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God Establishes a New Channel for Redemption

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1 God Establishes a New Channel for Redemption
ACT 4 Jesus Christ, now reigning in Heaven builds His Church as the channel for proclaiming salvation to every nation. God Establishes a New Channel for Redemption

2 The World Situation World Centralization: Rome ruled – Pax Romana
World Cultural Oneness: Rome was eclectic, combining the best of the existing cultures into one. World Trade and Communication: The Greek language was used internationally and there was freedom to trade in every area. World Degeneration: Out of the 2,000 Lords in Rome there were 1,300,000 slaves (650-1). Thousands of lives were sacrificed in the arena for entertainment. Tacitus said, “the spirit of the times was to corrupt and be corrupted” Mingling of World Religions: a migration of gods and idols from the Orient, the Babylonian confusion of deities and religious cults, the State gods, Greek gods, and mystery cults blended together. Rome became a venerator of all deities, a cauldron of mixture.

3 Scene 1 A New Channel is Promised: The Church
Jesus says – “I will build My church.” (Matthew 16) The Great Commission – Matthew 28:18-20 "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.“ No Such Commission in the Old Testament

4 Notice the difference between a nation and the church:
Scene 2 The Old Channel, Israel, is “Set Aside” not “cast away” (Romans 11:1) Notice the difference between a nation and the church: Nation Church Exclusive Universal National (Jewish) International (Gentile) One Particular Location Local-indigenous Political Non-Political God dwelt in a temple building God dwells in believers

5 2 The redemptive instrument is the Church.
The Bible uses several figures to describe the Church: The pillar and ground of the truth. 1Tim. 3:15 I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. The Church holds forth the word of God and the gospel of salvation.

6 2 What would have happened if Israel as a nation had tried to take the Gospel to another nation?

7 It would have been an invasion by a foreign nation.
2 It would have been an invasion by a foreign nation. Once the political element was removed, the Lord’s people could go to any nation as Christ’s “ambassador” while remaining politically neutral.

8 Jesus Builds this New Channel from the Seeds of Israel
Scene 3 Overview Jesus Builds this New Channel from the Seeds of Israel Acts Jerusalem Antioch Rome Jewish transition Gentile Peter Barnabas Paul

9 The Church is Born Just before Jesus ascended to the Father He instructed the disciples not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

10 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
(About 120 disciples) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

11 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, …how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? -we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God."

12 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you…this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.

13 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.'

14 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know--Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death…This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."

15 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?“ Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

16 The Church has been born!
3,000 souls. Men and women from all around the known world have been gathered in. The transition from the nation of Israel to the Church has been made!

17 3 What Now??? Acts 2:42 They continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

18 The church continued to grow and to flourish in Jerusalem.
3 The church continued to grow and to flourish in Jerusalem. The focus of the early Church was primarily in Jerusalem under the guidance of Peter.

19 The rapid growth of the Church
3 The rapid growth of the Church 120 Devoted to Prayer – Acts 1: ,000 Added That Day – Acts 2: ,000 Men Heard and Believed – Acts 4: More Believers Added – Acts 5: Disciples Increased – Acts 6:1

20 The Church needed to be organized. Acts 6
3 The Church needed to be organized. Acts 6 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;

21 3 The saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, (& five others) whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied…

22 3 We will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.

23 They Continued in the Temple
3 They Continued in the Temple However, God had to move them out into the world. The Temple was part of spiritual-political Israel If the Church was to be established in every culture, it must move out to other lands.

24 3 The rapid growth of the Church provided a strong base for a thrust into other areas.

25 God moves them out to Judea and Samaria
3 God moves them out to Judea and Samaria Persecution – Acts 7

26 Steven was martyred for his faith in Christ
3 Steven was martyred for his faith in Christ …they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.“ Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

27 3 Persecution At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. (Acts 8)

28 3 Example: what was produces as a result of the Church being scattered? Acts 8 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

29 The gospel begins to reach the Gentiles
3 The gospel begins to reach the Gentiles The conversion of Paul – Acts 9 Peter is sent to Cornelius – Acts 10

30 3 In his defense of preaching the gospel to the gentiles, Peter said, “if God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?" When the Church “heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life."

31 3 The first Jew/Gentile Church was established in the city of Antioch Acts 11 Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word…and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.

32 3 Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.

33 3 (Barnabas) was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

34 From Antioch they began to send men to other cultures.
3 From Antioch they began to send men to other cultures.

35 Paul and Barnabas are sent out.
“Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, …and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.”

36 God is building His Church from heaven, through the work of the Holy Spirit.

37 Paul’s First Missionary Journey Acts 13-14
Paul and Barnabas are sent out to preach – Their M.O. was to minister in the synagogue first. Paul and Barnabas minister: Island of Cypress. Antioch of Pisidia. Acts 13:48-49 And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

38 Paul’s First Missionary Journey Acts 13-14
Iconium – Now they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed. Derbe, and Lycaonia. Listra – Paul is stoned by unbelieving Jews from Antioch & Iconium. Paul and Barnabas Return home to Antoich and report on their journey –

39 Paul’s First Missionary Journey Acts 13-14
They sailed back to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had completed. They gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. So they stayed there a long time with the disciples.


41 First Church Council Because of the great number of gentiles that were being added to the church a council was held to determine their relationship to the Mosaic law. The conclusion… It seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell

42 Paul’s Second Missionary Journey Acts 15:26-18:21
Paul chose to take Silas with him this time. Paul also picked Timothy Lystra. They traveled back to the Churches that had been established on the first journey. Acts 16:5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.

43 Paul’s Second Missionary Journey Acts 15:26-18:21
It would seem that Luke began traveling with Paul in Troas. Philippi. Thessalonica. Berea. Athens. Corinth. Ephesus. And when he had gone up and greeted the church (Jerusalem), he went down to Antioch. Acts 18:22


45 Paul’s Third Missionary Journey Acts 18:22 - 21:16
Strengthening the Disciples – Acts 18:22-23 All of Asia Reached – Acts 19:8-10 At the close of this journey Paul is arrested in Jerusalem and is taken to Rome to stand trial before Cesar.


47 The Missionary Value of Acts
4 The Missionary Value of Acts The church as a “whole” was a missionary society. Paul chose strategic places, centers like Antioch, Corinth, Ephesus, Athens, Rome. Churches were established to be self-governing, self-supporting and self-perpetuating.

48 The Great Commission continues until Jesus Christ says to stop
We have been living in Act 4, in the history of God’s redemption of the world, for the past 2000 years. God will end Act 4 dramatically, by way of the rapture of His church. This will introduce the transition to the Kingdom Age we call the Millennium

49 The Great Commission Continues With Us!

50 ACT 4 God builds the Church from heaven, through the holy Spirit. Acts-Today. Israel is set aside, and the Church becomes the new Channel for God to save the world. Church born in Acts 2 The Church spreads from Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth. The Church Age ends with the rapture of the Church. The tribulation period is a transitional period from the Church age to the kingdom age.

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