44 Acts - 2017

Skip Heitzig

After Jesus ascended into heaven, His followers were tasked with spreading the good news of salvation "in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). The book of Acts details the early church's rapid growth as they received the Holy Spirit and carried out the Great Commission to a world that was hungry for it. In this verse-by-verse study, Skip Heitzig teaches how we can be effective witnesses for Jesus Christ in the world today, and we learn how God continues His work through the Spirit-empowered church.


 

Table of Contents

# SCRIPTURE: MESSAGE:
1 Acts 1 Acts 1
2 Acts 2:1-31 Acts 2:1-31
3 Acts 2:32-3:26 Acts 2:32-3:26
4 Acts 4:1-24 Acts 4:1-24
5 Acts 4:23-5:42 Acts 4:23-5:42
6 Acts 6 Acts 6
7 Acts 7 Acts 7
8 Acts 8 Acts 8
9 Acts 9:1-23 Acts 9:1-23
10 Acts 9:20-43 Acts 9:20-43
11 Acts 10 Acts 10
12 Acts 11 Acts 11
13 Acts 12 Acts 12
14 Acts 13:1-41 Acts 13:1-41
15 Acts 13:16-14:28 Acts 13:16-14:28
16 Acts 15 Acts 15
17 Acts 15:36-16:30 Acts 15:36-16:30
18 Acts 16:25-17:34 Acts 16:25-17:34
19 Acts 18:1-11 Acts 18:1-11
20 Acts 18:11-28 Acts 18:11-28

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 1
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 1
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4225

MESSAGE SUMMARY
After Jesus rose from the grave, He spent forty days with His disciples before ascending into heaven. During this time, He tasked them with spreading the gospel to the ends of the world. In this message, we learn about the very beginnings of the early church.

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. The book of Acts is the sequel to the gospel of Luke (see vv. 1-2)
      1. Most of the Gospels close with the ascension of Jesus, leaving us wondering what's next
      2. Acts contains the origins of the early church and Christianity
      3. The gospel of Luke parallels Matthew and Mark
    2. Written by Luke to Theophilus (see Luke 1:1-4)
      1. Some people believe Luke was writing to all lovers of God, but others believe Theophilus was an actual person
      2. Theophilus may have been Luke's master
        1. 2,000 years ago, doctors were different than doctors today
          1. They were slaves
          2. They were owned by people
        2. Luke wrote in a classical Greek
          1. He was very smart
          2. He described things, especially about the healings of Jesus, that only a doctor would notice
    3. Theophilus came to know Jesus as his Savior, and he released Luke to become a friend and traveling companion with Paul (see Acts 16)
      1. In Acts 16, the vernacular changes from third person to first person (see v. 10)
        1. Some people believe the man in Paul's vision was Luke (see Acts 16:9)
        2. From this point on, Luke included himself in the writing
      2. Theophilus instructed Luke to write a full account of the history of the movement
      3. The Holy Spirit used Luke's writings to give an accurate account of the life of Jesus and the early church
  2. Acts 1:1-8
    1. The work of Christ was not over (see vv. 1-2)
      1. The book of Acts is a record of what Jesus continued and continues to do
      2. He sent the Holy Spirit as our Helper (see John 16:7)
      3. The title of the book is the Acts of the Apostles
        1. A better title would be the Acts of the Holy Spirit
        2. The unfinished work of Jesus continues through subsequent generations
    2. Jesus spent forty days between the time He rose from the dead and when He ascended into heaven teaching His disciples
      1. "Many infallible proofs" (v. 3)
        1. Things Jesus did and said during this time
        2. Witnessed by many people: objective
      2. Involve the senses
        1. Seeing, hearing, touching, and tasting
        2. Jesus appeared to people on multiple occasions
        3. He ate meals with them
        4. He spoke to them
        5. 1 John 1:1-2
    3. Jesus commanded them to wait for the Holy Spirit
      1. He gave them a mission to spread the gospel to all the world (see Mark 16:15)
      2. They were probably zealous to do so, but in their zeal, they could have been tempted to tackle this mission in their own strength
      3. Jesus wanted them to have the right equipment to do the job
    4. The disciples interrupted to ask Jesus if He was now going to set up His kingdom
      1. They were really good at interruptions
        1. Mount of Transfiguration (see Matthew 17:3-6; Mark 9:4-8; Luke 9:32-35)
        2. When Jesus predicted His death, they were arguing about who would be the greatest (see Luke 22:24)
      2. In their minds, they expected the Messiah to establish His kingdom on earth (see Isaiah 35)
        1. There are Scriptures that talk about the coming of the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the Messiah's earthly kingdom (see Ezekiel 35; Joel 2)
        2. Perhaps they were thinking of these Scriptures
      3. Jesus instructed them not to worry about the when but focus on what He wanted them to do
        1. It's good to be informed about what's next, but don't be so consumed with it that you miss the transformation of your own life
        2. Don't miss what God wants you to do right now (see Luke 19:13)
    5. Luke followed verse 8 as the outline for his book
      1. Chapters 1-7: the gospel witness to Jerusalem
      2. Chapters 8-9: the gospel witness to Judea and Samaria
      3. Chapters 10-28: the gospel witness to the ends of the earth, all the way to Rome, the heart of the world at that time
      4. The theme of the book of Acts: from Jerusalem to Rome
      5. God operates in ever-widening circles
    6. The book of Acts covers a thirty-year period
      1. AD 33-63
      2. The book records about thirty miracles
      3. So they saw about a miracle a year
  3. Acts 1:9-26
    1. Jesus Christ will return as He left
      1. Personally, visibly, wonderfully
      2. He will first come for His church in the clouds (see 1 Thessalonians 4:17)
      3. One day He will come all the way to the earth (see Revelation 19)
      4. Jesus will come back to the Mount of Olives (see Zechariah 14:4)
        1. He ascended from around the town of Bethany
        2. A Sabbath day's journey
          1. 2,000 cubits or less
          2. Two-thirds of a mile
          3. Tradition says the measurement was established because the farthest tent from the tabernacle in Old Testament times was 2,000 cubits away
    2. Peter had a leadership role in the early church
      1. He preached at Pentecost (see Acts 2)
      2. His role as a leader diminishes as we get further in the book of Acts
        1. He submitted to James
        2. James became the spokesman of the early church before Paul
        3. James was the brother of Jesus
    3. Those who continued with the apostles in prayer
      1. Mary, the mother of Jesus
        1. The last mention of her on the pages of Scripture
        2. The early church did not venerate her
        3. Jesus Himself did not venerate her (see Matthew 12:47-50; Mark 3:32-35; Luke 11:27-28)
      2. The Marys
        1. Mary Magdalene
        2. Mary, the wife of Clopas
        3. Another Mary, probably Martha's sister
      3. Salome
      4. Jesus' brothers
        1. James, Joses, Judas, and Simon are mentioned by name (see Mark 6:3)
        2. He also had sisters
        3. This negates the belief of the perpetual virginity of Mary
    4. Peter, a fisherman without a formal education, was able to quote Scripture and show how Jesus fulfilled it (see Psalm 69:25; 109:8)
      1. How was he able to do this?
        1. Jesus opened his understanding (see Luke 24:45)
        2. Jesus gave the disciples personal Bible studies for forty days after His resurrection
        3. The disciples had time to study the Scriptures themselves since Jesus ascended
      2. How Peter regarded the Scripture
        1. Scripture had to be fulfilled
        2. It had human authors
        3. It is inspired by the Holy Spirit
    5. The first meeting the disciples had to deal with after the ascension was the shocking report of Judas Iscariot
      1. Shocking because they were dealing with the suicide of an apostle
        1. A follower whom Jesus chose personally
        2. Son of perdition (see John 6:70; 17:12)
      2. They felt the need to replace him
        1. Jesus promised that those who followed Him would sit on twelve thrones in heaven (see Matthew 19:28)
        2. They did not know how that prophecy would be fulfilled without a replacement
      3. Was Matthias the right choice?
Cross references: Psalm 69:25; 109:8; Isaiah 35; Ezekiel 35; Joel 2; Zechariah 14:4; Matthew 12:47-50; 17:3-6; 19:28; Mark 3:32-35; 6:3; 9:4-8; 16:15; Luke 1:1-4; 9:32-35; 11:27-28; 19:13; 22:24; 24:45; John 6:70; 16:7; 17:12; Acts 2; 16; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; 1 John 1:1-2; Revelation 19

