In Acts 15 we read of a conflict that would ultimately result in a clear defining of two distinct covenant communities, the old covenant community of the Jews and the new covenant community of Christians. The question that arose was whether or not Gentile believers needed to be circumcised and be part of the old covenant community. The […]
John’s words about Jesus…”I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”, are indicative of the vast difference between those awaiting the arrival of the Messiah in the first Advent and those of us living in the second Advent. The incredible effects of Christ’s baptism make our experience so much more purposeful.
The last prophet of the Old Testament declared that the coming of the Messiah would be preceded by the return of Elijah. Jesus was unequivocal in identifying John the Baptist as an Elijah figure. Both “Elijah’s” had a very clear message for their lost generation…REPENT AND BE SAVED! How do we perpetuate this message to our lost generation?
Malachi, the last prophet of the Old Testament, was God’s last voice to Israel before a period of silence that lasted over 400 years. God’s “silent treatment” showed His displeasure and desire to get Israel’s attention. We celebrate the end of the silence at Christmas but would do well to see if the reasons for His […]
After being stoned to the edge of death in Lystra, Paul, accompanied by Barnabus, moved on to Derbe to continue their work of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. Then, at great risk of being attacked again, they decided to go back to Lystra to encourage those who had responded to the gospel. Their […]
I doubt any of us have been mistaken for gods like Paul and Barnabus were in Lystra. Their visceral and demonstrative disavowal of any such notion is a powerful reminder to us of the dangers of giving pride a foothold and emphasizes the essential nature of humility in our relationship to God and man.
This Remembrance Day we commemorate the 100th anniversary of one of Canada’s most gruesome battles, The Battle of Passchendaele. This WW1 battle in Belgium has come to symbolize the brutality of that horrific war and has been characterized as an exercise in futility. It would be easy for Christians today to look around at the many fronts […]
2017-11-05 As Paul and Barnabus travelled around the Roman Empire spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, they were met with fierce opposition from the Jewish leadership who refused to embrace change even when it had all of the hallmarks of being rooted in truth. This posture of “digging in our heels” can be found in […]
http://ngcc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Being-On-The-Right-Side-Of-History.mp3 Luke records the reactions of the recipients of Paul’s persuasive presentation of the gospel in Pisidian Antioch. Their responses to the gospel are instructive for today’s church as it continues the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ.
2017-10-22 Paul delivers a persuasive speech in a synagogue in Pisidian Antioch that beautifully presents Jesus Christ as the long-awaited Messiah. He does this by referencing Hebrew scriptures and reshaping many of his recipients’ understanding of who the Messiah was always intended to be.
It’s Thanksgiving and in these unsettling and bewildering times in our world, it is good to reminded that, for the believer, our thankfulness is not dependent on external factors such as health or wealth or politics but it is anchored in a peace that defies reason. It is rooted in the sense of well-being that we […]
Clearly the war was won by Christ on the cross when He defeated sin, death and Satan. Until He returns, the battle rages on for people’s hearts and minds. Our passage today gives an example for us to follow as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission
http://ngcc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/The-Call.mp3 In our passage this week, Paul and Barnabas are called by the Holy Spirit to go on a mission together to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. The concept of “calling” raises so many questions…Does every Christian have a calling? How specific is a “call”? Is “calling” only related to full-time ministry? This week, we […]
Our text in Acts 12 is a bit of a diversion from the main narrative but has a powerful message about the character of God. Herod found out the hard way that our God is a jealous God who always seeks to protect His honour.
Peter’s supernatural escape from prison recorded in Acts 12 can be an inspiration to those of us who deal with the less tangible but very real imprisonments of chronic oppression. God wants His children to know freedom. What we learn about God from Peter’s jail break should give us hope.
One of the early tests of the diversity of the early church was the need to respond to a period famine in Judea that was impoverishing the church in Jerusalem. The response in Antioch was similar to many of the fledgling churches springing up around the Mediterranean. The original church in Jerusalem would have largely been ethnically Jewish and the new […]
2017-08-20 As the first church transitioned from its earliest Jewish roots to a church for people from a wide array of backgrounds, Paul held up a standard to guide religious practice…the laws of Christ…the law of love. The new freedom the disciples found in Christ was never to be used as a license but when […]
As we follow the narrative of Acts we are beginning to see the implications of Christ’s introduction of a New Covenant. Last week our focus was on how Christ’s work of atonement rendered the sacrificial system of the Law obsolete. This week, we see that the purification rites of the law became non-binding and ultimately symbolic […]
2017-08-06 Every time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper we here Jesus’ words; this cup is a new covenant in my blood. We explore the meaning and significance of this familiar yet puzzling phrase
2017-07-30 Why did Peter successfully pray for Dorcas to be raised from the dead? Jesus didn’t come to eliminate the death of our mortal bodies. Unless Christ returns in our lifetime we will all eventually die, but Dorcas’ resurrection does speak to the greater victory over eternal death that Christ provides!
