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Holy Spirit Series

We Are the Church

Sermon Title: We Are the Church
Key Verses: Col 1:9-29, Acts 2:38-47
Have you noticed the following:
 Where there is power there is corruption
 Where there are systems there are inefficiencies
 Where there are rules there is cheating
 Where there are relationships there is hurt

Paul the Apostle offers a solution to the problems facing humanity- the wisdom of Jesus must be taught
in the church (Colossians 1:9). Here are the results:

  • We live a life worthy of the Lord (1:10)
  • We may bear fruit (have good results) in good works (1:10)
  • We grow in the knowledge of God (1:10)
  • We are strengthened (1:10)
    Imagine for a Moment:
    What would happen if every person in America for six months adopted the ethics, compassion, and
    Servanthood of Jesus?
    We live these ideas out through our mission statement:
    CONNECT all people to Jesus so they can GROW in their faith and SERVE others.
    These three verbs (CONNECT, GROW, SERVE,) are rooted in the Church’s earliest history in Acts.
  1. CONNECT – We can have a real relationship with God through Jesus
    a. We initially connect with God through the salvation (Acts 2:38-41)
    b. Then we continually connect with God through worship (Acts 2:46-47)
  2. GROW – We can develop our internal lives in meaningful ways
    a. We devote ourselves to teaching (Acts 2:42)
    b. And to fellowship (Acts 2:42)
  3. SERVE – we can make a meaningful contribution
    a. We can share what we have (Acts 2:44)
    b. We can make a meaningful contribution (Acts 2:45)


  • Everyone can grow in Christ (Col. 1:28-29)
  • Get started by committing to the body of Christ


Take a moment to reflect on your community/city.

What about it deeply troubles you?

Pray for your city today, and write down one way you can bring about some hope.


Sermon # 12 – He Opens Doors of Opportunity

Sermon #12 He Opens Doors of Opportunity

Main Passage: Acts 17:16-34

While Paul was waiting on some friends in the City of Athens, The Holy Spirit stirred something on the inside of him as he was taking in the sights and sounds of the city. This sinking feeling concerning the city’s idols became a catalyst for Paul to engage the people in meaningful conversations. This approach was not overly successful, but it was completely faithful. Sometimes, we are confronted with situations where the goal is not to be successful in winning everyone but to be faithful to just one. Paul did so, even though his audience was skeptical.

  1. Paul allowed the Holy Spirit to speak to him concerning the spiritual condition of the city.
    • He was provoked (deeply troubled)
    • Key Question- What troubles you about the city you live in? Is this trouble related to the lostness of its citizens?
  2. Paul was confronted with various religions and philosophies.
    • Idol worshippers (17:16)
    • Jews and God-Fearing Gentiles (17:17)Epicureans (v. 18) Stoics (v. 18)
    • The Gospel message can be used to address people from all walks of life.
  3. Paul’s posture before this pre-Christian crowd is instructive.
    • Paul starts where they are (vs.22-23).
      • Then he moves the conversation to that of monotheism (17:24-29)
      • Then he leads them to the resurrection of Jesus (vs. 30-31)
  4. Many people rejected the idea of resurrection.
    • Some will reject this message.
      • Some because they don’t like the idea of a resurrection.Some because they don’t like the idea of repenting.
        • Preach it anyway.


Take a moment to reflect on your community/city.

What about it deeply troubles you?

Pray for your city today, and write down one way you can bring about some hope.


Table Talk Card

Please use these questions throughout the week to discuss the message with family and friends.

Sermon # 11 – He Leads Us to New Cities


Sermon #11, He Leads Us to New Cities

Main Passage: Acts 16:6-40

Following the promptings of the Holy Spirit requires us to maintain sensitive hearts as well as strategic minds. This has always been true, but in today’s context, creative thinking is absolutely essential for a church to survive. Today we will note how Paul the Apostle stayed attuned to the promptings of the Spirit. The big lesson we can learn here is this- new places call for new strategies. The message remains the same, but the way we deliver this must adapt. This tension is nothing less than the working of God’s Spirit in our lives.