Topic: Disciples

Keywords: Holy Spirit, Great Commission, Jesus' ascension, church

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 2:1-31
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 2:1-31
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4227

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 2:32-3:26
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 2:32-3:26
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4229

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 4:1-24
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 4:1-24
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4233

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 4:23-5:42
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 4:23-5:42
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4237

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 6
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 6
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4239

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 7
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 7
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4243

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 8
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 8
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4248

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 9:1-23
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 9:1-23
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4256

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 9:20-43
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 9:20-43
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4263

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Saul of Tarsus (later called Paul the apostle) had an amazing impact on the early church. But what many fail to realize is that it didn't happen overnight. In this message, we learn what Saul did right after his conversion, and we see how God prepared him for ministry.

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. Saul of Tarsus was a new creation in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17)
      1. He encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus (see Acts 9:1-9)
      2. What seemed like a bad day to him would turn into a really good year
        1. All of his anger and hatred was gone
        2. It would all be in the past
    2. He met with Ananias, who counseled him (see Acts 9:10-19)
  2. Acts 9:20-26
    1. Saul preached the gospel in the synagogues
      1. He began preaching as soon as he was saved
        1. He felt an urgency to immediately tell people about it
        2. He went from on his back repenting to on his knees praying to on his feet preaching
      2. The people were skeptical
      3. Even though he was a young believer, he had the ability to demonstrate to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ
    2. "Many days" (v. 23)
      1. About three years passed between verses 22 and 23
        1. Saul went away to Nabatean Arabia (see Galatians 1:11-18)
        2. He might have lodged in the shadow of Mount Sinai, where God gave the Law to Moses
          1. He was a man of the Law (see Philippians 3:6)
          2. He could have been going over the Law and what it meant
      2. God was preparing him for what lay ahead
        1. Sometimes God gives people a formal education
        2. Sometimes He educates people while they are alone
        3. Ananias predicted that Saul's life would be marked with suffering (see Acts 9:15-16)
    3. The Jews plotted to kill Saul
      1. The disciples let him down through the wall in a basket
      2. Large baskets were typically garbage baskets
    4. It was difficult for Saul to join the disciples
      1. He was like a man without a country
      2. He experienced difficulties right at the beginning of his Christian walk
        1. He is the man God used more than any other person in the New Testament, aside from Jesus
        2. He wrote thirteen of the New Testament books
      3. If you're going through difficulty, God is up to something; He never makes a mistake (see Romans 8:28)
      4. The salvation of a soul is the miracle of a moment; the manufacture of a saint is the task of a lifetime
  3. Acts 9:27-30
    1. Barnabas took Saul under his wing
      1. Barnabas' given name was Joses
        1. Barnabas = son of encouragement
        2. Encouraged the church financially
      2. Every church needs people like Barnabas
    2. Saul disputed with the Hellenists
      1. He was born a Hellenistic Jew
      2. He preached at the Synagogue of the Freedmen
        1. This was the synagogue Stephen had preached at where he was stoned (see Acts 6-7)
        2. Saul was there, egging on the crowd to kill Stephen
    3. Saul went to Caesarea and then to Tarsus
      1. Caesarea was the closest port to sail to Tarsus
      2. He did not show up again for seven years
      3. When he returned, he did not go to Jerusalem
        1. He showed up in Antioch of Syria
        2. Barnabas brought him there
      4. It took a decade of isolation and preparation before he was ready for the operation of ministry
      5. When he finally returned to Jerusalem, he told them of the vision he received from God instructing him to go to the Gentiles (see Acts 22:17-21)
  4. Acts 9:31-43
    1. Peter healed Aeneas in Lydda
      1. Peter was on the move, and the Lord used him
        1. It's easier to direct a moving person in ministry
        2. A busy person will find many opportunities to serve the Lord
      2. Aeneas became a walking testimony
        1. The greatest miracle is the saving of a soul, not the healing of the body
        2. The first miracle enabled the second miracle of salvation to Lydda
      3. Salvation is the greatest miracle
        1. It cost the blood of Jesus
        2. It brought the greatest results
        3. It brings the greatest glory to God
    2. Tabitha
      1. Hebrew for gazelle
      2. She was a Proverbs 31 woman
        1. She extended her hands to the poor and needy
        2. She ministered to people's needs
        3. When a person like that goes to be with the Lord, it brings great sadness to the church
      3. Peter made everyone leave the room
        1. He may have remembered when Jesus raised a little girl (see Mark 5:35-43)
        2. He used the same words Jesus did
          1. Jesus: "Talitha, cumi" ("Little girl, I say to you, arise")
          2. Peter: "Tabitha, cumi" ("Tabitha, arise")
      4. Before the power came the prayer (see v. 40)
    3. Peter stayed with Simon, a tanner
      1. A tanner was an unclean profession in Jewish culture
      2. They were considered unclean because they handled dead animals
      3. The Jews looked on them with disdain
  5. Closing
    1. Saul had a hard year behind him, but a whole new life in Christ
    2. Peter saw miracles by his hand
    3. Though you have good times and bad, the Lord will be with you through it all
Figures referenced: John DeLorean, Alan Redpath, Charles Spurgeon, Corrie ten Boom

Hebrew words: Tabitha

Cross references: Proverbs 31; Mark 5:35-43; Acts 6-7; 9:1-9, 10-19; 22:17-21; Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 1:11-18; Philippians 3:6

Topic: Ministry

Keywords: salvation, ministry, Christian walk, gospel, persecution, law of Moses, suffering, encouragement, testimony, prayer, miracles

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 10
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 10
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4265

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Many in the early church had a hard time believing God's grace extended to the Gentiles. In this message, we learn how God used a Roman centurion to reveal to Peter that no one is beyond the reach of God and there is no place for bigotry among His people.

