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danmartin
Pastor, Grace Church Gateshead (Gateshead, UK)
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God promises, and Abraham obeys [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 17:1-27
Abram and Sarai have a big wobble, but God's grace is greater still [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 16:1-16
God guarantees his promises to Abram [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 15:1-21
Abram and Lot part ways [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 13:2-18
God blesses and protects Abram and Sarai [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 12:10-13:1
God promises to bless all peoples through Abram [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 11:27-12:9
People spread out across the earth in their language groups [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 10:1-11:32
The earth was re-populated after the flood [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 10:1-11:32
Humanity falls again [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 5:1-9:29
God emphasises his commitment to the world he has made [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 5:1-9:29
The flood drains away and God makes a new creation [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 5:1-9:29
The flood came, just as God had said [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 5:1-9:29
God tells Noah to build an ark, since he is going to destroy everything on earth with a flood [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 5:1-9:29
As humans multiplied, so did wickedness [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 5:1-9:29
In the midst of the human story of death, God wrote a story of hope
Genesis 5:1-9:29
Sin and suffering multiply on earth [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 2:4-4:26
Adam and Eve are banished from Eden [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 2:4-4:26
Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 2:4-4:26
Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 2:4-4:26
In the beginning, God created a very good world - part 2 [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 1:1-2:3
God made man out of the dust of the earth [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 2:4-4:26
In the beginning, God created a very good world [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 1:1-2:25
He has risen, as he said[draft sermon notes]
Matthew 26:1-28:20
The long wait has a joyful end [draft sermon notes]
Luke 2:22-35
What is a simple church? [draft sermon notes]
Acts 2:42-47
What is a disciple-making church? [draft sermon notes]
Matthew 28:18-20
What is a gospel-centred church? [draft sermon notes]
Colossians 3:1-4
We will see God and be satisfied! [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 17:1-51
In God's presence there is fullness of joy [draft sermon outline]
Psalms 16:1-15
Jesus has taken us into God's presence forever [draft sermon outline]
Psalms 15:1-11
The LORD's words are utterly pure and trustworthy [draft sermon outline]
Psalms 12:1-9
When it seems like evil is unstoppable, know that God sees from heaven and he will act [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 11:1-9
God sees the evil on planet earth, and he will deal with all of it [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 10:1-18
The LORD has established his throne for justice [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 9:1-39
God's name is overwhelmingly majestic [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 8:1-10
God is a righteous Judge [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 7:1-18
The LORD hears our weeping prayers [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 6
The LORD covers his people with favour [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 5:1-13
The LORD hears when we call to Him [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 4:1-9
The LORD of hosts is with us [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 46:1-12
By God's grace, be at peace [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 5:12-28
Be ready for Jesus' return! [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Encourage each other with the certain hope of Jesus' return [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Keep on loving one another [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
Living to please God means we must pursue holiness [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
Be prepared for affliction [draft sermon outline]
1 Thessalonians 3:1-13
Paul longed to see the Thessalonians again [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 2:17-20
Thank God for the faith and perseverance of his people [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 2:13-16
Confidence in God leads us to declare the gospel and share our lives [draft sermon outline]
1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
When God's people suffer joyfully, the gospel multiplies [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 1:6-10
Paul thanks God that the Thessalonian church are real Christians [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 1:1-5
Celebrate the life of faith, hope and love in the gospel of Jesus Christ [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 1:1-5:28
It is good to give thanks to the LORD [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 92:1-16
