Being the Church

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Being the Church
Text: Acts 16:22-34
Occasion: General
Audience: General
Theological Tradition: Wesleyan
Topic: How to BE the Church
Author: WABuisman


Direction

Being the church means living our faith simply and radically

How to Get There

  • Paul and Silas have nothing
    • no clothes, comfort, material possessions, food, nothing
  • But their faith is so strong that even with absolutely nothing, they very simply and radically live out their faith
  • As a result of Paul and Silas' example of simple radical faith
    • hardened criminals put the needs of a jailer before their own
    • a apathetic jailer and his whole family come to know God
  • We often view the church as a necessarily complicated organization
    • but they worshipped, discipled and evangelized without bands, budgets, buildings, or books. They were BEING the Church without anything we traditionally think of as the church.
  • If they accomplished all that with nothing, how much can we, the CHURCH, accomplish with the awesome tools that we have at our disposal when we really use them for the kingdom of God
  • or maybe we need to simplify our lives and return our focus exclusively to God

Things to Watch For

  • A temptation for the reader or listener is to skim read this and half-heartedly say that's cool and move on
    • but this is a seriously dramatic story that makes absolutely no sense without the work of the Holy Spirit in these peoples lives
  • the speaker should make sure to encourage the audience to fully empathize with the people involved in this story
    • If YOU were in prison, would you really stay behind?
    • Would you really praise God in that situation?

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An important note is the code of honor that the jailer was bound to. He would have been severely punished or killed for failing in his job. Paul, Silas and everybody else in the jail would have probably known this and so the act of not leaving prison was not a senseless act of martyrdom, but an act of love for the jailer.