Teach the Truth of the Word of God
Paul at Corinth – Acts 18:1-11
Intro – Paul was a teacher
Eph 4:11 lists teachers as a gift from Christ to the Church
I. Teach with those who have a heart to work together – v.3
A. The camaraderie and blessing of manual work
B. Support yourself as a “tent-maker”
II. Teach the Word – v.4-5
A. By reasoning
B. By persuasion
C. By being pressed by the Holy Spirit
D. By testifying that Jesus is the Christ
E. To both Jews and Greeks – (those who know about God and those who do not)
F. By knowing the Word of God
III. Teach the Word in the face of opposition – v.6
A. Some will resist and oppose the truth
B. Some will blaspheme
C. All must be held accountable
IV. Teach those who will accept the truth of the Word of God – v.7
A. Depart from those who reject the truth
B. They are guilty but you will be clean if you faithfully teach the Word
C. Teach those who will accept the truth
D. Justus open his house to the teachers
E. Some persons of influence will accept the truth – v.8
F. Many others will accept the truth
V. Teach with the confidence of God’s presence – v.9-10
A. The Lord teaches the teachers
B. “Be not afraid”
D. Do not be silent just to keep peace
E. “I am with you”
F. No one shall hurt you
E. There is blessing and safety in places where God has many people
Teaching the Word – Theology is important
Some hearts are not good soil for the seed of the Word to grow
The “fallow ground” of the heart must be broken up before the seed can grow
Are you among those who accept the truth or those who reject it?
You have two choices – truth or politics – which will you choose?
Paul’s teaching was from the Old Testament – that was their “Bible”
Being Noble Bereans should be the practice of all believers – Acts 17:11
1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
2 Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever.
3 Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever:
4 To Him who alone does great wonders, For His mercy endures forever;
5 To Him who by wisdom made the heavens, For His mercy endures forever;
6 To Him who laid out the earth above the waters, For His mercy endures forever;
7 To Him who made great lights, For His mercy endures forever-
8 The sun to rule by day, For His mercy endures forever;
9 The moon and stars to rule by night, For His mercy endures forever.
10 To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn, For His mercy endures forever;
11 And brought out Israel from among them, For His mercy endures forever;
12 With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, For His mercy endures forever;
13 To Him who divided the Red Sea in two, For His mercy endures forever;
14 And made Israel pass through the midst of it, For His mercy endures forever;
15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, For His mercy endures forever;
16 To Him who led His people through the wilderness, For His mercy endures forever;
17 To Him who struck down great kings, For His mercy endures forever;
18 And slew famous kings, For His mercy endures forever-
19 Sihon king of the Amorites, For His mercy endures forever;
20 And Og king of Bashan, For His mercy endures forever-
21 And gave their land as a heritage, For His mercy endures forever;
22 A heritage to Israel His servant, For His mercy endures forever.
23 Who remembered us in our lowly state, For His mercy endures forever;
24 And rescued us from our enemies, For His mercy endures forever;
25 Who gives food to all flesh, For His mercy endures forever.
26 Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever.
A Winter Family Tradition
Each winter my grandpa would pick out some beautiful ears of corn from our corn fields. He would shell them and roast the shiny new kernels in the oven and then grind them in his little mill. The product – corn meal. That was our winter staple.
We are corn meal like hot cereal. Cooked long in a big kettle and served hot for breakfast or supper, it was our winter fare. It was affectionately (or otherwise) called mush. We stirred in a little honey and drowned it in fresh milk. Um-um! I can taste it now.
Times were simpler then. Today some people have never heard of, much less tasted, fresh mush. They do not know what they are missing. Compared to the modern, colorful, processed, breakfast cereals, there is no comparison. But, in simpler times, we devoured the tasty treat that broke our morning fast and off we went to work or school adequately braced for what ever the day had to offer.
There was the economic factor also. Corn price then was one dollar a bushel. A bushel weighs 56 pounds. Two bushels would easily hold our family for all winter. That amounts to two dollars for breakfast cereal for all winter. As I said, times were simpler then.
This week we harvested corn. Some of it was roasted and milled into corn meal. We are ready for winter. Ready for another generation to enjoy the benefits of simple pleasure of mush for breakfast.
As I picked out the nicest ears of corn, my mind went back to grandpa doing the same thing while I watched many years ago. Yesterday my son and his little daughters helped with the corn.
Now I am the grandpa. I milled the corn into corn meal to share with the family. It is a family tradition.
