Missions and Acts - the Message

Kaitiaki's picture

Basically this is just a "what do we learn about the Church from Acts?" thread. As we watch Paul and Barnabas and then Paul and Silas building the Church in Acts, what can we learn about their concept of the Church as a whole? Robert suggested my original plan was too cumbersome so asked me to create new threads.

Thread Moderator - Kaitiaki

As we study Acts is seems there is a clear difference between the way many Churches today preach the Gospel and the way it was done in Acts. Is this a reality we might ask or is it only an impression? Then too there is a difference in the content of Paul's sermon in Acts 17 when compared with Peter's in Acts 2. We look at the message preached in Acts and its implications for preaching today.

Does the preaching of Acts Chapter 2 (Peter's sermon at Pentecost) provide us with an example of the approach we should be taking with those who have a Judeo/Christian heritage (ie those who know and accept the Bible framework but who don't accept Jesus as the Messiah)? On this view, Acts 17 (Paul on Mars Hill) would provide us with an example of the approach to non-Christians who do not accept the Bible world-life view (and that includes the majority of today's society - those who accept the evolutionary view). What part, if any, do you think the Creation - Evolution debate has to play in Home missions work?

ccemanes's picture

Acts 2 and Acts 17 Sermons

“Then too there is a difference in the content of Paul's sermon in Acts 17 when compared with Peter's in Acts 2”.

Peter's sermons in Acts 2, describes by Spurgeon. (http://www.biblebb.com/files/spurgeon/2102.htm).

“...Peter's discourse was not distinguished by any special rhetorical display: he used not the words of man's wisdom or eloquence. It was not an oration, but it was a heart-moving argument, entreaty, and exhortation. He gave his hearers a simple, well-reasoned, Scriptural discourse, sustained by the facts of experience; and every passage of it pointed to the Lord Jesus”.

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?"—Acts 2:36-37”.

“…It was in these respects a model of what a sermon ought to be as to its contents. His plea was personally addressed to the people who stood before him, and it had a practical and pressing relation to them and to their conduct. It was aimed, not at the head, but at the heart. Every word of it was directed to the conscience and the affections. It was plain, practical, personal, and persuasive; and in this it was a model of what a sermon ought to be as to its aim and style”.

Paul’s preaching in Acts 2 according to Carson http://www.facingthechallenge.org/carson.php

“… Paul confronted a society as different in worldview to the Judeo Christian worldview as is our current society. For a start, it was a pluralistic society with many gods. It was also extraordinarily pluralistic in its wealth of worldviews (the so called 'philosophies' of groups such as the Stoics and Epicureans)….He takes a big picture approach. He presents the Judeo Christian worldview and confronts their diverse Athenian worldviews, before introducing Jesus…This suggests that every clause in Paul's address is a point that was expounded upon at length".

“He starts by saying, I see that in every way you are very religious…neither commending nor denying their religious practices….Rather he is noting their interest in spiritual things….He goes on to say, I even found an altar with this inscription: 'To an Unknown God."

"He then says that God, is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands…God cannot be domesticated by religion…is not served by human hands as if he needed anything…God is self-existent - not only in terms of his origins but in terms of his independence. He does not need us at all. Rather it is we who are completely and utterly dependent on God, right down to our very breathing”.

"…he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else”…This is quite a reversal of the first century pagan perspective, and of many contemporary popular perceptions of God...He then says, "From one man he created every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth- - thus highlighting the fact that all people have the same ancestor. Many of the ancients thought that different races had different origins”.