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. Luke addressed this book to Theophilus
    2. Acts can be considered Luke, Part Two
      1. The book of Luke contains the work that Jesus began
      2. The book of Acts is the continuation of what Jesus did through the lives of those who were saved during His time on earth
      3. Jesus continues to move more powerfully than ever
    3. Jesus reaches people some would think are beyond reach
      1. Persecution in the early church in Jerusalem drove some believers to Samaria (see Acts 8:1-8)
        1. God gave Philip the power to preach the gospel and do signs and wonders
        2. People came to the Lord in Samaria en masse
      2. God also used Philip to reach the African nations when he ministered to the Ethiopian eunuch (see Acts 8:26-40)
        1. This government official was baptized
        2. He went back to the African continent and the gospel spread
      3. Saul of Tarsus persecuted the church before the Lord saved him (see Acts 9:1-22)
    4. Jesus told His disciples to preach the gospel to all the world (see Mark 16:15)
      1. In this chapter, we read about the first Gentile conversion
      2. Peter was a little hesitant to accept this
  2. Acts 10:1-16
    1. Cornelius was a Roman centurion
      1. The Roman army comprised legions of between 5,000 and 6,000 men
        1. Legions comprised cohorts or regiments of 600 men
        2. Centurions were officers in charge of 100 men
      2. It is said that the centurions were the backbone of the Roman army
        1. They were adventurous and fearless
        2. They were also very stable
        3. When they are mentioned in the New Testament, centurions seem to be cast in a favorable light
          1. The centurion at Capernaum had great faith (see Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:2-10)
          2. The centurion at the cross recognized that Jesus was innocent (see Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39)
    2. Caesarea
      1. There were two cities named Caesarea
        1. The one mentioned in this passage is Caesarea Maritima, located along the Mediterranean Sea
        2. The other is further north: Caesarea Philippi
        3. They were named after Caesar Augustus
      2. Herod built a port at Caesarea
      3. Pontius Pilate had his headquarters here
    3. Cornelius was a man of influence and authority, but he still hungered for God
      1. He was a God-fearer, a proselyte of the gate
        1. One who believed in and prayed to the God of Israel
        2. Allowed to attend synagogue
        3. Not allowed to attend temple sacrifice
        4. Not circumcised
      2. He was a prayer warrior
      3. He gave alms
    4. God orchestrated a meeting between Cornelius and Peter so that Cornelius would hear the gospel
      1. He was already a God-fearing prayer warrior
      2. He was not yet saved
      3. Because he showed an interest in the Lord, the Lord made sure he heard the whole truth
    5. Peter received a vision
      1. It was about food
        1. He was hungry
        2. The vision got his attention
      2. He was hesitant because in that time, being chosen as a Jew meant being chosen to the exclusion of everyone else
        1. In the early church, they had a hard time believing anyone besides Jews could be saved
        2. There was an adjustment period that took place
      3. God was getting at changing Peter's heart, not his diet (see Galatians 3:28)
        1. It was the covenant of the torn veil
        2. It was a new covenant with a new means to reach people
    6. The angel's instruction to Cornelius
      1. Why didn't the angel just share the gospel with Cornelius? Why did he have to get Peter?
        1. Though angels are amazing creations of God, they have not been given the privilege of proclaiming the gospel
          1. There is one exception in the end times (see Revelation 14:6-7)
          2. We have been given that task as a privilege (see 1 Peter 1:12)
        2. Peter needed a conversion from the strict ideology of the gospel going just to the Jews
      2. Why did it have to be Peter? Why not Philip?
        1. Philip was there in Caesarea (see Acts 8:40)
        2. He had a house there and was called Philip the evangelist (see Acts 21:8)
        3. Philip didn't need this message; Peter did
    7. Peter initially refused to do what God instructed him to do in the vision
      1. If you can say, "Not so!" to God, then He isn't your Lord
      2. As believers, we are to be bendable to God's commands (see Luke 6:46)
      3. Peter is known for questioning God
        1. Fishing on the Sea of Galilee (see Luke 5:4-5)
        2. When Jesus predicted what would happen to Him (see Matthew 16:21-23; Mark 8:31-33)
        3. When Jesus predicted they would all run away at His arrest (see Matthew 26:31-34; Mark 14:27-30)
        4. When Jesus washed His disciples feet (see John 13:3-10)
      4. Peter saw the vision three times
        1. Jesus restored Peter three times (see John 21:14-17)
        2. It could be that he was just hardheaded and God had to grab his attention
        3. In the Old Testament, Jonah had a hard time believing God could extend forgiveness to non-Jewish people (see Jonah 4:1-4)
          1. Peter's name was Simon, son of Jonah
          2. It's interesting that they were so similar
  3. Acts 10:17-48
    1. Throughout the New Testament, we find people who are tempted to worship the people of God
      1. Jesus rebuked a woman who wanted to worship Mary (see Luke 11:27-28)
      2. The people of Lystra tried to worship Paul and Barnabas (see Acts 14:11-17)
      3. John worshiped an angel (see Revelation 22:8-9)
    2. Peter had not considered a Gentile coming to faith in his Jewish Messiah
      1. He may have, at this point, remembered that Jesus had said He had other sheep who were not of the same fold (see John 10:16)
      2. Peter was receiving the message God was showing Him
        1. God has no favorites
        2. He loves the whole world
        3. There is no place for bigotry and prejudice in the church
    3. Peter shared a very simple gospel message with Cornelius
      1. It was very different from the message he preached at Pentecost (see Acts 2:14-40)
      2. You should tailor your testimony and message to the audience
  4. Closing
    1. No one is beyond the reach of God
    2. It is a privilege to preach the gospel
    3. There is no place for bigotry or favoritism in God's people
    4. Lordship means ownership
Figures referenced: David Berkowitz, Mahatma Gandhi, C.S. Lewis, Brian "Head" Welch

Cross references: Jonah 4:1-4; Matthew 8:5-13; 16:21-23; 26:31-34; 27:54; Mark 8:31-33; 14:27-30; 15:39; 16:15; Luke 5:4-5; 6:46; 7:2-10; 11:27-28; John 10:16; 13:3-10; 21:14-17; Acts 2:14-40; 8:1-8, 26-40; 9:1-22; 14:11-17; 21:8; Galatians 3:28; 1 Peter 1:12; Revelation 14:6-7; 22:8-9

Topic: Grace

Keywords: grace, persecution, gospel, Gentile, centurion, prayer, covenant, worship, bigotry, prejudice

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 11
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 11
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4267

MESSAGE SUMMARY
We all need some encouragement from time to time as we grow in our walk with the Lord. Barnabas had the gift of encouraging those around him. In this message, we see how he encouraged Saul, who would later become Paul the apostle, to begin in his ministry.