Since we are alive in Christ together, live the new life together [draft sermon outline]
Colossians 3:1-17
Daniel is assured that God will fulfil all his plans and put all things right [draft sermon outline]
Daniel 12:1-13
Daniel sees a final vision of proud kings, turmoil, and suffering in times to come [draft sermon outline]
Daniel 11:1-45
Daniel is exhausted and strengthened for one more vision [draft sermon outline]
Daniel 10:1-21
Daniel's faithful prayer receives a glorious answer [draft sermon notes]
Daniel 9:1-27
Daniel sees that God is bigger than the dark days that lie ahead [draft sermon outline]
Daniel 8:1-27
God has established his eternal Kingdom in Jesus [draft sermon notes]
Daniel 7:1-28
God raises Daniel alive out of the place of death [draft sermon notes]
Daniel 6:1-29
God suddenly ends Belshazzar's life and rule, because he did not honour God [draft sermon notes]
Daniel 5:1-31
God reveals deep and hidden things [draft sermon outline]
Daniel 2:1-49
God preserves his faithful people in exile [draft sermon outline]
Daniel 1:1-21
Jesus is the resurrection and the life [draft sermon outline]
John 11:1-57
Jesus' family must show honour [draft sermon outline]
1 Timothy 5:17-6:2
Train yourself for godliness [draft sermon outline]
1 Timothy 4:6-16
Jesus has revealed the secret of godliness  [draft sermon outline]
1 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Show the gospel by serving [draft sermon outline]
1 Timothy 3:8-13
Eldership is a good work [draft sermon outline]
1 Timothy 3:1-7
Godly living celebrates the goodness of God our creator [early draft sermon notes]
1 Timothy 2:8-15
God's gospel is for everyone [draft sermon outline]
1 Timothy 2:1-7
Those who truly love the law, love the gospel [draft sermon outline]
1 Timothy 1:8-20
Keep the gospel the centre! [draft sermon outline]
1 Timothy 1:1-7
How we live in God's household (draft sermon notes)
1 Timothy 1:1-2
God's king takes away God's punishment [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 24:1-25
God has established an everlasting Kingdom [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 23:1-39
To God Be The Glory, Great Things He Has Done [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 21:15-22:51
God's King removes the judgement on God's people [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 21:1-14
God's king is rejected - again [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 20:1-26
The Return of the King: David returns to Jerusalem [draft sermon notes - unfinished]
2 Samuel 19:8-43
The rebel dies a rebel's death [draft sermon notes - unfinished]
2 Samuel 17:27-19:8
Absalom takes Jerusalem [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 16:15-17:26
Absalom rebels against David [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 15:1-16:14
Humble yourselves under God's mighty hand [draft sermon notes]
1 Peter 5:1-14
David is manipulated [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 14:1-33
David's sons abandon steadfast love [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 13:1-39
The LORD punishes and pardons [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 12:1-31
David abandons steadfast love (Bathsheba) - initial draft sermon notes
2 Samuel 11:1-27
David defeats the Ammonites (the backdrop to Bathsheba) [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 10:1-19
David shows the steadfast love of God [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 9:1-13
The LORD gave victory to David wherever he went [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 8:1-18
God's King is victorious [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 5:1-26
God's Kingdom is established - but God is in no one's debt [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 4:1-12
God's king begins his rule [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 2:1-3:1
David learns that the King is dead, and laments [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 1:1-27
Let all the ends of the earth worship God in Jesus! [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 67:1-7
Persisting in Evangelism, part 2 - 'Samaria' [draft sermon notes]
Colossians 4:1-6
Persisting in Evangelism, part 1 - 'Judea' [draft sermon notes]
2 Corinthians 4:1-18
Reformation - sola gratia [draft sermon notes]
Ephesians 2:1-10
Sola Scriptura! [draft sermon notes]
2 Timothy 3:14-4:8
The gospel reaches the ends of the earth [draft sermon notes]
Acts 28:11-31
God is our refuge and strength [draft sermon notes]
Acts 27:2-28:10
Paul testifies to the resurrection again [draft sermon notes]
Acts 25:13-27:1
Paul keeps testifying [draft sermon notes]
Acts 24:1-25:12
The Lord Jesus protects Paul and guides his way onwards towards Rome [draft sermon notes]
Acts 21:27-23:35
Paul goes to Jerusalem, fully aware of what awaits him [draft sermon notes]
Acts 21:1-26
Care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood [draft sermon notes]
Acts 20:17-38
Idolatry causes a riot in Ephesus [draft sermon notes]
Acts 19:21-20:1
The Kingdom of God comes in Ephesus [draft sermon notes]
Acts 18:24-19:20
By the grace of Jesus, Paul plants the gospel in Corinth and completes his second missionary journey [draft sermon notes]
Acts 18:1-23
News of Jesus' resurrection challenges, divides, and saves [draft sermon notes]
Acts 17:16-34
The gospel of the Lord Jesus takes root in Europe (draft sermon notes)
Acts 16:6-40
It's Official: God is saving people from all nations into his church through Jesus Christ alone [draft sermon notes].
