We wrap up the Still Church series by highlighting the struggles that led up to the Jerusalem conference in Acts 15- mostly the Jewish pressure on new Gentile converts to become fully Jewish in order to become “truly” Christian. The early Church was able to overcome this struggle, an internal one, as well as the external struggles of persecution by maintaining their focus on the mission of Jesus. That’s our lesson as well. How do we overcome the struggles we face as a church today? Focus on the mission.
In Acts 11, the disciples who followed Jesus were called Christians for the first time. The really cool thing? It was those who observed the way they lived, who were on the outside looking in, that called them Christians. What would people say about us? What would we be called? Will the lives we live point people to the one we claim to follow? As we tackle part 3 of the Still Church series, these are the questions I hope we will be asking of ourselves.
The early church learned that in the midst of crisis, God was ready to act on their behalf. With God, we should expect the unexpected. And when He does what only He can do, He will receive the glory that only He is due! Join us for part two of our series Still Church!
As the early church grew, those who were a part of all that happened were often filled with wonder and amazement. It was an exciting time! The people enjoyed the favor of all those they came in contact with. Until the persecution came. By Acts 8, the Church was enduring a great persecution. I can’t imagine how disillusioned those early church members must have been, as they were forced out of Jerusalem. Could the Church still be the Church? This Sunday we will see that what these early Christ followers experienced has application for us today as well.
In John 11 Jesus tells the sisters of a friend who has just died that He is the resurrection and the life. He doesn’t tell them that through His power He will bring new life and resurrection. He says He is life and resurrection! If we really understand what Jesus is saying, we can’t help but be deeply impacted by this truth. Jesus tells us that if we know Him, we know Him we are already being changed from ones who have experienced death to those who are truly alive. In fact He says exactly this is John 17. Knowing God the Father and Jesus His Son, is to know eternal life.