Last week we defined ministry. This week we see the definition of ministry play out in one of the greatest turning points in the history of the church...the conversion of Cornelius. Peter see where God is working and participates in an epic movement of God to get the message of the gospel to the Gentiles. Peter shares the gospel, sees the power and movement of the Holy Spirit, defends their salvation to other Christians and then leads in a celebration to the glory of God.
Graham Buxton's definition of "ministry" is incredibly accurate. "Participating in what God is doing to reconcile the world to himself--through Christ in the Spirit." We see that actualized in the transitional verses in Acts 9:32-43. We see Peter live out a "ministry" definition as he meets the needs of those around him. It seems like it would be a simple message to grasp, but ministering to others has its costs & its purposeful focus.
Saul has encountered Jesus and changed! But even though he is a new follower of Christ, the road doesn't get easy for him. In fact, it is just starting to get rough, but we see him grow. We seem him spend time out of the limelight to get prepared for the next adventure God had for him...escaping Jerusalem in a basket. "But Barnabas"...you have to love it when God brings that person into your life at just the right time to reaffirm God's call on your life. He challenges us to see others as God sees them.
The greatest conversion story of all time in all the world would probably be the story of Saul in Acts 9. But what about your conversion story? Your conversion story is the greatest God-story of all time because it is about you & how Jesus rescued you & is transforming you into his likeness right now! Ananias can be easily overlooked in Saul's conversion story but today we will see why he played such an important role in Saul's conversion.
Why do we do what we do? Baptism and communion are two ordinances of the church ordained by Christ. Pontiac Bible Church observes both of these ordinances. What makes them so important? Who should participate? How should they be observed? These are just a few of the questions we will be answering today.
The culmination of our Work As Worship series was a massive service project with well over 100 PBC volunteers serving in the name of Christ. We cleaned up parks, made meals for families in need, worked on widows' houses, and did it all as an act of worship. This brief message is from the short worship "service" before our worship "serving."
When should we work? When should we rest? When should we minister? When should we serve? Our lives are so hectic & busy. I once heard someone say that the worst thing invented was the light bulb. That seems curious, right? The explanation behind that statement might just be true. With the invention of the light bulb, more work could be done. Days could be lengthened. As Christians, we hear about the Sabbath and the day of rest, but do we really know what that is all about? Let's see how it fits into our Work as Worship study.
What is the mission of the church? The answer is easy. It's the follow-through that is a little more difficult. The mission of the church is clearly to make disciples. We are commissioned to that end in Matthew 28. But before Matthew even came on the scene, there was another commission, another mandate from the prophet, Micah. In this short series titled, "Work as Worship", we are going to unpack the purpose of the church in week one & in week two we are going to come to a clearer understanding of Sabbath, what it means to rest & how do we serve in light of those truths. It's a short series, but a powerful one.
Listening to the Holy Spirit, Philip went on a wild goose chase only to discover that God had brought him to the middle of nowhere so he could share the gospel with an unlikely convert. God places opportunities to share the good news about Jesus with others all around us every day. Can you see them? Do you seize the moment when the opportunity arises to shine the light of Christ?
The gospel is on the move. What an exciting time in the history of the church & what a harrowing time as well. The gospel is now being shared with Samaritans & Philip is preaching the kingdom of God & the name of Jesus. Simon the magician gives us a view into the culture. His story also causes us to evaluate our own conversion stories, the intentions of our hearts, & the transformation process of being a follower of Jesus.