Introduction to Philippi

Everything was different here compared to other cities. There was hardly a trace of monotheism. No synagogue was available as a handy place to gather with Jews. There were no friendly Christ followers to assist with housing. This was a brand-new city and necessitated a brand-new approach.  What this really requires is openness to the Spirit’s prompting. And Paul’s nimble obedience led to one of the most important congregations in the First Century.

  1. The Holy Spirit played a commanding role in mission focus. (16:6, 7)
    • God’s Voice was speaking internally.
    • God’s Voice was confirmed in a plurality.
  2. God’s Spirit led them to a place where strategies did not work. (Acts 16:11-15)
    • Here are the times Paul used the Synagogue. Acts 6:9, 13:42, 14:1, 17:1, 18:4, 18:19, 19:18
    • Here he conducted ministry where the people were located.
  3. The Gospel penetrated a culture that was full of hurting people. (Acts 16:16-21)

Pause for a moment and consider.

  • Do we have to hurt people in our midst?
  • How would a meaningful relationship with Christ change that?
  • Paul later wrote encouragement to this group of believers (Phil 1:1-6)
    • Paul wanted to encourage all the saints (no matter how they got started in the faith, vs. 1:1-2
    • Paul reminded them of the grace that was available
    • Paul reminded them that God is not finished with them (v. 6)


Be prayerful.

Be open.

Be ready.


Table Talk Card

Please use these questions throughout the week to discuss the message with family and friends.

Sermon # 10 – He Creates Unity Through Healthy Debate


Main Passage: Acts 15:1-21


Conflict, that is unresolved doesn’t go away.

It either goes internal or viral.

Unresolved Conflict keeps us from better work.

Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we see how the early church handled conflict.

We have lost the ability to have healthy discussions about disagreements. But there is a better way. And in the technical language of this passage, we see how disagreements over BIG issues can be best addressed.

1. The people involved clarified what the debate was. (vs. 1-2, 5)

-Dispute (στάσις)- standing, the setting of the statue, or the place one stands.

-Debate (ζήτησις)- a seeking out, an inquiry, a subject of questioning.

2. Declare your position. (instead of demeaning the other position)

Ask key questions. (instead of attacking the other person)

Remember: When emotions run high- communication often runs low.

  • Important disagreements are best-discussed face to face (not Facebook to Facebook).

(Acts 15:3)

3. Both sides maintain a cordial attitude during the discussions. (15:4)

Welcome (παραδέχομαι)- to admit i.e., not to reject, to accept, receive of a son: to acknowledge as one’s own

Here are two key things that can flow from a welcoming attitude:

  • Information can be exchanged from both sides (vs. 7, 12)
  • Facts can emerge (vs. 8-12)

4. And for Christ’s Followers, theological points must be affirmed and grounded in the Scriptures.   



  • Set aside time for important discussions.
  • Disagreeing does not mean disavowing.
  • Listen. And listen to learn.

When listening stops, so does learning. Who do you need to listen to?


On a scale from 1 -10 (with one being someone who rejects dismissively other viewpoints to 10, one who thoughtfully and carefully entertains various perspectives), rate yourself on your listening skills. How good are you at listening to people with whom you disagree? How might you increase your listening skills?

Table Talk Card

Please use these questions throughout the week to discuss the message with family and friends.

Sermon #9 – He Converts Hard Hearts


Sermon #9 He Converts Hard Hearts

Main Passage Acts 16:6-40

God saves sinners. This is the clear message of the Gospel. Most church-going folks believe this to be true. But we sometimes struggle with applying this concept when we cross paths with a swindler, a drug dealer, or a terrorist. We might question if the Gospel power of transformation is effective in these extreme cases. The truth is the Gospel is still transformative, even among the most wicked sinners. If you ever doubt this, then consider the life of Paul the Apostle, for Jesus confronted him. Then, filled with God’s Spirit, he became the most transformative missionary in the past 2000 years.   

Opening Question: Do you know someone that despises Christianity? They probably do not hate it as much as Paul the Apostle.