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. Preaching the gospel is our family business (see Mark 16:15; Ephesians 3:15)
      1. Paul saw it as a partnership (see Philippians 1:5)
      2. This is the theme of the book of Acts (see Acts 1:8)
    2. Acts 10
      1. Peter took the gospel to Joppa and Caesarea
      2. Beginning in Acts 13, the focus of the book is on Paul the apostle
    3. The second most important city in the New Testament after Jerusalem was Antioch
      1. It became the place that the displaced Christians from Jerusalem gathered and were sent out from
      2. Paul and Barnabas and then Paul and Silas were dispatched from Antioch
      3. Called Antioch of Syria
        1. Just over the border of Syria in Turkey
        2. Today, in the cradle where Christianity began, most Christians have been put to death or forced out
  2. Acts 11:1-18
    1. The Gentiles received the Word of God
      1. Many Jewish believers did not like this and saw the Gentiles as a nuisance
        1. God originally intended Israel to be a light to the world
        2. Instead, the Jews became closed off from the Gentiles
        3. We are all products of our traditions
      2. They didn't have the benefit of the New Testament
        1. Many of the new believers were priests
        2. They had the background in what was considered clean and unclean
    2. The Jews contended with Peter
      1. Diakrinó= to distinguish, to judge
      2. They made a difference between people because of their ethnicity
    3. Peter recounted how God spoke to Him in a vision and all the things that happened after that
      1. Peter's name
        1. Simon was his given Hebrew name, meaning to hear
        2. Jesus renamed him Peter (Petros, meaning a stone) (see John 1:42)
      2. The Holy Spirit came upon the Gentiles Peter witnessed to when they became saved
        1. Just as the Spirit came to them at Pentecost
        2. Acts 2:1-4
    4. Three lines of evidence that Gentiles can be saved
      1. His own witness: the vision from God (see vv. 5-11)
      2. The witness of the Holy Spirit (see v. 15)
      3. The witness of the Word (see v. 16)
    5. In hearing the evidence, they accepted God's gift of salvation to the Gentiles
      1. This was a shocking admission
      2. It was God's plan all around
        1. He didn't create them to hoard their blessings
        2. He wanted them to be a light to the Gentiles (see Isaiah 42:6; 49:6)
        3. God's purpose in calling Abraham was to bless all families (nations) of the earth (see Genesis 12:1-3)
        4. Speaks to the promise of salvation through Jesus
  3. Acts 11:19-24
    1. Persecution of the church
      1. If you chose to follow the instruction in Acts 1:8, the result will be Acts 8:1 (persecution)
      2. If you spread the gospel, be prepared for the consequences (see 2 Timothy 3:12)
      3. Persecution only caused the gospel to spread further
    2. There were two cities named Antioch
      1. Antioch in Syria
        1. Named by one of Alexander the Great's generals, Seleucus, after his father Antiochus
        2. Good trade route
        3. Very metropolitan city
        4. Greek, Roman, and Jewish
      2. Antioch of Pisidia
    3. They preached to the Hellenists
      1. Hellénistés
        1. Refers to a Greek-speaking Jew
        2. Is also used to refer to non-Jewish Greeks
      2. It appears that Luke was referring to non-Jewish Greeks (Gentiles)
    4. They sent Barnabas to Antioch
      1. He was not an apostle
      2. His given name was Joses, but the church named him Barnabas, which means son of encouragement
        1. He encouraged the church with his finances (see Acts 4:36-37)
        2. He encouraged Saul of Tarsus with his friendship (see Acts 9:27)
        3. He now encouraged the church with follow-up
    5. Any relationship, even with the Lord, can have difficulties
      1. A relationship with the Lord is similar to the relationship between a married couple
        1. Don't be surprised if you don't always feel excited about your relationship with the Lord
        2. You won't always be in that peak emotional state
        3. When you live by commitment, the feelings will follow
      2. This is when you need encouragement
        1. We desperately need those with the gift of encouragement
        2. We need others to lift us up and encourage us not to give up in our walk with the Lord
  4. Acts 11:25-26
    1. Saul was the waiting man at Tarsus; Barnabas was the thinking man at Antioch
      1. It had been ten years since Saul was given the prophecy about his ministry (see Acts 9)
      2. Barnabas was considering who would be the best person to lead the believers in Antioch (Jews, Greeks, and Romans)
      3. Saul was the ideal candidate
        1. He was a Hebrew who knew all the rituals and traditions of rabbinical Judaism
        2. He was Greek by culture—a Hellenistic Jew
        3. He was a Roman citizen
      4. Barnabas brought Saul to Antioch for a year
        1. Had he not done this, half of the New Testament would not have been written
        2. The power of applause is powerful when it is appropriate
    2. The disciples were called Christians
      1. Not a friendly term
        1. Used by unbelievers in Antioch
        2. Acts 26:26-29
      2. Jesus called His followers disciples, friends, and My children
      3. The early church referred to its members as believers, saints, and beloved
      4. The Jews never used the term Christian
        1. Christ means Messiah
        2. They did not believe Jesus was the Messiah
      5. Antioch was famous for coming up with nicknames for people
        1. Nicknamed Emperor Julian "The Goat"
        2. 1 Peter 4:14-16
      6. Christianos = a Christian
        1. The suffix ianos was commonly used to refer to a slave or a follower of a political party
        2. Are you a slave and follower of Jesus?
        3. He is the Lord; you are not
  5. Acts 11:27-30
    1. Prophet
      1. Either a forth-teller of future events or a foreteller of God's Word
      2. Agabus predicted a famine, which history tells us came to pass
      3. The problem with prophets was that because they were unattached to a particular assembly, they lacked accountability
      4. Because of this, the Didache was written around AD 100 on church order, including what constituted a true prophet
    2. They sent relief to those in Judea
      1. Barnabas mentioned first
      2. Saul mentioned second
      3. This will change
  6. Closing
    1. When we think of great people, we often fail to think of those who stood behind them
    2. In God's sovereignty, the gift of encouragement is so needed (see Ephesians 4:32)
Figures referenced: Alexander the Great, Antiochus, Aratus of Soli, Winston Churchill, Epimenides, Billy Graham, Emperor Julian, Charles Lindbergh, Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, Claude Ryan, Seleucus, Deborah Shouse, Grady Wilson, T.W. Wilson

Works referenced: The Didache

Greek words: Christianos, diakrinó, Hellénistés, Petros

Cross references: Genesis 12:1-3; Isaiah 42:6; 49:6; Mark 16:15; John 1:42; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; 4:36-37; 8:1; 9; 10; 13; 26:26-29; Ephesians 3:15; 4:32; Philippians 1:5; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:14-16

Topic: Encouragement

Keywords: gospel, Gentiles, Jews, salvation, discrimination, persecution, Hellenists, apostle, encouragement, generosity, Christian, prophet

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 12
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 12
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4269

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The Herodian dynasty was filled with proud, dysfunctional, evil kings. Herod Agrippa I persecuted the early church, killing James and imprisoning Peter. In this message, we learn about the power of prayer and see how God's sovereignty triumphs over the pride of man.

