Sermon
22

Jul 2013

The Gospel Spreads

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Sermon audio:

Act 5 | Spreading the News of the King

This sermon on “The Gospel Spreads” from The Drama of Redemption was preached by Raymond Goodlett at Redemption Hill Church on Sunday, July 21, 2013.

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The sermon notes are compiled and edited by a member of Redemption Hill from the pastor’s notes. It is designed as a resource for those engaging the sermon for the first time or those returning to it for further reflection. We pray this resource serves you well.

Sermon Text:

Acts

The Gospel Spreads

Acts 1-23

 

Ten years ago, a *pastor once met a missionary pastor who had started a number of underground churches in China at a conference. The *pastor remarked to the missionary, “Sir, I recently became a full-time missionary to American college campuses. What advice would you give me?”  The missionary replied “Read the book of Acts 50 times, then go outside.” The *pastor thought the missionary must be kidding, however, it didn’t take long for him to realize that not only was the missionary serious, but that he had probably done it himself.

It would only take about 2 hours to read the entire book of Acts, and, if done in the same day, one would notice that Acts 1:8 is the veritable theme of the book. The entirety of Acts can be seen to flow out of that single verse and displays how the gospel moves from Jerusalem to the “end of the earth” over time.

Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Acts 6:7 “And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.”

Acts 9:31 “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.”

Acts 12:24 “But the word of God increased and multiplied.”

Acts 16:5 “So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.”

Acts 19:20 “So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.”

Luke (the writer of Acts) is seeking to ensure that Theophilus know the following from the preceding verses:

1. That the word of God has been increasing.

2. That the number of disciples has been multiplying.

3. That many of the priests have become obedient to the faith.

4. That churches are being multiplied and strengthened.

5. That the word of the Lord is prevailing mightily!

 

Application

These same truths that Luke sought to impart to Theophilus are truths that we would do well to remember today.  Regardless of the age or how current events would seem to suggest the converse, God is still at work and nothing shall prevail against the advancement of His church.  It’s hard to read the book of Acts without coming out on the other end of it with a renewed sense of confidence that faith in Jesus Christ will continue to spread both locally and globally. In case there is a temptation to think that evangelistic success is always something confined to the past, consider that it’s believed that the number of churches today in the United States alone (over 300k) is greater than the number of Christians that there were in the entire world at the conclusion of the book of Acts. Right here in Richmond, VA there are many stories of people repenting, coming to faith in Christ and seeking to be baptized.  There can be no doubt that the word of the Lord is still increasing and prevailing mightily!

“We want to rely on marketing research, personal charisma, good music, force of personality, or other natural devices. It’s fine to rely on what the eyes can see in many areas of life, but Christian ministry is about supernatural change. Paul observes, “…For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).  Trusting God’s Word and Spirit to build our churches is an act of faith…Faith in God…Faith in his Word. And such faith is not natural, even for the Christian. It’s super-natural. God must give it.”  Jonathan Leeman

Matthew 16:18 “…I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

*Pastor : The pastor was Raymond Goodlett.