Welcome to the ACTS Podcast!

One day this present age will have run its course.  When it has, our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will come again and introduce a whole new order of things. But how are we to live in the meantime, as we wait for this great event? The grace of God is salvation and the self-giving of Christ on Calvary together point us to the answer.  Campbell, D. (2007). Opening up Titus (p. 76). Leominster Day On Publications.

Direct download: Sermon_12-10-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

We are commanded to rejoice at all times and in all things... We should never forfeit our joy to sullenness, bitterness, or negativism simply because things aren't the way we would like them to be. Nevertheless, it is typical for believers to let changing circumstances of difficulties, confusions, trials, economic troubles, attacks, disagreements, unfulfilled expectations or ambitions, strained relationships, and so forth throw them off balance and steal their joy (MacArthur, 1999)

Direct download: Sermon_11-19-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Know what is coming and remain in what you have learned! (R.C.H. Lenski, 1937)

Direct download: Sermon_11-12-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Luke's report of the disciples' activities as they waited for the Spirit's promised coming at Pentecost gives a pattern we would do well to emulate if we would prepare for an outpouring of the Spirit in revival.  Though Pentecost was a unique inaugural event in the Church's life, the steps that preceded it are essential for any fresh work of the Spirit.  (Larkin, 1995)

Direct download: R_20171029-100052.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:08pm PST
Comments[0]

Paul knew the problems that arise in any Christian society. The best people can slip up.  The word Paul uses (paraptoma) does not mean a deliberate sin; but a slip that might come to someone on an icy road or a dangerous path. Now, the danger of those who are really trying to live the Christian life is that they are apt to judge the sins of others harshly  There is an element of hardness in any good people.  There are any good people to whom you could not go and sob out a story of failure and defeat; they would be bleakly unsympathetic. (Barclay, W. 2002).

Direct download: Sermon_10-22-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

What blows do athletes receive in their face, what blows all over their body. Yet they bear all the torture from thirst to glory. Let us also overcome all things, for your reward is not a crown or a palm branch or the trumpeter proclaiming silence for the announcement of our name, but virtue and strength of mind and peace acquired ever after.

(Lightfoot (St Paul and Seneca) quotes from Seneca (Ep. Mor. IXXVIII.16). [The International Critical Commentary, Robertson and Plummer, p. 195)

Direct download: Sermon_10-15-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

The apostle having commended their obedience for the time past, and mentioned his confidence in their obedience for the time to come, proceeds to give them commands and directions to some who were faulty, correcting some things that were amiss among them. (Henry, M. 1994).

Direct download: Sermon_10-8-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Jesus did not manipulate people. He did not try to back them into corners where they could do nothing but what he wanted them to do.  He always presented the truth in love and allowed people the latitude to act upon it as they saw fit.  Many responded to His message, others chose not to.  We must be careful to follow this example in our evangelism.  Always remember that just as easily as you can manipulate a person in accepting the gospel and giving their life to Jesus, someone else can manipulate them out of it.  People must choose for themselves based on the truth and love- that is the only way evangelism will be effective and long- lasting. (McClung, 1988).

Direct download: Sermon_10-1-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

The conditions in which you live and worship as Christian believers are not those of Sinai but those of heaven.  (Ellingworth, P. 1993)

Direct download: R_20170924-100418.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Very few people have a conscious plan for developing their spiritual lives.  Most Christians are not intentional, but rather functional, like cars on cruise-control.  Our crammed schedules, endless to-do lists, demanding jobs and families, constant noise, information bombardment, and anxieties keep us speeding up, not slowing down.  We have routines to manage other parts of our lives.  For example, each morning we may get up, feed the cat, then make coffee, exercise, get dressed for work, and eat breakfast. (Scazzero, 2006)

Direct download: Sermon_9-17-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Jesus had no time for superficial professions of faith. How important is it for us to understand the warning of Jesus, for often we are so eager to increase our memberships that we do everything in our power to make a commitment to Christianity as painless as possible.  We become peddlers of cheap grace, obscuring and hiding the message of Jesus which was a call to sacrifice, to steadfast devotion, even to the point of martyrdom. (Sproul, 1999)

Direct download: Sermon_9-3-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Devotion to Christ cannot be less than whole-hearted (Discipleship is not periodic volunteer work on one's own terms and at one's convenience", R. J. Karris, cited in Talbert, p. 203).

Jesus was 'calling not for spectators but for recruits.' When he called men to follow him, he meant them not to tag along behind him out of curiosity, but to throw in their lot with him in commitment. (Wilcock, 1979).