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. So far in the book of Acts
      1. A rabbi fought God and was converted (see Acts 9)
      2. A centurion followed God and was converted (see Acts 10)
    2. In chapter 12, we learn about a king who fought God and was slain
      1. He hardened his heart
      2. He failed to repent and exalted himself
    3. Theme of serving a sovereign God
      1. King Nebuchadnezzar recognized the sovereignty of God (see Daniel 4:30-37)
      2. God rules over the kingdom of men
      3. Those who govern are stewards of God
    4. Jesus said He would build His church (see Matthew 16:18)
      1. He built it first in Jerusalem
      2. It grew north toward Damascus
      3. Philip took the gospel to Samaria and shared with a eunuch who took it Africa
      4. It spread toward Turkey through Antioch
    5. We sometimes struggle with the role that prayer plays in the sovereign plan and purposes of God
  2. Acts 12:1-11
    1. King Herod
      1. There is more than one Herod mentioned in the New Testament
        1. The Herodian dynasty was a bunch of bad people
        2. The family who fought against God
      2. The Herod mentioned in this chapter is not the same as the Herod mentioned at the beginning of Jesus' life
        1. Herod the Great (Herod at the time of Jesus' birth)
          1. An Idumaean (from the genealogy of Esau)
          2. His father, Antipater, converted to Judaism
          3. He met with the magi and killed all the babies in Bethlehem (see Matthew 2:1-16)
          4. He was a great builder but a horrible person
          5. Married ten times and killed several of his wives and sons
          6. One of his wives, Mariamne, was a Hasmonean Jew, and he killed her along with their son, Aristobulus
          7. He commanded that upon his death, all the notable citizens of Jerusalem were to be executed so that there would be mourning when he died
        2. Herod Philip I
          1. Son of Herod the Great
          2. First husband of Herodias
        3. Herodias
          1. Responsible for the death of John the Baptist
          2. Married another of Herod the Great's sons, Herod Antipas
        4. Herod Antipas
          1. Ruled in Galilee
          2. Jesus briefly stood trial before him
          3. John the Baptist denounced him for marrying Herodias, and she made sure he was killed
        5. Herod Archelaus
          1. Ruled in Judea, Samaria, and others
          2. He was a bad king and was deposed and replaced by Herod Philip II
        6. Herod Philip II
          1. Luke 3:1
          2. Built Caesarea Philippi
        7. Aristobulus
          1. Son of Herod the Great and Mariamne
          2. Killed by his father
          3. Father to Agrippa
        8. Herod Agrippa I
          1. The Herod we read about in Acts 12
          2. Educated in Rome and familiar with the leaders
          3. Friend of Emperor Caligula
          4. Garnished favor with the Jewish people because he observed many of the Jewish rituals
          5. Persecuted the early church, which pleased the Jews
        9. Herod Agrippa II
          1. Showed up in Paul the apostle's life
          2. Paul stood trial before him at Caesarea
    2. Herod killed James
      1. Brother of John
      2. One of the chief apostles
      3. First martyr among the apostles
    3. Herod arrested Peter
      1. Delivered him to sixteen soldiers
      2. Herod probably knew that Peter had been in prison once and escaped
      3. He intended to kill Peter after the Passover
        1. It was against Jewish law to execute someone during a high festival
        2. Jesus was killed during Passover, being illegal on many fronts
          1. Fulfilled prophecy
          2. The Passover Lamb (see John 1:29)
      4. James was as dedicated and loved Jesus as much as Peter, so why was he killed?
        1. God's ways are not our ways (see Isaiah 55:8)
        2. God is sovereign
        3. James suffered as Jesus did (see Mark 10:35-39)
        4. As a child of God, you are invincible until God is done with you
          1. Revelation 11:7
          2. James had finished his testimony and Peter had not
          3. He beat Peter to heaven
    4. The church prayed for Peter
      1. Prayer will change the outcome
      2. God loves to partner with His people to get His will done
    5. Peter never had a problem with insomnia (see Matthew 26:40; Mark 14:37; Luke 9:32)
      1. This was a sleep of faith and peace
      2. Peter knew he wasn't going to be executed
        1. Jesus told him he would die "when you are old" (John 21:18-19)
        2. He rested in the promise Jesus gave him
        3. Peter was living in the presence of God (see Isaiah 26:3)
    6. Though the doors of justice were closed, the door of prayer remained open
      1. It was the church's secret weapon
      2. Many times we fail to engage in it with real faith
      3. When you pray, it's like bringing a gun to a knife fight with the Devil
      4. It's unfortunate that it takes extreme situations to bring prayer
    7. God does the impossible, but He expects you to do the possible
    8. God has editing rights over your prayer life
  3. Acts 12:12-25
    1. Many were gathered in prayer
      1. The house of John Mark is believed to be the headquarters of the early church in Jerusalem
        1. John Mark was probably the author of the book of Mark
        2. His mother, Mary, was a prominent member of the church
      2. Though they prayed continually, it does not seem like they prayed expectantly
        1. Even though they didn't have faith, God answered their prayers anyway
        2. Lazarus died even though many prayed he would be made well (John 11:1-45)
          1. He was raised from the dead even though they did not have faith that it would be so
          2. Despite all lack of faith, Jesus raised him
        3. Jesus healed the son of a man who had a shaky faith (see Mark 9:17-27)
    2. "There was no small stir" (v. 18)
      1. Luke's way of saying, "There was a big hullabaloo"
      2. Luke used this same language in Acts 15:2
    3. Death of Herod Agrippa I
      1. Because he did not give glory to God, an angel struck him and he was eaten by worms
        1. Some scholars believe this was the result of a bursting cyst due to a tapeworm
        2. No matter who you think you are, God is perfectly capable of taking you on (see Philippians 2:10-11; Romans 1:18-21; 14:11)
      2. Both Peter and Herod were struck by an angel, with two very different results (see vv. 7, 23)
        1. The Greek word patassó means to strike
        2. It can be forcefully or gently, depending on the context
        3. Do you want God to nudge you gently or strike you forcibly?
Figures referenced: Antipater, Aristobulus, Caligula, Claudius, Herodias, Herod Agrippa I, Herod Agrippa II, Herod Antipas, Herod Archelaus, Herod the Great, Herod Philip I, Herod Philip II, Josephus, Mariamne, Jean Sloat Morton, J. Oswald Sanders, Thomas Watson

Greek words: patassó

Cross references: Isaiah 26:3; 55:8; Daniel 4:30-37; Matthew 2:1-16; 16:18; 26:40; Mark 9:17-27; 10:35-39; 14:37; Luke 3:1; 9:32; John 1:29; 11:1-45; 21:18-19; Acts 9; 10; 15:2; Romans 1:18-21; 14:11; Philippians 2:10-11; Revelation 11:7

Topic: Sovereignty of God

Keywords: sovereignty of God, government, leaders, rulers, martyr, prayer, faith, unbelief, pride

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 13:1-41
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 13:1-41
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4271

MESSAGE SUMMARY
God is a missionary God. Even back in the Old Testament, He often sent people out to do various things. Much of the book of Acts details how members of the early church were sent out to spread the gospel. In this message, we learn how Paul and his team set out on their first missionary journey.

