Calling PFC Home
Hey everybody! Blessings to you and your family. I feel so blessed to have God as our Lord and Father. He truly takes care of our every need and leads us through dark times, as well times of light, to know Him more and to grow more intimate with Him and of course one another.
Parkland Foursquare is now in its 4th year of ministry and many of us already have called Parkland Foursquare Church home for a while now. Pastor Dan and the leadership team wanted to really define what officially calling Parkland Foursquare Church home looks like for both you and for leadership. We are coming together to have a very special meeting and we want/need you to attend. Even if you are just interested in what it's about we just want you to be there so you don't miss out on what we are moving into next in our church. We have two meetings in March that will be absolutely essential for you to make it to. Now you don't have to go to both but we highly encourage you to choose one meeting and come to that one. The first meeting will be on Saturday, March 3rd, starting at 4pm and food will be provided. The second meeting will be on Wednesday, March 7th starting at 6:30pm. Dinner will not be served but there will be some snacks. If you have any questions about this let me know via email, phone(253-200-9461), facebook, or commenting below.
I am so excited as we continue to go through Acts and we have our souls challenged to grow in our dependence on Christ for change in our neighborhoods, families, and our world. God bless you all for your desire to grow in Christ. May He supply all of your needs!
Acts: An Evangelistic Legal Brief
Pastor Dan's Sermon
This week I decided to post Pastor Dan's notes. They are a great summary of what transpired in Saturday's Sermon.
Why did Luke write Acts?
Acts, therefore, like many another work, was probably written with multiple purposes in view. Primary among the reasons for its composition was undoubtedly a evangelistic purpose. Defining the gospel.
The name of the book of acts (of the Apostles) ancient but not original name.
Acts 1:1 (ESV) — 1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach,
1st volume (LUKE): Dealt with ALL that Jesus BEGAN to do and teach.
2nd Volume (ACTS): Dealt with the CONTINUED work of what Jesus did and taught through the Church.
Example: Significance of Acts 1:8
We need to read Acts with this Christological focus in mind. Otherwise it quickly becomes all about us. Acts 1:8 for example becomes centered on the “power” not on the “making us witnesses”
Author of Acts:
Luke- Paul’s co-worker:
Col 4:14, Philemon 24
Luke 1:1–4 ESV
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
Purpose of Luke: TO know for certain what you have been taught. It was an apologetic.
Luke is a phenomenal apologist.
When I say that, I don’t mean Luke is good at saying sorry. What I mean is Luke was one of Paul’s missionary companions. Luke knew Jesus and could defend the historical accuracy of Jesus and Christianity with amazing potency.
An apology is a defense. An apologetic is a reasoned defense of a belief, philosophy or worldview. Apologetics in Christian usage is the study of evidences for the veracity of the Bible and the truthfulness of the Christian worldview. Christian Apologetics studies evidences as diverse as manuscript evidence, geological phenomena, archaeological and historical support, and philosophical presuppositions.
Who was Luke “apologizing” to?
Who is theophilus and why did he put forth so much effort to provide him with this extensive 2 volume apology?
Who is Theophilus?
Since it seems clear that Theophilus was an actual person, we will look at what we do know about him from the Bible and then discuss a few of the many theories as to who he might have been. First, it is important to note that Luke addresses him as “most excellent,” a title often used when referring to someone of honor or rank, such as a Roman official. Paul used the same term when addressing Felix (Acts 23:26; Acts 24:2) and Festus (Acts 26:25). Therefore, one of the most common theories is that Theophilus was possibly a Roman officer or high-ranking official in the Roman government.
Yet another theory about the identity of Theophilus is that he was the Roman lawyer who defended Paul during his trial in Rome. Those who hold this theory believe that Luke’s purpose in writing Luke and Acts was to write a defense of Christianity, somewhat akin to a legal brief. If this theory is correct, Luke’s writings were designed to defend Paul in court against charges of insurrection and, at the same time, to defend Christianity against the charge that it was an illegal, anti-Roman religion.
Therefore as we read Acts let’s read it in the lens in which it was written: An evangelistic legal Brief written to Theophilus to win him to Christ and defend the character and nature of Jesus through the testimony of Paul and the early church.
Evangelical Legal brief:
In the gospel of Luke, Luke is making a orderly and detailed case for the evidence concerning who Jesus is and what He did. In Acts Luke is making a point that Jesus—this historical figure whom he already made an extensive case for who ascended into heaven CONTINUES his work through the HOLY SPIRIT and the CHURCH.
In other words, Luke effectively convinced Theophilus that Jesus is who He said he was in his first volume-“The Gospel of LUKE”. In the introduction of the book of ACTS Luke establishes the case that all Jesus did and taught was through the Holy Spirit. So, when he explains that Jesus left earth and ascended into heaven, Theophilus understands that even though Jesus is no longer physically present, the furthering ministry of Jesus continues to be possible through the work of Holy Spirit.
You can imagine Theophilus finishing the Gospel of Luke thinking to himself: “ Okay I trust Jesus now, but how can I trust this Paul guy, and other disciples, now that Jesus has left?
If Theophilus would ask me this is how I would answer based on the information Luke gives us in the book of Acts:
“Theophilus, here’s the good news Jesus did actually physically ascend to heaven and is today sitting at the right hand of God. But, he didn’t really “go away” His ministry just changed. Let me explain…
Acts 1:2–5 ESV
Until the day when he was taken up, after he had (2) given commands (1) through the Holy Spirit (3) to the apostles whom he had chosen. (4)He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
The numbered points below correspond with the scriptures notated by the numbers in parentheses
1. Jesus taught through the Holy Spirit
a. Implication: Even when Jesus physically leaves, he can still teach in the same way he taught while he was on earth.
2. Until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles
a. Implication: He did not leave the apostles without a plan
3. To the apostles whom he had chosen
a. Implication: That these guys, were not some random people he picked up off the road. They were chosen.
4. He had a proven physical bodily resurrection
a. Implication: The resurrection was not fabricated thus debunking any authority Luke was claiming that Jesus had.
b. Funny point: The bible says he presented himself alive. I’m not sure how else He could have presented himself, It’s not very easy to present yourself dead. But Luke, again is making it abundantly clear that this was an actually bodily resurrection.
5. And while staying with them he ORDERED them not to depart from Jerusalem,
a. Implication: The disciples didn’t leave and disperse before they had the same power that allowed Jesus to “teach and do” as He did.
6. but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; For john baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now
a. Implication: The immersion of the Spirit was something that was planned for a long time and not just a last ditch effort. reacting to Jesus leaving. It was actually part of Jesus plan the whole time. This is the continuation of Jesus ministry.
b. Without the baptism of the Spirit Theophilus would not be convinced that Jesus ministry could possibly continue.
c. The baptism of the Spirit is all about continuing Jesus ministry to proclaim and demonstrate the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Prayer and Praise Requests
From what I can tell it looks like the Wheelons are adjusting well to having Anora on the outside. The pictures on Facebook truly warm my heart! Please continue in prayer for the Wheelon household to grow in their love for one another.
Please pray for Brittni and Troy as they are about to welcome a little girl into the world soon. A healthy delivery and recovery and of course for their family to be drawn together.
Please pray for wisdom and revelation to be poured out on Pastor Dan and our congregation as we read and pray through Acts.
If you have any prayer requests we have covered before or would just like report some answered prayer please comment below!
Thank you all for taking the time to reflect on what has gone before and of course continue in prayer for the coming days as we long to show Christ's love to all around us and to lavish our love on the Godhead.