Acts 2:42-47 A Measuring Stick for the Church

Acts 2:42-47

A Measuring Stick for the Church

NOTE: SUNDAY POSTS ARE INTENDED TO BE USED ALONG WITH THE SERMON. THEY ARE NOT FULL THOUGHTS WITH IDEAS WORKED OUT. YOU CAN FOLLOW THE NOTES AS YOU LISTEN ALONG JUST LIKE YOU WERE THERE. http://www.threeriversc.org/#/sermon-audio

One of the greatest helps in studying Acts is to understand that it is not completely prescriptive but just fully descriptive.

What we see in Acts is Luke’s description of how the Spirit powers the advance of the gospel of the kingdom through every disciple engaging in their domain of society.

It’s easy to focus on the Apostles, but the Apostles are not the catalyst. Holy Spirit, through the preached gospel and public engagement, making disciples who make disciples is the catalyst recipe.

Take note of the irony of Paul’s impetus to get to Rome. Yet when Paul get’s to Rome, guess who greets him? Some brothers! Paul does not bring the gospel to Rome. Other disciples got there and made disciples. Paul mobilizes, instructs and moves on after his imprisonment (first Roman imprisonment).

Paul knows this because he writes a letter to the church before he visits, it’s called “Romans”.

Acts 8:1-4 reminds us that the Apostles stayed at Jerusalem after the persecution but the other disciples are scattered and go about preaching the gospel, making disciples and planting churches.

REMEMBER: Every disciple a church planter! Leadership is appointed from within after disciples are made (Titus 1:5).

KDSC!

They did not start with a church service. They started by being transformed by the gospel of the kingdom. They were made disciples who operated within their domains of society, and they made disciples in their domains of society. From that platform of domain engagement Jesus constructed his church!

Let’s make sure we look at our text today through that lens.

What do we see? Observation 1

1. The disciples devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship to the breaking of bread and the prayers v. 42

“An initial summary of the essential elements of Christian discipleship, elements the apostles had learned from their experience with Jesus: (1) his teaching about his person and work (Matt. 16:18–19; Luke 24:46; cf. Acts 3:15; 4:10; 1 Cor. 15:1–4; etc.) and their Christian responsibility as his followers (cf. Matt. 5–7); (2) the fellowship of Christ with his disciples (cf. John 13); (3) the Lord’s Supper—the breaking of bread (Matt. 26:17–30; cf. Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 10:16; 11:20; etc.); and (4) his prayer life for and with the disciples (Matt. 6:5–13; Luke 11:1–13; John 17: cf. Acts 1:14; 3:1; 6:4; 10:4, 31; 12:5; 16:13, 16).”

What does it mean?

1. The disciples were following Jesus through devotion to his teaching through those the Lord entrusted it to, the apostles!

2. The teaching of the apostles is canonized (captured) in the New Testament (1 criteria for canonicity was that it had to be “apostolic”), so we have Jesus’ teaching in the “Manual”.

3. The disciples were devoted to fellowship as Jesus modeled it.

4. The disciples were devoted to the Lord’s Supper.

5. The disciples were devoted to prayer.

6. This was messy and would lead to conflict (collision with culture) as ministry ramps up.

We take for granted living in a “Christian” influence culture. But these disciples lived in a Jewish culture, informed by Hellenization and ruled by Roman law. The developing church would practice within the cultural practices they knew and it would be 300 plus years before an evolving “Christian” culture would emerge.

What do we do with this?

1. We imitate the early example of devotion to core disciplines of following Jesus.

  • Scripture
  • Fellowship
  • Lord’s Supper
  • Prayer

2. We must exercise patience as we make disciples in our part of the world. Followers of Jesus have to practice following Jesus within some very similar situations that the early church did. We must disciple, allow Holy Spirit to dictate practice and timing, love, understand, stand with, support, engage domains, work for peace and protection of all, and advocate for as the kingdom grows.

What do we see? Observation 2

2. The disciples were in awe of God as signs and wonders are done v. 43

1. Awe (literally fear) describes everyone in the fellowship.

2. Miraculous things are happening as the apostles push out to mobilize the community to do the mission.

What does it mean?

