The Church is not what it should be. The Church is constantly disappointing. The Church constantly lets us down. Why is the Church the way that it is? Why does it do the things it does?
After was raised from the dead and returned to His Father in heaven, maybe we got it wrong? Maybe the first followers tried to be faithful for a little while, but then the Church grew popular. It grew in influence. Did it become a tool for people looking to wield power? Did the Church fall into the hands of politicians sometime in the early centuries of the Church?
What do we do if that was true? Do we just be Christians out on our own? Do we have to be part of an organisation? Isn’t that just an idea that came so that the Church could control people?
Why is the Church the way it is? Have we lost our way? And could we ever be the sort of Church that Jesus wants us to be?
You may believe that the Church has lost its way recently, or sometime after the Reformation, or in the Middle Ages, or perhaps when Emperor Constantine was converted.
Questions and ideas like the ones I’ve just referred to are some of the reasons why we’ll be spending some time looking at the Book of Acts.
Acts is an account of what really happened in those days after Jesus’ Resurrection. And the Book of Acts shows us how we can be the Church Jesus wants us to be. And, in fact, Acts teaches us that Jesus’ Church is doing what He wants it to do, and is being what He wants it to be. And the Book of Acts is a call for you, and for me, and for us as a Church to join in with what Jesus is doing.
Right at the start of Acts, in verses 1 to 11, we see two essential things we must know and we must believe if we are going to be the Church that Jesus wants us to be. First, we must be confident because Jesus’ ministry continues (v1-5). Secondly, Jesus goes upwards, so we go onwards (v6-11).
The Church isn’t an organisation that we can shape according to our own ideas and preferences. And neither is it a tool to control gullible people. The Church is the way Jesus is working in the world, by His Spirit, until the day when He returns to reign forever.
- Getting Our Bearings (v1)
- Be Confident Because Jesus’ Ministry Continues (v1-5)
- Jesus Goes Upwards, So We Go Onwards (v6-11)
Sunday 5th May 2018
- Who wrote Acts (v1)?
- Who is Acts to (v1)?
What is Acts about (v1)?
- What did Jesus teach about after the resurrection (v3)?
- What is about to happen (v5, Lk 24:47-48, Joel 2)?
- Why do we need the Holy Spirit (v1 & 5)?
- What is the Kingdom’s nature (v6-7)?
- What is the Kingdom’s domain (v8)?
- When is the Kingdom’s timing (v9-11)?
- What is our role (v8)?
- A question I have:
- A truth to share:
- How I should live: