The Mission of Multiplication

Beginning this weekend, we will turn our attention as a church body to the book of Acts. As we enter into the series, I wanted to address our purpose in studying it, and to pass on to you some tools to help leverage the time we will give to learning and applying the story of the early Church.

Topics: The Village Church | Church Planting | Discipleship | Missions

Beginning this weekend, we will turn our attention as a church body to the book of Acts. As we enter into the series, I wanted to address our purpose in studying it, and to pass on to you some tools to help leverage the time we will give to learning and applying the story of the early Church.

Why Acts?

Our mission statement begins, “The Village Church exists to bring glory to God by making disciples.” One aspect of a maturing disciple of Christ is what we call “gospel-centered multiplication.” We define gospel-centered multiplication as “multiplying the kingdom by living with the purpose to make God known and enjoyed. The disciple’s call is multiplication and replication through the gospel—for the glory of our God. Those who have been reconciled to God through the gospel have ample opportunity to enter into the work of gospel-centered multiplication. From missional living through interacting with neighbors and co-workers to missional outreach or short- or long-term mission trips, our lives become infused with purpose and meaning as the gospel goes forth.

The idea of multiplication is woven throughout the Scriptures, painting a picture of God’s will and plan to call to Himself from every tribe, tongue and nation a people of His own possession, bought with Jesus’ blood. We see in the book of Acts, and then throughout Church history, that God’s primary way of gathering His people is through the planting of churches that plant churches that plant churches.

As we once again enter a season of praying and trusting in God’s good and gracious leading of our church, we want to look at Acts together, that we might glean from this book God’s heart for His Church and grow in our conviction of some of the opportunities that lie before us.

Making the Most of the Series

We will be covering large portions of the book as we go, and we will not go line by line, so it will be important for you to be familiar with the narrative of what is happening. The following is a breakdown of how you can read during the week to prepare for the weekend message:

Date:

Passage:

February 1-2

Acts 1

February 8-9

Acts 2

February 14-15

Acts 3

February 22-23

Acts 3-4:37

March 1-2

Acts 5-6:7

March 8-9

Acts 6:8-7:60

March 15-16

Acts 8-12:25

March 22-23

Acts 13-14

March 29-30

Acts 15:1-35

April 5-6

Acts 15:36-18:22

April 12-13

Acts 18:23-21

April 19-20

Acts 22

April 26-27

Acts 18:23-23:22

May 3-4

Acts 23:23-28:31

May 10-11

Matthew 28:18-20

One of our ministers, Zach Lee, has written a few things to consider as you read:

1. The main theme of the book of Acts is found in Acts 1:8, which says, ”But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.“ Read the book of Acts in light of this theme.

2. Read the book of Acts as fulfilling the promises of the Old Testament. The book of Isaiah promised that one day Gentiles would flock to Zion and that the good news of the one true God (Yahweh) would go forth to all nations. Jeremiah promised that one day God would write His law on our hearts and give us His Spirit. Joel promised the giving of God’s Spirit and the gift of prophesy. The book of Acts was written to point to the fulfillment of what had been prophesied in the Old Testament.

3. Read the book of Acts as a transitional book. The book of Acts spans the gap between the resurrection of Jesus and the established churches addressed in Paul’s letters. Acts shows the Church going out in the Holy Spirit’s power to expand throughout the known world. Because it is a transitional book, it contains a few things that happen outside of the ”norm.“

For example, God waits to give His Spirit to certain people until the Apostles lay their hands on them. This is so the Apostles can authenticate the gospel message, and so others can see that the Spirit is going out to the Gentiles. This does not mean that everyone has to have hands laid on them today to receive the Spirit. Similarly, speaking in tongues is common in Acts, serving as a visible fulfillment of Old Testament promises about the Spirit, and as evidence that God has given His Spirit to people and that the gospel message is true. This does not mean that all believers must speak in tongues (1 Cor 12:30).

4. Pay attention to how the gospel is preached in Acts. The book of Acts offers the gospel as more than just a message of personal salvation. The Apostles emphasize Jesus’ resurrection, the need for repentance, the liberating gift of the Holy Spirit, the inclusion of Gentiles into God’s promises and the inception of the Kingdom of God, as Jesus brings not only personal restoration, but cosmic restoration through His rule and reign.

I am excited to dive into this book with you!  It has been a soul stirring, convicting and recalibrating study for me, and my studies now rarely feel complete until I can share their yield with you. I’m grateful for an extended chance to celebrate the story of the Holy Spirit empowering the Church to the ends of the earth.

Recommended Resource

Acts (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Darrell L. Bock