Direct download: Sermon_8-27-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

There are two invitations given in our text, the first by Jesus and the second by Philip.  The "Bridge of Credibility" is seen in the consistency of the message from Jesus to Philip and Philip to Nathanael and Nathanael's confirmation of the truth.

Direct download: Sermon_8-20-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

The news which Jesus now heralded in Galilee was that God's hour had struck, the time which all the Old Testament had looked forward.  God's reign upon earth, a concept familiar from the prophets, was about to begin (is at hand).  All were therefore called to a change of hearth (repent) and to a belief in this good news, for which John had already prepared the way.

Direct download: Sermon_8-13-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

We know our purpose is to serve God through an obedient lifestyle.  We can divide that lifestyle into the kind of people we are to be and the kind of tasks we are to pursue.  In Jesus' discourse, He defined the kind of people we are to be: Those who abide in Him (John 15:7-17).  The task He has set for us is disciple making (Mathew 28:18-20).  The Scriptures erase our doubts about what living an obedient lifestyle means: Be disciples, make disciples. (Pastor Bill Hull, 2010)

Direct download: Sermon_8-6-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

A proper sense of self-worth comes from recognizing and appropriating the biblical fact that we are loved and valued by our heavenly Father.  Our value is based not on our own merit but on the fact that we are His precious children for whom Christ is willing to die. (Anderson, 2003).

Direct download: Sermon_7-30-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Individuality in any form is not only anti-Christian, but anti-Human, because it instantly says, 'I care for neither God nor man: I live for myself.'

(Oswald Chambers)

Direct download: Sermon_7-23-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

The Lord gives His people perpetual joy when they walk in obedience to Him. (Dwight L. Moody)

Direct download: Sermon_7-16-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

When do we know who we are as children of God, we do not have to rebel; we do not have to dominate and control.  We yield to the lordship of Christ, secure in our position in Him, and we relate with love and forgiveness.  (Dr. Neil T. Anderson, 2003)

Direct download: R_20170709-100210.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Awareness of yourself and your relationship with God are intricately related.  In fact, the challenge to shed "old false" self, in order to, live authentically in "our new" self, strikes the very core of true spirituality (Scazzero, 2006)

Direct download: Sermon_6-25-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Concerning the baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch, Larkin says: the act's theological significance is cleansing for sin and incorporation into the fellowship of those who have experienced Christ's salvation blessings.  (Acts 2:38-39) (Larkin, 1995).

Direct download: Sermon_6-11-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:40am PST
Comments[0]

Stephen died with a prayer upon his lips for the very men who were murdering him; and by that they knew that he believed, and lived in the power of that belief, that the glory of God, to which he had referred at the commencement of his argument, was the very grace of God.

Direct download: Sermon_6-4-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

The Apostle Paul turns from his doctrinal treatise to write about the quality and kind of life that is demanded of every disciple, individually and in the fellowship of Christ's church.

Direct download: Sermon_5-28-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Whatever helps a person become prepared to grow in Christ, learn his or her gifts, and begin to make a difference is discipling.  Leadership ties all activity together and directs disciplining toward a common goal.  Each part of the process is intentionally guided and seen as small part of the larger corporate plan.  (Hull, 1990, 2010).

Direct download: Sermon_5-21-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Mothers can reproduce more disciples of Jesus Christ than anyone else!

Direct download: Sermon_5-14-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

It is one thing to talk about love and another to manifest it.  Love is manifested by active benevolence and by obedience.  (H.A. Ironside, 1920)

Direct download: Sermon_5-7-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Technically, from the moment of spiritual birth, every Christian is a disciple.  Disciples are born by the Spirit to be made into mature reproducers.  There are to be made in every nation; therefore, every person in the church is a disciple and as the responsibility and divine ability to be what Christ desires. (Hull, 1990, 2010)

Direct download: Sermon_4-30-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

God ordained the discipling Church as His vehicle for reaching the world.  The Church has the abilities, finances, gifts, and Spirit to get the job done.  The unified, trained body of Christ is the most powerful expression of God on the face of the earth.  (Hull, Bill-1990)

Direct download: R_20170423-101704.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

"We don't need another political uprising, we don't need another calm on the sea.  What we need is a special word that will burn within our hearts and give us direction from above."

-Vickie Winans

Direct download: Sermon_4-16-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Even though the New Testament does not seem to draw a line between physical and spiritual in defining discipleship and readiness for union with God, the common feeling is that the inner person must be awakened to the reality of God before the activities of the Christian Community become productive. 