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. Acts 13-28 has been referred to as the Acts of Paul the Apostle
      1. Focus shifts from the Jerusalem apostles to Saul of Tarsus
      2. The first time he was referred to as Paul
    2. Natural spiritual growth
      1. Person becomes a saved person
      2. Becomes a serving person
      3. Becomes a sensitized person
      4. Becomes a saturated person
      5. Becomes a sent person
    3. Jesus anticipated the spreading of the gospel (see Acts 1:8)
      1. Jerusalem became saturated in the gospel
      2. Peter went to Judea
      3. Philip went to Samaria
      4. Paul went out into Gentile territory
    4. The chapter opens in Antioch and closes in a different Antioch
      1. Antioch in Syria
      2. Antioch in Pisidia (southern Turkey)
  2. Acts 13:1-3
    1. Paul was not sent from Jerusalem; he was sent from Antioch
      1. Jerusalem was the mother church, but Antioch was the mission church
      2. Persecution in Jerusalem reached a fever pitch
    2. The church at Antioch
      1. Ekklésia = an assembly, congregation, church; the whole body of Christian believers
        1. Originally, the idea of a church was a group of citizens who were called out of their homes to meet in a public setting
        2. A church is not a place; it is a people
      2. Prophets and teachers
        1. The gifts that were dominant at first in the early church
        2. Because the New Testament had not been written yet
    3. The prophets and teachers at Antioch
      1. Barnabas
        1. Son of Encouragement
        2. Jew from Cyprus
      2. Simeon
        1. Assumed that he was a black African
        2. Some believe he was the Simon of Cyrene who carried the cross for Jesus
      3. Lucius of Cyrene
      4. Manaen
        1. The foster brother of Herod Antipas
        2. Herod murdered John the Baptist
        3. Jesus stood trial before Herod
      5. Saul of Tarsus
      6. There was no discrimination in the early church—all of these men were diverse
    4. They were ministering to the Lord
      1. Leitourgeó= minister, serve publicly
        1. Where we get the word liturgy
        2. Could be translated as worship
        3. Used to refer to when the priests ministered in the temple and tabernacle
      2. Worship is not about you; it's about Him
        1. We should aim for our worship to bless the Lord (see Psalm 34:1)
        2. We want God to be pleased when we worship
  3. Acts 13:4-12
    1. God is a missionary God
      1. He has always sent people places (see Genesis 11-12)
      2. The purpose of missions is that others may be blessed
      3. Jesus was a missionary sent from heaven to earth (see Luke 19:10)
      4. The Holy Spirit is all about sending people
      5. Jesus sent out the disciples (see John 20:21)
        1. God is about turning disciples into apostles
        2. Apostolos = a messenger, one sent on a mission, an apostle
    2. The proconsul
      1. A proconsul was a governor, but not like Pontius Pilate
        1. Pilate was a procurator; his orders came from the Roman emperor
        2. A proconsul's orders came from the Roman senate
      2. The proconsul was intelligent and spiritually hungry
        1. Paul was the ideal candidate to minister to him, as he was an intelligent man as well
        2. We should always be ready to share the gospel (see 1 Peter 3:15)
    3. The sorcerer
      1. He was a Jew
        1. Because of the Old Testament law, the Jews had an aversion to sorcery
        2. It was prohibited
        3. He mixed Judaism with false teachings, possibly astrology
          1. Syncretism
          2. He essentially created his own religion
        4. Made possible by the Roman road system
          1. Connected the east and west
          2. People in the west were logical in their thought processes and religions
          3. People in the east were very mystical in their thought processes and religions
          4. Some of the ideas from the east probably filtered along those roads
        5. Satan uses religion to deceive people more than anything else
      2. He tried to persuade the proconsul not to listen to Paul
    4. Paul's response
      1. This is the first time in Scripture that Saul is referred to as Paul
        1. Saul was his Jewish name given to him on the eighth day of his life by his parents
        2. Paul was his Roman name
          1. Means diminutive one
          2. Not an uncommon name
        3. A Roman legally, a Greek culturally, a Jew religiously, and a Christian by the grace of God
          1. His father was a Roman citizen, so he was free-born
          2. Well-read in Greek culture
          3. A trained Jewish rabbi
      2. Was Paul harsh?
        1. If you think Paul was harsh, you must also think that Jesus was harsh
        2. Jesus overturned tables in the temple (see Matthew 21:12)
        3. He called the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites (see Matthew 23:13-29)
        4. John 8:44
      3. The sorcerer's name was Bar-Jesus
        1. Means son of Jesus
        2. No connotation to Jesus Christ, but it is interesting that his name means son of Jesus and Paul called him "son of the devil" (v. 10)
        3. You can be Christian in name, but not really be one (see Revelation 3:1)
      4. Paul knew the power of darkness
        1. He was struck blind himself, leading, in part, to his conversion (see Acts 9:1-19)
        2. An act of mercy
      5. The proconsul believed because of the teaching of the Lord
  4. Acts 13:13-15
    1. John Mark returned to Jerusalem
      1. Cousin of Barnabas
      2. We do not know why he left them, but there are some possibilities
        1. He was not happy that Saul of Tarsus was upstaging Barnabas
        2. He was a Jewish believer and it could have been too much for him to see the gospel preached to the Gentiles
        3. He became ill
          1. This area was known for carrying malaria
          2. It's believed Paul got sick around this time (see Galatians 4:13-15)
        4. He was homesick
      3. Whatever the reason, Paul looked at it as bad
        1. In this chapter, the word for departed is apochóreó (to go away, depart, withdraw)
        2. In Acts 15:36-40, a different word is used
          1. Aphistémi­ = make to stand away, draw away, repel, take up a position away from, withdraw from, leave, abstain from
          2. Paul saw it as a desertion
    2. Paul spoke at the synagogue
      1. There was a liturgy service in every Jewish synagogue
        1. It began with the shamah (see Deuteronomy 6:4)
        2. Prayer
        3. Reading of the law
        4. Commentary on the reading by either the rabbi of the synagogue or a visiting rabbi
      2. The first recorded sermon of Paul
        1. The anticipation of the Messiah
        2. The action of the Messiah
        3. The application and appeal to the crowd
  5. Acts 13:16-41
    1. The anticipation of the Messiah through the history of Israel (see vv. 16-25)
      1. Historical retrospection
      2. The Jews enjoyed reciting their history (see Psalm 95; 107; Acts 7)
      3. To encourage them of God's work
    2. The action of the Messiah
      1. How Jesus was treated
        1. He was killed by Bible students
        2. Paul was trying to get their attention
      2. You can have a full head and an empty heart (see John 5:39)
      3. God raised Jesus from the dead
        1. This is the common thread of all New Testament preaching
        2. If you remove the resurrection, all of Christianity collapses
        3. It is a necessity for any victory over sin and death
      4. If you want God to use you, learn as much of Scripture as you can
    3. Some people think that those who saw Jesus after His resurrection saw hallucinations
      1. Hallucinations do not happen simultaneously to different people
      2. Jesus appeared to 500 people at one time (see 1 Corinthians 15:6)
      3. Any mental health expert will tell you that a group of people do not get a hallucination
      4. Jesus is alive right now
Greek/Hebrew words: aphistémi, apochóreó, apostolos, ekklésia, leitourgeó, shamah

Cross references: Genesis 11-12; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 34:1; 95; 107; Matthew 21:12; 23:13-29; Luke 19:10; John 5:39; 8:44; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 7; 9:1-19; 15:36-40; 1 Corinthians 15:6; Galatians 4:13-15; 1 Peter 3:15; Revelation 3:1

Topic: Missions

Keywords: spiritual growth, the church, discrimination, worship, missions, syncretism, religion, resurrection, historical retrospection

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 13:16-14:28
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 13:16-14:28
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4273

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Paul and Barnabas had a specific format to their missionary work: they preached first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. In this message, we examine Paul's first recorded sermon and the response it received. We learn the importance of being anchored in Scripture and centered on God's promises when sharing the gospel with others.