1. The whole fellowship saw and responded in awe at the work of the Spirit.

2. Signs and wonders accompany apostolic sending.

  • Apostle means “sent”. Sometimes “Ambassador” is used as a synonym with “apostle”.
  • Signs and wonders accompany the “sending” and “going” movement of the mission.
  • The inverse may be true here. Signs and wonders DON’T ACCOMPANY not “sending” and not “going”.

3. Awe is the natural human response to coolness.

What do we do with this?

1. We are to be “pushing” the frontiers of domain engagement because Jesus told us to.

2. Jesus promised us that because of Spirit, we would do greater work than him.

3. We are to expect signs and wonders (like people continuing to give $50,000 to our work, people beginning to follow Jesus with transformed lives, the city giving us buildings)

4. We are to be in awe! It’s not optional. The heart not captivated by the glory of God has not been transformed by the glorious gospel of God.

What do we see? Observation 3

3. The church comes together and obediently shares in order to meet needs as they arise (in addition to their “tithe”) v. 44-45

1. The people have gained a proper understanding of “stewardship”.

2. The people share God’s resources for the good of those who are in need.

What does this mean?

1. It does not mean they were communists.

2. The disciples were simply following the Lord’s teaching in Psalm 24:1.

“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein…”

3. Need in the fellowship is met by the abundance of the fellowship.

What do we do with this?

1. We are to hear Jesus and obey his word:

“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.” – Lev. 19:9-10

“And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.” – Lev. 23:22

2. We are to be transformed by biblical stewardship

What do we see? Observation 4

4. The church operates in the public square on mission and in private devotion v. 46-47a

1. It was natural for them to attend the temple. That was their routine. So, these followers of Jesus follow Jesus in their daily routines!

The routines did not change. The routines were transformed!!

The routines are now transformed into opportunities to make much of Jesus in all facets of life or “domains of society”.

2. The disciples follow Jesus in public obedience and in private fellowship daily, not just on Sunday.

What does this mean?

1. Following Jesus is a lifestyle not an additional task tacked onto my other life.

What do we do with this?

1. The gospel of the kingdom transforms. It’s not a addendum to my other idols.

2. We are to wrestle with obeying Jesus in all things.

3. Our days are to reflect devotion to Jesus, his kingdom rule and his people.

4. KNOW THIS IS THE HARDEST THING TO DO IN THE POST-CHRISTIAN SOUTH WHERE IDOLS OF CULTURE LIKE TO WEAR CHRISTIAN T-SHIRTS AND THE SPIRIT OF DECEPTION IS REALLY GOOD AT DECEIVING.

We cannot be a, “They honor me with their lips but their heart is far from me”, kind of people.

What do we see? Observation 5

5. Public Ministry + Fellowship = Transformation of People and Domains of Society v. 47b

1. The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

What does this mean?

1. Following Jesus publicly (preaching gospel and healing; hearing and obeying) and loving each other results in people coming to faith in Jesus and society being engaged.

What do we do with this?

1. We are to follow Jesus publicly. Our faith in Jesus is NEVER to be private.

  • Preach the gospel
  • Love people
  • Don’t be political before you are kingdom. Let the kingdom determine your politics.
  • Make disciples. Get messy in helping people that Jesus is adding to the kingdom get in.
  • Know that public ministry is obeying Jesus because we are operating in the light not in secret.

2. Public following of Jesus will lead to opportunity to change the world. It’s “glocal”.

HOW DO WE MEASURE UP? HOW DO YOU MEASURE UP?

THERE IS GRACE, BUT WE DON’T PRESUME ON IT. WE RECEIVE IT AND SEEK TO REPENT IF WE NEED TO.

3. Praise!

Psalm 147:1 “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.”

Two Very Opposed Values

After the fall in Genesis 3 the curse of the fall just settles in deeper and deeper awaiting the day that King Jesus would break the curse so that it would no longer “always be winter and never Christmas.”

We see that curse further deepen at Babel when man wants to make a name for himself by building tall buildings and rebel against the creation mandate of Genesis 1:26-28 and the Lord divides the nations and languages to force mankind to fill the earth and subdue it. But the curse has now set in by making language and culture a barrier rather than a glory. So God enacts his strategic and eternal plan in Genesis 12 by calling Abraham to be a light to the nations.