  1. No amount of past sin can overcome the power of God’s grace (Acts 8:1, Acts 9:3-20, Acts 22:6-16, 26:12-18)
    • Before Paul was converted, he dedicated his life to eradicating this new movement started by Jesus. Here is how Luke describes this:
    • “Severe persecution.”Ravaging the church.”Dragging off men and women.”Committed them to prison.”Breathing threats and murders.”Bringing them bound to Jerusalem.”
    • What sin do you think you have done that is beyond the grasp of Jesus’ love?
    • No one else can love you as Jesus can. The conversion of Paul proves the power of the Gospel.
  2. Sometimes God will grab your attention and break you down before He decides to use you (Acts 9:3-8)
    • A. W. Tozer once penned, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.” God actually rises up storms of conflict in relationships at times in order to accomplish that deeper work in our character. We cannot love our enemies in our own strength. This is graduate-level grace. Are you willing to enter this school? Are you willing to take the test? If you pass, you can expect to be elevated to a new level in the Kingdom. For He brings us through these tests as preparation for greater use in the Kingdom. You must pass the test first.”
    • God will one day get your attention- one way or another.
  3. To persecute the Church is to persecute Christ (9:4-5)
    • The way you treat believers is a direct result of the way you treat Christ.
    • We cannot separate Christ from the Church any more than we can separate a living body from a soul.


Consider this- many transformative leaders were once critics of Christianity.

Joy Davidman- Poet and wife of C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis, Professor of Medieval Literature, Oxford

Alister McGrath- Biochemist

Francis Collins- Director of the Human Genome Project

Lee Strobel- Journalist for the Chicago Tribune

Rodney Stark- Sociologist, Professor, Author

Now, let’s be patient with our critics. One of them may be the next Paul, the Apostle.

In the meantime, love those who are new to the faith.

Table Talk Card

Please use these questions throughout the week to discuss the message with family and friends.

Sermon #8  – He Leads Us to Difficult Places


Sermon #8 He Leads Us to Difficult Places

Main Passage: Acts 8:4-8, 26-40

Following the promptings of the Holy Spirit can bring moments of inspiration and joy. Other times, following His direction, can lead us to challenging places. But as we obey and follow, we will see God’s plan unfold. This is exactly what happened in the amazing story of Philip and his visit to Gaza. Today we will learn some key lessons about following God’s Spirit to remote places. Here God does some of His best work through us.


Remember the last time you had to experience a new place (i.e., a new job, new school, or new address)? What was that experience like for you? Did your relationship with God play a role in this transition?

1st Change- Philip had to encounter some personal changes. (Acts 8:4-8, 26)

Following the Holy Spirit more may mean you possess less.


Would you settle for less if you could obey God more?

2nd Change- Philip had to change his missional strategy (Acts 8:27-31).

Noted Differences Between the two:

  • Skin Color
  • Nationality
  • Sexual Disposition [Eunuch, (Duet 23:1, see also Isa. 56:3-8)]
  • Knowledge of the Bible

Changes can be difficult. But fostering a real, live dialogue with the Holy Spirit daily can carry us through moments of uncertainty.

Lessons from Going to Difficult Places

1. We are still called to value every human by meeting them where they are. (Acts 8:32-35)

2. When you are discussing the Bible, get people to Jesus as quickly as possible. (8:35, see also Luke 24:27)

3. Baptism should happen after someone believes in the Gospel message receiving salvation.

  • Acts 8:12, “… they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized.
    • Acts 8:13, “…Simon, himself believed and was baptized.
    • Acts 8:36-38 “Look- here is water, what is hindering me from being baptized. Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
    • Acts 10:47-48, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit.”
    • Acts 16:31-33, “They replied belief and you will be saved. . . then immediately he all his household were baptized.
    • Acts 19:4-6, “he told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is in Jesus. On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
    in the Lord Jesus,


What do you need to change in order to follow the voice of God?

Are you willing to talk about Christ with someone who is very different than you?

Table Talk Card

Please use these questions throughout the week to discuss the message with family and friends.