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. First recorded sermon of the apostle Paul
      1. He was about ten years old in the Lord
      2. He preached in the synagogue
    2. His motto was "First to the Jew, then to the Gentile"
      1. He always preached to the Jewish community first
      2. He then preached to the Gentiles
    3. Every synagogue had a format
      1. Began with prayer: shama (heard)
      2. Reading from the Law, the Torah
      3. Reading from the haftarah
      4. Rabbinical commentary on the text: drasha
    4. Paul's message was the rabbinical commentary
  2. Acts 13:16-23
    1.  Paul began with a history of Israel, starting with Egypt and ending with Christ
      1. Natural transition
      2. Jesus was related to King David
    2. The way Paul preached
      1. Anchored in Scripture
        1. Later, Paul instructed Timothy to preach the Word (see 2 Timothy 4:2)
        2. He did not instruct him to preach his own opinion or what people want to hear
      2. Centered on promise
        1. Paul showed how God delivered them
        2. He also showed how God kept His promise by sending Jesus
        3. In the Old Testament, God promised Israel would be a light to the Gentiles (see Isaiah 42:6; 49:6)
          1. One of the reasons God chose the Jews, delivered them, and brought them to the land of Israel was so they could take the knowledge of God and spread it to the world
          2. They failed, regarding themselves as chosen and everyone else as not chosen
          3. Because they failed, God sent His Son Jesus to be the Light of the World
  3. Acts 13:24-41
    1. To preach the gospel is to preach glad tidings
      1. The gospel is good news
      2. When we share with people, we should share like it really is good news
      3. Paul stated that by believing in Jesus' death and resurrection, they could be justified in all the things in which the law of Moses could not justify them
        1. This was earth-shattering to them
        2. They loved and revered the Law, thinking it could save them
      4. Paul developed this idea further in the books of Romans and Galatians
        1. He was saying that the Law, though good, could not do what they thought it could do
        2. The Law is good because it reveals that you are a sinner (see Romans 7:7)
        3. It cannot cleanse you from your sin
        4. The Law was a schoolmaster—paidagógos (see Galatians 3:23-24)
        5. Romans 5:1
    2. Paul referenced Habakkuk 1:5
      1. Habakkuk complained to God because the nation of Israel was sinful
      2. God told him that He would raise up the Babylonians to destroy the land and judge the people
      3. Paul based the entire book of Romans on what Habakkuk said to the people from God: "The just shall live by faith" (see Habakkuk 2:4)
  4. Acts 13:42-43
    1. The Gentiles begged Paul to preach these words again
      1. They had never heard the gospel of grace before
      2. They were God-fearing people who attended synagogue and had heard what they should and should not do, but this was their first encounter with the simplicity of being saved by faith
    2. "In the grace of God" (v. 43, emphasis added)
      1. Not the law of God (see John 1:17)
      2. Most people cannot handle the pure gospel of grace
        1. They think it gives them license to do whatever they want
        2. Or they think they still have to work for their salvation
    3. The gospel of grace does two things
      1. It reveals the utter helplessness of our condition
      2. It shows us the unlimited favor God is willing to bestow on us
  5. Acts 13:44-52
    1. Whenever God does a work, the Devil too does a work
      1. When Nehemiah worked to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem, Sanballat and Tobiah worked against him
      2. When you find the work of God, don't be surprised to find the work of the Devil also
      3. Some people take opposition to mean that God is not in whatever they are doing
        1. Pray about it
        2. Learn to recognize what is satanic opposition and what is God leading you in another direction
        3. The more effective you are in service, the more of a target you are
    2. The Jews rejected Paul and Barnabas
      1. So Paul and Barnabas "shook off the dust from their feet" (v. 51)
        1. Expression of breaking fellowship (see Luke 9:5)
        2. Since the Jews rejected the gospel, they took it to the Gentiles
      2. They went to Iconium
        1. In the region of Galatia
        2. Eighty miles away
    3. Paul's physical appearance
      1. The Acts of Paul
        1. Written in the second century by Onesiphorus
        2. Small in size with meeting eyebrows, large nose, bald head, bowlegged, strongly built, and full of grace
      2. God looks at the heart (see 1 Samuel 16:7)
    4. They were filled with the Holy Spirit
      1. They were joyful though they had been persecuted
      2. If you get persecuted, make sure you are getting persecuted for righteousness' sake
  6. Acts 14:1-28
    1. They taught in the synagogue and people believed
      1. They "so spoke…[and they] believed" (v. 1)
        1. This implies that one can so speak and people will not believe
        2. There is right way to do it and a wrong way to do it
      2. The greatest enemies to the gospel are the narrow-minded, unsaved religious people
    2. Is apostleship still an office for today?
      1. No, in the strict sense
        1. There were and are only twelve apostles
        2. Acts 2:42; Ephesians 2:20
        3. Paul is called an apostle (see 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; 1 Timothy 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:1)
      2. Yes, in a general sense
        1. The word apostle shows up seventy-five times in the New Testament, referring to people other than the twelve
        2. Timothy, Barnabas, and others
        3. Apostolos = a messenger, one sent on a mission
    3. When the people attempted to stone them, they fled
      1. They were bold and wise
      2. Jesus gave this instruction as well (see Matthew 10:23)
      3. Our approach to people in our evangelism needs to be tailored to their response to it
        1. Matthew 7:6
        2. Gauge people's response to your sharing of the gospel
    4. They fled to Lystra
      1. Lois and Eunice lived there—the mother and grandmother of Timothy
      2. It was probably during this visit that Lois, Eunice, and Timothy got saved
    5. They healed a man who was lame in his feet
      1. The people supposed them to be gods and wanted to sacrifice to them
      2. A Roman poet named Ovid had alleged in a story that the gods Zeus and Hermes came down to Lystra
        1. When the people failed to provide food and lodging for them, they destroyed the entire town
        2. They spared a man named Philemon and his wife
        3. The people, believing this legend, probably did not want to make that same mistake
    6. Paul knew his audience
      1. When Paul preached to the people of Lystra, he did not begin with the Bible
      2. When he preached in the synagogue, he began with the Bible because they knew the Bible
      3. Jesus approached people in different ways as well (see John 4:1-28)
    7. They stoned Paul
      1. He rose up and went back into the city
      2. He was persistent
Figures referenced: John Calvin, Onesiphorus, Ovid, Charles Spurgeon

Works referenced: The Acts of Paul

Greek/Hebrew words: apostolos, drasha, haftarah, paidagógos, shama

Cross references: 1 Samuel 16:7; Isaiah 42:6; 49:6; Habakkuk 1:5; 2:4; Matthew 7:6; 10:23; Luke 9:5; John 1:17; 4:1-28; Acts 2:42; Romans 5:1; 7:7; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1; 3:23-24; Ephesians 1:1; 2:20; Colossians 1:1; 1 Timothy 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:1; 4:2

Topic: Evangelism

Keywords: sermon, Gentiles, preaching, gospel, good news, salvation, the Law, opposition, persecution, boldness, wisdom

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 15
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 15
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4275

MESSAGE SUMMARY
All people disagree with one another at some point--even Christians. In the early church, a disagreement arose concerning whether the Gentile believers should be required to adhere to the Law of Moses. In this message, we learn how the early church found a biblical solution to this divisive subject.

