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Category: Sermons

The Gospel Breaks New Ground – A City Opens Up

The action has all been in Jerusalem up to now but with the persecution, the gospel travels to the places where people had thought things could never change.

Samaria was an ongoing problem to the Jews – history and culture meant that they could never imagine that things could ever be any different.

Yet change happens because of the bravery of people and the power of the Spirit.

How might this lead us to see our own situations and our city differently?

The Challenge to Religion

The religious folks resisted what was happening, and charge Stephen with going against the temple and the law. Stephen re-tells their own history to them, showing that God has always operated outside of the temple, Jerusalem and Israel. God was with his people, and at work, in all the difficult places.

God is in the business of doing new things. We are on a journey with him. In difficult times, times of change, times of uncertainty, we follow Jesus.

Sometimes in order to pick up new things, we have to lay other things down.

The Challenge of Racial Tension

At times of stress, or change, old animosities can emerge. They need to be addressed. If they aren’t what makes us think we will be ready for what God has in store for us in the future. If the early church hadn’t solved this problem, they would never have been able to deal with the questions that would be raised when Gentiles accepted the gospel.

The Challenge of this New Life

News of the resurrection of Jesus was deeply disturbing to the authorities, who were desperately trying to keep order. The apostles directly threatened the status quo – they stood in the temple offering a radically different understanding of all that God was doing.

They were arrested and put in jail, but the angel broke down the door – and gave them specific orders to go back and to keep on speaking.

In contexts where it’s easy for faith to be kept private, we are called to this same bravery…

The Challenge of Generosity

In a week where we have seen protests about blatant acts of injustice, and against a backdrop where coronavirus has affected BAME people more than others, it’s easy to feel disempowered to know how to change anything.

But Acts 4:32-5:11 shows the result of being filled with the Spirit and how the resurrection of Jesus created the foundations of a new society. That society challenged the existing culture, but also revealed the best and the worst of the community…

Unintimidated

The healing of the crippled man really disturbed the establishment. The only thing they could do was try to intimidate the apostles. But it didn’t work…

Slow Down: A New Story Is Being Written

A man who has been begging for 40 years – a lifetime of not being able to walk. But then something happens to that man, because two men slowed down enough to notice him…

The Power of the Holy Wind

God sent the Holy Spirit and did remarkable things amongst the early church. On the day of Pentecost there was a new routine for them…

Getting the Story Clear

Something amazing has just happened and people are asking, “What does this mean?” Then Peter begins speaking to the crowd about it…

No Megaphone Required

Our different dialects and accents can make us feel like we belong, but they can also make us feel like we’re judged and misunderstood. It was no different for the early church, yet they were able to be heard and understood.

What Will Your Answer Be?

Judas commits suicide and now there are only 11 disciples; the disciples need to replace him. How will the new twelfth disciple be chosen?

When Everything Changes

At a time when everything seems to be on a knife edge and we’re not sure what will happen next, the book of Acts is really helpful. The church was birthed into the unknown. They didn’t know what happen next, but they learned to respond to the moving of the Spirit because they were really aware that they weren’t in control of things.