Imagebearer’s Weblog

The Only Evangelism That Works: Be An Imagebearer

Week 9 of Reading The New Testament 5×5, Acts Chapter 25 – Hebrews 1

(God Uses Broken People)

In Acts 25 and 26 we see that Paul has been put in prison on trumped-up charges, just anything apparently to try to get him out of their hair. It was the religious leaders who are trying to get rid of him because he has had an encounter with the Risen Christ and he is going everywhere telling everyone about it. These chapters are important for many reasons but one of the main things I want to point out is this, God uses broken people!

Paul was a man who persecuted the church of Christ. He was at the stoning of Stephen and even approved of his murder. If God can use Paul and he obviously did and still is, then God can use me and you. In chapter 26 Paul recounts some of the things he did to persecute the church and then his conversion to Christ and being his follower.

Acts 26:16a (Called as a witness)

16 Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness.

God has appointed each of us who know Him as a witness and a servant.

What does this mean?

It simply means that we serve God and in serving God we are to tell others what God has done for us. We so often get this turned around and we think we are supposed to go and correct the world. Matter of fact we have been taught for generations that as Christians, we are to boycott anyone who we believe is standing for wrong, that we are to condemn and stay away from people who promote evil. When the fact is, as witnesses we are to be salt in a tasteless world, we are to be light in a dark place. We as Christians are to share the Good News that Jesus came to save the world. Yes we are to go about doing good but don’t forget that God will be the judge, we are the witnesses.

Acts 26:22b and 23 (Communicating to our Culture and our Time in History)

I teach nothing except what the prophets and Moses said would happen— 23 that the Messiah would suffer and be the first to rise from the dead, and in this way announce God’s light to Jews and Gentiles alike.”

Paul’s message is still our message today. We just have to find a way to communicate to a Google culture rather than a 1st century culture.

Acts 28:23-30 (Importance of ALL Scripture)

23 So a time was set, and on that day a large number of people came to Paul’s lodging. He explained and testified about the Kingdom of God and tried to persuade them about Jesus from the Scriptures. Using the law of Moses and the books of the prophets, he spoke to them from morning until evening.24 Some were persuaded by the things he said, but others did not believe. 25 And after they had argued back and forth among themselves, they left with this final word from Paul: “The Holy Spirit was right when he said to your ancestors through Isaiah the prophet,

26 ‘Go and say to this people:
When you hear what I say,
you will not understand.
When you see what I do,
you will not comprehend.
27 For the hearts of these people are hardened,
and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and let me heal them.’

28 So I want you to know that this salvation from God has also been offered to the Gentiles, and they will accept it.”

30 For the next two years, Paul lived in Rome at his own expense. He welcomed all who visited him,31 boldly proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. And no one tried to stop him.

Paul was using the Hebrew scriptures, the Law and the Prophets to convince the people that Jesus is who he said he was. I share this just to say that so many today believe that the Older Testament is unimportant, matter of fact many believe we could just discard the Old Testament but that is not possible. Without the OT we could not have the New Testament. It is the OT that testify’s to who the Messiah would be. Were it not for the Prophecies of the OT we would not know Christianity.

Wrapping up Acts – Acts is one of the most popular books in the New Testament. Many people including myself have read it and said, I so wish the church today still looked and operated like the church in Acts. But, the truth is, if we were to be real serious we are happy that time has changed. Things in Paul’s day were difficult and times were very different. Our mission today has not changed. Paul had a mission to tell the world about Jesus Christ and to live a life Following Him. We have the same mission but we have to find ways to live out our calling in 2013, not in the 1st Century.

“We are called to serve the world, the culture, the time we are in. Not the one we wish we were in.” Leonard Sweet

Hebrews

The Book of Hebrews is written to a group of Christians who are experiencing a CRISIS of FAITH. They have also gotten scared or lost their nerve. Hebrews is a sermon to the church that confronts the audience or congregation regarding what they are experiencing. There is an obvious cost of discipleship that is discussed. Remember salvation is free but discipleship will cost you.

Hebrews 1:14

14 Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation.

This is off the topic of the introduction but a topic that needs to be studied. Angels, who are they and what is their purpose. To begin, angels are created beings. The Bible tells us that when Satan fell from heaven that a large number of the angels followed him. These are now the demon spirits that we still in 2013 have to contend with but largely go unnoticed or misunderstood by humans.

Luke 10:17-18 (Who is Satan and where did he come from)

17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

18 “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning!

See also Ezekiel 28:12b-19

Satan was a created angel who fell because of Pride!

However, there are a multitude of angels that did not fall and they serve many purposes, here are some of them.

Angels Help Protect

Matthew 18:10

10 “Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father.

Daniel 6:20-23

20 When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?”

21 Daniel answered, “Long live the king! 22 My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.”

23 The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.

They Reveal Information

Acts 7:52-23

52 Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. 53 You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.

Luke 1:11-20

11 While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12 Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. 13 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. 14 You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. 16 And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. 17 He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”

18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.”

19 Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! 20 But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”

Angels Often Guide Us

20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Angels Provide For Us

Genesis 21:17-20

17 But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.”19 Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink.20 And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness. He became a skillful archer…

I Kings 19:5-7

Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again.Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.”

Hebrews 1:14

14 Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation.

I would love to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading the Bible with me and more than 100 other people. God is going to do AWESOME things in our lives. You can count on it.

Ronnie

no perfect people allowed (3)

Advertisements

March 6, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: