Unhindered Kingdom - Week 1

Unhindered Faith Set Free  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  2:01:06
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Scripture Reading by Lady Pepper (Show Slide)

(Show Slide) Thank you Lady Pepper for the announcements and the reading of God’s Word.
Welcome! to everyone and especially those who are joining us for the first time. My name is Pastor Doc, and I will be sharing the Word of God with you today.
Please have your Bibles ready and Take Note’s

Show Video - Unhindered Kingdom

Title of the message this Morning

Unhindered Kingdom

Week 1 - Unhindered Kingdom
Big Idea:
The book of Acts is a sweeping account of the birth of Christianity.
It begins with the ascension of Christ and ends with the Apostle Paul writing letters while under Roman house arrest.
It’s the story of a handful of disciples who turn the world upside down with their message of love, forgiveness, and salvation through Christ.
It’s quite an epic tale, but it may be the very final word of Acts that leaves us with the greatest clue for how to live as followers of Christ in the modern world.
“Unhindered” may be the last word of Acts, but it’s the first word for those who put their hope, faith, and trust in the risen King Jesus.
“Wow, Lord, when I stop to think about your generous love and your extravagant grace, I am speechless before you.
Thank you for holding nothing back.
Thank you for giving it all for us.
Thank you for making a way of redemption for all those who believe.”
Scripture: Acts 28:28-31, John 8:36, Ephesians 1:3-10
(All scripture taken from the NIV translation unless otherwise noted.)
Who here has ever felt hindered or held back in some fashion or circumstance. You may have felt that you had more to give, more to offer, more to contribute… And what about in your faith? Have you ever felt like there was something more? Some piece that you may have been missing out on as you read through the gospels and Acts? The miracles, healings, transformation, and boldness of the early church leaves you wanting for more.
If that sounds like you, I’ve got good news for you today, you’re not alone. Over the centuries this is something that the people of God have thought a lot about. In fact, the entire reformation movement from the 16th century was rooted in this idea that something was missing in the experience of the people of God. They knew there was more.
When I think of being hindered, I imagine a thoroughbred racing horse, standing just behind the starting gate, waiting for it to open. (If possible, share a photo of a horse at a starting gate). Once that gate opens up that horse is running free, beautiful, and majestic. That racing horse is meant to run, but the gate hinders its movement and freedom. The gate is the obstacle, holding the horse back.
What is holding you back today? As a church, what’s holding us back? What more does God have for us to experience in our faith?
As you roll those questions around, I’m excited to share with you that today we’re beginning a 4-week series called Unhindered. Using the book of Acts as our starting point, we’re going to unpack several of the ways we are called and released to live “unhindered” lives of faith.
But before we get started, let’s pray together.

Main Teaching

First of all, there’s something very special about the book of Acts.
“Historically, the book serves as a vital link between the Gospels and the epistles. (Explain gospels and epistles) It bridges the gap between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith. In the Gospels, Jesus is preaching; in the epistles, Jesus is being preached. The book of Acts explains how the messenger became the center of the message.
Unlike most history books, Acts is filled with references to God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. The story simply wouldn’t have been possible without God. He started it, motivated it and gave it direction, energy, purpose, message and protection. Luke does not give us a systematic description of God, but he describes what God did with the church.[1]”
So as you go through the book of Acts it's important to remember that everything points to Christ and His church. It’s story after miraculous story of God’s provision, power, and protection of His Church. It’s Peter and John preaching to the Jewish Sanhedrin, it’s all the believer’s being of one heart and one mind; selling all their possessions and sharing everything with one another, it’s Philip baptizing an Ethiopian eunuch and then being Holy spirit star trek beamed away, it’s Saul’s conversion to Paul, Peter’s miraculous escape from prison, and the list could go on and on.
The book of Acts is not a list of attributes to memorize or bullet points to fit into a spreadsheet. It tells the story of the birth of Christianity and the very beginnings of the spread of the Gospel.
And when you’re going through the book of Acts there’s one specific word that brings it all together, actually it’s the very last word of the book, Unhindered.
Let’s skip to the end…

Read Acts 28:30-31

“Paul stayed two full years in his own rented lodging and welcomed all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching things about the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.” NASB Acts 28:30-31
What’s going on in this passage? Let’s go through it together…
“Now Paul stayed two full years in his own rented lodging and welcomed all who came to him…”
● Paul was sent by Agrippa and Festus to Rome where he waited 2 years to be seen by Ceasar.
● Paul is sitting under house arrest.
● He rents his own space, theoretically funded by other church members, and he welcomed anyone and everyone who came to him.
“...preaching the kingdom of God and teaching things about the Lord Jesus Christ …”
● He was preaching and teaching… Just like Jesus did, cf. Matthew 4:23
He was obeying the Great Commission
“...with all openness, unhindered…”
● Paul had openness, boldness, and confidence.
● He did this unhindered, the very last word in the book of Acts.
The very last word that bridges the gospels with the epistles.
● I can imagine Luke, as he wrote Acts penning this final word on the parchment paper, trying to find the right word to end his account.
● Paul wasn’t just preaching and teaching those who came to him, he was writing letters from jail as well.
Most of Paul’s writings were written over a span of 15 years. In AD 60, he arrived in Rome and was imprisoned later that year. For the next two years, Paul would live under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:30-31), but during this time, he continued to minister to those who visited and encouraged local churches via letters he wrote from prison. Paul’s four “Prison Epistles,” as they are called, were written during this time. These four letters are Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.[2]
In these letters we see further glimpses of Paul’s unhindered message and constant encouragement to other believers.
● “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” - Ephesians 5:15-17
● Later in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 we read, “Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
● Adversity is an opportunity. You are not hindered by adversity.
● “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” - Phil 1:21
● “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” - Phil 3:7-9
● These are the words of a man at peace. Content in his identity, Paul is a free man.
● “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” - Colossians 1:13-14
● “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” - Colossians 1:21-22
● God has brought those who were far off near through Christ. There is no obstruction or hindrance to the grace of God. Jesus is for everyone, and Jesus is for everywhere.
● Paul writes a letter to Philemon on behalf of Onesimus.
● Receive Oneismus as a brother to be loved, not as a runaway slave to be punished.
● Even though Oneismus deserved punishment, Paul contends for grace and forgiveness.
Look at the variety of writing coming from Paul as he sits in house arrest. This is not a hindered man with an obstructed faith! Luke, the author of Acts, rightly identifies this as he describes 2 years of Paul’s life in Rome with just 2 verses of scripture, Acts 28:30 and 31, and what better word to end the story than the word he chose?

