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Introduction to Acts – The First Christians (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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May 20, 2022 6:00 am

Introduction to Acts – The First Christians (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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May 20, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter to the Hebrews

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All that Jesus began both to do and to teach put a lot of work into the gospel of Luke and he put a lot of work into the book of acts is getting this word out is getting it to this man because it is what Jesus began to do acts is the story of beginnings everything and acts as the beginning of the church and the continuation to nothing is finished.

It's an ongoing story for us. This is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville.

Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of acts.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching today. Pastor Rick continues introducing the book of acts in acts chapter 1 fund seems to be the objective, but wrestling with powers and principalities doesn't sound much like fun. I hope you younger Christians heard that but just in case you did not, I'm going to reread it again because it is especially for you. It says again Vance Hafner, the new hilarious brand of Christianity is only a better way to have a good time fund seems to be the objective but wrestling with powers and principalities doesn't sound like much fun it's not is it it's scoots combat. It's just contest the struggle for real souls and real lives and is going to hurt your hearts going to break if you are a Christian and fighting over lost souls and the work that Satan does when you're also going. Your heart will also rejoice over the victories in the presence of God in your life. The author Luke known as the companion of Paul, the beloved physician then said that Paul would call him a beloved physician must've mean that Luke. First off to had no hypodermic's to stick you with me. They just was a beloved physician, he would just have philosophy of medicine, but never purchased. I don't know about you every time you go to the doctor to hurt you more of those is anyway just a little humor there very little humor at Luke chapter 1.

Luke wrote the book of acts. He wrote the Gospel according to Luke and the early Christians did not is not much to debate about that when he wrote the book of acts. He started out by telling everyone how much effort he put into looking into the facts that he was about to present the interviews that he conducted and he says it seemed good to me. Also, Luke chapter 1 verse three, having had a perfect understanding of all things.

From the very first to write to you and orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, you see this letter to with this gospel of Luke was addressed to a man named Theophilus and so is the book of acts of the name Theophilus means the lover of God and their variations to it and some believe maybe it was sort of a cold writing to just lover Christians in general, but I don't take that position.

I believe it was a man named Theophilus who was a part of Luke's life and get all come to this back to Inver very quickly.

But this man, this physician is medical Dr. Luke. Far as we know, he never saw the Lord Jesus Christ.

He became a convert. After he wasn't around when the early chapters of of acts were taking place as we have no evidence of that we have evidence or the pointers that suggested he was converted after he wrote this book of acts, about 30 years after Christ ascended to heaven, and it covers a span of about 32 years. We have about 32 years of history from acts chapter 1 to acts 28 acts chapter 29 is us the book of acts doesn't end the acts of the Holy Spirit and the actions of the believers are still going on through the believers are down through history, there is a nice parallel about that when you get to the seven churches in Revelation.

These were troublesome times because of the transition. That transition from Judaism to Christianity from looking for the Messiah and his arrival is being murdered and his being is rising again and keeping Judaism out of Christianity was very difficult, if physically they were violent over these things. They would try to kill Paul on several occasions, not only just the Jews who practice Judaism with the Judaizers who tried to mingle Christianity and Judaism, thereby reducing Christianity to a sect so matter of fact when up in Antioch. They came from. James is Paul later said to spy out our liberty. Peter and Barnabas succumb to this into the Judaizers to their influence and their influence was this if you want to benefit from the cross of Christ. You have to become a Jew, you gotta be circumcised got a practice of savaging a good end of the temple apostate up against all that and when Peter and Barnabas were giving into them and Paul stood said this several times before Christianity would've died that day. Had Paul not stood up to his beloved friends. Peter and Barnabas and set them straight and not yield. As Paul said, for the eye. We here for an hour, which means we kneel for a moment.

We didn't give in. This is Christianity we know what we believe we believe what we know and were not apologizing for. We would love you to join it, but when I joining you and to this day, that is our message and if you want to go out there and share your faith with somebody of another religion and you think that you can sort of mix them together you abandon Christianity because it is intolerant of any other savior or any other God or any idea about our God does not come from Scripture and so the reformers, many of them who gave their lives to say Scripture alone is our authority for what would our spiritual believes in our behavior before God. Scripture alone and hopefully you and I are upholding these things because they are true.

We look at the book of Genesis and it tells us a story of how mankind came to be and how management established a relationship with God or refused, as the case might be, will acts tells a story of how the church came to be and how the Gentiles were brought into this relationship with the God of Abraham and the God of Moses and the God of of of Jeremiah and Isaiah and all of the of the Old Testament heroes acts tells the story of how the church came to be and how it is to remain how the church is different distinct. As I mentioned from Judaism and paganism and heathenism and anything else that is out there tells a story of its relationship with the Holy Spirit as promised by God through Jesus Christ we haven't even started on the versus yet this just an overview from what's in there and after all these years of being a Christian I still get excited over the book of acts to preach. It is a added added benefit benefit of this church. The church had Messiah and has Messiah we call him the Christ at the Greek translation of the Jewish word Messiah, the anointed one. We have him. The synagogues of Paul's day did not. The synagogues today do not do not have the Messiah, they have missed him. We have him and this need the bid, the beliefs are irreconcilable, though, we've come out of Judaism's Old Testament. Our beliefs are irreconcilable unless they accept Messiah. They don't have it. A Judaism is a mentioned demand circumcision and Sabbath keeping to receive salvation and other things the Gentiles just would not receive that that it would've been a stumbling block for them.

