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7 years ago  ::  Feb 29, 2008 - 6:29PM #1
Anesis
Posts: 1,543
I have been wanting to do a study on the Acts of the early church, but have found my time short these days. Most of you know that my education is in social work, and what I'm trying to figure out is how I can use my education and position in a way that will minister to the community in much the same way as in the book of Acts. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. So apart from direct evangelism, what were some of the acts of the early church, and why do you suppose they did things the way they did?
An
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 01, 2008 - 10:00AM #2
miami-ted
Posts: 981
Good morning An,

I don't know, I thought it was all pretty much direct evangelism.

God bless.
In Christ, Ted.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 01, 2008 - 11:24AM #3
Spirit-Wind
Posts: 308
Check out chapter six.  In the first 4 verses, the twelve apostles realize a need to select certain believers to provide for the physical needs of those who are unable to for themselves.  This sure sounds like social work to me.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 01, 2008 - 3:02PM #4
Anesis
Posts: 1,543
SW, yes, that is what I had started with. So what do we know about the seven who were chosen? What were their qualifications? Did they have a special way of setting up their programs, and how did they go about deciding their distributions? How about their characteristics? How were they chosen to do the job they did? Aside from distribution of food, what else was their job? Any idea of other places in the Bible that speak to this are good too - I did not mean to keep it in the book of Acts.
An
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 06, 2008 - 12:48AM #5
LiveOak
Posts: 119
[QUOTE=Anesis;323286]I have been wanting to do a study on the Acts of the early church, but have found my time short these days. Most of you know that my education is in social work, and what I'm trying to figure out is how I can use my education and position in a way that will minister to the community in much the same way as in the book of Acts. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. So apart from direct evangelism, what were some of the acts of the early church, and why do you suppose they did things the way they did?
An[/QUOTE]

Dear An,

I like Acts 3, where Peter and John came across a 40+ year old man crippled from birth. The only way this man had ever known to survive was to rely on others: some carrying him to the temple gate, and some tossing him spare change. The beggar asked Peter and John for money in the same way he asked everyone else, but the response from these Christians was far different:
1. They looked at him, and asked the man to look back at them. The beggar had become cold in his "job", talking at people and looking through them, always alert for the extra coin. But Peter and John looked at him, really looked at him, not as a spectacle, a burden, or an object of pity, but as a soul, equally loved by God Almighty as any prophet, priest or rabbi. The beggar gave them his attention - had he really given his full attention to any one person in all these years, or were people a singular current of motion? Peter and John stopped and looked him in the eyes - often my kindness to strangers is just that - kindness thrown over my shoulder as I motor by without altering my focus or slowing from my purpose - and the kindness lands with a dull empty thud, and the stranger remains estranged. Our love must be in the name, and manner, of Jesus - Jesus lived among us. He could have dropped the Book from heaven as a gift, but he came and met us where we were, and dwelt among us, and even now makes his dwelling place inside us.
2. Peter and John took the beggar by the hand , and helped him to his feet. Peter and John may not have had silver and gold, but the gift they gave was not the next best thing, but the most amazing thing - the ability to stand on his own. No longer would he be carried to the Beautiful gate to sit in the dirt, looking at sandals swooshing by with their lives and goals and dreams, dusting more dirt onto him in their wake. He was walking, JUMPING, and praising (a word of understatement if ever there were one - imagine the giddiness sloshing out of his cup as he danced in abandon). Even as the crowd gathered and Peter and John addressed the crowd, the beggar held onto Peter and John, as the Samaritan leper returned to Jesus instead of rushing off to capitalize on his newfound wellness.
3. Peter and John "made the most of every opportunity", as Colossians 4 encourages. It's good to praise God and bring kindness to people, but not as good as bringing others to God, where they can experience the "times of refreshing" from the Lord. It was faith in Jesus that brought this man complete healing, they said, and this complete healing is for all of you people, not just this man - repent and have faith in Jesus. You are filled with wonder and amazement by seeing healing happen to another - repent and have faith in Jesus, and imagine your wonder and your amazement and your sloshing giddiness as you realize complete healing by the grace of God.

Peter and John gave more than a little sustenance to a man in need, they reached into a man's life, raised him up and brought him to Jesus, using this event to bring others to Jesus too. Inspiring.

Cheers,

Dave

PS. The book of Acts also has tons of verses on baptism which would make a great study. It's eye-opening to see how they were all baptized when they believed - a relic of the people whom Jesus taught directly.
Sorry, couldn't help myself :)
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2008 - 4:26PM #6
Elijah
Posts: 663
St John 5;43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: (Jesus) if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. (Paul) I wouldn't touch the book of The Acts, with a ten foot pole. You should go to New Religious Movements "Elijah's Church" playing church is over.
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