However, since that time the language and cultural barriers, due to the curse of the fall, have been a means by some to hate others who are not the same. Some say they don’t hate but they trumpet their superiority to the shame of others who are not like them in skin color and cultural values.

Part of what Jesus does in his coming, death, burial, resurrection and sending the Spirit is to make those barriers of culture and language go down in creating one new race, the people of the Kingdom of God. So all those who repent and believe the Gospel get the Spirit and their kinship is no longer defined by skin color or language or culture but by our good, loving and mighty adopted Father.

But there is a value conflict for now. Those who do not worship Jesus can treat others not of same color, culture and language with contempt. This was on display last Saturday in my town where a white supremacist group from another town (why pick out city?) gained a permit in our town to hold a rally for white supremacy. Meanwhile, on the same day, unknown t0 my wife, she, due to me speaking out of town and our other sons at various events, took our baby (not a baby anymore but will always be my baby) boy, who is African-American, to Ebenezer Baptist Church and the King center to teach him more about MLK and civil rights in America and how Dr. King fought for that. My son needs to know.

Here are the opposing values: one trumpets the supreme nature of their skin color the other values the skin color and mission of others fellow image bearers and potential citizens of God’s kingdom. One loves the other hates.

The point is not to put ourselves up on a stage and say, “look at us.”. The point is that the Kingdom has values opposed to the system of the world that is under the curse. Jesus breaks that curse and gives his values to his people. Those values will oppose. Those kingdom values will bring suffering. I’ve had to leave establishments because of being asked to because my baby son’s skin is not white. That hurts and it makes me fighting mad and I can’t shoot them for it (hyperbole, sort of, don’t get offended).

Part of our work at Christians is to take on God’s values and oppose the values of darkness. We are not to accumulate safety and security but to advance the rule of Jesus into every domain of society. We can’t do this by being ok with white supremacist rallies or any other supremacist rally. We are to engage, live out God’s values, joyfully receive the suffering it brings knowing those sufferings do not compare to the eternal weight of glory we have in Christ.

Take note of the opposing values and decide which one works for peace and which one stirs up hate. The Kingdom of Jesus is better, but it is laden with values that are opposed to the kingdom of darkness and may get you some licks. Jesus is better.

Daniel at Ebenezer 2

(My baby son at Ebenzer).

Acts 2:1-13 The Promise Realized and the Curse Reversed

Acts 2:1-13

The Promise Realized and the Curse Reversed

NOTE: SUNDAY POSTS ARE INTENDED TO BE USED ALONG WITH THE SERMON. THEY ARE NOT FULL THOUGHTS WITH IDEAS WORKED OUT. YOU CAN FOLLOW THE NOTES AS YOU LISTEN ALONG JUST LIKE YOU WERE THERE. http://www.threeriversc.org/#/sermon-audio

We see in our passage the promised Spirit as well as so much of Acts 2:1-13 is connected to the Old Testament in either a clear reversal of the curse or in parallel with how God reveals himself and makes his presence known.

It would be easy to skip over those seeming small things and miss the continuity between testaments. Remember, this is how the Lord himself taught the disciples how to read the Scriptures after his resurrection (see Luke 24).

We will see in our text that at Pentecost the promise is realized and the curse is reversed.

Observation 1: What do we see?

1. God providentially planned Acts 2 long ago with and for strategic affect v. 1, 5, 6, 8-11

Leviticus 23:9-22

1. Firstfruits was an offering of the first of the harvest in trust the Lord would provide more.

2. Firstfruits was celebrated along with the “Feast of weeks” or “Pentecost” (v. 16 “…count 50 days to the day after the seventh Sabbath…”)

  • People were to come from all over to the temple and present their offerings.
  • Because the people would not obey the command to honor him among the nations, the Lord sent them away to Babylon for consequence but also mission. 

3. The Lord Jesus chose to send the Holy Spirit during the feasts he appointed in Leviticus 23 when people would be coming from nations far away.

The Lord Jesus said Acts 1:8 and he was fulfilling the promise he made to them that they would be his witnesses to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth and he would empower and move it along in one providential act.

