A Ministry Mindset

A Ministry Mindset
(Acts 9:19-31)

I. Believers should tell others about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Acts 9:19-20; 22; John 5:18; 10:30; Luke 10:22; 20:41-44; Mark 14:61-62)

II. Believers should take time to deepen their knowledge of the Lord. (Galatians 1:15-18)

III. Believers should be prepared to face opposition and rejection. (Acts 9:23-25; 29; 2 Timothy 3:10-12)

IV. Believers should encourage and disciple others in the faith. (Acts 9:27; Galatians 1:18-19; Matthew 28:19-20)

V. Believers should use times of peace to build up one another in the Lord and to continue sharing the gospel. (Acts 9:31; Romans 14:19; 2 Corinthians 7:1)

A Life Transformed

A Life Transformed
(Acts 9:1-19)

I. God is able to transform the most unlikely of sinners.
A. Salvation does not depend on the will of man, but rather on the sovereign will and power of God. (Philippians 3:5; Acts 9:15-16; Romans 9:16)
B. Salvation does not depend on the merits of man, but rather on God’s gift of grace. (Romans 3:10; 8:8; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 1:29; Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25)

II. When God transforms a sinner, there are certain marks of genuine faith. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:3-6; Colossians 1:23; 3:5-6; 2 Peter 1:5-11)
A. Conviction of Sin
B. Humbling from Our Pride
C. Obedience to the Lordship of Christ
D. Transformation from Spiritual Blindness to Sight
E. Seeking the Lord in Prayer
F. Fellowship with the Lord’s People
G. Filled with the Holy Spirit

III. God uses transformed sinners as His chosen instruments in the cause of the gospel. (2 Timothy 2:21)

The Expansion of the Gospel

The Expansion of the Gospel
(Acts 8:26-40)

I. God sovereignly takes the initiative in salvation. (Isaiah 55:8-9; Revelation 5:9; 2 Timothy 2:10)

II. God uses His Word to penetrate the minds and hearts of sinners. (1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18; 2 Timothy 3:15)

III. God uses obedient Christians to explain the gospel from His Word to seeking souls. (Acts 4:12; 8:26-27, 35)

IV. God sovereignly works in the hearts of sinners to impart new life and genuine faith. (Romans 3:10-11; Isaiah 53:6; John 3:19-20)

False Faith

False Faith
(Acts 8:4-25)

I. A False View of Self (Acts 8:9-11; Isaiah 64:6; Job 35:12; Galatians 6:3; James 4:10)

II. A False View of Salvation (Acts 8:12-13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; John 2:24)

III. A False View of the Spirit (Acts 8:14-21; Isaiah 55:1; Ephesians 2:8-9)

IV. A False View of Sin (Acts 8:22-24; Proverbs 5:22; 2 Corinthians 7:9-10; Romans 6:23)

He Is Risen!

He Is Risen!
(1 Corinthians 15:1-19)

I. The resurrection matters because it is true. (1 Corinthians 15:1-11)
A. Evidence of the Prophetic Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:4; Psalm 16; Acts 2:24-32; Psalm 22:22; Hebrews 2:12; Isaiah 53:10-12; Matthew 12:38-41; John 2:19)
B. Evidence of Eyewitness Testimony (1 Corinthians 15:5-8)
C. Evidence of Changed Lives (1 Corinthians 15:9-11)

II. The resurrection of Jesus matters because apart from it, the Christian faith is empty. (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)
A. If Christ is not risen, our preaching is empty. (1 Corinthians 15:14A, 15)
B. If Christ is not risen, faith is futile. (1 Corinthians 15:14B, 17)
C. If Christ is not risen, there is no hope beyond the grave. (1 Corinthians 15:18)

The Triumphal Entry

The Triumphal Entry
(John 12:12-19)