Direct download: Sermon_4-9-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Lloyd Jones a Medical Doctor, who became a preacher, saw through the emptiness of worldly glamour and attractions and valued more highly building the kingdom of God through the proclamation of His Work.  (Mac Arthur, 2004)

Direct download: Sermon_4-2-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Selfish desires, injustice, discrimination, oppression and the desire for power fuel fights, quarrels and war.  No one is exempt from conflict as long as we live in this broken and sinful world.  It comes to every person, family, organization, business, church, community and nation.  Conflict is as universal as sin.  (Dr. Neil Anderson, 2002)

Direct download: Sermon_3-26-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

The ministry of reconciliation is unique to the Church, and it begins with God.  We must be reconciled to others, because the ministry of reconciliation is a supernatural ministry.  That is what sets the ministry of reconciliation apart from conflict management and other secular attempts to conciliation. (Dr. Neil Anderson, 2002)

Direct download: R_20170319-101708.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

All Christians, disciples of Christ, must realize that we do continue to sin after salvation. We continue to break God’s commandments, and to give in to temptation, even after we are born again.  Most Christians don’t know what to do when they continue to sin after salvation.  Let’s look at what the Bible says about this.

Direct download: Sermon_3-12-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Bitterness is to soul as cancer is to the body.  If you knew that you had a form of cancer that could be removed by surgery, you would say to the doctor, 'Go for it! Get it all.' Bitterness, like cancer affects every part of our being.  Forgiving from your heart those who have hurt you is God's way of removing the cancer. (Dr. Neil T. Anderson, 2003)

Direct download: Sermon_3-5-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Sometimes anxiety is rooted in a person's feelings that he is incapable of handling a new challenge.  At other ties, anxiety is rooted in setting standards that are too high, even impossible.  Sometimes anxiety is rooted in a person's feelings torn between opinions or between two people.  At times, anxiety is rooted in unresolved hostility (Dr. Charles Stanley, 1998)

Direct download: Sermon_2-26-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Emotional pain and weakness cause us to feel dejected, 'bound up' on the inside, blind to the goodness of God, and imprisoned in our own darkness.  Jesus came to set us free and to make us whole; He came to impart to us a deep, abiding, and consistent strength, and then to develop His strength within us.  (Dr. Charles Stanley, 1998)

Direct download: Sermon_21917.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

It is spiritual empowerment that has enabled black women to endure, to go on in-spite-of prohibitive barriers, to make a way where there seemingly was no way - to survive in the face of insurmountable opposition, and to survive with a grace that is almost incomprehensible  (NCNW, 1996)

Direct download: Sermon_2-12-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Obviously, Peter always wanted to know more and to understand better.  And that sort of inquisitiveness is a healthy feature of being a follower of Jesus--especially one who can eventually lead other to follow Him as well.  Inquisitive people make good leaders.  They are hungry to find answers.  Knowledge is power.  Whoever has the information has the advantage.  (MacArthur, 2004)

Direct download: Sermon_2-5-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

An old pastor once said he could tell when a Christian was growing because a growing Christian would always talk more about Christ and less about himself. (MacArthur, 2004)

Direct download: Sermon_1-29-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

In order to be a fully committed follower of Christ, one needs to feed on Him. One who is feeding on Christ will become like Him.  Such a person will manifest His purity, goodness, tenderness, compassion, His interest in others.  You take a professing Christian who is hard and bitter and critical of others, and you know he has not been feeding of Christ for a long time.  You take a Christian who is drifting into worldliness, and carelessness, who is becoming vain, and haughty and self-centered- he has not been feeding on the Savior. (Ironside, 1920)

Direct download: Sermon_1-22-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

There is always a group of "iffy" folk round high energy  They want to be known as part of the high energy but they do not want to make the necessary investments to be an integral part.  The is no shortage of claimants to the authorship of 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions'. The expression is often attributed to the Cistercian abbot Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

Direct download: Sermon_1-15-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Finally, it also belonged to discipleship that customary values be radically broken (cf Mark 10:41-45)  Conditional relations are to be carefully considered, in-light-of the break with the past: It is discipleship which demands and makes possible this break, but the break itself is not to be equated with discipleship.  The call of Jesus demands and makes possible the break with the past, in as much as it gives the disciple a new future. (Weder, H. 1992).

Direct download: Sermon_1-8-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

The focus of the our church is "Discipleship", ACTS' Goal for 2017 is "To change our world, one person at a time, for Jesus Christ".  Pastor Tom Mercer correctly says: "When the truth that God put us here for a reason -- to be a part of the greatest initiative in world history -- burrows deep roots into the soul of a believer, and they understand that no one else can fulfill that purpose in their relational world as well as they can, then something transformational happens. (Mercer, 2009)

Direct download: Sermon_1-1-17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST
Comments[0]

1