Sermon #7  – He Guides Us Through Complexity


Sermon #7 He Guides Us Through Complexity

Main Verses: Acts 6:1-71 Timothy 3:8-12

The early church encountered complexity along with its new growth. The Holy Spirit’s aid was essential in helping this body of believers handle these prickly issues. Supplies were low for essential ministry, and sharp lines of animosity around ethnicity were beginning to form. Fortunately, a disastrous chapter was avoided. Because the congregation remained sensitive to the Spirit’s prompting at the critical juncture, the church was not only strengthened- but thrived.

Key Term: Deacons (διάκονος)

A servant, the minister, a person who renders service and help to others, was used to denote someone who waited on tables, also transliterated as deacon, a trusted officer of help and service in the local church.

Key Quotes:

Adaptive leadership is not about finding the best-known or most available fix to a problem but instead adapting to the changing environment or circumstances so that new possibilities arise for accurately seeing, understanding, and facing challenges with new actions.

(Canoeing the Mountains, by Tod Bolsinger)

Background Information on Acts 6

  • The Apostles (Local Leaders of the Church)
  • Hellenistic Jews (Part of the Church, but not local)
  • Hebraic Jews (Part of the Church and hyper-local)
  • The Problem- Some were getting overlooked in an important ministry. This exclusion was happening along ethnic lines.

Possible Solutions

  1. Do Nothing      (Neutral)
  2. Shrink Back     (Reverse)
  3. Engage             (Drive)

In this passage, we will see how the Body of Christ responded to a growing crisis within it ranks. We can learn how we can respond in similar situations. The church that listens to the Holy Spirit will find itself doing the following:

Following the Holy Spirit:

  1. It helps the church see problems that are in front of it. (Acts 6: 1)
  2. Empowers leaders to engage and clarify the problem from an organizational perspective. (6:2)
  3. Will empower more people to use the various strengths within the congregation (6:3) [Notice the abilities that were needed for the congregation were already in the congregation.]

            -Full of the Spirit (6:3)

            -Wise (6:3)

            -Full of Faith (6:5)

Allows room for people to execute ministry (v. 6)


What complex problems or circumstances are in front of you? How might the Holy Spirit be nudging you?

What new thing could the Holy Spirit be leading you to do?

Don’t neglect the wisdom of the larger group.

Because of the careful obedience of the church in Acts 6, we now have the office of deacon. Do you think you might be Deacon material? Here is the list of qualifications for this critical church office.

The Bible’s Instruction on Deacons

Paul identifies nine qualifications for deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8-12:

  1. Dignified (v. 8): This term normally refers to something that is honorable, respectable, esteemed, or worthy, and is closely related to “respectable,” which is given as a qualification for elders (1 Tim. 3:2).
  2. Not double-tongued (v. 8): Those who are double-tongued say one thing to certain people but then say something else to others or say one thing but mean another. They are two-faced and insincere. Their words cannot be trusted, so they lack credibility.
  3. Not addicted to much wine (v. 8): A man is disqualified for the office of deacon if he is addicted to wine or other strong drinks. Such a person lacks self-control and is undisciplined.
  4. Not greedy for dishonest gain (v. 8): If a person is a lover of money, he is not qualified to be a deacon, especially since deacons often handle financial matters for the church.
  5. Sound in faith and life (v. 9): Paul also indicates that a deacon must “hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.” The phrase “the mystery of the faith” is simply one way Paul speaks of the gospel (cf. 1 Tim. 3:16). Consequently, this statement refers to the need for deacons to hold firm to the true gospel without wavering. Yet this qualification does not merely involve one’s beliefs, for he must also hold these beliefs “with a clear conscience.” That is, the behavior of a deacon must be consistent with his beliefs.
  6. Blameless (v. 10): Paul writes that deacons must “be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless” (v. 10). “Blameless” is a general term referring to a person’s overall character. Although Paul does not specify what type of testing is to take place, at a minimum, the candidate’s personal background, reputation, and theological positions should be examined. Moreover, the congregation should not only examine a potential deacon’s moral, spiritual, and doctrinal maturity but should also consider the person’s track record of service in the church.
  7. Godly wife (v. 11): It is debated whether verse 11 refers to a deacon’s wife or to a deaconess. For the sake of this discussion, we will assume the verse is speaking about the qualifications of a deacon’s wife. According to Paul, deacons’ wives must “be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things” (v. 11). Like her husband, the wife must be dignified or respectable. Secondly, she must not be a slanderer or a person who goes around spreading gossip. A deacon’s wife must also be sober-minded or temperate. That is, she must be able to make good judgments and must not be involved in things that might hinder such judgment. Finally, she must be “faithful in all things” (cf. 1 Tim. 5:10). This is a general requirement that functions similarly to the requirement for elders to be “above reproach” (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6) and for deacons to be “blameless” (1 Tim. 3:10).
  8. Husband of one wife (v. 12): The best interpretation of this difficult phrase is to understand it as referring to the faithfulness of a husband toward his wife. He must be a “one-woman man.” That is, there must be no other woman in his life to whom he relates in an intimate way, either emotionally or physically.
  9. Manage children and household well (v. 12): A deacon must be the spiritual leader of his wife and children.