I. Don’t follow Jesus because of temporary earthly benefits. (Hebrews 11:29-38)

II. Follow Jesus because He is Messiah and King.
A. Fulfilled prophecies prove that Jesus is Messiah and King. (Psalm 118:22-26; Matthew 21:42; Zechariah 9:9; John 12:15)
B. Jesus’ works of power prove that He is Messiah and King. (John 12:17; 20:31)
C. Jesus’ control of His circumstances under the Father’s timetable proves that He is Messiah and King. (Acts 4:27-28)

III. You can oppose Jesus and even succeed in the here and now, but in the end He will be victorious. (John 12:19; Revelation 7:9-10)

Stephen: First Christian Martyr

Stephen: First Christian Martyr
(Acts 7:54-8:3)

I. Those who speak out boldly for God and against evil will suffer. (2 Timothy 3:12)

II. Those who suffer for Christ can be assured of His faithful presence and help in their suffering and eternal life. (Mark 14:61-62)

III. When we suffer, we can entrust our souls to God and show His love to those who persecute us. (1 Peter 4:19)
A. Jesus Seen (1 Peter 1:8-9; Ephesians 1:17)
B. Jesus Invoked (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:18)
C. Jesus Trusted (2 Corinthians 5:8)
D. Jesus Imitated (Luke 23:34)

IV. Jesus always uses suffering for His greater purpose and glory. (1 Corinthians 15:58; Matthew 10:42)

Stephen’s Sermon

Stephen’s Sermon and the Sovereignty of God
(Acts 7:1-53)

I. The Message
A. Israel’s history reveals God’s sovereign grace. (Isaiah 66:1-2)
B. Israel’s history reveals their own inclination to reject God’s gracious dealings with them.
C. Israel’s history reveals their pattern of limiting worship to a place. (Jeremiah 7:9-10)

II. The Application
A. We should rejoice in and proclaim the message of God’s amazing grace. (Ephesians 2:4-5)
B. We should guard against presuming on God’s grace by falling into a pattern of sin. (1 Corinthians 10:6-10; Jude 4; Titus 2:11-12)
C. We should guard against going through the motions while our heart is far from God. (1 Samuel 16:7)
D. We should be concerned about bearing witness to the truth. (Ephesians 4:15)

Stephen: Man of Godly Character

Stephen: Man of Godly Character
(Acts 6:8-15)

I. Stephen was a man of godly character.
A. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 6:3; Luke 12:12; Galatians 5:16,22-23)
B. He was filled with wisdom. (Acts 6:3,10; Proverbs 2:6; 9:10; 1 Corinthians 1:18,24)
C. He was filled with faith. (Acts 6:5; Ephesians 1:11)
D. He was filled with grace. (Acts 7:60; Titus 3:5-6; Romans 5:8)
E. He was filled with power. (Acts 1:8; 6:8; Colossians 1:11)

II. Stephen’s godly character was the foundation for his courageous witness.
A. When we bear witness for Christ, we are speaking to hearts that are blinded by Satan and hardened by sin. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 4:18; John 6:44; 8:44)
B. Religious people can be the most hardened in their opposition to the gospel. (James 1:27)
C. When we bear witness for Christ, we should be prepared for opposition. (Acts 6:11-14)

III. Godly, courageous witnesses must leave the results up to God. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Principles for Problem-Solving in the Church

Principles for Problem-Solving in the Church
(Acts 6:1-7)

  1. We must orient everything in our lives to God through prayer and His Word. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
  2. We must acknowledge problems and look for biblical solutions. (Psalm 34:19)
  3. We must remain committed to spiritual unity. (John 17:20-23)
  4. Problems in the church can sometimes be resolved by understanding spiritual gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:12,18,21)
  5. Church leaders must maintain their focus on prayer and the ministry of God’s Word. (Acts 6:4)
  6. Leaders at every level must be spiritually qualified. (Acts 6:3; 1 Timothy 3; Titus 1; 1 Chronicles 12:32)
  7. Growth may require new levels of organization in order to solve problems. (Acts 6:5-6)