And God pointed this out to Paul and Paul wrote document he documented this Romans and Galatians and Hebrews.

He was fierce in his presentation. That's this transitional age that Lucas's is also part of the was there with much through much of what Paul went through the first read the first Christians they realized this, and they began to listen and trust God or maybe when you started out being a Christian you, you are trusting God. What is the use of roll by and you've taken so many hits and hurts that trust is not so hot anymore. I encourage you go get wood and put it on whatever fire you've got left and spoke that fire and don't give into your flesh that wants to come up with an excuse to have your faith die down, because it's a lie in your flesh will accommodate.

I fight this like you do. I have my moods to, and I try to get the silverware I'm always in the mood to have the right mood and takes a lot of work.

Sometimes a pull it off pretty good. Anyway, back to wherever it was that I was at this show. Trusting God the birth of the church merged Jews and Gentiles together so thoroughly, so thoroughly were Jews and Gentiles merge together that you not supposed to tell them apart.

Humans may have a fall ill lost souls may have this distinction of Jew and Gentile to the Christian is no longer Jew nor Gentile.

Why is that such a hard concept for some people interested them of this is that the work that Satan detest he hates these distinctions he agreed. He wants this division in the church that their class a Christians in class B Christian see what he wants to do a little dirty work like that and was supposed to be a step of head ahead of him. The Christians they look at the assembly of this the synagogues how they assembled and they borrowed some of that then they refined it and they reformed it in two how we assemble to this day in the church, all the while keeping themselves separate, which is what the word saint means the single word means you separated from the world and from the judgment to come through Christ. Christianity is not merely a true religion. It is a true religion but it is also a system of life in a system of action and that's what we getting out of this book and we get it out of our Bibles. The first Christians they made converts from Judaism from paganism from heathenism and from idolatry and they just did it by being a witness for Christ with an inflexible message in a determined mission. So when we read this out of Jeremiah.

We say wow we like that while the New Testament church did it here. It is thus says Yahweh stand in the ways NC and asked for the old paths, where the good way is, and walking.

Then you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah Estes get back to the basics of your faith, the faith of your fathers.

They want kooky you didn't do doing better than your father's Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob.

They have they they understood God will come along acting like will that religion is dead. We got this new stuff know your dad and what they say to Jeremiah will inherit us with goals on the same Jeremiah 616 that the age that he ministered and what we face the same thing. Flexible methods of assembly one church can do no more songs in another church. You got that right, but inflexible with with the message.

The methods may alter a little bit but not the truth.

Those early Christians. The first Christians they had to fight for everything.

Satan would not take the church lying down on the day of Pentecost come as exciting as is going to be Satan didn't go okay I just better stop now. They've got the Holy Spirit know he just adjusted his battle plan and he's done a very good job but it doesn't mean he has to do a good job. Matthew chapter 10 Jesus said do not think I came to bring peace on earth.

I did not come to bring peace but a sword. What I didn't stop when Christ ascended that this that characterize its the ministry of Christianity until he returns effect when he returns with the sword sort of judgment. Another thing about this book of acts that is very exciting and I think important to embrace the application of this book is only for believers. The message is for the world, but the application is really about belief believers and this is what we find in Mark chapter 16 go out into all the world and preach the gospel we find them doing that, but then look at verse one. The former account I made all of the office of the office of all that Jesus began both to do and to teach. This is coming for believers Hill development were going to depart from that for a moment, but Luke, having set in order a biography of Jesus Christ the gospel according to Luke.

He writes again in verse three it seemed good to me.

Also having a perfect understanding of all things. The very first right to you and orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, well, the former account is a mention Luke, but he says I may 000 excellent Theophilus here in acts one he says, oh Theophilus and Luke. He addressed him as most excellent book that was a formal official term Roman official received that title most excellent. So Theophilus was likely an individual who had a high position in government was a man of some means and he knew perhaps Luke was his physician could have a lot of conjecture. The other point is, he writes him now and he uses that personal pronoun I where he says the former account I made all Theophilus. This is indicating a warmer relationship because he's dropped the title most excellent and he just says all Theophilus is a term of endearment in that all Theophilus is a nearness is a warmness does a friendship. What has changed all Theophilus got the book of Luke, what was we know it.

That's who was addressed to.

That's why I just read again, Luke one, verse three, where he says I put in orderly account together for you, most excellent Theophilus, and now he writes a second account. The former account I made Luke's gospel all Theophilus. Theophilus is become a believer is not caught up on. I am most excellent.

He's humble. Now we don't know what transactions occur between the two.

In between the writing of Luke and writing of this book of acts.