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. All spiritual people disagree at one time or another
      1. Sometimes the disagreement is about carnal things (see 1 Corinthians 3:4)
      2. Sometimes there is a division because of caring
    2. To be unified with another believer does not mean you have to agree with everything that person says, believes, or does
      1. Sometimes we are called to divide (see Jude 1:3)
      2. If someone blatantly denies one of the pillars of the gospel, we are to speak the truth in love
      3. There are disagreements between the people of God all the way back in the Old Testament (see Genesis 13:7; 31)
      4. In the New Testament, the disciples disagreed with one another (see Mark 9:34; Luke 9:46; 22:24)
      5. There were disputes in Acts (see Acts 6:1-5)
    3. Disagreement about how to be saved
      1. Still a dispute in the church today
      2. People have a hard time with the free gift of grace
  2. Acts 15:1-5
    1. There was great rejoicing because Gentiles were being saved
      1. In Phoenicia: Gentile territory
      2. In Samaria: half Jewish, half Gentile
    2. Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch of Syria
      1. The first missionary journey was over
        1. They left Galatia, the area of modern-day Turkey
        2. This was the first real missionary church
        3. It was where the Holy Spirit separated them for their specific work (see Acts 13:2)
      2. They discovered that Gentiles were attracted to the message of Jesus because of free salvation to anyone who believes
    3. The Jews had a hard time with the Gentiles being accepted into the church and guaranteed heaven without having to keep the law or be circumcised
      1. God had given them His covenant in the Old Testament and they had kept so many rigid rules and regulations to be acquainted with Him
      2. The resistance came from Pharisees who were believers
        1. Paul (Saul of Tarsus) was once a Pharisee himself
        2. He understood their thinking
    4. They taught faith alone by grace alone in Christ alone (see Acts 13:38-39, 42-43, 46-48; 14:1, 23)
      1. The basis for their faith was the Jewish Messiah predicted in Jewish Scripture
      2. Paul taught that if the Gentiles believed in Jesus, they could be forgiven from their sins without keeping the law of Moses
    5. The Pharisees sincerely believed that you had to keep the law of Moses to be saved
      1. Sincerity is not enough when you match it up to the truth
      2. They brought the message to Antioch that if you wanted to be a saved person, you first had to be a Jewish person
      3. This thinking had spread to all the places Paul had started churches, including Galatia
        1. When Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians, he called these Judaizers troublemakers (see Galatians 1:6-8)
        2. They were trying to mix law and grace
        3. They were trying to add to the finished work of Christ—stitch up the veil (see Luke 23:45)
      4. They were trying to make it harder for people to be saved
      5. The gospel has often been hindered by closed minds who stand in front of open doors and keep people from getting in
  3. Acts 15:6-12
    1. God had revealed to Peter that the Gentiles should hear the gospel (see Acts 10)
      1. Paul had previously rebuked Peter for being two-faced with the Jews and Gentiles (see Galatians 2:11-21)
      2. But now Peter stated that by forcing the Gentiles to keep the law, they were putting a yoke on them that the Jews themselves had not been able to keep (see Matthew 23:4)
    2. By this time, Judaism did not just have the Old Testament; they had the oral law as well
      1. Not just the Ten Commandments
      2. The rabbis said there were 613 commandments Jews had to keep
        1. Positive commandments: 248
        2. Negative commandments: 365
    3. Paul and Barnabas gave an account of the first missionary journey
      1. There are portions of Scripture that are not detailed that we may often wish we had access to (see Luke 24:27)
      2. Some believe that when Paul was stoned, he developed a thorn in the flesh (see Acts 14:19-20; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10)
        1. Harpazó = to seize, catch up, snatch away (see 2 Corinthians 12:2)
        2. Paul said he was caught up into the third heaven
          1. Heaven of heavens
          2. Where God is
  4. Acts 15:13-22
    1. James, the half-brother of Jesus
      1. Author of the book of James
      2. He had the final say about the issue
        1. This shows that Peter was not the first leader of the early church
        2. James was the first leader and Peter was dispatched
    2. Tabernacle of David (v. 16)
      1. Refers to the lineage of David
      2. The lineage was broken because of the sins of the nation
        1. They were taken into captivity
        2. The bloodline was cursed after Jeconiah
      3. The only fix to the bloodline could be a virgin birth
        1. Joseph's genealogy traces back to David through Solomon's line (the line that was cursed)
        2. Jesus' lineage can also be traced through another of David's sons: Nathan
      4. James' response was rooted in Scripture (see Amos 9:11-12)
    3. God knows all His works (v. 18)
      1. Open theism says that though God is omniscient, He has given us free will and does not know what we will choose
      2. This belief says that God is learning from the choices we make
      3. Verse 18 clearly states that God knows all His works; this includes salvation
    4. James' decision was twofold
      1. For the legalists, he instructed them to be inclusive
        1. Do not add manmade rules to the faith of non-Jewish people
        2. Do not make them become Jews first
      2. To the converts, he instructed them to be sensitive
        1. To the background of their Jewish counterparts
        2. Three restrictions
          1. Things polluted by idols
          2. Sexual immorality
          3. Blood (see Leviticus 17:11)
        3. The burden was meant to be light (see Matthew 11:30)
  5. Acts 15:23-41
    1. Another conflict went unresolved
      1. Not a biblical or spiritual issue
      2. An issue of who would go on the next missionary journey
    2. Paul wanted to go back and visit the churches they had already planted
  6. Closing
    1. God reserves the right to use people who disagree with you
    2. As long as we agree on the pillars of the Christian faith, we can throw the rest to the wind
Figures referenced: Rembrandt, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh

Greek words: harpazó

Cross references: Genesis 13:7; 31; Leviticus 17:11; Amos 9:11-12; Matthew 11:30; 23:4; Mark 9:34; Luke 9:46; 22:24; 23:45; 24:27; Acts 6:1-5; 10; 13:2, 38-39, 42-43, 46-48; 14:1, 19-20, 23; 1 Corinthians 3:4; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Galatians 1:6-8; 2:11-21; Jude 1:3

Topic: Division

Keywords: disagreement, unity, salvation, grace, Gentiles, circumcision, the Law, oral law, Ten Commandments, open theism

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 15:36-16:30
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 15:36-16:30
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4283

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 16:25-17:34
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 16:25-17:34
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4285

 


 

SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 18:1-11
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 18:1-11
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SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 18:11-28
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 18:11-28
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4296


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