Tag Archives: Acts

Acts 4- What Is The Church?

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:32-33

One of the reasons to study the book of Acts is because it gives you a great view of what the Church looked like in the 1rst Century. Often we hear people debate what is the Church? What does a real Church look like? What are the requirements for a Church? If you study the book of Acts, it will answer all these questions and ideas. First thing to note is the word Church is typically derived from the Greek word Ekklesia which means “group of called out believers” or more simply “Christians” the Church is a community of Christians

So when you first understand that the Church was not an organization or corporation but it was a family, it was a community of Christians who took care of one another. As it shows us in the scripture, the Church was united and everyone took care of each other. Nobody was in need of anything because the Church took care of each other as a family. 

Secondly their faith in Christ was the central foundation that kept them all together. They didn’t become a “member of the Church” for social or political reasons, they were believers and part of the Body of Christ that loved one another just as Christ commanded us to

Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. Acts 4:34-35

Notice everyone in the Church , sold all of their possessions and shared the profits among the body of believers. Can you imagine your Church doing this today? Can you imagine your Pastor asking everyone to sell all their stuff and give the profits to the Church to distribute among the members? This shows you how far the Church has strayed from where we were. You would share your money or possessions with your family members, because you love and trust them. But how many people in your Church would you do this for? Alot of Christians won’t even talk to some members of their Church

We need to get back to the Church of Acts, we need to get back to a family of God. How do we do this? Its only through Jesus Christ that we can become Born Again and humble ourselves. This is why studying the book of Acts is eye opening , how far we have fallen as the Ekklesia

Jesus wants us to love one another, to forgive one another, to be a family. Remember if your going to Heaven, your not going alone, your fellow brothers and sisters will be there also. We need to get back to the 1rst Century Church in Jesus name Amen!

Acts 4- Believers Prayer

And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. Acts 4:23-26

 Again the Apostle Peter quotes the Old Testament (Psalm 2) to show how Jesus is the fulfillment of Christ. As prophesied by David and all the prophets of the Old Testament, Jesus fulfilled all things. When the religious leaders were challenged by the Apostles, they had no response because you can’t deny the Word of God and everything that was fulfilled by Jesus

The religious leaders were trying to make examples of the Apostles by challenging them but what they actually did was strengthen the faith of the Christian believers. If the religious leaders couldn’t even disprove that Jesus is The Christ, then who would? Nobody because Jesus fulfilled the entire Old Testament!

For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. Acts 4:27-30

What made the Apostles preach with such boldness? Why were they willing to give up everything for the movement and even willing to lose their life for Christ? Because they knew Jesus is The Lord and it was reinforced by the signs and wonders performed by Christ and the Apostles through the Holy Spirit!

And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. Acts 4:31-32

Notice after the Church prayed together in unity, they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They preached the gospel with boldness and they took care of each other as a family, as the body of Christ was meant to

May your faith be strengthened by the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the signs and wonders God performed through him and the Holy Spirit. May the Church be united and strengthened in Jesus Name Amen!

Acts 4- Eyewitnesses of Christ

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Acts 4:13-15

The religious leaders were baffled how these uneducated Apostles could know more about God then them, however they didn’t understand that these men were filled with the Holy Spirit. Not to mention, these men were trained by The Lord himself for over 3 years. Any educational system can’t compare to the knowledge of the Creator of Heaven and The Earth

So what can the religious leaders say to discredit the Apostles, well the fact they had evidence of the crippled man healed in clear sight of everyone. For the religious leaders to rebuke the Apostles, they would be rebuking God , as it was clear God was with the Apostles

Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. Acts 4:16-18

There is power in the name of Jesus, this was very clear and evident, so the religious leaders demanded that the Apostles dont preach in the name of Jesus anymore! Makes you wonder, if Christianity isn’t true then why are the religious leaders so threatened by the name of Jesus? Remember the name that  was given above all names is Jesus (Philipians 2) Every knee will bow and tongue will confess that Jesus Is Lord!

But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. Acts 4:19-21

The Apostles were telling the religious leaders, “we didn’t make Christianity up, we are just telling you what we’ve seen and experienced” The Word became Flesh and lived among us, the Apostles were eyewitnesses to God becoming human and fulfilling all the Messianic prophecies

The evidence is clear, the scriptures are very clear, Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. If anyone wants to deny that then they must deny the evidence that God has presented us in Jesus Christ! Amen!