Acts 15:1-16:5
Paul and Barnabus plant true worshiping communities in the nations [draft sermon notes]
Acts 14:1-28
The Lord Jesus sends Paul and Barnabus to preach and plant his gospel in the nations (draft sermon notes)
Acts 12:25-13:52
The Word of God is unstoppable (draft sermon notes)
Acts 12:1-25
Christmas Day 2016: Now we have what many longed to see (draft sermon notes)
Luke 2:22-40
God has kept his promises! (sermon notes 1.0)
Luke 1:57-80
The Lord Jesus plants a church in Antioch (draft sermon notes)
Acts 11:19-30
Jesus calls the nations into His church (draft sermon notes)
Acts 10:1-11:18
Jesus Christ heals (draft sermon notes)
Acts 9:32-43
Jesus converts Saul, who experiences opposition, suspicion, and acceptance (draft sermon notes)
Acts 9:1-31
Jesus saves a man through Scripture reading and Christian witness (draft sermon notes)
Acts 8:26-40
Jesus told the truth when He said, 'You will be my witnesses in Samaria' (sermon notes draft)
Acts 8:3-25
Jesus receives His first martyr, and the gospel is scattered outwards (draft sermon notes)
Acts 6:8-8:2
The healthy church grows through internal problems (draft sermon notes)
Acts 6:1-7
Jesus empowers His church to endure opposition with joy [draft sermon notes 1.0]
Acts 5:12-42
You cannot serve God and money (draft sermon notes)
Acts 4:32-5:11
Jesus shows His power to save by healing a lame man (draft sermon notes)
Acts 3:1-26
The Spirit-filled church is devoted to Jesus, who blesses and grows His church
Acts 2:42-47
The Enthroned Jesus Delivers on God's Promise (sermon notes)
Acts 2:1-41
Jesus prepares His church for the coming of the Spirit (Sunday sermon notes)
Acts 1:12-26
view all (134 total)
Sunday sermon notes
Acts 1:1-11
Jesus' ascension guarantees the completion of God's plan
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#acts
#ascension
Published August 24th, 2016; Updated August 24th, 2016
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1 Τὸν μὲν πρῶτον λόγον ἐποιησάμην περὶ πάντων, ὦ Θεόφιλε, ὧν ἤρξατο ὁ Ἰησοῦς ποιεῖν τε καὶ διδάσκειν, 2 ἄχρι ἧς ἡμέρας ἐντειλάμενος τοῖς ἀποστόλοις διὰ πνεύματος ἁγίου οὓς ἐξελέξατο ἀνελήμφθη. 3 οἷς καὶ παρέστησεν ἑαυτὸν ζῶντα μετὰ τὸ παθεῖν αὐτὸν ἐν πολλοῖς τεκμηρίοις, διʼ ἡμερῶν τεσσεράκοντα ὀπτανόμενος αὐτοῖς καὶ λέγων τὰ περὶ τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ θεοῦ• 4 καὶ συναλιζόμενος παρήγγειλεν αὐτοῖς ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων μὴ χωρίζεσθαι ἀλλὰ περιμένειν τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν τοῦ πατρὸς ἣν ἠκούσατέ μου, 5 ὅτι Ἰωάννης μὲν ἐβάπτισεν ὕδατι, ὑμεῖς δὲ ἐν πνεύματι βαπτισθήσεσθε ἁγίῳ οὐ μετὰ πολλὰς ταύτας ἡμέρας. 6 Οἱ μὲν οὖν συνελθόντες ἠρώτων αὐτὸν λέγοντες• κύριε, εἰ ἐν τῷ χρόνῳ τούτῳ ἀποκαθιστάνεις τὴν βασιλείαν τῷ Ἰσραήλ; 7 εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς• οὐχ ὑμῶν ἐστιν γνῶναι χρόνους ἢ καιροὺς οὓς ὁ πατὴρ ἔθετο ἐν τῇ ἰδίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ, 8 ἀλλὰ λήμψεσθε δύναμιν ἐπελθόντος τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς καὶ ἔσεσθέ μου μάρτυρες ἔν τε Ἰερουσαλὴμ καὶ [ἐν] πάσῃ τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ καὶ Σαμαρείᾳ καὶ ἕως ἐσχάτου τῆς γῆς. 9 Καὶ ταῦτα εἰπὼν βλεπόντων αὐτῶν ἐπήρθη καὶ νεφέλη ὑπέλαβεν αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν αὐτῶν. 10 καὶ ὡς ἀτενίζοντες ἦσαν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν πορευομένου αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνδρες δύο παρειστήκεισαν αὐτοῖς ἐν ἐσθήσεσιν λευκαῖς, 11 οἳ καὶ εἶπαν• ἄνδρες Γαλιλαῖοι, τί ἑστήκατε [ἐμ]βλέποντες εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν; οὗτος ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὁ ἀναλημφθεὶς ἀφʼ ὑμῶν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν οὕτως ἐλεύσεται ὃν τρόπον ἐθεάσασθε αὐτὸν πορευόμενον εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν. Acts 1:1-11 NA28 1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, Theophilus probably an official, seems to have an upper-class decription in Luke 1. ... ἤρξατο ... emphatic. He began; Acts continues. Combination of word and deed; a 'holy knot' - Calvin. Acts 1:1 NA28 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. Having given (a) commandment to the apostles whom He had chosen. 