Responding to the good news

Our survey of the apostle’s gospel in Acts summarized the good news like this: God has installed his anointed (Christ) as our leader (Lord) by raising him from the dead (resurrection), so the earth is under his governance (the kingdom of God).

What response does God expect to this good news?

God expects our allegiance to his Christ, reorienting our lives as the community that implements his leadership. This kingdom perspective provides a rich understanding of the terms that describe our response, words like faith and repentance. Continue reading “Responding to the good news”

The apostles’ gospel explained

In our previous post (the apostles’ gospel), we surveyed 16 samples of the gospel in Acts. What phrases did you find recurring?

The heart of the apostolic gospel is a person: Jesus. They used these phrases to say Jesus is good news:

  • Jesus is the Christ (Messiah)
  • Jesus is Lord
  • Jesus is resurrected
  • Kingdom of God

Are those the phrases you would use to explain the gospel to someone? How are these four things the gospel?

Let’s enrich our understanding of the gospel by unpacking what the apostles said. It turns out to be the same gospel Jesus announced.

Continue reading “The apostles’ gospel explained”

The apostles’ gospel (Acts)

A quick survey of the good news announced by the apostles in Acts.

Here’s an interactive study for you or your small group. We scan the Acts of the Apostles, asking “What was the gospel they proclaimed?”

Below are 16 texts that summarize their message. Print the list (or use a notes app) to jot down the key phrase in each one. We’re not asking how they asked people to respond; just the content of the good news the apostles proclaimed. Continue reading “The apostles’ gospel (Acts)”

Supporting families during lockdown

So what’s it like at your place during the lockdown? Too quiet? Too noisy? Bored kids? Angry adults? Binged the whole series already? Missing friends? Missing income?

The goal is to keep safe at home, but home is not a safe place for everyone. Our tensions are stretched by fear. If your place is fine, spare a thought for those who are struggling. One in four Australian women has experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner. For men it’s about one third that rate. So, if your church has 200 adults, 33 of them will have experienced partner violence. Know who are they are? How are they doing? Continue reading “Supporting families during lockdown”

Discovering church while there’s no church

What can we do while we can’t go to work, can’t go to church, can’t go to the gym, can’t go out with friends? It’s not just the activities we miss; it’s the meaning we find in sharing life. So, what meaning can we find while we can’t get together?

Continue reading “Discovering church while there’s no church”

Lament and hope: when life feels patchy

Honest prayer lifts us to the one who can help.

There was a time when people turned to God in disasters. “How can God allow this?” they asked, sometimes in anger. Now technology lets us recognize the wave before it hits, so people place their trust in medicine and governments to save us. Technology is useful, but it isn’t our security.

Let’s encourage each other to look higher: Continue reading “Lament and hope: when life feels patchy”

Kingdom lifestyle: submitting to each other (Ephesians 5:21)

The gospel calls us into an alternative world.

Some of my friends struggle with “Submit to each other” (Ephesians 5:21). So many people have been subjected to abuse, humiliation, and injustice that subjecting them to anything further feels like more grief.

Other friends find submission natural. God is the authority, with all authorities under him, so of course Christians must be submissive.

How do you feel about this command? Continue reading “Kingdom lifestyle: submitting to each other (Ephesians 5:21)”