Dear Faith Family,
As we continue our study in Acts this week, we see how Stephen’s death created a great persecution against the church, which led to a great dispersion of the Christians, which led to a great expansion of the Word—the spread of the gospel—and a great advancement of the kingdom. In this section we find people who are speaking the gospel wherever they go, people who are getting the gospel, and people who are guarding the gospel.
Our text is Acts 8:1-25.
Pastor Chad Sadorf has developed a series of Children’s Messages, based on the I Am statements of Jesus found in the Gospel of John. These weekly lessons appear following the Benediction at the conclusion of the service, and they include some excellent teaching which you may find to be instructional for all ages.
Service for Family Worship:
Call to Worship: Psalm 34:1-3
Father… as we come before you this morning, we confess that we don’t understand the perfection of your holiness (You hid your servant Moses in the cleft of the rock…so he wouldn’t die from your glory…)
It exhausts our minds when we think about your absolute power (You spoke your creation both spiritual and physical into existence…and You sustain it all by the power of your Word…)
And for sure we haven’t even understood the surface of the depth of your love…(Your own Son died naked and forsaken on the town garbage heap…between two thieves…so we could call you Father)
And these are just a few of your attributes…which are the standard of perfection. But we’ve come here today in the Name of Our Savior Jesus…and we’re here boldly…because you said so…We also come with empty hands…and with broken hearts… And we come in faith… wearing Jesus’ own robe of righteousness…And we present ourselves to you asking the Holy Spirit to enable and direct our worship for your glory and honor… And although this service is not about us…even so, would you change us as we commune with the one true God…Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways!
Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands!
Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
And God spoke all these words, saying:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.
Father, you tell us in your Word that whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. We confess that we have frequently relaxed our faith.
We often allow ourselves to become cynical, and our cynicism boils over with slander, criticism, prayerlessness, pessimism, and faithlessness. How easily we’ve allowed ourselves to crumple under the stresses of our lives. Father, forgive us for the totality of our sin, especially when we doubt your promises, and grumble against your good providence. Then would you transform us, and sanctify us by your Word, and through your Spirit. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon:
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Glory to God!
Affirmation of Faith: The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell1. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic2 church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
1Christ was under the power of death for a time; he incurred the full penalty for the sins of God’s people.
2Catholic is defined as God’s universal church.
As we worship the Lord through giving, with transformed lives and renewed minds, let us give up our perceived right of ownership and take up the freedom of stewardship.
Online giving is now available for your convenience. This link, https://www.faithpresarp.org/give/, will take you to the page that explains this process and includes a button which will redirect you to the secured giving platform.
Pastoral Prayer: (Click here for the Pastoral Prayer)
Sermon: Proclaiming the Good News (Click here to listen to the sermon)
I. Speaking the gospel
II. Getting the gospel
III. Guarding the gospel
Benediction (Click here to hear this week’s benediction)
Questions for Further Discussion
1. Who was not scattered – 8:1? What is the significance?
2. In Samaria, what attitude did the people have toward the gospel?
3. Define sorcery. List passages that discuss it.
4. What are some of the implications of Simon’s request to buy the power of the apostles?
5. Discuss the contrasts between Philip and Simon.
Lesson 2: I Am the Bread of Life
Jesus meets our physical and spiritual needs.
This study is part of a series on the I AM statements of Jesus.
John 6:1-40 for fuller context or John 6:26-40 (Have children listen closely for when Jesus says “I am”).
Lesson and Interaction:
Last week we started a new series to help us get to know Jesus better. We learned that in the gospel of John in the Bible, John records seven different times when Jesus calls himself “I AM,” and then Jesus describes himself in a special way.
Do you remember from last week what is so special about Jesus saying “I am?” (Allow responses.)
When Jesus said, “before Abraham was even born, I am” in John 8:58, he was saying he is God. All the people listening to Jesus would have understood that Jesus was saying he is God, because they would have remembered the story in Exodus, where Moses meets God in the burning bush and God says his name is “I am.”
We know that Jesus is God and that he loves us so much that he died for our sins. But what else do we know about him? (Allow children to respond. Let them voice their ideas. This is a good time to take their “spiritual pulse” of their understanding of who Jesus really is.)
Today we are going to learn about one of the “I am” statement of Jesus.
Did you hear the “I am” statement Jesus made in this passage? What picture did Jesus use to describe himself? (Allow responses.) Answer: Bread.
The crowd had been complaining, saying God performed miracles for Moses and the Israelites in the desert, when God sent manna from heaven for them to eat. The crowd was hungry. If Jesus was really who he said he was, the crowd was wanting Jesus to make their hunger go away by feeding them.
Does it sound like the people are interested in the life-giving bread from heaven, or just in miracles? All the crowd really wanted was for Jesus to feed them, like he had the day before. They were not interested in hearing about the bread of life. They wanted their tummies to be filled, but Jesus wanted to fill their hearts.
Do you like bread? What kinds of foods are made with bread? (Allow responses.) Bread for many people is a basic food. Without it many people would be hungry.
When Jesus started talking about “a bread that would always keep them full,” the crowd listened. Jesus was offering something even better than food to fill their empty stomachs.
In verse 33, Jesus said, “The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
In verse 35, Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again.
Jesus provides for us our daily bread to eat and fill our empty tummies when we are hungry. But when Jesus says he is the bread of life, he means that he wants to fill our empty hearts. We may have food in our bellies, but spiritually, we would have nothing without him. We could read our Bibles, pray, go to church, and serve others all we want, but all of that means nothing without Jesus. It is Jesus who gives meaning to going to church, praying, reading our Bibles, and serving others.
When we celebrate Communion in church we are reminded of today’s “I Am” saying of Jesus, because we see on the communion tray pieces of bread, and we are told by the pastor that “Jesus is the bread of life”.
In verse 29, Jesus says that God wants us to do one thing: “Believe in the one God has sent.”
Who is the one God has sent? (Allow responses.) Jesus, of course!
We might really like bread in the form of pizza, biscuits, PBJ sandwiches, muffins and banana bread, but nothing will ever satisfy you like the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ.
Jesus promises to be the bread of life for us when we believe that he is God, who came to die on the cross, in our place, for our sins!
Thank you, God for providing a way that both types of hunger can be satisfied. We have food, such as daily bread, to fill our stomachs and to make our bodies work properly. But thank you, God for sending Your Son, Jesus. He is the Bread of Life. He is the only one who can satisfy our hunger for a life of joy, love, peace and forgiveness for our sins. Help us to trust him, follow him and know him. We ask this in the name of Jesus – the Bread of Life! Amen.
Scripture Passage: John 6:26-40 New International Version (NIV)
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. 27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”
28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”
29“Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
30 They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? 31 After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”
35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. 37 However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. 38 For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. 39 And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. 40 For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”