2017-07-23 Paul’s conversion and commitment to The Truth serves as an excellent example of what responding to God’s call involves
2017-07-09 Acts 8:4-25 is an unusual account of the Deacon, Phillip fleeing the persecution in Jerusalem and preaching the gospel in Samaria. It is a profound lesson in the unorthodox acceptance of the good news and serves as a strong warning to us today
Stephen, one of the chosen Deacons of the first church, was its first martyr. He was framed by a formidable bunch known as the Synagogue of Freedmen whose passion for the Jewish tradition blinded them to the good news of Jesus Christ and prompted them to use the rhetorical weapon of half-truths to justify the killing […]
2017-06-11 As we’ve seen, the first church, faced many external threats. In Chapter Six we see that not all of the threats came from outside the church. The first church was far from homogeneous in its constituency and this resulted in an issue that had the potential to divide the fledgling church. The Godly manner in which the church responds to […]
Although the Jewish leadership thought they were an immovable object, they were reminded by Gamaliel, one of their teachers of the law, that God is the ultimate unstoppable force. If this new Jesus movement was of God, it would be futile to stand in its way, no matter how immovable they thought they were.
The measure of a threat is the perceived ability of the one threatening to deliver on their threat. As the disciples gathered together to process the threats of the religious leaders who demanded that they refrain from spreading the gospel, they were consoled by thoughts of the sovereignty of God. Instead of retreating or changing the message, […]
Peter and John used the healing of the lame beggar to validate the gospel message. In so doing, Peter referenced Old Testament scripture that employed the concept of a cornerstone as a metaphor. He accused the Jewish leaders as builders who had rejected Christ as their cornerstone. Peter contrasts the builders, the buildings and the cornerstones used by […]
Contrary to growing sentiment, Christianity is not against women. Scriptures are clear that in every respect men and women are equal before their creator, God. Divinely created gender roles do not diminish this equality but rather provide opportunity for both men and women to serve each other as Christ has served the church…selflessly
2017-05-07 Peter and John had every opportunity to emphasize the positive as folks gathered around to celebrate the miraculous healing of the lame beggar in Acts 3. Instead, they used the opportunity to confront the people for their complicity in crucifying the man’s true healer, Jesus Christ. The gospel requires such a confrontation. The good news is that, […]
2017-04-30 Not getting what you expected from your relationship with God? Perhaps He is exceeding your expectations…you just haven’t recognized it yet. A study of Acts 3.
16-April-2017 The two disheartened disciples who encountered the risen Lord on the first Easter were not able to recognize him. Why was that? It was only when Jesus broke bread with them that they had their eyes open. Fallen humanity suffers from spiritual myopia, the inability to see reality as God does. The Risen Christ has the power to […]
The “gold standard” church described in Acts 2:42-47, the first church, was contagious because of its passionate commitment to God and man. There are lessons in their example for any church
2017-03-26 Luke’s documentation of the experience of the first church in ACTS indicates that following Pentecost there was an incredible period of growth when “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Is there something the first church was doing that we aren’t?
On the Day of Pentecost, while the disciples were being powerfully filled with the promised Holy Spirit, Peter preached a sermon to a large crowd of onlookers. The result was 3000 people being transformed from skeptics to believers. What was the clincher? The fact of the singularly unique, precedent setting resurrection of Jesus Christ was the fact that turned their lives […]
2017-03-13 Peter’s explanation of the extraordinary experiences of Pentecost, found in Acts 2:14-21, centers on the ancient and somewhat puzzling prophecy of Joel. Part of God’s message through Joel is the foretelling of a coming “Day of the Lord”. Joel indicates that in preparation for this final reckoning, God will distribute His Holy Spirit indiscriminately on […]
2017-02-26 Given the compelling evidence that God was pouring out His Spirit at Pentecost, it seems remarkable that some witnesses concluded that the disciples were drunk. This denial of the obvious speaks to the nature of the human heart, which Jeremiah described as “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.”
2017-02-19 This week we look into the time between the Christ’s Ascension and the Day of Pentecost when the disciples were told to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Their approach to those ten days of waiting can be instructive for us as we, from time to time, are called by God to […]
2017-01-22 In Christ and through the infilling of each believer with the Holy Spirit, worship services changed from being led by an exclusive priestly class to being led by the Spirit- guided Body of Christ. Why does it seem we have returned to the former? Website: http://ngcc.ca/
2017-01-29 Receiving a gift is usually seen as a thrill. Why do so many Christians leave their gifts wrapped and unopened? It’s probably because the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to us, but they are not for us as much for the good of the church. But when they are accepted and put […]
2017-02-05 As we begin our study of the book of Acts, we need to look at the concept of baptism and how the Holy Spirit is involved. Tim discusses water baptism, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and what it means to be filled with the Spirit. Website: http://ngcc.ca/
2017-01-15 On this Family Sunday, “Body Speaks”, the monthly sharing of a personal testimony to God’s redemptive work”, featured our Pastor, Tim. He shared how God led him from a place of slavery to performance to the wonderful freedom of God’s grace. Website: http://ngcc.ca/