The disciples only needed to discover what he had already begun as they obeyed and went. 

4. At the sound, which apparently was heard all over the city, the people rushed together to the location of the upper room.

What does it mean?

1. As the Lord would cause the harvest of food to come about, he would likewise bring about the harvest of 3,000 people at the preaching of the gospel at Pentecost.

2. The people were to come from their homes to the place the Lord appointed, so the Lord picked a day on which people from all known nations would be present.

3. The Lord scattered his people all over the world through the Babylonian captivity so they would them have to make homes there and come to worship yearly (Babylonian captivity was part of the good plan A).

4. By obeying the law people from all over the world were gathered to hear the gospel of the kingdom.

5. God ordained this moment to have all those transplants hear the gospel of the kingdom in their adopted language so they could understand.

6. God would save people from all of these places with the gospel of the kingdom, make them disciples, send them back to their domains of society and build his church (KDSC)

What do we do?

1. Take heart that Father is good and is working things out with providentially strategic precision.

2. There is good to be had in obedience.

3. God’s power is freely given to do God’s work, so get on God’s plan through hearing and obeying his word.

Observation 2: What do we see?

2. Holy Spirit is sent as a rushing wind to empower and to mobilize a kingdom of people v. 2

“It was “an echoing sound as of a mighty wind borne violently” (or rushing along like the whirr of a tornado).”

Ezekiel 37:1-14 “And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

Verse 14 of Ezekiel 37 looks forward to this day because only in the New Covenant does the Spirit come to remain. So this raised kingdom of people are a New Covenant people Ezekiel saw and they would inherit the whole earth.

What does it mean?

1. God does his work in the public square. (verse 5 lets us know that this was so loud folks came running to see)

2. With Pentecost we see that God keeps his word to his people. He did what he told Ezekiel he would do.

3. Holy Spirit can resurrect spiritually bankrupt people and give them new life. The gospel is powerful.

What do we do?

1. We are to work in the public square of our domains.

2. We are to take heart that God will keep his word and raise up a people from all nations in subduing the domains of creation (Genesis 1:26-28).

3. We take heart that the gospel of the kingdom is powerful and all we have to do is tell it.

Observation 3: What do we see?

3. Holy Spirit comes as fire sent to empower a kingdom of people. v. 3

“Fire had always been, with the Jews, the symbol of the Divine presence (cf. Ex. 3:2; Deut. 5:4). No symbol could be more fitting to express the Spirit’s purifying energy and refining energy” (Furneaux).

Matthew 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Exodus 19:18 “Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly.”

Exodus 24:17 “Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel.”

What does it mean?

1. Fire accompanies the presence of the Lord as visible witness to his presence, therefore, God is giving witness to his presence in a way they completely understood.

2. The God of the bible, the third person of the Trinity, Holy Spirit, has come to remain on and in his people and Father has made his presence known.

3. The transition between the old covenant and the new covenant has taken place and Spirit is now here to stay.

What do we do?

1. We are to welcome the presence of Holy Spirit and recognize his presence.

(See John 14-16)

– He is Father and Son’s presence with us

– He is Counselor

– He is Helper

– He is Reminder of what Jesus has said

– He is Empowerer of super-natural ministry

– He is Guide to truth

– He is Convincer of sin, righteousness and judgment

– He is God’s Presence

2. We are to not run from but run to all of Holy Spirit we can handle

3. We are to live in constant awareness of his presence and his person (“he” not “it”)

4. We are to relate to Spirit as a person not a thing

– Listen to him

– Speak to him

– Submit to him as authority

Observation 4: What do we see?

4. Pentecost reverses Babel v. 4

Genesis 11:1-9

Through the Spirit’s empowerment the disciples begin to speak in the languages of the people gathered from the nations they were scattered to.

This is the exact reversal of the curse of Babel.

What does it mean?

1. The curse of the fall, as manifested at Babel, has been broken.

2. Cross-cultural work is not only wide open but commanded and doable!

3. Language is not a barrier

4. Culture is not a barrier

What do we do?

1. We are to be on the mission of expanding the kingdom through the proclaiming the message.

2. We have zero excuses or barriers to prevent joining the Spirit on the mission of Jesus’ rule in every domain of society in every nation.

