripture to be the case.

This is one of many references in the scriptures where God uses women and men in His work of ministry. It amazes me that folks who will not allow a woman to preach will allow a woman to teach Sunday School. They will allow a woman to give a talk to the church but she cannot call it preaching. These folks would say but God laid down this precedent and I would argue from scripture this simply isn’t the case.

Lets look at some other scriptures that will help in what I am saying.

Exodus 15:20 20 Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine and led all the women as they played their tambourines and danced.

If you are struggling and need more clarification on this issue, please feel free to ask.

Judges 4:4-5 Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time. She would sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgment.

Esther 4: 15-17 15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” 17 So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

Luke 2: 36-38 36 Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. 37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. 38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.

Luke 8:1-3 Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples.

Acts 18: 24-26 24 Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt. 25 He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit[a] and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism. 26 When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately.

Romans 16: 1-16 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deacon in the church in Cenchrea. Welcome her in the Lord as one who is worthy of honor among God’s people. Help her in whatever she needs, for she has been helpful to many, and especially to me.

Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in the ministry of Christ Jesus. In fact, they once risked their lives for me. I am thankful to them, and so are all the Gentile churches. Also give my greetings to the church that meets in their home.

Greet my dear friend Epenetus. He was the first person from the province of Asia to become a follower of Christ. Give my greetings to Mary, who has worked so hard for your benefit. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews, who were in prison with me. They are highly respected among the apostles and became followers of Christ before I did. Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord.Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys.

10 Greet Apelles, a good man whom Christ approves. And give my greetings to the believers from the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew. Greet the Lord’s people from the household of Narcissus. 12 Give my greetings to Tryphena and Tryphosa, the Lord’s workers, and to dear Persis, who has worked so hard for the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, whom the Lord picked out to be his very own; and also his dear mother, who has been a mother to me.

14 Give my greetings to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who meet with them. 15 Give my greetings to Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and to Olympas and all the believers who meet with them. 16 Greet each other in Christian love. All the churches of Christ send you their greetings.

Throughout the Bible women are part of the ministry of God, why would it be any different today? Furthermore, I find no evidence in scripture that anything has changed.

no perfect people allowed (3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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February 27, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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