Table Talk Card

Please use these questions throughout the week to discuss the message with family and friends.

Sermon # 6  – He Helps Us Obey


Sermon # 6 He Helps Us Obey

Main Verses: Acts 5:17-41

Obedience to God often requires courage. This courage is especially needed when Christ’s followers are confronted with prickly ethical issues. For example, is it ever appropriate for a believer to disobey a man-made law? Today we will examine a story that sheds some light on how we can respond when the authorities are standing against the mission of the church. The deeper question here is this- do we obey God or man? And in these critical moments, what is revealed is our reliance on (or lack of reliance on) God’s Spirit. In today’s passage, we will examine how the disciples displayed a deep reliance on the Holy Spirit. While the word “Holy Spirit” only appears once in this story, His influence is felt all throughout.

Key Moments

  1. The culture tries to limit the movement of the mission (5:17-18)
  2. God provides an opportunity for the believers (5:19-21 [literally, an open door])
  3. The Culture reacts to the believer’s obedience (5:21b-25)
  4. The Believers respond to the direct orders of the officials (5:26)
  5. (Option A) Choose controversy.
  6. (Option B) Choose a peaceful conclusion.
  7. The leaders chose a peaceful conclusion (even though they had the power)
  8. The Culture responds to the believer’s disobedience (5:27-28)
  9. The Believers repeat the message of the Gospel (5:29-32)
  10. A word of wisdom comes from the oppressors (5:34-39)

Key Lessons

  • When are we justified in disobeying man’s rules?
    • When you have a direct revelation from God (5:20)
    • When the Gospel message is at stake (5:29-32)
  • What should we do when we engage in divinely guided disobedience?
    • Trust God when you disobey the civil laws (5:21)
    • Trust God when you receive civil discipline (5:26, 40)
    • Why can you trust God when you are disciplined?

                      (Because if it is from God, you can’t stop it)

  • How should we respond when civil authorities punish us?
    • Consider this suffering as a way toward Christlikeness (5:41)
    • Keep clarifying that Jesus is the Messiah (5:42)

Consider Luke’s final commentary on Paul’s house arrest (28:30-31)


Do you think you would be willing to suffer for sharing what Jesus has done for you?

What small sacrifice can you make this week in an expression of your faith?

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Please use these questions throughout the week to discuss the message with family and friends.

Sermon # 5 – He Creates Community


Sermon #5 He Creates Community

Date: July 2, 2023

Main Verses: Acts 4:23-37

Romans 12:2 speaks of how believers are not to be conformed to the world but are to let instead God transform us. Our text this week illustrates how this principle played out in the past when the Jewish religious leaders attempted to silence God’s message. They responded with godly boldness. Their response shows how the Holy Spirit can produce amazing unity as we: 

Focus on God’s Perfect Faithfulness 

Instead of being overcome with fear when threatened, the early believers encouraged one another and focused on God’s faithfulness. A portion of their prayer came from Psalm 2 where they remembered God was sovereign and could care for them despite their bad situation. They remembered He was in control and was there for them.