Acts 4- No Other Name

And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Acts 4:3-7

How do you start a revival or build a Church? Its simple you preach the gospel of Jesus Christ filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter and the Apostles began preaching the gospel in the streets and it turned Jerusalem upside down. Notice there were about 5,000 men who became Born Again because of the Apostles preaching

But also dont be mistaken, anytime you preach the name of Jesus, the demons are going to get stirred up. The religious leaders were furious with the Apostles and were looking for a way to shut them down. As we know when God is for us, who can be against us? They asked the Apostles, by what name or power are you doing this? Its all in the name of Jesus and its powered by the Holy Spirit

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Acts 4:8-11

Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, referenced the healing of the crippled man earlier. How was this healing possible, because of the Lord Jesus Christ! As Peter tried to explain, Jesus is the long awaited Messiah from the Old Testament. The Christ that Israel actually rejected and crucified on a cross! As Peter referenced Psalm 118:22 “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” Jesus is the chief cornerstone that was rejected by Israel

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12

How can Israel be saved then? By the Torah? By the good works of the religious system? No , the only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ! As Jesus stated “Nobody is good but God alone” (Mark 10:18) All our good works are filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6) The only way we can be reconciled back to God is by the blood of Jesus Christ

Even today the world doesn’t want to hear the gospel, everyone wants to be justified and righteous in their own eyes, not until you humble yourself and come to true repentance can you understand the salvation of Jesus Christ, Amen!

Acts 3- Jesus Is The Christ

The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. Acts 3:13-15

Some of the most powerful sermons you’re ever going to read are in the book of Acts, here Peter is trying to reveal to Israel how Jesus is the Messiah and they killed him! The same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the same God of Matthew, Mark , Luke and John. Jesus is the long awaited Messiah, the Son of God who fulfilled over 300 prophecies from the Old Testament

But as Peter stated, Israel denied their Messiah in the presence of Pilate, also they chose to release a killer named Barrabas rather than release their Messiah Jesus. And rather, they had the Holy One of God , crucified on a cross as a common criminal

And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; Acts 3:16-19

Even though it’s shocking to here, that the Son of God, the Messiah was crucified on a wooden cross, it was also prophesied throughout the Old Testament, and was necessary for the Son of Man to pay the ransom for our sins. The Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world

So what should we do now that we know this? Repent and be Born Again, by faith trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Then you will be baptized by the Holy Spirit and become a Child of God!

And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. Acts 3:20-22

As Peter demonstrates from Deuteronomy, even Moses prophesied about the coming of Jesus, that God would raise up One who was greater than Moses, greater than all the prophets, the Son of God in the flesh!

Israel has the prophecies about their Messiah, yet they missed him. Are you missing The Lord today? Do you realize Jesus Christ came to save you also? Have you repented and received him or are you still ignoring him?

Acts 3- Better Than Money

And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Acts 3:2-5

The paralyzed man , who would spend all his days , sitting in front of the temple, hoping that somebody would throw him some change so he can make it through the day, was about to experience something radical. Often we can envision ourselves as this beggar, as we sit on the floor of the Lords table begging for crumbs

But today this beggar, and hopefully you, will find out that God has something better in store for us than just temporal satisfaction. Yes money can solve this mans trouble for a day but what about tomorrow or next week? The salvation of Christ solves your eternal problems, and makes you Born Again!

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. Acts 3:6-8

The Apostles didn’t have money , but what they did have was the Holy Ghost! Today this beggar thought it was going to be just another ordinary day, however he felt the touch of God and was changed forever! In the name of Jesus he was commanded to walk, and notice by his faith he was healed and praised God!

And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering. Acts 3:9-11

Why did God heal this man? Because notice he was a testimony to the power of Jesus Christ! Everyone recognized him as the beggar who would sit on the ground everyday begging for money, but today he was healed, everyone was filled with amazement and wonder

Why motivates or drives you in life? Are you driven by money, success, stature? How about being driven by things that are eternal and good for your soul. As Jesus said “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose your soul” (Mark 8:36) Seek Jesus and find everlasting life Amen!

Acts 2- The Revival

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. Acts 2:37-39

The great revival of Pentecost happened, over 3,000 people became saved and baptized by the Holy Spirit. Notice the people were “pricked in their heart” because of their sin, so they asked Peter what they should do, Repent and be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit! This is what becoming Born Again is about, true repentance coming to Jesus for salvation and being baptized with the Holy Spirit

The promise is for you and your families, whoever God shall call! The New Covenant established by the blood of Christ is for whoever calls upon The Lord to be saved! The Covenant that does not show any favoritism or partiality on who you are or where you were born, but only are you covered by the blood of Christ!

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:40-42

The book of Acts should be the model for all Churches, as we see the first Century Church, the Body of Christ, starting to take formation. Notice what the Church did, the studied the Apostles doctrine, meaning the New Testament scriptures. They continually had fellowship with one another and broke bread. The breaking of bread I believe means having communion together, it also could just mean having a meal together, however communion originally was always taken with a meal, like the Lords Supper. 

And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. Acts 2:43-45

The Church became a family, a community of believers. Christianity wasnt a religion or organization, it was a way of life. Everyone sold what they had and shared it among each other, like a family. Everyone took care of one another and feared The Lord. How far have our Churches strayed from this today?

