Winter 2023 Acts 10 – 17
The book of Acts provides the historical background of the first century church. The church has one foundation, Jesus Christ, and one source of transformative power, the Holy Spirit. Under God the Father’s direction, the church explodes into life as the word of God increases and multiplies. As the church grows, it is persecuted, but this only expands the borders of the kingdom of God. In one of the great surprises of the first unit of Acts, we find that Paul is transformed from persecutor to defender of the faith. Our new series in Acts traces the connection between the apostolic authority in Jerusalem and the missionary movement embodied by Paul.
The explosion of the gospel work among Gentiles is intended to mirror God’s work among the Jews. Peter and other circumcised believers are amazed, “because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God.” The apostolic leaders in Jerusalem praise the Lord for this revelation, but endure growing pains as they wrestle with the implications of a circumcision done by the Spirit. The first major council must be called in Jerusalem to clarify the doctrine of the church with respect to the influx of non-Jewish believers.
Pain is felt in other ways, also, as James is killed, Peter imprisoned, and Paul stoned. The fulfilment of Jesus’ words are evident as his servants suffer tribulation and see the way that he has overcome the world. In this vein, we begin to follow Paul and his companions’ adventures to proclaim the gospel. This unit concludes with the presentation of the gospel in Athens, the intellectual epicenter of the Mediterranean world. The fledgling Jewish movement begun in Jerusalem, has taken flight and carried Gentiles in her sway. Behold, God seeks worshippers who worship in Spirit and in Truth.
Jan 8: Acts 10:1–48 “Even on the Gentiles” (Nathaniel Jackson)
Jan 15: Acts 11:1–30 “A great many people were added” (Stefan Matzal)
Jan 22 Sanctity of Human Life Sunday (Nathaniel Jackson)
Jan 29 Acts 12:1–24 “But the Word of God increased” (Nathaniel Jackson)
Feb 5 Acts 12:25 – 13:12 “Sent out by the Holy Spirit” (Stefan Matzal )
Feb 12 Acts 13:13–52 “Paul and Barnabas spoke… boldly” (Stefan Matzal)
Feb 19 Acts 14:1–28 “They continued to preach” (Nathaniel Jackson)
Feb 26 Acts 15:1–29 “No distinction” (Stefan Matzal)
Mar 5 Acts 15:30 – 16:5 “So they separated” (Nathaniel Jackson)
Mar 12 Acts 16:6–40 “What must I do to be saved?” (Stefan Matzal)
Mar 19 Acts 17:1–15 “The world upside down” (Nathaniel Jackson)
Mar 26 Nehemiah 1 – 6 "Responding to Shame" (Stefan Matzal)
Apr 2 Acts 17:16–34 “Not far from each one of us” (Nathaniel Jackson)
Apr 9: EASTER (Stefan Matzal)
Apr 16: Resurrection (Topical) (Nathaniel Jackson)
--The Eldership: December 2022