New Churches: The Glory of Conversion
Acts 9:1-9 • May 13, 2018 • Murray Lee
The power of God through Jesus Christ breaks down the hardest of hearts. In Acts 9 we are told of the conversion of Saul: a religious terrorist who will go on to become one of the greatest instruments of God’s mercy the world has ever known. Is your heart hard toward the Gospel? Christ can break through. Is your heart hard towards those who are resistant to the Gospel? Christ can break through.
New Churches: Preaching the Gospel Brings Distinction from the World
Acts 8:4-25 • April 29, 2018 • Justin Pillsbury
The Book of Acts is viewed by many church plants and churches as the script for building a healthy church. There are many scenes in Acts that leave the church of today with a desire for the same thing to happen. The way in which the early church grew is the same way God builds His church today—by the preaching of the Gospel. As the church preaches the Gospel, the Holy Spirit will form healthy hearts in a congregation that is distinct from the world as it displays the greatness of God.
New Churches: The Healthy Church
Acts 6:1-7 • April 22, 2018 • Murray Lee
Growing churches are targets for spiritual attack. Satan will use any means necessary to distract and destroy the church: whether external pressures or internal tensions. The church in Acts 6 faced it, and from this passage we learn not only to expect tension, but how to remain healthy through it.
New Churches: A Severe Mercy
Acts 5:1-11 • April 15, 2018 • Jamie Peterson
There is no such thing as a perfect church, and that is due to the fact that it is made up of imperfect people. One way our imperfections reveal themselves is our attempting to take what rightfully belongs to God, namely His glory. In this passage we see God’s jealousy for His glory when His people try to rob Him of it, but we see His love and grace toward the church in the midst of its sin as well.
New Churches: How the Gospel Changes the Way We Love One Another
Acts 4:32-37 • April 8, 2018 • Murray Lee
When the Holy Spirit accompanies the preaching of the Word, conversions take place. Gospel conversions bring Gospel community, and Gospel community brings hope and healing for those in that community. But, as we discovered in Acts 4, the advance of the Gospel brings persecution as well. When the persecuted church prays for strength to continue proclaiming the Gospel, God answers those prayers, and the church flourishes with outward deeds of love and mercy. Acts 4:32–37 is a visible demonstration of church health in the midst of persecution.
New Churches: The Power of Prayer
Acts 4:23-31 • March 18, 2018 • Murray Lee
In our study of the book of Acts, we have discovered that when the Holy Spirit accompanies the preaching of the Word, people come to know and love Jesus. When people come to know and love Jesus, community is born. Gospel-centered community brings hope and healing. We have also seen that wherever the Spirit is at work, there is opposition. What do we do when we are faced with opposition? Acts 4:23-31 teaches us to pray!
New Churches: No Other Name
Acts 4:1-22 • March 11, 2018 • Matt Owens
With the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the first followers of Jesus, the Church in Acts has been gathered into community and is thriving. Now, in Acts 4, they face their first significant opposition. It is in the face of such opposition that Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, empowers His Church to do His work of restoration in the world. The most compelling proof that Jesus Christ is risen is that His people resemble Him as He lives and works through His Church. The Church that resembles Jesus will be attractive and thriving even as it faces opposition.
New Churches: Hope and Healing
Acts 3:1-10 • March 4, 2018 • Murray Lee
So far in our study of the early chapters of Acts we have seen how Spirit-filled preaching produces conversions and conversions leads to community. In Acts 3, we see how Gospel community leads to hope and healing. As we read Acts 3:1-10 remember that despite our physical condition, we are all spiritually broken like the lame man portrayed in this passage and are in desperate need of Jesus.
New Churches: Tasting Heaven Together
Acts 2:42-47 • February 25, 2018 • Murray Lee
In Acts 2:42-47 we discover what the early church believed and did, and how God was at work among them. In this passage we see a beautiful picture of putting other people’s needs ahead of your own and the resulting community that comes from the Spirit’s presence among a people group. Our church can look like that church because we have the same Spirit at work in us.
The Message of New Churches: You Must Be Born Again
Acts 2:37-41 • February 18, 2018 • Murray Lee
New churches are born when the Spirit of God accompanies the preaching of the Word. He produces believers who are born not by what they do but by repenting of what they do. Those believers receive forgiveness of their sins, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and genuine Gospel community.
The Power of the Spirit in the Work of the Church
Acts 2:14-36 • February 11, 2018 • Murray Lee
It often is tempting to do the work of God without the power of God. In Acts 2:14-36, we discover that the power at work in the church is the Holy Spirit. Why should we remember this truth? The Spirit reminds us of the hope we have in Christ, of the eternal plan of God, and of the person we worship. The Spirit is the power of God in the work of the church.
Let's Get it Started - See the Glory, Spread the Glory
Acts 1:1-11 • February 4, 2018 • Justin Pillsbury
The book of Acts is glorious! This is not because the individuals were glorious; rather, because we see our great and glorious God build His church through the most unlikely group of people and in the most unlikely of ways. It is from these meager beginnings (little money, few proven leaders, no technological truths for propagating the Gospel, persecutions, hatred, and obscure newness) that the church explodes. This book provides truths for the way the Lord will continue to build His church as He redeems Birmingham and beyond.