And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Acts 2:46

The Church gathered together daily, not just weekly and they broke bread from house to house. Again I believe breaking bread means communion or what was known as a “Love Feast” the early Church would have dinner together with communion. This was done daily, and it was done in unity and gladness. 

When we study the early Church in the book of Acts, we see how far today’s Church has fallen away. We wonder why we don’t see the signs and wonders that the early Church experienced, however we don’t realize today’s Church is nothing like the early Church. It’s time for a Pentecostal Revival once again Amen!

Acts 2- Pentecost- Part 2

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: Acts 2:14-18

Some people believe this was the first sermon for the Church delivered by Peter, the day of Pentecost when God poured down his Holy Spirit upon the Church. Peter demonstrates how this was a fulfillment of prophecy foretold by the prophet Joel. Peter confirms these men are not drunk with wine, they are drunk with the Holy Spirit!

Not who the Holy Spirit will be poured down upon, ALL Flesh, meaning everyone who’s a believer. Men, Woman, Sons, Daughters, Brothers , Sisters, ect once you become a Born Again Christian you get baptized by the Holy Ghost (John 3)

And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:19-21

Everyone who calls upon the name of Jesus Christ, shall be saved! This is the New Covenant, no longer is Israel just God’s people but everyone who is Born Again through Christ! We are now Children of God through faith in Jesus!

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.  Acts 2:22-24

Peter preached the gospel, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! This is the central theme of all the sermons in the book of Acts, this should be the central theme of all our sermons today! It’s only by the gospel we can be saved, only by the blood of Christ can we be cleansed of our sin, only by the resurrection of Christ can we be risen again eternally, and now the Holy Spirit has been poured down upon us to seal us forever!

This is why many feel Pentecost was the birth of the Church, as a Born Again Christian remember , the Holy Spirit lives inside of you, the same power that rose Jesus from the grave Amen!

Acts 2- Pentecost Part 1

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1-4

The Day of Pentecost , the day when the promise of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled as promised by Christ, many believe this is the day when the Church officially began, as God poured down the Holy Spirit upon his believers, and the gospel spread like wild fire, and gifts and miracles were distributed accordingly.

This is one of the reasons the Ascension of Christ was necessary, so Christ can send the promise of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enabled the believers to preach the gospel in different languages , that reached a wider audience, this began a revival as many getting baptized and coming to Christ as their Lord

And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,  Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. Acts 2:5-11

Many were amazed to hear the gospel preached in their own native language, this was possible because of the Holy Spirit! It’s no surprise God used the feast of Pentecost as the platform to pour down the Holy Spirit, as this was a feast when Jews from all around the world came to Jerusalem. 

And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. Acts 2:12-13

People were in shock and disbelief, they were amazed to be hearing the gospel preached in their own native language. Some even accused the believers of being drunk on wine, but these believers were not drunk on wine but drunk on the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is still with us today, living inside of us, being our intercessor, imagine if we obeyed the Holy Spirit today and sparked another revival such as in the day of Pentecost! Come Holy Spirit and fill us with your wisdom and words to preach in Jesus name Amen!

Acts 1- The Next Apostle

And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. Acts 1:15-18

As we know originally there were 12 Apostles, the number 12 is very symbolic in the Bible meaning completion or authority, so it’s no surprise there were 12 tribes of Israel as well as the 12 Apostles. We know from the gospels that Judas Iscarriot, one of the original 12 Apostles , betrayed Jesus and gave him over to the religious leaders to be killed.

But we also know that God takes the evil of men and uses it for his purpose and glory (Romans 8:28) We see this throughout the Bible, and God did the same with Judas. Even though Satan filled the heart of Judas and used him to murder Jesus, God used this evil to fulfill the scriptures, that the Messiah must die in the hands of sinners to be the atonement for our sins.

Peter explains how David prophesied about this in the Old Testament (Psalm 69:25) and also David prophesied that another Apostle would take his place (Psalm 109:8) therefor it was time the Apostles picked a replaced for the Son of Perdition Judas

And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take. Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. Acts 1:19-22

The accuracy of the Old Testament scriptures are amazing, here Peter shows how the Old Testament predicted all the events of Judas, including the field of blood and this moment of picking a replacement. Secondly we see another mention of the ascension of Christ, which is a central doctrine of Christianity that often gets overlooked. Notice the Apostles were eyewitnesses of all the events, the death, resurrection , and ascension of Christ

And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. Acts 1:23-26

Notice the process the Apostles used to pick Judas replacement, they asked God for divine direction. They didn’t pick the Apostle based on his resume or his how many degrees he had, they allowed God to guide them to choose the right person

Some like to debate whether the selection of Matthias was chosen by God or by man, I think its another unnecessary argument to be divisive with, its clear the Apostles prayed for Gods guidance and the lot was chosen for Matthias

Imagine if the Church today or even ourselves used this process in every decision we made in life. Pray to God for his will to be done Amen!