As we prepare to conclude our study of Luke 9-19 we are once again confronted with the issue of riches and wealth. Reflecting on the journey to Jerusalem we remember that there was a rich landowner who foolishly planned to build bigger barns without considering the One who determined whether or not he would live to enjoy it (Luke 12:13-21). Then there was the rich young ruler who could not part with his wealth to follow Jesus (Luke 18:18-30). This parable says something to us about our wealth and its use from God’s perspective.
First, Jesus underlines how important it is that we use God’s financial blessings for the work of the kingdom. Ten servants are given a coin each with the instruction to multiply it’s value. We are told of three who were noteworthy in regard to their obedience and we assume the other seven recipients fell somewhere in between the extremes that the ruler discovered upon his return.
KINGDOMS AND KINGS
Second, Jesus refers to a king who goes away to be crowned king and then return to destroy those who refused to submit to his rule. Some have suggested that there had been a similar situation with Herod Archelaus that would be recalled in Judea’s recent history. From Christ’s perspective, however, what begins in Jerusalem with His suffering, death and resurrection will come to its climax when He returns.
FEAR OF FAILURE
Finally, there is the one servant who is afraid and who does nothing with the coin his master had given to him. God’s wealth is not given to be unproductively hoarded and hidden out of fear for losing it. In the parable he loses his mina to the one who was extraordinarily productive.
Kingdom people are risk takers whose investments range from those who make 1000% to 500% to others who will simply collect interest at the bank and profit at all points in between. The key is that the Gospel always bears fruit wherever it goes.
Every follower of Christ has a stake in growing the kingdom!
When someone asks for our I.D., they want to know who we are and where we live. Not just any I.D. card will do. When the police officer asks for our I.D. we don’t give him our library card! We give him our driver’s license that is issued by the government of the state in which we live.
Our spiritual I.D. centers around the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ in Whom we celebrate our salvation. It is the spiritual DNA of the body of Christ and it defines who we are, why we are here, and what we do.
This first of our 5-lesson series will focus upon how a person becomes a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of Christ’s church. What is the core belief that draws all of us together at the Shoreline Church?
At the conclusion of the lesson, our shepherd, Dean Wolf, will offer some comments and reflections about the lesson and what it means for our Shoreline Church family. His key text is Romans 8:9-17.
It had been 13 years since Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus and 10 years since his failed attempt to return to Jerusalem. His hope had likely been to make amends with those he had hurt and convince his friends that Jesus was, indeed, the Messiah (Acts 22:17-21). That was when the disciples ‘took’ Saul and ‘sent’ him back to his hometown of Tarsus (Acts 9:30).
Now, 13 years later, Barnabas needs help with the exploding Gentile church in Antioch and we find him knocking on Saul’s door in Tarsus, asking him if he can come help (Acts 11:25-26). They would spend a year together. So, after 14 years since meeting Jesus Barnabas and Saul make their way back to Jerusalem bearing gifts from Antioch to help steel them for the predicted famine that would come.
This trip to Jerusalem has Saul being mentored in Barnabas’s shadow as Luke notes that the two of them, uneventfully, return to Antioch (Acts 12:25). At some point in their first missionary journey, however, Luke makes a couple of changes that are significant. First, he acknowledges Saul’s Greek name, Paul (Acts 13:9), and he now lists these two evangelists as “Paul and Barnabas” (Acts 13:14).
It is easy to think that Saul’s maturing in Christ happened shortly after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus. But, a lot needed to happen for Saul to be ready to take the gospel to the world. Those 15 years represent a lot of hard work to help Saul become the evangelist, Paul. Time well spent when we consider his impact upon churches all over the world ever since then,
After Jesus’ ascension into the sky, the angels told the apostles that He would return the same way (Acts 1:11). The first Gospel Sermon introduces ‘these last days’ with the core message of salvation through Jesus Christ.
It’s Pentecost Day and the apostle Peter is presenting the Gospel for the very first time. The prophet Joel had prophesied about this day with a glimpse of the future (Joel 2:28-32). Now, in ‘these last days’ Peter introduces the gospel message that will stand until Jesus returns. This is the ‘Good News’ and it is echoed repeatedly in the remainder of the New Testament.
REPENT AND BE BAPTIZED
As Peter said, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God” (Acts 2:38, NLT).
Above is the Youtube posting of the music video entitled “The Gospel” by Ryan Stevenson. The video can be purchased and downloaded at Worship House Media.