Making God Known
To Those Who Do Not Know – Acts 14 and 17
When speaking to those who know something about God you can begin with assumptions. When speaking to those who do not know, you cannot make assumptions – you must begin with the most basic elements. In today’s post- modern world these elements are critically important.
Following are some passages and lessons we can learn from them:
“Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious;
People are religious
I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:
People worship something
“God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.
There is a Creator
“Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.
He is not contingent on anything
“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth,
We are His creation
“So that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
He is accessible
“For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’
There is a native knowledge of a god of some kind
“Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.
We are somehow like Him and He is somehow like us
“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,
Now is the time to repent
“Because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
Judgment is coming
And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.”
There is a resurrection – believe it or not
However, some men joined him and believed,
Some will believe – many will not
Also in Acts 14 Paul deals with a similar type of audience. Saying”
We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them,
Change your ways and turn to the Living God
“Who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways.
“Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”
Your very life comes from God’s blessings of rain and harvest
God is the source of food and gladness of heart
Thoughts From Theology Class
Why does God allow evil? Why did God not forbid evil to ever enter His creation?
God allowed evil:
So he can judge the evil and so truth can be made evident.
Innocence can exist without evil but good cannot exist without its opposite; evil.
God made a stark contrast between good and evil. Diamonds are displayed on the backdrop of a black cloth. God and His goodness are displayed against the backdrop of the blackness of evil.
Why does God allow evil people? Saul made life miserable for Israel and for David. David was anointed king but was hunted as a vagabond. Why? Apostle Paul had to live with the thorn of unfaithful apostles and false brethren. Why?
For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you I Corinthians 11:19.
God has called us, as believers, to live lives of Godliness and holiness in this present evil world. Even in the context of communion, God displays His children against the backdrop of those who are heretics.
Philosophy and logic classes cannot answer the problem of evil in the world.
If you begin with only “A” then you cannot have non- “A” – understood.
The question must be answered in Theology class. God created a world with the option of choice – choice to obey the Creator or not obey the Creator. Choice to give thankfulness and glory to the Creator or to retain all for self.
Spirit beings and material beings made choices. Some for and some against God.
It is your choice today. It is your choice for your life. God allows evil. He will allow evil in your life. He will allow evil in your church. Reject the evil. Choose the good.
Choose God today and all days. Give to Him glory and praise.
Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the LORD, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.
Do Yourself No Harm
The words of the Apostle Paul to the Philippian jailer ring clear to many people. “Do not harm yourself.” In the midst of trying circumstances, some person’s first thoughts turn to self harm.
Why would that be?
It is difficult to accept that life may not be what we hoped it would be
Life may not meet our expectations
Life may be experiencing seemingly impossible consequences
Shame and depression may be eating us up inside
Self-harm can look like an easy way out
Physical pain to drown emotional pain can feel good
What to do?
Realize that God loves you even in the most difficult times
Accept that pain is a way of God speaking to you
Self-harm circumvents God’s purposes
Look for God to intervene in your life in unexpected ways
Keep close to Godly people who love you
How to help someone else who is doing self-harm
They may be facing overload
They need your support
They may be unaware of their need for help
They may be unaware of the path they take to self-harm
Walk with them through the path
Teach them to interrupt that path early in the process
Practical and Biblical
“Lift up the hands that hang down and the feeble knees”
“Strengthen that which remains”
Point them to the Answer
“The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:
And he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee…” Deu. 33:27
What are some kinds of self-harm?
Cutting, burning, head-banging, immorality, drugs, alcohol, financial irresponsibility, poor sleeping and eating habits, etc.
What do self-harming people need?
They need a sense of value
They need a reason to live
They need to know that they are loved
They need to feel the love of God
They need to feel the love of God flowing through you to them
They need to know that you are fighting for their heart!
The response of the Philippian jailer
“What must I do to be saved?”
He was facing the impossible
He was sure that he would die
He thought that death was his only option
He underestimated the power of the prisoner’s God
He and his household were baptized
Death is Satan’s plan for your life
Reject Satan and his evil schemes
Life is Jesus’ plan for your life
“I am come that they may have life and that they may have it in abundance.”
“He that comes to me, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.”
“My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!
Sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.
For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the LORD made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.
Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
Give to the LORD glory and strength.
Give to the LORD the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come into His courts.
Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth.
Say among the nations,
“The LORD reigns; The world also is firmly established,
It shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously.”
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;
Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the LORD for He is coming,
For He is coming to judge the earth.
He shall judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with His truth.