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Who Do You Think You Are? Paul's Second Missionary Journey

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This Sunday, Bill Russell brought the message, continuing the series in Acts, "Who Do You Think You Are?" about the foundations of the early church -- finding out about our people.

He covered Acts 15:36-40 and Acts 16-17, Paul's Second Missionary Journey.  This journey had some unexpected turns along the way.

1.  The Context Acts 15:36-40

Their goal was to strengthen the churches -- and they started with a dispute.

2.  The Challenges  Acts 16:6-8

Asia:  NO   Bithynia:  NO

Sometimes we're trying to follow God's plan and we're at a loss when He closes doors.  Paul doesn't skip a beat.  He keeps traveling.  He perseveres.

Has our Christian walk become too easy?  God is still guiding us even when the going gets hard.

3.  The Cracks  Acts 16:1-15

We have to work in the cracks.  Find the places we can serve along the way.

They made some guesses to find the place of prayer in Philippi.

4.  The Chains  Acts 16:16-40

Paul cast out a demon -- and ended up in chains. 

How did they react?  They sang hymns.

But when the chains fell off and the doors opened, they didn't leave.  And the jailer came to them and asked how to be saved.

5.  The Culture  Acts 17:16-34

Athens had a completely different culture, and Paul adapted to it.

Paul found an altar with an inscription, "To an unknown God" and used that as an in.

To impact the culture, you first have to understand it.  He even quoted their poets.

How does this apply to us?

Our Context - We're building a building.

Our Challenge - There are and will be several along the way.

Our Cracks - How will we get out there?  What communities can we reach?

Our Chains - Not sure yet, but when you go through change, there are often setbacks.

Our Culture - We need to be keenly aware of it.

We're fishing - Because God is good.

 

Who Do You Think You Are? Acts 13-15

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On Sunday, Pastor Ed continued our sermon series in Acts: "Who Do You Think You Are?"

The early Christians told about in Acts have the same spiritual DNA as we do.

This passage gives hints concerning how and why the Jesus movement spread:

-- The movement had a diverse and dedicated leadership (Acts 13:1)

They were socio-economically, racially, and culturally diverse.

-- The principal ambassadors were fearless and aggressive.

-- They had strategic leadership.

They sought out religious centers in each place.  Their itinerary was strategic.

-- They had able communication.  (Acts 13)

The sermon begins from what the people knew and goes from there.

There was consistent and amazing growth despite obstacles and opposition.

Some of the obstacles were:  cross-cultural tension, religious pluralism, persecution, opposition within, and personal conflicts.

The growth can't be explained on a purely human level.  The sovereignty of God moved and worked.  This was a movement of God!

-- We see this in the way the people responded.

-- We see this in the dependence of the disciples.  (Acts 13:2-3)

-- We see this in the power encounters.

The miracles gave Paul and Barnabas a megaphone.

Acts 14:26-28 -- They marveled at all that God had done through them.

What does this mean for Gateway?

1.  We need to be strategic.

2.  We need to have a diversity of gifts and ethnicities.

3.  We need to be fearless and aggressive.

4.  We need to cry out to a sovereign God.

In Chapter 15, the Gospel is preserved.

There was a dispute that the Gentiles must keep the law of Moses.  They affirmed that it is through the grace of the Lord Jesus that we are saved.  This message has been preached ever since.

Personal application:  How was Paul able to accomplish so much?

Paul was "all in" with Jesus.  (Galatians 2:20)

It's all or nothing.  This matches Jesus' teaching.

We finished with Communion, a meal of mercy.

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Afterward, we had a Community Meeting.  We welcomed new members, then discussed progress on our building.

After much discussion and prayer, we voted to continue negotiations on selling the West Parcel and continuing to negotiate a Bank Loan.  We are hoping to be able to break ground soon!

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