Focus on God’s Powerful Mission 

They not only focused on God but on the opportunities, He had given them. Incredibly, instead of asking God to take away the challenges they faced, they asked Him to give them great boldness to share the message of His hope and love with others. The result was God showed up in such a powerful way that the building they were in literally shook. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and proclaimed God’s message to those who needed to know about Jesus and the hope He could give them.  

Focus on God’s Profound Blessings  

Instead of focusing on themselves and how awful things were, they viewed their world through the eyes of the Spirit. When that happens, vs. 32 says they were “united in heart and mind.” Their perspective prompted them to share the message of Jesus boldly and to experience amazing unity. The experience was so profound that the more well-to-do members of the church family began selling property and giving the proceeds to the church to be used to meet needs. This became so widespread that vs. 34 says there were no needy people in the Jerusalem church. This wasn’t an early version of communism; it was all voluntary, and because the Spirit prompted it produced amazing unity in the early church.  


  • Examine your attitudes toward the Holy Spirit. Ask God to help you be more aware of the Spirit and how much you need His ministry in your life.  
  • Just as the early church was told to wait until the Holy Spirit came before leaving Jerusalem, believers today are to realize trying to do God’s work in our own power without God’s Spirit empowering us is foolish. Make a list of specific areas you need God’s power to make a significant impact.  
  • List several people God may want you to share His love with during the coming weeks. Ask Him to empower you through the Holy Spirit to bear witness to the hope He has given you.  

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Please use these questions throughout the week to discuss the message with family and friends.

Sermon # 4 – He Gives Us Courage

Sermon #4 He Gives Us Courage

Main Verses: Acts 4:1-23

Main Idea: There are moments when we must face the power structures of the day and speak the truth because Jesus has made the truth clear to us.

America is in a post-Christian culture. I believe this text in Acts shows what the pre-Christian world looks like and helps us understand how to respond in a post-Christian world and how the Holy Spirit can help us today in the ways it helped the early church.

 So today we will dive into this topic by answering these questions:

1. What is the role of the Holy Spirit in helping us fulfill our mission to proclaim the Gospel?

2. In what ways are Christians challenged in a Post Christian world?

3. How do Christians respond to those Challenges?

Key Terms

Filled with the Spirit

to fill; fill with the inspiration to speak words of witness, challenge, or rebuke.

Sanhedrin” Senate-type ruling officials. The rulers of Israel in terms of religious practice. Rome allowed religions that were older than the Roman Empire that was in place and in practice before Rome conquered, that did not present themselves as a direct threat to Rome, to continue to be practiced. The Sanhedrin make decisions concerning religious practice and do not have to go to Rome for those particular issues.


The Holy Spirit Fills us to embolden us in hard times to preach the Gospel.

Why is it hard?

We live in a post-Christian culture where:

A. Neutrality is not an option for either party.

  1. Christianity cannot be neutral because we are called to be light, not hidden away, to avoid conflict or offense.
  2. The World cannot be neutral because true Christianity will never fully align with political or worldly agendas.

B. Christianity is marginalized by labeling it as an extreme stereotype of Christianity.

  1. Uneducated narrow-minded bigots
  2. False teachers who undermine the authority of God’s word and commands

C. American Evangelicalism is watered down to non-Christian forms of nationalism and moral

    therapeutic deism.

  1. Nationalism: The marriage of state and church. Idolatry of one’s American culture, b) looking to the state’s political power to enforce Christianity (the European mistake), c) and undermining the Christian witness.
  2. Moral therapeutic deism: God exists. And what God wants is for people to be good; you learn how to be good in the Bible, or you can learn how to be good in other texts, but they all basically teach you how to be good, how to do the right thing and what is the wrong thing. God is not particularly involved in our lives. It is only called upon when we need something(therapy). And finally, good people go to heaven when they die. And almost everyone is good.

D. How does the Holy Spirit Help Us Respond?

  1.  We are to be active in the world as peaceably as we can, but we do not hide or tweak the gospel so that the gospel is no longer the gospel.
  •  We allow the rulers of the world to make their judgments.
  •  We submit to the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives in how to engage.