Observation 5: What do we see?

5. God can use anyone who will hear and obey v. 7

These Galileans with the terrible hick accent are speaking clearly in other languages well.

The Galilean accent was known as the uneducated accent among the people of Israel. It’s like the really thick southern accent people of Yankee decent associate with ignorance.

What does it mean?

1. There is no barrier to being an instrument of God’s grace except disobedience.

2. God uses the weak and what is considered less by some to shame the strong and the worldly wise.

What do we do?

1. Just hear and obey.

Observation 6: What do we see?

6. Some will be attracted to the kingdom and some will be repelled v. 12-13

Some were amazed and sought meaning.

Some accused the disciples of being drunk.

What does it mean?

1. The gospel of the kingdom will either attract or repel. Its just what it does.

2. The message will do the work. We don’t have to help it.

What do we do?

1. Liberally spread the good news of Jesus’ reign and rule along with the invitation to repent and believe.

2. Trust the Spirit to awaken. This will be seen in our next passage as 3,000 repent and believe.

3. Be ready to receive the fruit.

Praise!

Psalm 147:1 “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.”

A Really Cool Moment

I had a few minutes to grab some coffee at the local coffee watering hole across from the city hall of Rome, Georgia (Swift and Finch) and reading some more of “Lessons from the East” by Bob Roberts, Jr. The occasion for me heading to the coffee shop and stealing a little free reading time was to sign the paperwork, along with Jeff and Mary Margaret Mauer, with the City of Rome that seals Global Impact, Three Rivers Church’s wing of glocal engagement, taking over possession of the old Southeast Elementary School building.

The work GI will be doing there is Restoration Rome where we will seek to be the solution to the foster and adoptive care crisis in Rome/Floyd County and Northwest Georgia.

Here is the coolness of the situation. I’m reading Bob’s book that talks about all that Bob passed on to me and his other spiritual sons AS I’m waiting to go with some of TRC’s domains engagers to take possession of a multi-million dollar facility (for free) to work with the city as opposed to for the city and to be salt and light and to repair what’s broken and make disciples who make disciples as those disciples are released to engage their domains and so on. Now, I’m sitting here reading “Lessons from the East” that defines my spiritual DNA passed on from Bob while getting to taste the fruit of that DNA all in the same moment. Sheer coolness. That makes all the work of 13 years of planting, growing, shrinking, working hard, working multiple jobs, being mean about the vision, working in hard places, losing, failing, two steps forward and three back well worth it.

No doubt, much hard work lies ahead, but this is Isaiah 40:31 for real happening. It’s Acts happening.

That moment made me:

  1. Thankful for Bob Roberts, Jr. Bob is a spiritual hero to many because he’s a champion for the kingdom not his own kingdom and that has produced fruit and reward in heaven. Bob, it is written down! Your reward in the kingdom will be great. This work in Rome is the direct result of your teaching me and me passing that on to others. Thank you for being faithful to be like, teach like and act like King Jesus. This is fruit from your work.
  2. Realize that when we seek the greatness of the name of Jesus, his kingdom come and his will being done that supernatural kingdom living is a reality. This kind of stuff increases my faith and makes me thankful. We have been given resources from the city in working with the city for the work of the kingdom. Only the Spirit can work such coolness.
  3. Realize that when we release domain engagers to engage their domains that exponential work happens. Restoration Rome is being done by and through many others and a team of many others from multiple domains because they’ve been affected by TRC people who have the “glocal” DNA. Jeff and Mary Margaret Mauer have carried the load on this work and their training, skill sets, education and desire for the kingdom all converged into this moment. We “release”. We don’t hold on to. Again, thank you Bob for teaching this stuff us!

Go read “Lessons from the East”. Go here “Lessons from the East” to buy this book. For TRC folks, you’ll recognize it because it’s your culture articulated in one book. For others it’ll be upside down of what you know, but its full of life giving insights.

Again, thank you Bob!

