Sunday, August 29, 2010
Focus: Hidden sin is often fatally attractive.
Acts Chapter 4
I. A LIE'S ALLURE is often FATAL 5:1-11
A. SATAN'S STRATEGY 5:3; John 10:10
B. The DANGER of DECEPTION
C. SATAN'S Strategy THWARTED 5:12-16
II. God's remedy for LETHAL ALLUREMENTS 5:17-42
A. The best option is PRE-EMPTIVE, DON'T EVEN GO THERE!
B. The next option is A GIFT 5:31-32
3. HOLY SPIRIT TO THE OBEDIENT
C. ETERNAL attractions cause OPEN BOLDNESS
Ananias and Sapphira
1Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet.
3Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God."
5When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
7About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?"
"Yes," she said, "that is the price."
9Peter said to her, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also."
10At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
The Apostles Heal Many
12The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon's Colonnade. 13No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil[a] spirits, and all of them were healed.
The Apostles Persecuted
17Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 20"Go, stand in the temple courts," he said, "and tell the people the full message of this new life."
21At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.
When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, 23"We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside." 24On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were puzzled, wondering what would come of this.
25Then someone came and said, "Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people." 26At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them.
27Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28"We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood."
29Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men! 30The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."
33When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35Then he addressed them: "Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."
40His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.[b]
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Sunday, August 22, 2010
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Peter and John Before the Sanhedrin1The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. 4But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.
5The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest's family. 7They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?"
8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11He is
" 'the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the capstone.[a]'[b] 12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
13When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16"What are we going to do with these men?" they asked. "Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it. 17But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name."
18Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. 20For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."
21After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.
The Believers' Prayer23On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. "Sovereign Lord," they said, "you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
" 'Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
26The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers gather together
against the Lord
and against his Anointed One.[c]'[d] 27Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people[e] of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."
31After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
The Believers Share Their Possessions32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
36Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet.
The Lame Beggar Healed1Now Peter and John were(A) going up to the temple at(B) the hour of prayer,(C) the ninth hour.[a] 2And a man(D) lame from birth was being carried,(E) whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate(F) to ask alms of those entering the temple. 3Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, "Look at us." 5And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6But Peter said,(G) "I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you.(H) In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!" 7And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8And(I) leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9And(J) all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Peter Speaks in Solomon's Portico11(K) While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in(L) the portico called Solomon's. 12And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: "Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? 13(M) The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,(N) the God of our fathers,(O) glorified his servant[b]Jesus, whom(P) you delivered over and(Q) denied in the presence of Pilate,(R) when he had decided to release him. 14But you denied(S) the Holy and(T) Righteous One, and(U) asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15and you killed(V) the Author of life,(W) whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16And(X) his name—by(Y) faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is(Z) through Jesus[c] has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.
17"And now, brothers, I know that(AA) you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18But what God(AB) foretold(AC) by the mouth of all the prophets, that(AD) his Christ would(AE) suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19(AF) Repent therefore, and(AG) turn again, that(AH)your sins may be blotted out, 20that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ(AI) appointed for you, Jesus, 21(AJ) whom heaven must receive until the time for(AK) restoring all the things about which(AL) God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.22Moses said, 'The Lord God will raise up for you(AM) a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen(AN) to him in whatever he tells you.23And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet(AO) shall be destroyed from the people.' 24And(AP) all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. 25(AQ) You are the sons of the prophets and of(AR) the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham,(AS) 'And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.' 26(AT) God,(AU) having raised up his servant, sent him to you first,(AV) to bless you(AW) by turning every one of you from your wickedness."
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Sunday, August 1, 2010
Acts Series: Chapter 1
Focus: Don't just do something, stand there!
Acts 1 (21st Century King James Version)
2until the day in which He was taken up, after He had given commandments through the Holy Ghost unto the apostles, whom He had chosen.
3To these also He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen by them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
4And being assembled together with them, He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, "which," saith He, "ye have heard from Me;
5for John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."
6When they therefore had come together, they asked of Him, saying, "Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?"
7And He said unto them, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power.
8But ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
9And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
10And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,
11who also said, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven."
12Then they returned unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a Sabbath day's journey.
13And when they had come in, they went up into an upper room where abode both Peter and James, and John and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the brother of James.
14These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren.
15And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (the number of names altogether were about a hundred and twenty) and said,
16"Men and brethren, it was necessary that this Scripture be fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spoke before concerning Judas, who was the guide to those who took Jesus.
17For he was numbered with us, and had obtained a part of this ministry.
18Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the middle, and all his bowels gushed out.
19And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem, insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Akel Dama, that is to say, the Field of Blood.
20For it is written in the book of Psalms: `Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein'; and, `His bishopric let another take.'
21Therefore from these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22beginning from the baptism of John until that same day that He was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of His resurrection."
23And they appointed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24And they prayed and said, "Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show us which of these two Thou hast chosen,
25that he may take part of this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place."
26And they cast their lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
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Acts 2 New International Version
The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
5Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans?8Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs-we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" 12Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"
13Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine.[b]"
Peter Addresses the Crowd14Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! 16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17" 'In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19I will show wonders in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.'[c]
22"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[d] put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 25David said about him:
" 'I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
26Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will live in hope,
27because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
28You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.'[e]
29"Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,[f]that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. 32God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. 33Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
" 'The Lord said to my Lord:
"Sit at my right hand
35until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet." '[g]
36"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
37When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
38Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call."
40With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
The Fellowship of the Believers42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
- Acts 2:4 Or languages; also in verse 11
- Acts 2:13 Or sweet wine
- Acts 2:21 Joel 2:28-32
- Acts 2:23 Or of those not having the law (that is, Gentiles)
- Acts 2:28 Psalm 16:8-11
- Acts 2:31 Or Messiah. "The Christ" (Greek) and "the Messiah" (Hebrew) both mean "the Anointed One"; also in verse 36.
- Acts 2:35 Psalm 110:1
2 Corinthians 13
I. I'll give you to the count of three 13:1-4
A. YOURSELVES Examine13:5
B. If you PASS, we PASS 13:6-8
II. Don't settle for LESS than PERFECTION 13:10-14