3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 'Continuing the teaching He had given them before His death' (Bruce) The future age of the reign of God has broken through into the present age through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Not with them constantly for 40 days, but He appeared at intervals within that time. 4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; lodging/staying with them. The promise: Joel 2.28-32, Isaiah 44.3, Isaiah 32.15. John's baptism was 'an eschatological, preparatory washing. Participation in it meant that one was ready for God to come. The gift of the Spirit, however, was the sign that the Messiah had come and the new era had begun (Luke 3.1-17, Mark 1.8, Matthew 3.11) (Bock, p57). 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” Their last meeting with their master, on the Mount of Olives. Still expecting/misunderstanding an earthly, political, nation of Israel? But Bock (p62): 'No indication in Jesus' reply...that anything they asked was wrong except that they are excessively concerned about when all of this would take place.' No mention of the land in the NT? Not surprising, since Israel is in the land at that point, and the rule of Messiah is anticipated to extend to the ends of the earth, so why focus on just the land. 'Jesus' reply doesn't reject the premise of the question, that the kingdom will one day be restored to Israel, but it does change its focus.' ...'in fact, it is not that the definition of Israel or that expectation for Israel changes, but rather that being blessed of God is now centred in the figure of the eschaton, Jesus, rather than in an ethnic or legal emphasis. Throughout Acts, Jesus is preached as the mediator of blessing.' (Bock, p62) 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. lit., 'it does not belong to you to know'...'which the Father has appointed by His own authority/jurisdiction'. 'What Judaism had believed would come all at once is split into two parts, with a mission in between.' (Bock, p60) 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” cf. Luke 24.49. Witnesses; i.e. speaking the facts about the death, resurrection, ascension, and giving of the Spirit. Summary of the whole book. 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 'The resurrection and ascension of Jesus represent one continuous movement and together constitute His exaltation. It is not implied that His enthronement at God's right hand (Acts 2.34) was deferred for 40 days after His triumph over death. The fortieth day was not the first occasion when He disappeared from His companions' sight after His resurrection (cf. Luke 24.31). Nor is it suggested that the intervals between His resurrection appearances were spent in some earth-bound state. These appearances, in which he condescended to His disciples' temporal conditions of life, were visitations from that eternal order to which His "body of glory" now belonged. What happened on the fortieth day was that this series of intermittent visitations came to an end, with a scene which brought home to the disciples the heavenly glory of their risen Lord.' (Bruce, p103) The cloud: Jesus is enveloped in the divine presence. Mark 13.46, Luke 21.27, Mark 14.62, Mark 9.7, Luke 9.34 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, White garments: Matthew 28.3, John 20.12, Luke 24.4 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” cf 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18 Bock: 1. Jesus is alive and functioning at God's right hand. 2. The promised Spirit will come and enable the new mission in fulfilment of divine promise. 3. The message of the Kingdom is to go out into all the world, starting from Jerusalem. 'The Father is active through the Son by means of the Spirit to enable Jesus' followers to proclaim God's forgiveness.' Where God guides, He also provides. He instructs them to wait until they are given this promise, Who will enable them to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. 'There will be a day when Jesus returns from heaven to complete what God has started through Him. The introduction to Acts not only highlights key themes of the book; it also proclaims with assurance that God's program is on track. This is the major application of the unit; Jesus' resurrection and the coming of the Spirit assure us that God is at work and the plan of salvation is intact. The Spirit's coming and indwelling guarantee this conclusion. It is a central goal of the Spirit operating in the church that God's community be committed to mission.' (Bock, p58) 'Acts will stress that the point of the resurrection was not merely to vindicate Jesus' claims and show Him to be alive but also to bring Him to the side of God to indicate His current and future authority. Such executive power involves the distribution of salvation's benefits now (Acts 2.32-36) and the exercise of judgment in the future (Acts 3.18-22; 10.40-42). The overriding reassurance is