Disciplines Leading to Holy Spirit Power

Acts 1:12-26

Disciplines Leading to Holy Spirit Power

NOTE: SUNDAY POSTS ARE INTENDED TO BE USED ALONG WITH THE SERMON. THEY ARE NOT FULL THOUGHTS WITH IDEAS WORKED OUT. YOU CAN FOLLOW THE NOTES AS YOU LISTEN ALONG JUST LIKE YOU WERE THERE. http://www.threeriversc.org/#/sermon-audio

Jesus has instructed the disciples over 40 days.

Jesus has presented himself to his disciples by many proofs over this time and he has given them instruction on what to do before they are empowered to go do the mission.

Jesus’ disciples display that they have heard and they are seeking to obey.

It’s an in-between text in which they have to trust the Lord Jesus, obey his instruction and practice what they know.

This text also shows us some “how to” in regard to vital elements that precede supernatural empowerment. 

LET ME BE CLEAR. OUR “PENTECOST” TOOK PLACE AT REGENERATION. HOWEVER, WE ARE TO BE SUBSEQUENTLY FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT AS WE OBEY THE LORD. THE OBSERVATIONS HERE ARE NOT PRESCRIPTION FOR RECEIVING SUPERNATURAL EXPERIENCES AT THE WHIM OF THE PRACTITIONER (“I’ve done all these things now God owes me an experience” kind of mentality). HOWEVER, THESE OBSERVATIONS ARE PRACTICES OF PEOPLE WHO HEAR AND OBEY THE LORD AND WHEN THEY NEED POWER TO PREACH, BEAR WITNESS, PERFORM KINGDOM WORK OR CONFIRMATION OF FAITH OR STRENGTH TO DEFEAT SIN THEY WILL NOT BE LEFT UN-HELPED.

BIBLE STUDY NOTE: We are going to use the three main tasks of exegesis (observation/interpretation/application) as our headings so that 1. you can, by repetition, learn to ask the vital questions for exegeteing Scripture and 2. learn how to exegete as you read.

WHAT DO WE SEE? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? WHAT DO WE DO WITH IT?

Observation 1 What do we see?

1. The disciples waited in expectant obedience v. 12-13

1. Jesus ordered them not to depart Jerusalem but to wait for the Spirit. (1:4)

2. So, they just did what Jesus said to do because they trusted Jesus.

What does it mean?

1. Obedience always carries an expectation of good.

2. Disobedience always carries the suspicion of distrust.

3. The disciples simply trusted Jesus to do them good and make good on his promise.

What do we do with it?

1. We must make war for our faith in Jesus because war is truly made against our faith in Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 3:5 “For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.”

2. Fight the lies and doubt that cast a shadow on the goodness of God and his desire to do us good.

3. Believe Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:24 that he who hears and him and does what he says builds his house on the rock.

Observation 2 What do we see?

2. The disciples were devoted to unified prayer in obedience to Jesus v. 14

1. One accord – “homothumadon” – one and the same, one mind, one mission

2. Devoting – to continue, to remain

3. The Prayer – “the prayer” – What prayer? It does not say.

4. Jesus’ brothers are there!

– John 7:5 – Jesus’ brothers did not believe in him

– Mark 3:21 – Jesus’ family thought him to be out of his mind

– 1 Corinthians 15:7 – Jesus appeared to James (his brother James)

– 1 Corinthians 15:6 – Jesus appeared to more than 500 disciples at one time (where are they now?)

What does it mean?

1. The disciples were unified and acting on Jesus teaching regarding prayer.

Luke 18:1-8

2. Unity and prayer are key factors in the kingdom of God.

– Unity communicates doctrinal truths.

– Prayer gets kingdom work done (see John 15:16).

3. Jesus’ followers are already making disciples while waiting to be empowered (James has been discipling his brothers).

4. Paul indicates that the 500 Jesus appeared to are “brothers”, therefore, Jesus was still at work although they are not here in Jerusalem.

– Jesus is at work even when we don’t see him and that work does not get press.

What do we do with it?

1. We are to fight for unity.

– Treat others as though they were more important than yourself.

– We are to be on Jesus’ mission with Jesus’ means as the primary tool of unity.

– We are to live in deference to the other. Consider others better and more worthy.

– Outdo one another in showing honor.

– Make disciples who make disciples!

– Be encouraged that the Lord is at work even if you are not getting the press!

