It cannot be overstated how important it is that we see things accurately in order to function properly in this world. For example, we have to pass an eye exam before we receive a license to drive a motor vehicle to confirm we are good judges and can accurately distinguish the location of objects and read signs while driving at high speeds.
Ephesians 3:1-13, 20-21:
For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
The Antioch Church has been the model for missions movements, church planting and urban reconciliation for almost 2,000 years. The following principles show why this church is the model church rather than the Jerusalem Church. The purpose of sharing this message today is so that our church can look toward the Antioch Church as a model to aspire toward and imitate.
It doesn’t take us much time to realize that there is something terribly wrong within our own souls and with the world. The best the world has to offer us is filled with challenges, sorrow and pain. It’s like a person who looks happy and healthy on the outside but every once in a while feels pain when he moves a certain way. Then he gets a checkup and finds he has stage four cancer throughout his body. Even before we were Christ-followers we knew something was wrong. Deep inside we know we are sinners, alienated from our Creator. Something has always been wrong even if we couldn’t tell exactly what it was.
There is perhaps no greater battlefield we will ever deal with than our families. When Satan wanted the whole human race to fall, his first order of business was to divide a husband and wife from one another and from their God, who holds their marriage union together (read Genesis 3:1-8). If Satan divides and deceives a husband and wife, then he has a greater chance of getting their children as well.
(Although I have been teaching and writing books and articles on this subject for years, the following is based on notes I took from a teaching conducted by Dutch Sheets, who did a superb job of simplifying this message about the Kingdom of God.)
I. Genesis 1:28 gives us two aspects of the Cultural Mandate that God gave humanity: Multiply the family and manage the planet
Multiply a Family for God
In Genesis, the King of the kingdom (kingdom stands for “king” and “domain,” so the scope of a king’s rule is a kingdom) added a family to his kingdom realm when He made us.
The family mandate is to expand God’s family by Him creating eternal human spirits. Humankind is called to create eternal spirits because we are the only ones made in God’s image that can supply Him with family members (Genesis 1:28).
What a scene! It began with hope but ended in despair. It was born in witness but was buried in denial, in despair. What promised to be a coronation became a crucifixion. Jerusalem’s greatest hour soon became her hour of judgment.
Text: Acts 8:1-8
Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him [Stephen] to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him. But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.
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