Monday, February 22, 2016

Church Expansion Beyond Judaism

Acts 8:1-25
Have seen persecution start - this is the hinge that the expansion hangs on

SUBJECTS:  (Sermons)...
#1.  The ministry of the laity (common people) - Acts 8:4
All Christians responsible fo re spreading the gospel, expanding the Kingdom.  (Christianity not a spectator sport)   True faith is portable faith = goes with you wherever you go.

#2.  The miracles of Phillip - Acts 8:6-7
Purpose = to validate the message and the messenger - John 10:37-38

Question:  Should miracles be prevalent today? 
Answer: that's God's call!!  So.... pray for  A)  what you know is God's will, ie.  that He's with them, has their best interests in mind, is there to give comfort and ease, wants to use situation to reach others.
                                                                B)  what you hope is God's will - what you desire

#3.  The acceptance of the Samaritans (by the church, into the church) 
This = predicted by Christ - Acts 1:8 - Great Commission
So was accepted by the Apostles
And, confirmed by the Holy Spirit - Acts 8:17

This presents a challenge (ongoing) to the church - ie:  how to maintain Unity with great diversity
Which is clearly God's intent and plan
Eph. 4:3-6 - yet, Hebraic/Hellenists --> Samaritans --> Gentiles

#4.  the heart of Simon
Was he sincere?  saved?  need to re-repent?  did he?
Extra-Biblical history states:  he was a great heretic, the Father of Gnosticism"

Scary part:  we might be more like him than we care to admit!!!!

Likely description of Simon:
He didn't change his beliefs, he just tried to add Christ to his beliefs = gnosticism

His was not a desire to serve God, but was  a desire to have God serve him - Genie in a Bottle

This was an attempt to accept and receive Christ without any submission to Christ - Savior but not Lord.

He wanted to obtain the blessings of God without doing the will of God.  (point = there's a little "Simon" in all of us)

God's favor (salvation) cannot be purchased, earned, manipulated - it comes by grace and grace alone.
Must be accepted and received - Eph. 2:8-9

On one hand = available to all who will accept and receive
However, there are terms, conditions - must have a CAT -
Question:  which did Simon have?  Which did Simon lack?

 What about you???

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