Table Talk Card

Please use these questions throughout the week to discuss the message with family and friends.

Sermon # 3 – He Helps Us Help Others

Sermon #3:

Date: June 18, 2023

Main Verses: Acts 3

Something to think about: What do we do when we don’t want to do?

Many times each week, we are presented with opportunities to serve those we encounter. It could be giving a hand out to a beggar, a hand up to someone in need, or sharing a talent or skill that we possess.

What do we do when we don’t want to serve, help or give?
Peter and John were going about their normal daily activities, but they were alert and aware of those in need around them. They, like Jesus, did not stop to help every single person in need that they came across.

So how do we know, and how do we respond, when presented with an opportunity to help someone?

When presented with an opportunity to serve others, Peter and John were empowered by the Holy Spirit to see the need, respond to the need, and proclaim the Gospel message for all to hear. 

We can learn from and follow their example as the Holy Spirit works through us to see the need, respond to the need, and proclaim the Gospel message for all to hear.

3 Questions to Consider

1. How can I see the need?

Their example: Peter and John noticed the need.

When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” – Acts 3:4-5

Our action plan: Pay attention to those around us.

2. How do I respond to the need?

Their example: Peter and John gave what they had.

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have, I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” – Acts 3:6

Our action plan: Give what we have.

3. What do I say as I serve others?

Their example: Peter and John gave credit and credence to the Holy Spirit at work through them.

When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness, we had made this man walk? – Acts 3:12

By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.

– Acts 3:16

Our action plan: Speak clearly of how God is at work through us. It’s all about Jesus!


How can we be prepared to be used by God to both demonstrate and declare the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

1. Remember that the Holy Spirit is one who does the work – we’re just the conduit through

    which He works.

2. Respond in obedience when prompted by the Holy Spirit to “do something.”

3. Ready yourself to be used by God by inviting Him to use you TODAY.

4. Take the Empowering Prayer Prompt 7-day challenge this week!

    For one whole week, start your day with this prayer:

    “Heavenly Father, help me see people I encounter today as you see them.

    Holy Spirit, prompt me and empower me to be the hands and feet of Jesus 

    as I show and share the love of Jesus. Amen.”

5. Share your stories with Pastor Jeff: [email protected].

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Please use these questions throughout the week to discuss the message with family and friends.

Sermon # 2 – Understanding Glossolalia

Sermon #2: Understanding Glossolalia

Main Verses: Acts 2, 1 Corinthians 14

If you have been around church for a very long time, you have probably heard the phrase “speaking in tongues” or the term “glossolalia.” Yet, the concepts are mysterious to most. So today we will dive into this topic by answering these questions:

  1. What does the word “tongues” mean?
  2. Are the “tongues” in Acts 2 the exact gifting as in 1 Corinthians 14?
  3. And how are we to understand the use of this spiritual gifting in today’s church?

Key Terms

Glossais- (γλωσσαις) tongues, meaning the body part, or a recognized language or dialect used by a people group.

One Term – two experiences in two texts

  • Acts 2 – speaking a recognized language that was previously unknown by the speaker for spreading the Gospel.
  • 1 Cor. 14 – impromptu (some say ecstatic) utterances during a corporate worship service that can edify the church but could potentially lead to confusion.

Discerning the Text Carefully

The word “tongues” is used in both Acts 2 and 1 Corinthians 14. But these seem to be two very different experiences for two very different reasons. Here are the reasons why I think the Bible is referring to two distinct ideas that happen to be using the same word.

  1. Principle differences between the Occasion of the Writing
    • Two different authors: (Luke and Paul)
    • Separated by 25 years and 1,200 miles
    • Two Different audiences
      • General Greco/Roman audience
      • A particular congregation in Corinth
    • Two different occasions
      • Mission activity (Acts 2)
      • Church worship service (1 Cor. 14)
    • One was completely intelligible; the other was in desperate need of interpretation.
    • One was the beginning of Christ’s unifying vision in Acts 1:8, and the other was a division inside the body of Christ.
    • Both are biblical.

