Category Archives: Acts

Missions Permeated the Early Church

The following are my notes of Dr. John Ewart’s lecture at SEBTS.

In the New Testament we see the church did not DO missions, they were missional! In the New Testament church mission permeated the church.

– There was Total Penetration – to all the world.

– There was Total Participation – every believer was involved.

In Acts 1:8 Jesus commanded the early church to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea & Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. The rest of the book of Acts tells how the Holy Spirit:

– Gave the believers boldness (Acts 4:31)

– Empowered the apostles’ preaching

– Worked signs and wonders through the early Christians

– Called out missionaries and evangelists

– Gave spiritual gifts to believers

– Guided the apostles to carry out their mission

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Filed under Acts, Evangelism, Lectures, Missions, SEBTS, The Holy Spirit

Paul’s Church Planting

The following are my notes of Ed Gravely’s lecture at SEBTS.

We know the following things about how Paul planted a church in Thessalonica by looking at Acts 17:

1. Paul first preached in Thessalonica during his 2nd missionary journey according to Acts 17:1-9.

2. Paul stayed in Thessalonica for at least 3 weeks (Acts 17:2) but probably he stayed there longer (maybe around 6 months?).

3. After Paul left Thessalonica he went to Berea. The Thessalonian Jews tracked him down and incited the Bereans to expel him from the city (Acts 17:10-15).

4. Paul continued his travels and was apparently reached with news of the Thessalonians by Timothy while he was in Corinth.

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Filed under 1 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Corinthians, 2 Thessalonians, Acts, Church Planting, Lectures, Scripture, SEBTS

Outline of Acts

Outline of Acts

Outline # 1

Acts 1 – 6 = Jerusalem
Acts 6 – 10 = Judea & Samaria
Acts 10 – 28 = The Uttermost Parts of the Earth

Outline # 2

Acts 1 – 11 = Peter
Acts 12 – 28 = Paul

Outline # 3

I. Foundations of the Church (1-2)
Ch. 1 – The Ascension of Christ
Ch. 2 – The Coming of the Holy Spirit (Peter’s 1st Sermon) 1st Mention of Tongues

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Introduction to the Book of Acts

The following are my notes of Ed Gravely’s lecture on the book of Acts at SEBTS.

The Importance of Acts

Without the book of Acts our knowledge of the early church would be severely limited. We would not know:

– How the church expanded to the Gentiles
– Who the Apostle Paul was
– How to date the 4 gospels
– About the pouring out of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
– How the early church behaved and lived (Entire denominations have been started because of the way people have understood whether or not Acts is prescriptive or descriptive.)

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The Holy Spirit and Church Planting, Pt. 2

This post is the second part of a two part series on the Holy Spirit and Church Planting. Click HERE to read the first post.

THE HOLY SPIRIT IN CHURCH PLANTING

There really are a number of useful methodological applications that we could make based off of what we saw from the book of Acts in the first post. For the purpose of this post it is best that we narrow our focus to one specific application. Consequently, the remainder of this post will focus on the relationship between making plans and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Continue reading

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The Holy Spirit and Church Planting, Pt. 1

Is it possible to successfully plant a growing church in the eyes of the world and do it all without the power of the Holy Spirit? In Francis Chan’s book Forgotten God he argues that, “a group of talented, charismatic leaders can draw a crowd. Find the right creative team, musicians, and speakers, and you can grow any church. It doesn’t even have to be a Christian church…My point is that a growing and energetic gathering is not necessarily evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work.”[1]

Chan is making a profound observation. Every week there are plenty of growing and energetic gatherings that are not a result of the Holy Spirit’s power. For example, thousands of Mormon, Muslim, Unitarian, and Jehovah’s Witness gather each week for worship. Sadly, in addition hundreds of dead “Christian” churches gather each week and almost all of these theologically liberal churches have denied the gospel.

Therefore, these realities indicate it is possible to successfully plant a growing church in the eyes of the world and do it all without the power of the Holy Spirit. If a growing and energetic gathering is not necessarily evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work, then what exactly is evidence of his work? In other words, what does it look like to plant a church by the power of the Holy Spirit? In this first post I hope to provide an answer to that question by looking the work of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts. In the next post I will answer the “how” question. Namely, how does someone or a group go about planting a church that is led by the Holy Spirit? What are the methods and principles that must be applied to the church planting process to ensure that it is in fact the Spirit who is leading? If these posts accomplish its purpose then it will have clearly explained not only what spirit-led church planting looks like, but also how spirit-led church planting happens. Continue reading

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David Platt’s Send North America Conference Talk

The following is my notes from David Platt’s message at the Send North America Conference on July 31, 2012.

How do we finish up this great conference? I hope this will be an encouragement to you.

When I was in Cuba my view of ministry was flipped upside down. There is no programs or presentations. There are pockets of Christians who are sharing the gospel like wildfire. They kept it small, kept it simple and quiet. They are planting churches all across the island. One church had planted over 60 other churches. One of their church plants have planted 25 other churches. There is exponential growth.

One of these leaders was brought before the communist council and brought a big rock with him. They asked what the rock was about and he said if you make me stop talking about Jesus this rock will do it. The people thought he was crazy and let him go.

This is what this brother is like. So I asked him how he did it. How has he planted all these churches. I was ready for something great and had my notebook all ready and he said two three words, “We make disciples.”

It just made we wonder, what if we did not have all the money and resources that we have. What would happen? Would we be making disciples like many of our brothers and sisters are doing around the world? Continue reading

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