Acts #15 || 11:1-18 The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

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God is building his church by the spread of the gospel through the world. In the early church, this started on the day of Pentecost where the Spirit was first poured out on the disciples. Since that day, God has continued to move in power, radically transforming lives and communities. He does this through the work of the Holy Spirit, without which, the church would not exist.

ACTS #13 || 9:26-43 The Power of God

A transformed Paul, having met Jesus on the road to Damascus, finally arrives in Jerusalem where he meets the rest of the church. and receives a hesitant reception. After this Peter finds himself in the towns of Lydda and Joppa where by the power of God he heals a man and raises a woman from the dead. These events remind us of the miraculous power of God, and that the very same power that transformed the life of Paul is still at work today.

Acts 9:26-43; 1 Cor 15:49Romans 6:19

ACTS #10 || 6:8-8:1 Stephen the Martyr

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As the gospel continues to transform the city of Jerusalem, resistance to the message of Jesus also continues to increase. Stephen, one of the key leaders of the early church – full of wisdom and the Holy Spirit – is hauled  before the council on false charges before being killed in an act of mob violence. Stephen was the first martyr of the Christian church, but he was not the last, as many more followed in his footsteps to their death. This story of Stephen’s death serves to both encourage and warn us today: it encourages us by reminding us that “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21) and that ulimately, the Christian need not fear death, and yet it also serves us a warning. To follow Jesus is to be willing to take up your cross and follow him (Matt. 16:24-26).

ACTS #6 || 4:1-31 Experiencing Opposition

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In this passage we see the Spirit-filled church begin to interact with the world. Having just healed a crippled man, Peter takes the opportunity to declare to the crowd the Gospel: their guilt before God in their role of having Jesus crucified, and the offer of pardon by his own death and resurrection. While preaching, Peter and John are arrested, thrown in jail for the night and hauled before the council of Jewish leaders, and told in no uncertain terms to keep their mouths shut about Jesus. The apostles however cannot abide this, and declare boldly:  “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges!  As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

ACTS #4 || 2:42-47 A Spirit Filled Community

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In this passage we see the results of the disciples receiving the promised Holy Spirit in power, and proclaiming the good news of the gospel: an explosion of kingdom growth. These new believers became a new family: the people of God. The rich sold their possessions to provide for the poor as they would for their own flesh and blood – and amazing testimony to the sacrificial and vibrant nature of this new community.

ACTS #3 || 2:1-41 God Dwells with His People

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The book of Acts chronicles the birth of the church of Jesus Christ and the spread of the gospel through the ancient world, going from a insignificant group of 12 timid men to a world changing movement of God. In this third episode of the series, we pick up the story at the pinnacle of the entire narrative: the receiving of the promised Holy Spirit ushering in a whole new age.