God Is Building His Church

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1 Peter Our Hope for Today  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  43:36
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Peter stands before Christ as Jesus ask him a very direct question… his answer resonates with the same powerful truth as it did that day and the revelation Jesus declares impacts you and I even to this day!!! (Matthew 16:15-18 )
Matthew 16:15–18 NASB95
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
Luke would end his first account with what the church has come to title “The Great Commission”… Christ laying out His desire for His church Luke 24:44-49
Luke 24:44–49 NASB95
Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. “You are witnesses of these things. “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
The unfolding of the Great Commission is profoundly misunderstood in the western discipleship model. The concept of the worldwide multiplication of churches has been reduced to a worldwide multiplication of individuals. Our western individualism has reduced the formation of true Christian communities to the multiplication of individual disciples. Fellowships of churches have been replaced by fellowships of individuals and small groups driven by organizational purposes and agendas. The church is often reduced to a place we attend ... ~Jeff Reed
I feel we have come to a place in our christian circles where we are far more comfortable “playing church” (a Location) rather than stepping out and “being the church” (a lifestyle)!
As we look at the scriptures today, and later here what God has dine in our local church family, I want to challenge us (YOU & ME) to BE the church.
Remember… Jesus told Peter and the other Apostles, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it!” Jesus lays out His plan for building up His church in Acts 1:8
Acts 1:8 NASB95
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Jesus has set forth the plan of action and He calls you and I to follow His plan. As we look at the book of Acts we see this unfold. Peter and the disciples would see the words of Jesus come to life as He would build up His Church… despite the forces of hell!

The Power of Christ’s Plan

Ch 1-7 Church Established in Jerusalem
2 years span
Predominately Jews
Peter is leader
In Ch 7 Stephen is martyred for his faith
Ch 8-12 Church Scattered to Judea & Samaria
We begin to see persecution begin more
Spans about 13 years
We see Peter and Philip extending out to share the gospel
Gentiles now begin to be introduced to the gospel!
We see Saul become a follower of The Way… first designation of Jesus’ followers.
I am the Way the Truth and the Life
As it spreads we see for the first time the title “Christians”… Christ Follower (Acts 11:26)
We see the followers of Christ becoming a very distinct group...
Towards the end of this section we see Herod inflict greater persecution on the church…
Those who were there spread back to homes and across the earth
View Map of Acts 2:7-11 (some may have already gone home, others now fled back!)
I love the fact that even before one journey out of Jerusalem took place… Jesus was reaching the WORLD with the gospel. “I WILL BUILD
Ch 13-28 Church Extended to Ends of the Earth
This section spans about 15 years or so
Gentiles now seem to be the predominant individuals who are being reached with the gospel… it is spreading!
Paul becomes a significant figure in this portion and a prominent leader in the church as an apostle
We see Three Mission Journeys of Paul in this section
NOTICE: These areas were where people were from back at Pentecost too!
Also as you read through Acts you will study 3 distinct missionary trips, BUT GOD...
Paul also has an all expense trip paid for by the Roman government to stand trial as a prisoner before Caesar!

The Progression of His Plan

Remember this is a narrative that Luke is writing… as he does so he recaps the progress of the gospel for us at some very key points and gives a “Progress Report” a snap shot so to speak…
Progress Reports:
Acts 2:46-47 The one-mindedness sets them apart, fellowship is from the start… and the Lord is working
Acts 2:46–47 NASB95
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Acts 6:7 it was God’s Word going forth, holding power, the strength of the Jerusalem church was growing
Acts 6:7 NASB95
The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.
Acts 9:31 We see the Lord expanding the reach of the Gospel, God was providing the increase
Acts 9:31 NASB95
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.
Acts 12:24 even in the midst of persecution… God’s Word advances and is not hindered!
Acts 12:24 NASB95
But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.
They prayed not for hardships, difficulties, and persecution to stop but look Acts 4:29
Acts 4:29 ESV
And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,
Acts 16:5 we see a spread of the church, we see churches in regions and areas being strengthened in their FAITH… Growth was still occuring! These churches were not playing church, they were BEING the Church.
Acts 16:5 NASB95
So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.
Acts 19:20 God’s Word cannot be stopped, it holds power… even over the Roman Empire!
Acts 19:20 NASB95
So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.
Acts 28:30-31 The gospel still goes on… The End is yet to come!
Acts 28:30–31 NASB95
And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.

The Perseverance of His Plan & People

Jesus said… “I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH” look at HIS CHURCH just a little over 30 years after He makes that statement…
This is not the work of just a few… This is the work of Jesus Christ through His Church… His People!!!
Oh Church… people of Grace Bible… God has NOT stopped building His church
Grace Bible Church Parachute
The Bristols moved here 1989 desiring a bible teaching church like they left in Frisco “Rocky Mountain Bible Church”
Mark Henry would soon come as missionary pastor
Jim and Judy Lemon were part of those precious beginnings.
In 1997 the church graduated from the mission and was a fully self supported church
Now 25 years later we sit here today… Reflecting back at this last year on all God has done and looking ahead with great anticipation of what He will do!
We cannot limit what God can and will do!!!
He is building His church and He desires to use us! Like never before it is time for us to be the church!!!
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