Acts

The Rise Of The Church

01 - Introduction: The Rise Of The Church

Selected Scriptures • November 3, 2013 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

The Book of ACTS—also known as The Acts of the Apostles—is an eyewitness account of the birth of the Christian Church, the proliferation of the gospel, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It follows the respective ministries of Peter and Paul as they preached the Good News of Jesus Christ to Jew and Gentile alike. Written with dramatic flair by Luke, ACTS is the literary sequel to Luke’s gospel, furthering the story of Jesus’ life and ministry, and the rise of the Church Militant on earth. In this comprehensive sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann travels the dusty roads of the Mediterranean world alongside Peter and Paul and examines the key events in the formation of the early Church.

02 - From Disciples To Apostles

Acts 1:1-11 • November 10, 2013 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Most of us have been to—or participated in— a graduation ceremony where a degree is conferred, marking the completion of studies. But the greatest graduation ceremony happened in the first eleven verses of ACTS. Only moments before the Lord’s ascension, the disciples received from the Holy Spirit their spiritual diplomas, transforming them from students to teachers. It was a ceremony that inevitably changed the world. In this comprehensive sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann travels the dusty roads of the Mediterranean world alongside Peter and Paul and examines the key events in the formation of the early Church.

03 - The Induction Of Matthias

Acts 1:12-26 • November 17, 2013 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Have you ever felt rejected by God? Most Christians, at one time or another, have been haunted by that fear. Being rejected by anyone is painful enough, but for a Christian to feel rejected by God is devastating, even terrifying. Imagine how Joseph Barsabbas must have felt on the day the lot fell on Matthias to replace Judas. He had been passed over in favor of another. How would that make you feel? In this comprehensive sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann travels the dusty roads of the Mediterranean world alongside Peter and Paul and examines the key events in the formation of the early Church.

04 - The Induction Of Matthias

Acts 1:12-26 • November 17, 2013 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Before his ascension into heaven, Jesus had promised his disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit to give them strength and wisdom to spread the gospel throughout the world (cf. Acts 1:8). The Day of Pentecost marked the fulfillment of that promise. Today, 2,000 years later, believers are still filled with the Holy Spirit. Without His power, we cannot preach the gospel effectively, much less live the Christian life. Are you Spirit-filled? In this comprehensive sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann travels the dusty roads of the Mediterranean world alongside Peter and Paul and examines the key events in the formation of the early Church.

05 - Peter's First Apostolic Sermon

Acts 2:14-36 • December 1, 2013 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

What is a biblical sermon? Is it merely a pep-talk filled with anecdotal musings about felt needs? Is it a stand-up routine laced with pithy illustrations and humorous one-liners? The first sermon ever preached tells us otherwise. It sets the precedent. Like all sermons in the New Testament, Peter’s Pentecost message examined, exalted, and expounded upon the person, work, and nature of Jesus Christ. In this comprehensive sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann travels the dusty roads of the Mediterranean world alongside Peter and Paul and examines the key events in the formation of the early Church.

06 - Peter's First Apostolic Appeal

Acts 2:37-41 • December 8, 2013 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

“First things first.” This phrase is often tossed around flippantly. It implies a proper order of things. And it is especially germane to Christianity. Before a sinner can rejoice in his salvation he must first realize his need for it. There can be no acquittal of sins without first an acknowledgement of guilt. Do you believe this? The apostle Peter did. He said as much in his appeal to the Jews during his Pentecost sermon. In this comprehensive sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann travels the dusty roads of the Mediterranean world alongside Peter and Paul and examines the key events in the formation of the early Church.

07 - The First Christian Fellowship

Acts 2:42-47 • January 12, 2014 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

What should a church’s “philosophy of ministry” be? Should the local church gear its Sunday service toward the un-churched in the community and to so-called seekers? Should the “social gospel”—which seeks mainly to alleviate poverty and hunger—take precedence over a theological one? What role, if any, do the sacraments, worship music, and the teaching of Scripture play in the life of the local church? In this comprehensive sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann travels the dusty roads of the Mediterranean world alongside Peter and Paul and examines the key events in the formation of the early Church.