2Key differences between the texts themselves.

  • The difference in intent:
    • Tongues in 1 Cor (14:2) are directed toward God.
    • Tongues in Acts is directed toward people (2:4, 6)

Different in significance

  • Tongues in 1 Cor are inferior to prophecy (vs. 4, 5, 12 19)
  • Tongues in Acts 2 is in fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecy
  • So what about Tongues in worship today?
    • Tongues is a spiritual gift recognized by the Scriptures (14:39)
    • The purpose of tongues is to build up the church (14:26)
    • Due to its easy abuse, Paul gives specific instructions (14:26-27):
      • 2-3 people at a time
      • Each must have an interpretation.
      • If there is no interpreter, then the tongues speaker should be quiet (v. 28)
      • Let all things be done in decency and order (14:40)


  • Speaking in tongues is a spiritual gift.
  • Having a spiritual gift does not negate the need for having a plan.
  • There have been many historical abuses of this gift.

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Please use these questions throughout the week to discuss the message with family and friends.

Sermon # 1 – The Holy Spirit and the Church


Sermon #1

Main Verses: Acts 1:1-8

Far too often, Christians don’t properly recognize the importance of the Holy Spirit’s ministry. In this series on Acts, we will be reminded about the importance of the Holy Spirit and His ministry. He is the third member of the trinity, not a third wheel, and each believer needs Him. In this first message, we discover the centrality of the Holy Spirit’s ministry to the church.   

Jesus Prepared the Early Church for the Holy Spirit  

Acts serves to connect Jesus’ ministry to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. In a significant way, the Spirit facilitates the next chapter of God’s story. John Pohill observes that before Jesus’ death, His followers experienced the Spirit through Christ’s presence, and after Pentecost, they experienced Jesus through the Holy Spirit’s presence.  

Early Believers were told to Wait for the Holy Spirit. 

They were not to launch their ministry after Jesus went back to heaven until they received power from the Spirit. The church cannot do what God is calling us to do without the ministry of the Holy Spirit. When we attempt ministry without relying on the Holy Spirit, we inevitably picture God’s kingdom in ways that are far too small. When it comes to serving God, our focus should never be on the details we can’t control but on God and what He wants us to do.  

Believers Are to Rely on the Holy Spirit 

We are to rely on the Holy Spirit because He offers His power so we can be His witnesses. A witness is someone who has seen something firsthand; the apostles had seen Jesus alive after His death; they were witnesses. As the book of Acts unfolded, others who hadn’t physically seen Jesus the way the apostles did also became His witnesses as they experienced His forgiveness and power in their lives. “A witness is anyone who cooperates with the Holy Spirit in telling other people about Jesus,” according to Pastor Brian Bill. As we rely on the Holy Spirit, we begin by sharing Jesus with people in ever-expanding circles; we start locally, then share regionally, and ultimately share God’s love around the world.   


  • Examine your attitudes toward the Holy Spirit. Ask God to help you be more aware of the Spirit and how much you need His ministry in your life.  
  • Just as the early church was told to wait until the Holy Spirit came before leaving Jerusalem, believers today are to realize trying to do God’s work in our own power without God’s Spirit empowering us is foolish. List specific areas where you need God’s power to make a significant impact.  
  • List several people God may want you to share His love with during the coming weeks. Ask Him to empower you through the Holy Spirit to bear witness to the hope He has given you. 

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Please use these questions throughout the week to discuss the message with family and friends.

Want to interact more deeply with each week’s sermon and Scripture?

Oikos is a multi-faceted system designed to help everyone take ownership of their discipleship.

Oikos is Personal (Online Pastor Jeff Wells), Physical (Oikos box), and Digital (Whistle online platform)

Oikos is designed to help everyone engage more deeply with the week’s sermon and Scripture.

Follow this link to watch a brief introduction to Oikos from Pastor Rusty https://concordchurch.com/oikos/

Questions? Jeff Wells, Missions & Online Pastor 

 * Email: [email protected] 

* Office: 314-488-7204 * Cell/Text: 314-488-7204