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Make Disciples – Teach Them

How do people come to faith in Christ? How do Christians grow in Christ? One thing is central to both – the scriptures. Apart from the scriptures, apart from teaching the Word, disciples cannot be made, and teaching them cannot happen.

This text shows us that Paul, Aquilla and Priscilla, and Apollos all rely on the scriptures to help non-believers come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior, and to help believers grow in their faith in Christ.

The text begins at the end of the second missionary journey and takes us through to Paul’s first significant stope on the third missionary journey. Luke points us, triumphantly, in verse 10 to the results of all this work in the Word, “This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.”

What would it take for all the residents of Ahwatukee to hear the Word of the Lord? How many people groups are here (Jews and Greeks), because unique peoples require unique approaches. Are we raising up gospel teachers who can spread the gospel and disciple others?

Foothills was planted over 30 years ago by a group of believers who had a vision for the gospel to fill the Ahwatukee Foothills! 30 years on, do we dare dream with them again? (Acts 5:28) Do we dare believe that God has planted us here, like gospel seed, among so many who need Jesus? (Acts 8:1-2; Acts 17:26) And if we believe God has done this in His sovereign purpose, then what should we do to see that “all the residents of Ahwatukee hear the Word of the Lord… and have an opportunity to be discipled to follow Jesus?” What does it look like to engage people to put Jesus first for the sake of others through the scriptures?

Scripture: Acts 18:18-19:10; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 5:28, 8:1-2, 17:6, 17:26

Scattered with the Gospel for the Joy of the City

At this point in Acts, the church has experienced significant growth. Thousands of people have come to faith. At the same time, the Apostles have faced significant trouble: arrests, imprisonment, questioned before the authorities, threatened, and beaten.

Chapters 6-8 begin a transition of people and places. The ministry of the gospel begins to spread through the lives of everyday disciples of Jesus, not only the Apostles. And the gospel spills out of the city of Jerusalem and into the surrounding areas of Judea and Samaria, in fulfillment of what Jesus said in 1:8.

In this text we see four “people,” two who went out preaching the gospel and two who respond to the gospel. Philip is an everyday disciple; Simon is a would-be disciple. The Samaritans are joyful receivers of the gospel, and Peter and John extend the mission of the gospel.

The big idea? God uses everyday disciples sharing the word of Christ and showing the love of Christ in their community to bring great joy to all people, for God’s glory!

Scripture: Acts 8:4-25; John 4:1-42

The Essential Nature of Baptism

One hazard that we share as believers is that repetition can create inattention. We become so familiar with something that it loses its meaning.

There are no biblical truths that we can afford to overlook. That is particularly true when it comes to worship. Chaucer once wrote that “Familiarity breeds contempt.” Having extensive knowledge of something or a close association with someone can lead to a loss of respect.

To protect ourselves from inattention and “contempt” we need to stop and take stock of the condition of our spiritual lives, particularly the freshness and vitality of our worship.

To help us say spiritually vital, Jesus gave His church two specific acts to remind us of what is most important. We call these acts “ordinances.” We are to repeat these ventures of faith to tell us of what Jesus has done for us.

The message today is about one of those ordinances, baptism.

Scripture: Mark 1:4; Mark 1:9–10; Matthew 3:16; Acts 8:24–36; Matthew 28:16–20; Acts 2:41

Belief in God’s Promises Calls for a Demonstration

In Genesis 17, we see God give the sign of circumcision to Abraham to indicate His belief in the promises of God. Despite Abraham and Sarah’s age, God was going to bless them with a child and He was going to make Abraham a “father of a multitude of nations.” But what is a Christian supposed to do with a passage of Scripture that discusses the rite of circumcision? Listen as Pastor Nate walks through this text.

Scripture: Genesis 17