this: God will complete His plan! Jesus' departure doesn't lead to inactivity, but an effectual presence in the interim. Responses and applications (random notes while working): Make it clear: God's plan is intact God's plan is the Kingdom of God, v1-3 God's promise has been given by Jesus, v4-5 God's plan uses us as His witnesses to the ends of the earth, v6-8 God's plan is guaranteed by the ascended Jesus, v9-11 Make it real: The Bible's not about me, and whether I'll get married or buy bigger house. It's about the Kingdom of God. But when I realise that, those other questions fit into place. Getting treated cruelly by people for being Christian doesn't really need to affect me, since my life really is already now in the presence of God, in Jesus. I'm ok with waiting maybe all my life and never seeing the fruit of those prayers, since it's not for me to know the timings. But I do know the final outcome; Jesus will reap the harvest He has sown. Being a witness is not about me and my amazing, or not so amazing, testimony. It's about telling the true facts which were witnessed about Jesus: His life, death, resurrection, and ascension. If a true witness writes their ccount down and then dies, it remains truthful. Make it felt: Our issue: we demand to know more than is ours (like timings). Our issue: we doubt that God's plan really is intact. But understanding the meaning of the ascension solves these issues. We have utter confidence in God's plan. The gift of the Spirit transforms our lives and witness. Evangelistic question: I'm interested to know people's views about Jesus. What do you think Christians believe Jesus is doing now? Sermon outline Jesus has guaranteed the completion of God's plan (Acts 1.1-11) FCF: We doubt that God has a plan, or that He really will stick to it. We doubt God by nature, ever since the garden. We continually choose to doubt God - we choose instead to orient life around our own plans. Even after being a Christian for years, things can niggle in our minds to make us think, 'is this all really going anywhere?' 1. God's plan is the Kingdom of God (v1-3) -having commanded. What did He command? -forty days of appearing. -Kingdom of God the shorthand for God's rule fulfilled, achieved, made accessible to us in Jesus. [is this the centrepiece of your entire life and feelings? If not, you are living a lie. The universe is not orbiting your plans and hopes, but the certain and glorious plans of God to sum everything up in Jesus. To miss this is also to miss out on the greatest joy and freedom] 2. God's promise has been delivered by Jesus (v4-5) -John's baptism preparatory; Jesus' baptism with the Spirit the promised marker of the new age. [The Spirit mediates the presence of Jesus. Let us never forget the privilege in which we stand; free recipients of this long-awaited gift] 3. God's plan uses us as His witnesses to the ends of the earth (v6-8) -what's right and what's wrong about the question [people still obsessed with timelines; the great danger of being drawn away from Jesus-centrality] -power: to make His church effective...at telling the facts about Jesus. Sometimes remarkable, often unremarkable, but effective. 4. God's plan is guaranteed by the ascended Jesus (v9-11) -resurrection and ascension are one 'package'. The cloud representing divine presence; the intersection of heavenly and earthly realms. -There is a man in the presence of God right now, and He will return. -All is set for the Eden-ification of all the ends of the earth. Mankind back in God's presence, accepted, approved, delighted in. Free to live and work to His glory without condemnation. In joyful community with Him and one another. The church is the showhome of this Kingdom! The church plays out its heavenly reality, on the earthly stage. [Is it all headed somewhere? Is this all really true? YES; not only because of a set of historical events - the incarnation, the crucifixion, the resurrection. But also because of an ongoing cosmic reality: Jesus, the Son of Man, is now in the presence of God. Right now He is guiding and empowering His church, by His Spirit, to make His rule known to the ends of the earth. We see exactly this in the book of Acts - through victories, and apparent failures & frustrations. And the same is now true 200 years later. Is your life oriented underneath and within God's rule? Are you bowing to His King Jesus today? Is Jesus the big idea of your life?] It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2.20) Acts 1:1-11 ESV
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Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.