I. Unhindered

The very last word of Acts could very well be the first word of faith for all those who believe.
There are so many ways the unhindered freedom of faith impacts our experience as we follow Jesus. Over the next few weeks we’ll talk about the way the kingdom, forgiveness, power, and the gospel are transformed and set free through the sacrifice of Jesus. To begin today, let’s look at the Kingdom of God.

II. Kingdom of God

Things changed when Jesus showed up. We know this from the many gospel accounts of His life, ministry, and miraculous workings in and amongst the Jewish community. He was different from the Messiah that many were looking for. He spoke in parables, was gentle and lowly, the son of a simple carpenter. And in spite of all these things, His kingdom and teachings have turned the world upside down.
As modern day believers, under the new covenant of Christ, we are no longer hindered by the rules and regulations of the law. He is our high priest and because of Him we can experience eternal salvation and redemption.
Simply put, “If the Son has set you free then you are free indeed!” (John 8:36)
And what specifically are you freed from? Sin and death, or as Paul says it, the dominion of darkness. In the Kingdom of God we are no longer hindered by darkness, we are no longer slaves to sin.
Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” We are saved BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH.
Free to believe that God can and will act on behalf of others.
Free to come to Jesus with anything, free to approach the throne of grace with boldness and confidence.
We are free to live as beloved sons and daughters no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in.
Free to enjoy the lives that God has given us.
Free to count everything else as loss compared to the greatness of knowing Christ.
With all that said, the unfortunate truth is that many of us become disillusioned with our faith, we lose our wonder of God. We lose sight of our first love…A lot of us put the chains of our former lives back on…
“Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?” - Gal. 4:8-9
Obviously no one here wants to return to an enslaved life of sin and death. But the reality is that we do often become disillusioned, we do get our feelings hurt when God doesn’t answer our prayers the way that we want Him to. We can lose our awe and wonder of God. We can become hindered by our hurt and unmet expectations.
But the beauty of being set free, and the glory of being loved, is that we are always welcome to return to Christ. So, “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” - Hebrews 12:3
We are no longer buried under the rules of the law but liberated by the grace of God as received through Jesus.

III. The Lavish Love of God

Ephesians chapter one may give us the most vivid picture of the unhindered kingdom when it describes the way that God lavished His love on us through Jesus.

Read Ephesians 1:3-10

Praise God for His generosity, love, and lavish grace.
To lavish something, as a verb, means, “to bestow in generous or extravagant quantities on.” God held nothing back from us when He shared His Son. He lavished His love through Jesus. He gave extravagant gifts when He made a way for all to experience salvation and freedom from sin and death.
If that’s not the unhindered actions of a generous Father then I don’t know what is.


As we wrap up today, I wonder where you might be seeing the unhindered nature of faith at work in your life? What other areas would you add to the list I shared earlier today; The unhindered kingdom, forgiveness, power, and the gospel… I’m looking forward to the next few weeks as we continue in this series together.
But before we wrap up and before we move on, I want you to reiterate something I mentioned earlier… When I think of being hindered, I imagine a thoroughbred racing horse, standing just behind the starting gate, waiting for it to open. (If possible, share a photo of a horse at a starting gate). Once that gate opens up that horse is running free, beautiful, and majestic. That racing horse is meant to run, but the gate hinders its movement and freedom. The gate is the obstacle, holding the horse back from what it is intended to be.
What’s holding you back today?
What obstacles are hindering your faith?
Are you running free?
Remember, the beauty of being set free, and the glory of being loved, is that we are always welcome to return to Christ.
And so as I leave you today, I want to invite you into the unhindered kingdom, where God has lavished His love, grace, and mercy over us. Maybe for the 1st time, maybe for the thousandth time, or maybe just as a good reminder… never forget that if the Son has set you free then you are free indeed.
Let’s pray together.
Now for those of you who do not know Jesus!


The Word of God says in:
John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Romans 10:13
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you’d would like to receive Jesus today, please pray this prayer with all of us:
Lord I believe that Jesus is the son of God, and that He died On the cross for my sins and His resurrection from the dead gives me eternal life. I ask forgiveness of my sins, and I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Amen.
Church Office: 909-922-8090
And I will send you a Bible & a Free Book on how to begin your first 21 steps with Jesus (show the book)
(Show Slide)
***Leave slide up until Pepper gets in position***

Lady Pepper Please Join Me

Pepper Praise Reports
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Lord we pray not in our own strength, but in the power and in the name of our Lord and Savory, Jesus Christ!
Closing Blessing
1 Cor. 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
This is Pastor Doc & Lady Pepper with:
Faith Vision Christian Ministries

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