There must've been some because is a change in the tone. Why doesn't he still call him most excellent Theophilus again. That would account for his of all that Jesus began both to do and to teach the blue put a lot of work into the gospel of Luke and he put a lot of work into the book of acts, and he's getting this word out is getting it to this man because it is what Jesus began to do acts is the story of beginnings everything and acts as the beginning of for the church and the continuation of two. Nothing is finished.

It's an ongoing story for us. Leviticus chapter 6 verse 12 when I mentioned about the fire in the heart of the believer. This was the rule for the tabernacle of the Jews in the wilderness. The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it, it shall not be put out, and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning and lay the burnt offerings in order on it fires not to go out. It is paralleled by the heart of the believer fire now Hartford truth for God for serving him.

It's not supposed to go out with supposed to chop the wood and haul it.

We are supposed to maintain the fire. He'll do his part, God will we have our part to there is this unfinished work of proclaiming the finished work of Jesus Christ. The finished work of salvation it's finished, it's done of all that Jesus began both to do and to teach. We are to continue proclaiming these things.

Matthew 28.

Again, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.

We notice in verse one that the doing comes before teaching. There are some that are just so eager to teach the dam, but they're not doing and one of the things and are doing is waiting for the Lord to put them in the position of teaching that is the divine prerogative.

What Jesus began.

Of course, was teaching us about God, about love about grace.true about judgment doctrine sums up what he begun is more there are the details in their very very important details are not insignificant at all. He practiced Jesus did what he preached.

The best preacher the best pastor preaches better than the practice.

No other no no pastor can live up to the standard of Scripture. No Christian can, but it's the pursuit of that standard that not tell down is just chasing righteousness that makes the difference it makes all the difference. Go to a place where it's not practice go to a place of Christianity is not allowed. You don't see the pursuit of Christianity and North Korea.

Do you many other places. And so it doesn't matter. Don't be discouraged because you can't see don't know soldier on the battlefield sees the whole battle. That's for the generals.

He sees what's right in front of him and his risen position can be totally wiped out and they still win.

Don't be knocked out of the fight because it seems like you're not getting anywhere.

Keep moving forward.

That alone will just beckons the strength of the Holy Spirit in your life, Christ practicing what he taught and what Jesus did and taught did not end with the departure of Christ to his father when he ascends to heaven is not. That's it guys are on your own. I gave you some rules now go do them. That's exactly what did not happen next is telling the story. Acts chapter 1 verse eight you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit is has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me.

Now the thought is okay. I'm going to receive this power so I can get a new car psyche of core that's the prosperity teaches, which is very prosperous at all is quite the opposite. This power is not to show off a look at me.

I can speak in tongues you can't. Some will like to do this is power to be witnesses of Jesus Christ. That's the power I want. Would you rather lead 10 people to have a notional 10 PM. You can speak in tongues is a very simple thing. Rather, Debbie. This is in others you much joy in heaven when one center repents and converts. Not when one Christian starts. You know demonstrating he's got some power power that I want this to power over my flesh.

The power that I want us to be like Christ. The power I want is that the Holy Spirit will be comfortable with using me. We read of God coming to visit Abraham. We don't read of him coming to visit lot rescuing lot. Yes, dining with lot.

No I want the Lord to be comfortable in my heart and so some verse two now look at that.

We made really getting up the verse three he says, until the day in which he was taken up, after he through the Holy Spirit and given commandment to the apostles whom he had chosen that phrase taken up there at the beginning until the day in which he was taken up. It occurs four times in this chapter. Three of them of the identical Greek word, all forming the same thing. The emphasis is on the miraculous that Jesus was alive and that he was miraculously taken to heaven as though he was God because he is. That's why it was a demonstration of further demonstration of his deity.

Thus, those of the many infallible proofs that mean they were just getting one demonstration after another into the heads were spinning the direct teaching of Christ ended with his ascension from the Mount of olives to heaven visibly before his apostles with the Holy Spirit would soon be available to continue what Jesus began to do this was his plan so that when Jesus went to the father.

The work continue John's Gospel chapter 16 verse eight and when he noticed the personal pronoun. The Holy Spirit is not a it is a person when he has come, he will convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment house. He can't do that through the church through the believers don't don't get dull. Don't do that while the churches anywhere. Yeah, there's the universal church. And it is a wonderful thing, but there is the local church and it is just as wonderful and just as powerful and it is exactly what Paul had in mind in acts chapter 20 when he talks about savage wolves coming into the church, not sparing the flock. The church that God bought with his blood. So when they start that backpedaling on the assembly there actually helping the devil because Christ ordained both the universal church so that I can go guard to take a flight and sit next to somebody from another country was a born-again believer and is like we've always known each other when we start talking about Jesus Christ we've never met before.

Never been in the same church will probably never see each other. Here again, then there is the local assembly that's with the blood and guts see when I get off the plane with that believe put up with him near that point I would me when we go back to the church. Now we have people have meltdowns about this problem got that promise to love the Lord, giving you a chance to exercise grace move you've been listening to cross reference radio daily radio ministry pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia.

As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast.

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