What is a church? Part 11

This week I read Acts 16. We start with Paul and Silas coming to Derbe and Lystra. They pick up Timothy there and take him with them (v1-5). They try and preach in many areas but are restricted by the Holy Spirit and Jesus. But are then called to Macedonia via a vision of a man calling (v6-10). They travel to Philippi, Macedonia. After a few days the meet Lydia, who … Read More

What is a church? Part 10

This week I read Acts 15. In this piece of scripture, we see that some believers from Jerusalem went to Antioch and started preaching that salvation had to be achieved by circumcision. This was troubling to Paul and Barnabas, and after debating these men, they went to Jerusalem to discuss it there. After hearing all sides, they come to a conclusion as to what is expected from the Gentile believers. This … Read More

What is a church? – Part 9

This week I read Acts 14. This is the 2nd half of Barnabas and Paul’s first missionary journey. Let us look at some interesting points in this Chapter. Barnabas and Paul are traveling and preaching. They only leave the places they preach when persecution comes, which means for their safety. Until they are in danger, they remain to make disciples. We see a healing in Lystra. This is again an example … Read More

What is a church? Part 8

This week I read Acts 13. This is the start of Paul’s missionary journey. We also see their strategy for preaching. Let us look at some interesting point in this Chapter. The church in Antioch is mentioned again. As a separate entity than that of Jerusalem While the church in Jerusalem has elders, we read that the church in Antioch has prophets and teachers. There are 5 in total. Prophets are … Read More

What is a church? Part 7

This week I read Acts 10-12. Before we look at the text in detail, I will summarize what happens. We start with Cornelius being a God-fearing man. He is instructed to send men to fetch Peter. (Acts 10:1-8). Peter is praying on the roof of a house he is staying at in Joppa. He gets a vision where a voice instructs him to eat of all the animals. Peter says he … Read More

What is a church? Part 5

What is a church? Part 5

This week I read through Acts 8. We start with Saul approving of Stephen’s death and the news that the church is scattered because of persecution. The Apostles remain in Jerusalem (Acts 8:1-3). Philip, one of the seven, goes to Samaria. There he preaches and does miracles. Many believe and are baptized. Simon the Magician is amongst them (Acts 8:4-13). News of this reaches Jerusalem, and Peter and John are sent … Read More

What is a church? Part 3

What is a church? Part 3

This week I read Acts 3 and 4. Briefly what happens is Peter and John are going to the temple to pray, when they heal a man in Jesus name (Acts 3:1-10). When questioned on this they preach Jesus resurrected (Acts 3:11-26). This angers the Sadducees who have them arrested (Acts 4:1-4). Later they are brought before the Sanhedrin, who threaten them not to preach Jesus. They tell the Sanhedrin that … Read More

What is a church? Part 2

This week I went through Acts 2. In this chapter the believers are waiting for the Holy Spirit. As they are filled/baptized they start speaking in tongues, which in the context of the chapter is foreign languages (Acts 2:1-4). The believers are then outside, and everyone hears the gospel in his/her language. This creates a lot of questions, which Peter answers by preaching and a lot of Jews are saved that … Read More

What is a Church? Part 1

As I read chapter 1 from Acts, more questions are raised than answers given. This is natural considering that I do not want to read my preconceived ideas into the scripture. I will go through these questions in this post. I will do this based on how I read, which is paragraph by paragraph. Acts 1: 1-5 This is Luke’s introduction to his historical work. And a short piece on Jesus … Read More

What is a Church? – Introduction

Introduction As I embark on my journey through Acts, and possibly the New Testament letters, I must take a moment to consider 2 items. First, my preconceptions. The second, my strategy. Preconceptions. I grew up in a ‘traditional’ Pentecostal church, an Assemblies of God. There I was taught the fundamentals of being a Christian. How to be saved, making a willful decision to serve God, and live the way Jesus showed … Read More