08 - Peter's First Apostolic Miracle

Acts 3:1-10 • January 26, 2014 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Even in the womb, something had been wrong with the beggar's legs. They were deformed and decrepit. As such, this 40 year-old beggar had never walked a day in his life. But no matter. After many years of practice, he, like all beggars, had developed a routine by which to solicit alms from “bleeding hearts” and passerby’s at the Temple courts. But when he encountered Peter and John at the gate called “Beautiful,” his days of pleading and paralysis were over! In this comprehensive sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann travels the dusty roads of the Mediterranean world alongside Peter and Paul and examines the key events in the formation of the early Church.

09 - Peter's Second Apostolic Sermon

Acts 3:11-26 • February 2, 2014 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Mark says that the Lord "confirmed the message [that the apostles preached] by accompanying signs" (Mark 16:20). Such signs and wonders do not testify to the apostles insomuch as they validate the message they preached. Seldom does the Bible depict a miracle taking place without the Word of God preceding or superseding it. The second sermon ever preached by Peter was no different. Among other reasons, God had used Peter (and John) to heal the cripple in the Temple to prepare the crowd for the Word of God to come! In this comprehensive sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann travels the dusty roads of the Mediterranean world alongside Peter and Paul and examines the key events in the formation of the early Church.

10 - Peter & Persecution

Acts 4:1-31 • February 9, 2014 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Persecution is nothing new to the Church. The church father Tertullian once wrote: "The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church." And such persecution can be traced historically from the time of Jesus and the apostles in the first century to the present time. This begs the questions: Is there a divine motive behind such suffering? Can anything good come from it? And how did Christ’s apostles handle affliction? In this comprehensive sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann travels the dusty roads of the Mediterranean world alongside Peter and Paul and examines the key events in the formation of the early Church.

11 - Peter & Church Discipline

Acts 5:1-11 • February 16, 2014 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

This chilling account of the sudden deaths of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11 forces us to face some scary facts—namely, that God often deals with sin, especially among church members, with the utmost severity. That God acts harshly to preserve the integrity and purity of the Church is good news for Christians. But it’s bad news for those who dare to take a casual approach to entering the kingdom of God. In this comprehensive sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann travels the dusty roads of the Mediterranean world alongside Peter and Paul and examines the key events in the formation of the early Church.

12 - Prosecution & Persecution

Acts 5:12-42 • March 2, 2014 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

The early church was a growing church because it was a pure church (something God emphasized in His judgment against Ananias and Sapphira). They were a clean channel through which the power of God could flow. But a pure and powerful church will inevitably provoke a hostile reaction from an impure world system. In Acts 5:12-42, it’s not one or two apostles who come under fire from bitter opposition, but all twelve at one time and in one setting! In this comprehensive sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann travels the dusty roads of the Mediterranean world alongside Peter and Paul and examines the key events in the formation of the early Church.

13 - Disorganized Religion

Acts 6:1-7 • March 16, 2014 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

The first satanic attack against the Church came in the form of persecution. The second came in the form of internal sin (Ananias and Sapphira). But the third attack was one that nobody, including the apostles, saw coming. It was internal strife designed to distract the leadership from their duty of preaching! Every church, sadly, experiences the same thing today, including BCC. How can a church stay on mission when threats from within threaten to veer it off course? In this comprehensive sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann travels the dusty roads of the Mediterranean world alongside Peter and Paul and examines the key events in the formation of the early Church.

14 - Stephen The Martyr (Part 1)

Acts 6:8-15 • March 23, 2014 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Stephen showed the greatness of his character because he endured his hardship the way God intended for him to endure it. Out of the thousands of men in the Jerusalem church, he was one of seven men chosen as a deacon to distribute food to the Hellenists widows. It’s his name that appears first on the list, in fact. And the fact that the apostles would choose him as its chief lay-leader shows us what high regard the Church had for Stephen. In this comprehensive sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann travels the dusty roads of the Mediterranean world alongside Peter and Paul and examines the key events in the formation of the early Church.

15 - Stephen The Martyr (Part 2)

Acts 7:1-53 • March 30, 2014 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Everyone loves a good courtroom drama. It’s one reason why so many legal series have been popular on network television, in movies, and in print. Conflict between parties always makes for an interesting story. In real life, however, open court is not so much entertaining as it is nerve-racking. Emotions tend to run high, the energy seems raw, and our nerves are often unsettled. And so it was with Stephen, the first Christian martyr, as he stood trial before the Jewish Sanhedrin. In this comprehensive sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann travels the dusty roads of the Mediterranean world alongside Peter and Paul and examines the key events in the formation of the early Church.

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