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Tag: elders

Carrying Out Your God-Given Ministry

For the last several weeks, we’ve been going through the book of Acts – following the growth and development of the early church. 

As the Apostles boldly share their testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and call people to put their faith in Him for Salvation, the Holy Spirit has been at work, and crowds of people have been responding to the Gospel. The church has been growing tremendously!

But of course, with rapid growth comes growing pains – and we’ve seen a few examples of that already.

  • We’ve seen Ananias and Sapphira being put to death by the Lord after lying to the Holy Spirit.
  • We’ve seen the Apostles being thrown into prison – and then rescued by an angel who simply opened the doors and led them out.
  • We’ve seen the religious leaders command that Apostles stop preaching in the name of Jesus –  even flogging them as a warning – but the Apostles insisted that they would continue  obeying God rather than man!

And thus far, all of these growing pains have not stopped the tremendous growth of the church. But today in our passage, the church is going to face perhaps their greatest threat yet. This particular ‘growing pain’ not only has the potential to destroy or at least seriously damage the unity of the church, which is the hallmark of the followers of Christ – but it also has the potential to prevent the Apostles from faithfully preaching the Good News.

And by the way, the threats to the church that we’re going to read about here in Acts chapter 6 are equally present us for today, and so I think this will be a very relevant passage for us!

Our passage today is in Acts chapter 6 – and we’re just going to start by just reading the very first verse. It reads like this:

But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.

Acts 6:1

Now right off the bat there are a couple of things that we should clarify.

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Taking Care of Our Family

This morning we’re tackling a fairly large portion of Scripture – 27 verses in all. On average, we’ve usually been looking at about 8 verses on any given Sunday. So why such a huge portion today? The reason I decided to preach on all 27 verses is because all of these verses revolve around a single theme, although at first glance, you may not think so. Our sermon title for today is “Taking Care of the Family” because that’s exactly what Paul is telling us to in this passage today. Over the past month or so, we’ve been looking in 1 Timothy at our responsibilities as Christians – our “Call of Duty” if you will. And in these 27 verses, Paul lays out for Timothy and us, exactly what our responsibilities are towards others in our family – both our physical family and our spiritual family.

Now since we’ve already heard the whole passage once as read by our different readers, I won’t go through the whole thing again now. But I’ll try to hit some key verses and dig out four main lessons and then I’ll leave you to work through the rest this week at home.

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Leadership Roles in the Church

This morning we begin chapter three of 1 Timothy. We are about midway through our Call of Duty series – our look at Paul’s letter to Timothy to find our responsibilities as Christians. I don’t know how you feel about this sermon series so far, but for me – it has been very challenging. It has been challenging to study and try to learn just what it is that God wants us to know through this book. It’s been challenging to then accurately pass that lesson on to you – to make sure that what I’m preaching is what the Bible says – not my own ideas or the ideas of the culture around us. And then it’s been challenging to apply all this to my own life and to the life of our church. So as I said, It’s been a very challenging series for me – and I hope you’ve been challenged as well.

Now today, I think we are going to continue to be challenged. Today we are going to be looking a little more in depth at God’s design for the leadership of the church. Now of course, Christ is the head of the church. He is our ultimate authority in all things. We can read about that in Ephesians 5 or 1 Corinthians 11. But I think we all understand and accept that, so I won’t spend spend a lot of time on that point. But where I want to look this morning is at the human leadership of the church. How has God designed the church leadership to function? What are the roles that God has set out for us? And are we following God’s design in our church? And what difference does it make in your life anyway? These are the questions we want to look at this morning. So let’s being with a word of prayer.

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