A Crisis and a Council
By Mike Burchfield - March 19, 2017
In the book of Acts two facts come out clearly about the early history of the church. First, the story of the dynamic spread of the gospel of Christ and the establishment of the church is explained; and second, wherever the gospel was preached, opposition arose to threaten the gospels spread. Initially the opposition to the gospel came from the outside. But eventually, the source of the opposition shifted and threats to the gospel arose from within the church. As we begin Acts chapter 15 we have the first example of a threat the gospel from within the church. The threat itself arose when certain men of the party of the Pharisees began telling Gentil believers that they could not be saved unless they were circumcised after the tradition of Moses. As a result Paul and Barnabas dissented and were eventually sent to Jerusalem to discuss the matter with the apostles and elders in that city. This sermon explains the threat to the gospel and why it was so dangerous and examines how the apostles Peter and James eventually defended the gospel. This message is particularly applicable today because many threats to the gospel, both from outside and inside the church exist. The sermon shows how adding to the gospel nullifies faith and makes Christ of no account. The sermon also poses questions designed to help people determine what the object of their faith truly is and encourages people to place their whole faith in Christ as God’s Son, risen from the dead.
The Unpredictable and Exciting Mission of Christ
By Mike Burchfield - March 12, 2017
Taken as a whole, Acts 13 and 14 give us two insights into the impact of the gospel of Christ. We see first, that as Paul and Barnabas preached the gospel the results were both unpredictable and exciting; and we also learn that Paul and Barnabas carried out their mission following a simple and single method. This sermon looks back over Paul’s first mission journey and surveys the exciting and unpredictable impact of the gospel, before examining the simple method used by Paul and Barnabas as ambassadors of Christ. The message shows how the apostles simply preached the gospel, explaining who Jesus is, what He did and why what He did is important. It moves on to show what the apostles did after the gospel was believed and closes with an encouragement to Christians who are facing tribulation.
Near Sighted Worship
By David Frederick - March 5, 2017
God created us to worship. It is not a question of “if” we worship, but “what” we worship. Paul and Barnabas continue their first missionary journey and go from one town where they were opposed to another where they are worshipped as “gods come down in the likeness of men” because of God using them to heal disabled man in the crowd. The crowd is amazed but instead of worshipping God they prop Paul and Barnabas up on a pedestal. This sermon explores how a good thing, like a man being healed, could go bad and the problem of “near sighted worship” which is the tendency to worship things we can see over God himself.
Endure, Stay True, Be Present
By David Frederick - February 26, 2017
How should followers of Jesus handle opposition? Throughout the book of Acts we see the preaching of the gospel bring a mixture of intrigue and opposition. That opposition comes in the form of persecution agains individual believers, but also form cultural forces that try to form and shape the church. Paul and Barnabas are on their first missionary journey, in a town called Iconium, and they see some immediate success and people put their faith in Jesus, yet opposition quickly comes. Their response to the opposition was not to give up or get jaded, but to “stay for a long time” meaning they had a grace filled gospel presence.
Intrigue and Opposition
By David Frederick - February 19, 2017
Paul and Barnabas set off on their first missionary journey. The mini vans are loaded and they got their matching t-shirts and itinerary. Well… kind of, what we see in Acts is the beginnings of a new movement where the Holy Spirit sends them off to preach the goods news about Jesus in places where no one has heard of it before. What we learn is that the gospel is met with intrigue from some and opposition from others. This sermon will explore the events in Acts 13 and specifically focus on two groups that oppose the gospel. We see the common thread in this chapter of the opposition coming because of Jealousy. They were not coveting or envious, but rather desiring to protect their way of life, their religions poisons of their power. This sermon will specifically challenge us in how we relate to God based on his grace and how we treat intrigued outsdiers who are different than us.
The Gospel Goes out From Antioch
By Mike Burchfield - February 12, 2017
As a general rule, it is as the church prays and worships that the Lord leads and moves people and the gospel spreads. When we arrive at Acts 13:1-3 we see this principle in action, fort was while the leadership team in the church at Syrian Antioch was ministering to the Lord and fasting that Barnabas and Saul received their commission to take the gospel abroad, to the Gentiles, with the result that in Acts 13, we see the mission of Christ to the Gentiles begin. This mission journey would be the first of three mission tourneys recored in the book of Acts. The sermon gives an overview of the first mission journey, with practical applications for 21st century churches and christians.