This Sunday, we’re thrilled to begin a teaching series where we’ll walk through the book of Acts. In our main gatherings, we don’t often walk through Scripture sequentially, but in prayerful dialogue our leadership team felt a growing desire to be rooted in Scripture as we come into the Fall season. We invite you to join us this week, starting with Acts 1:1-11.
Why the book of Acts?
Acts is the sequel to Luke’s Gospel and is a continuation of the work of Jesus in and through the early church. It’s the historical narrative of how a group of ordinary men and women were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and sent out into the world. Through prayer, supernatural encounters, and discernment they find that everything they ever knew was changing. Jesus had flipped their worlds upside down!
Racism and the Power of God
As the Gospel began to spread, one of the paramount issues the disciples faced was the question Who’s in and Who’s out? Their entire worldview was shaped by God’s promises to save the world in and through the nation of Israel. But what did this mean for everyone else? While the apostles knew that God’s plan of salvation was ultimately for every nation, they had a difficult time accepting that the Gentiles would share equal status in God’s eyes.
But in Acts 10, the Spirit of God visits Peter in a dream. This dream reveals that Jesus is up to something new and different. In short, Jesus invites Peter to change the way he thinks about other races and other peoples. In God’s new creation, ALL tribes and tongues would be FULL recipients of the kingdom of heaven. Peter then concludes, “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”
“You can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ … that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel” – Ephesians 3:1-6
This last weekend, the appalling events in Charlottesville, VA revealed that there is still much work to be done in our nation as it relates to racial equality. There are many who have not yet received the revelation that all men are created in God’s image, and all are included in Christ’s saving work on the cross. As the Church, we stand with our brothers and sisters of color and we reject any form of racism, bigotry, and supremacy that continues to be exposed in our communities.
Furthermore, as we continue to pray for healing and reconciliation, let us remember to pray for our leaders in these times. While it is easy to condemn and cast judgment, our responsibility as citizens of heaven is to show honor and intercede for those in positions of power (Rom. 13).
The elders and senior leaders want to invite you to journey with us through the book of Acts. Our prayer is that we will grow in our dependence on the Holy Spirit of God and become a church known for POWER and LOVE! We’re looking forward to worshipping with you this weekend!
For His Kingdom,
Vinelife Eldership and Sr. Leadership