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Tag Archives: Stephen

From Persecutor to Preacher

from Google Images

from Google Images

Paul persecuted the nascent Church, because he believed that the fact Jesus was crucified indicated both he and his message were cursed by heaven (Deuteronomy 21:23). One might conclude that not only was he responsible for Stephen’s death, but that he was also behind the first persecution of the Church (Acts 7:58-60; 8:1, 3). As a result of the posture Paul assumed toward believers in Jesus, he became the Jewish authorities’ go-to person to get the job done concerning putting down this new Jewish movement (Acts 9:1-2). He excelled where others failed (Galatians 1:14). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 12, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Paul Visits Thessalonica

After being asked to leave Philippi by the city magistrates (Acts 16:39), Paul visited Lydia’s home, which had become the first house-church in the city and comforted and encouraged the believing community there. His delay in obeying the city authorities expresses the advantage of his Roman citizenship, which honor had been vindicated through the magistrates’ apology concerning their illegal behavior. Paul left on the Via Egnatia, the main Roman highway connecting Rome with her eastern provinces. The missionary team was probably on horseback and reached Thessalonica in approximately three days with overnight stops at Amphipolis and Apollonia (Acts 17:1), roughly 30 miles per day. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

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Church Unity at Risk!

Sometimes we are completely unaware of the pressures we are under and how this translates into our walk with Christ. I think this was the issue that faced the believing community in this next phase of Luke’s work of recording the progress of the nascent Church of God. The first phase, remember, dealt with the believing community being the Body of Christ or the Temple of God. That is, the Temple that Jesus was building was not stationary but mobile, and it, therefore, did not reside only in Jerusalem but existed wherever believers in Jesus were found! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in circumcision, Temple of God

 

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The Churches of God Were Multiplied

Luke concludes Acts 9:31 with the words: “…[the churches throughout all Judea, Samaria and Galilee], walking in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit, were multiplied.” Months ago I had shared what I believed to be the manner in which Luke had written Acts. I believe he wrote Acts in 6 submissions, which can be categorized into three themes of two parts each. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2012 in Persecution, Temple of God

 

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Jerusalem’s Hesitancy to Agree with Paul

Once Paul was accepted as a sincere brother in the Lord by the Apostles at Jerusalem (Acts 9:27), this didn’t mean that Paul’s Gospel was fully embraced by the church authorities there. We receive a glimpse of Peter’s uneasiness with Paul’s understanding in Acts 10 when Peter actually needed a special vision from the Lord to change his point of view. James, the Lord’s brother and later apparent head of the Jerusalem church, didn’t make any official decision on Paul’s Gospel until Acts 15, a little over a decade after Paul’s first visit to Jerusalem. Nevertheless, an unwritten agreement between Paul and the leaders of the Jerusalem church seems to have been ironed out in the 15 days Paul spent with Peter (Galatians 1:18), during which time, he also seemed to have met with James, the Lord’s brother (Galatians 1:19). Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb

I wonder how often, if ever, that we think of the prospect of coming into fellowship with one who hurt us badly. Most often, I suspect, we would simply seek to avoid such a person. People who seem to live to or at least enjoy hurting those who trust in Jesus are too often simply written off as unreachable, and perhaps unforgivable. Certainly, it would be very difficult to forgive such a one under normal circumstances who had beaten or killed a friend or a loved one, especially a harmless, gentle friend or loved one. Yet, as the Scripture keeps telling us, the thoughts of God are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9); yes, the depth and height of his wisdom is beyond our full comprehension (Romans 11:33). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Religion

 

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The Wrath of Saul

From the beginning the Jewish people held the Jesus Movement in high esteem. Although many didn’t fully embrace the Gospel, the Apostles and early believers were not only regarded as harmless to the Jewish faith, but what they preached was part of that faith, just as the sects of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes were so held. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Kingdom of God

 

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