Profile of a New Testament Church
By Mike Burchfield - July 16, 2017
All of the recorded sermons and speeches in Acts, up until chapter 20, are either preached to unbelievers or are given in defense of the gospel message. In Acts 20, however, there is an exception to this rule in verses 7 to 11 and 17 to 35. In those verses Luke recorded two instances where the audience was christian; and in Luke’s description we see a picture of early worship, teaching, oversight structure and leadership character. This sermon, which is taken from vv. 7-11 and 17-28, focuses on each of these pictures to provide a three dimensional profile of the New Testament Church.
Awake My Soul
By David Frederick - July 9, 2017
Gathering together to worship God is something the church has always valued and treasured. Luke gives us a snapshot of the church in Troas eagerly gathering to hear from Paul before he left town and then the unthinkable happens… Paul speaks a little too long, in a hot and stuffy room and a young man, fighting to stay awake falls asleep and out the window to his death. Paul displays the power of God by raising Eutychus back to life. It is easy to look back from our time and place and see this as a somewhat humorous episode, but as we dig into the passage of scripture and the cultural context we learn a lot about a commitment to worship and what it means to have a heart awake to God. This message will challenge you to identify barriers you have in your heart to worshipping God and point you to Jesus who delights to make dead things come to life.
Strength Perfected in Weakness
By Mike Burchfield - July 2, 2017
As a christian do you ever feel the watching world sees you as limited and inadequate? And do you feel this inadequacy? If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, you are in good company, because the Apostle Paul and his companions felt the same as well. In this message, weakness in ministry is examined from the life of the apostle Paul and his travel companions. And we clearly how, as the gospel was proclaimed in the world it was spread by people who were weak in the eyes of the world, but God moved with power in their weakness. This is because his strength is made perfect in our weakness. For, as J.I. Packer observes, weakness is the way!
Good News that Transforms and Intimidates
By Mike Burchfield - June 25, 2017
When Paul came to the city of Ephesus he received a warm welcome, which enabled him to remain in the city teaching and preaching for two years and three months. During that time many. many people followed Jesus’ Way. So many, in fact, believed the gospel that makers of idols began to loose business and the lesser god lost popularity. A a result, the peaceful time Paul and his companions enjoyed finally came to an end and a riot ensued because the good news of Christ met with such great success. In this sermon the story of gospel transformation, gospel intimidation and gospel disruption is explained. Why? Because the gospel of Jesus Christ always results in a confrontation with the lesser gods of a culture. Further, the gospel message always requires people to choose allegiances between the lesser gods of the culture and the God of God’s. What lesser gods do you serve? Or, do you serve and worship the Lord, Jesus Christ? That is the question.
The Power of Christ in Ephesus
By Mike Burchfield - June 18, 2017
When Paul came to Ephesus, he was enabled to teach there for two years and three months, first in the synagogue and then in a rented hall; and the reception given to the gospel was great. In this text and message, the impact of the gospel is the theme, as Jesus worked with power in three ways. First, the power of Jesus through preaching is explained. Next, Jesus’s power was manifested through Paul in an extraordinary way. And finally, Christ’s power was exerted through providence. The result was that many believed, after deep repentance that came at great cost to those who trusted Christ. This sermon develops each of these aspects of the work of Jesus with power in Ephesus by showing the prominence of preaching in the spread of the gospel, by giving clarity to questions about extraordinary miracle and apostolic gifts, and by showing how following Jesus always comes with a price. Finally, application is made to the church of the 21st century and to individual christians living today.
Incomplete Faith and the Fulness of Christ
By Mike Burchfield - June 11, 2017
In Acts 19:1-7 Paul has arrived at Ephesus and found some disciples there. But as he talks to them he discerns there is a problem with their faith. As a result he asks them two questions which enables him to diagnose the problem. He then explains the remedy to their incomplete faith and they trust Christ, are baptized in Jesus’s name and receive the Holy Spirit. This story shows the four initiatory steps into the christian faith and challenge people to examine themselves to make sure they have true faith, through the evidence of the Holy Spirit in their lives.