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Posts Tagged ‘Acts’

A Church For a New Age

November 17th, 2010

Amos 9:5-16; Acts 15:6-21

The book of Amos speaks about God’s judgement of His people – it paints a big picture of Almighty God. But alongside the promise of judgement is the promise of restoration. The key verse is  v.11 – the “booth” or tabernacle of David – one day the people of God will live with God in the new heavens and new earth.

1. The Prophetic Mandate (Our Vision):

i) Eden:

  • Adam walked with God and was able to hear God and minister to God on behalf of creation. He had authority on earth to expand Eden – the cultural mandate.
  • But Adam sinned and the fellowship was broken.
  • But from Genesis to Revelation, we are shown that God is restoring this and wants to dwell again with His people.

ii) The Tabernacle:

  • The dwelling place for God and His glory on earth.
  • The tabernacle of Moses on Mount Gibeon was about rules and rituals, but the tabernacle of David on Mount Zion was about being able to freely enter and worship God – a foretaste of the New Covenant of grace.

iii) The Temple:

  • This was God’s next dwelling place for his manifest presence.
  • However, with the second temple there was no presence of God – just rituals and religion. God wanted a restoration of the tabernacle of David.
  • When Jesus was on earth He said the temple would be destroyed but that He would rebuild it after 3 days. He was talking about Himself – He identified Himself with the temple, of God dwelling with man – and the resurrection after 3 days.
  • The coming temple was not one built with stones, but with people – the Church.

iv) The Church:

  • We are being built into a temple, experience God and His presence and power, by the Spirit.

2. The Prophetic Pivotal Point (Our Theology & Practice):

  • This is where the passage in Acts comes in. The era of the early church, filled with the Holy Spirit. The Jews were adding to the gospel – that Christians had to obey the Old Testament laws.
  • Here we see displayed the following:

i) Relationship leadership:

  • The leaders discussed this issue – whether new Christians should obey the Law of Moses.
  • v.16 – James quotes Amos – the restoration of David’s tabernacle, the covenant of grace, no more sacrifices or rituals.
  • The church are to fulfil the cultural mandate – to take the good news of the gospel to the ends of the earth.

ii) Operational power

iii) Defining grace

iv) Missional vision

3. The Prophetic Process (Our Lessons from History):

  • There is a process with promises being fulfilled. Things in history have happened in order to get us further towards that end fulfilment of the mandate and of the restoration.
  • 3 key words from the last 30-40 years: revival, renewal, restoration.
  • We are restoring the Church – building right. God has a bigger plan than just little pockets of revival.
  • What God does in one generation is different but all part of the big plan.

4. The Prophetic Challenge (Our Commitment):

i) Expect to grow – the fruit of restoration

ii) Expect the Spirit – He is given to us to reach out to others, not just for our benefit

iii) Build the church

iv) Change the city – rebuild the city, take Eden into it, release the captives, see people restored to God

v) Expect stability

Acts 18: 1-17 Many in this City

September 22nd, 2009

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Why the City?
There are many similarities between the ancient city of Corinth and our own city of Brighton.
There are unique opportunities in Brighton as, like Corinth, it is a city of consequence. Some cities are just influential. What is created in Brighton will have a much wider affect beyond our city, the ripples go out from here.
What could be possible in the next 20 years if we really make a difference in this city?

How the City?
The story of Corinth from Acts 18 emphasises the sovereignty of God in mission – and our partnership with him in it. Our story here in Brighton will be the same. Despite all our efforts and publicity it all rests on His sovereignty.
Like Paul we should seek ‘men of peace’, those who God is already working on, perhaps even people who’ve been part of CCK in the past.

What Price the City?
This great mission will take perseverance and faith.
When the gospel is loudly proclaimed, resistance and persecution will come and sometimes in very public ways. This is when we need to be strong in faith and remember that it’s His gospel.

Author: Categories: Alternative City Tags: , , , ,

Luke 3:15-17; Acts 1:1-8 – He Will Drench You

March 16th, 2009

What is this?
Acts 2 fulfils John the Baptist’s statement concerning Jesus ‘He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit’.

At Pentecost, the disciples were filled with the promised Holy Spirit. This changed everything for them. For example, the Spirit transformed Peter from a coward denying Jesus to a man preaching to thousands that they had killed the Son of God.

Peter, along with the other disciples in Acts 2, believed in Christ’s resurrection from the dead and that He was the Son of God long before being filled with the Holy Spirit. So did the Samaritan converts in Acts 8 and Paul in Acts 9. The Ephesian disciples in Acts 19 are probably not yet real believers – but Paul’s question to them is nevertheless revealing.

Throughout Luke’s writings, the baptism in the Holy Spirit is distinct from salvation through believing in Christ – even though the two happen together in Acts 10.

Throughout the book of Acts there seems to be a general theme of an experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. It is always more than a secret work.

How does this happen?
Often through the laying on of hands, but not always. There are visible manifestations of the infilling of the Holy Spirit – for example the gift of tongues (languages). But there are some Spirit filled men who do not speak in tongues. That said, it would not be wise to despise the gift of languages.

Have you received this?
There are 5 types of people:

  • You know you have been Holy Spirit baptised
  • You have not and want to be
  • You are not sure
  • You have not and you think you have
  • You don’t know Jesus yet

Ask Jesus and He will give the Holy Spirit to you.