2. We are to be a praying people.

– Don’t think in terms of adding more prayers to our worship service.

– Do think in terms of a Matthew 6:5-15 kind of prayer.

– Prayer with the audience of one not so others think we are spiritual

– Prayer in the “closet”

– Prayer fueled by the trust Father knows before I ask

– Prayer that seeks the exalting of the name of Jesus

– Prayer for the kingdom to come

– Prayer for the King’s will do be done

– Prayer for provision to stay on mission

– Prayer for forgiveness and to be able to forgive

– Prayer to fight against temptation and evil

Observation 3 What do we see?

3. The disciples grow in their understanding of the Scriptures v. 15-16, 17, 20

1. Peter gives some insight into the “God breathed” nature of Scripture: “…the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David…”

2 Peter 1:21 “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

2. Peter makes application to their situation from the Psalms.

What does it mean?

1. Jesus’ 40 days of instruction on how to read the Old Testament was very effective! (no duh)

2. There is present practice to be gleaned from the Scriptures rather than our culture.

– Peter did not appeal to the latest model for leadership. Peter used the Manual!

What do we do with it?

1. We are to work at knowing the text of Scripture and making application to our situations in life rather than letting culture speak to our situations.

2. Powerful moves of the Spirit won’t come from following the curse’s line of thinking.

Observation 4 What do we see?

4. Luke adds some historical commentary v. 18-19

1. Luke is know for his “asides”, (his commentary from his research about the situation he inserts the comment about).

2. Luke’s account differs slightly from Matthew’s account in 27:3-5 only in who bought the field and in the greater gross detail of the bloated and rotting body.

What does it mean?

1. “The NIV, along with many other translations, puts these verses in brackets to indicate that they should probably not be thought of as part of Peter’s speech but rather as an explanatory comment by Luke. The story given agrees in the main with the only gospel record of the matter (Mt. 27:3–5). The details that seem at variance can be reconciled if we read the two accounts together thus: after refusing the money the priests bought the field in Judas’ name and on his behalf, and it was there that he hanged himself. His body was no longer hanging by the time it was discovered, but had fallen from its suspended position to the ground where it had split open.”

2. Accounts that match completely are usually rehearsed. Accounts that are slightly different but center around an event point to an actual event happening and being recounted from different experiences (Officer Bryan Goresh).

3. Judas betrayed Jesus, returned his prize, hanged himself in historical reality. The gospels carry not legend but HISTORY!

What do we do with it?

1. We take confidence our bible is historical, accurate and testified to by eyewitnesses thus validating the message!

Observation 5 What do we see?

5. The disciples work to apply and obey scripture v. 21-22

1. “So” indicates the cause and effect relationship between the Scripture’s instruction and the subsequent actions. In other words, they read and understood now they had to do something.

2. They see the need to literally obey and have Judas’ empty spot filled. (many speculations as to why from some rules about 1 leader to 10 followers {12 to 120} / Jesus’ words about them sitting on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel).

– They are simply seeking to obey what is written in application to their current need.

– This requires good study skills that observe, interpret and apply properly.

What does it mean?

1. Peter and the rest have learned how to observe, interpret and apply well from Jesus during his 40 day ministry.

2. The disciples are laboring at hearing and obeying!

What do we do with it?

1. Lets work hard at being people of the Word.

Observation 6 What do we see?

6. The disciples display unquestioning confidence in the providence of the Lord v. 23-26

Proverbs 16:33 “The lot is cast into the lap but its every decision is from the Lord.”

What does it mean?

1. The disciples truly believe the Lord to be Yahweh Yireh, the God who sees.

– Genesis 22:14 taught them that the Lord sees and thus supplies before hand.

– God’s foresight is his foreordination!

2. God is truly in charge of the details and we can “roll and trust him, he’ll cause the dice to land.”

What do we do?

1. We trust and obey because Father, Son and Spirit are good.

2. We must be careful to not over-engineer our days.

3. We are to not get flustered when things get sideways on us. We can respond in peace and rest knowing the God who sees will also make a way.

4. We must live with the expectation that the Spirit will bring the kingdom and do so through our kingdom work and give us all we need for power, authority, supply and joy.

Worship!

Psalm 147:1 “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.”