Hey everyone! We want to welcome you to Table Church! We are excited that you have decided to join us this evening. We wanted to give you guys an update when it comes to Table Church. Last week, we apologize for not having a service on our Facebook page. As you guys have been aware, we have been streaming services every week since the end of March on our page and we have connected with a lot of people through there. But, when it comes to the vision of Table Church, we have always felt God’s call steering us to home church groups and that’s no different during these times. Last week we had the opportunity to launch those groups! So I wanted to make an announcement to you all on our plans going forward. We still will be streaming a smaller version of our services on Saturday night on our Facebook page. But instead of a full blown service, we will have a few songs of worship and then a short devotional setting up our community groups that connect on Tuesday and Thursday nights virtually. In fact, we want to invite you to be a part of these amazing groups! If you are interested in those groups, in the comment section on the stream, send us a comment that you are interested or message Kristen or myself directly and we will make sure that you are a part of this blessed opportunity that God has presented to us.
When it comes to our community groups, we started Acts 1 last week and want to give you a little recap of Acts 1 before we jump into Acts 2 this week. Acts 1 is divided into two parts. The last part we saw was the disciples going through the process to replace Judas as the 12th disciple. They were down to two men and couldn’t really choose between both of them. So they cast lots and we saw that Mathias was chosen as the person to replace Judas. But the first part of Acts we see Jesus after his resurrection for 40 days teaching his disciples to be the church. Then right before he ascends into heaven, we see Jesus leave one more instruction for everyone. This instruction is the mission statement for the book of Acts and it’s found in Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” We dove in and found there are 3 parts to this mission statement.
We see power! And when we talk about power it’s when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives. When we ask God to come into our lives is when we receive His power.
We see a purpose! The plan is to be a witness. When we are a witness, there are so many characteristics and traits that we can describe as a witness. It’s someone who encourages and loves. A witness is someone who confesses with our lives who Jesus is.
We have a plan! The plan is to the ends of the earth. But we see Jesus’s instruction and the first place he mentioned was Jerusalem. That was exactly where the disciples were at that moment. This taught us that we are in our exact locations for a reason. The call is where we are planted right now whether that’s St. Pete, Pinellas, Tampa, out of state. We started where we are planted right now.
Tonight, I want to lay the groundwork for starting in Acts 2. There are so many good things in Acts 2 and most of the time, we see people really enjoying the first 13 verses of Acts 2 with Jesus at Pentecost or the last 5 verses of Acts 2 where we see the fellowship of believers. The heartbeat of Table Church is located at the end of Acts 2 where we see people coming together as a community, meeting in the homes and diving into God’s word, sharing meals and doing life together. What I love about the end of this chapter is we see that God added to their number daily.
That’s exactly what we are going to dive into a bit tonight when it comes to adding. As a church while adding is great, the prayer as a whole is that God will use us to multiply the kingdom! Tonight I want to dive into Peter’s first sermon in the middle of Acts 2. If you have a pen and paper, get ready because we are going to go through 4 things on how Gospel centered multiplication works.
1. God meets us where we are physically and spiritually
Acts 2:14-15: “14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!”
Can we look at the circumstances for a moment? This was the first Christian sermon by Peter and it was in Jerusalem at Pentecost. Pentecost was a festival! Pentecost is a festival for Jews in between season of post barley harvest and pre wheat harvest. This was a celebration in between those times of the year. When we think of festivals, lets think of the Florida State Fair or better yet, lets think of Mardi Gras. When we think of Mardi Gras, we don’t think of someone preaching. We think of partying and other crazy things happening in the streets! People are called to plant, go on mission trips and God meets us where we are going.
2. God tells us the truth about ourselves
Acts 2:23: “23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.”
Acts 2:36:“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
There is so much to discuss on this topic and I don’t want to dive too deep tonight. Again send a comment or message us directly if you want to jump on these community groups. Let me give you a couple thoughts to think about. First we know Peter was bold, but how can he say to the crowd that you killed Jesus? He didn’t say this once. It was important for him to say it again in verse 36. It was the truth wasn’t it? There are times in our lives where we think we know better what we want in our lives that what God does. If for one moment we believe that God has moved away from us, that’s completely wrong! God is always by our side, it’s our brains and our hearts that move away because we believe we know better. This one is going to sting a bit...we are never more free when we don’t have secrets.
3. The Gospel invades that truth about ourselves and creates opportunity
Acts 2:29-32: “29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.”
There are two quick things I want to point out here before we finish up. First in this text, we see that Jesus was never corrupt. Secondly, Christ’s victory over the grave is our victory over the grave. We talked about last week about what it means to be a witness. Verse 32 “God raises this Jesus to live, and we are all witness of it.” Once we understand and know the truth, God creates an opportunity for us.
4. Where the Gospel is proclaimed, we must respond
Acts 2:37: “37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
I want to express this to everyone and please listen closely. To not respond, is a response. Let that soak in for a second. To not respond is a response. I can’t stress this enough that God is always right there next to us. The moment we don’t respond is a step away from God and a step towards the hardening of our hearts. There maybe some of you that are like, that’s really harsh Mike. Maybe it’s a truth that God is revealing in your life right now. It’s not supposed to be easy church.
We see at the end of Act 2, the traits that are expressed when we respond. Acts 2:42-47: “42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Let me give you those 3 quick traits that you see when we respond.
1. Devotion (Verse42)
2. Gladness (Verse43)
3. Generosity (Verse45)
The church wasn’t meant to be stagnant, it was made to multiply! If you tuned in this week, we would love to see you this week as we dive deeper into Acts 2. We have two Zoom calls set up on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s both at 7:30. We would love for you to find some time this week and join us.