Philippians: Joy Centred in Jesus – Part 1

Acts 16:11-40

The Birth of a New Church

I. Four SCENES in the BIRTH of a church. (v.11-40)
A. PRAYER at the RIVER. (v.11-15)
B. CONFRONTING spiritual FORCES. (v.16-18)
C. CHALLENGING the cultural NORMS. (v.19-24)
D. PRAYING in PRISON. (v.25-40)

We are transitioning this week from the Season of Mission to the Season of the Writings, where we focus in on some of the shorter books of the Bible. Next week we will start into Philippians so today we are going to look at the very beginning of the church in Philippi.

1. Kid’s Question: When have you wanted God to do a miracle?
2. Which of the four “scenes” of the birth of the church at Philippi stands out the most to you personally? Why?

II. Some THEMES that keep RESURFACING. (v.11-40)
A. From ABSTRACT God to CONCRETE Jesus. (v.14, 17-18, 31)
B. It is GOD who does the WORK. (v.14, 18, 26)
C. The TRANSFORMATIVE POWER of the gospel. (v.14-15, 18, 18, 31-34)

In these 4 scenes there are some ideas that seem to come up over and over. They give us insight into the things Paul was encountering as he planted this church as well as some of the key truths that he held on to when things got a little tough.

3. How do you find people in our world understand Jesus in relation to God? How can you help keep the focus on Jesus as the fullness of who God is?
4. Can we overemphasize the fact that “God does the work”? How does that truth impact your own spiritual journey?
5. How is your life different because of Jesus? How could you share that aspect/story with someone else?

III. Being a CHURCH of HOPE in Hope? (Rom. 15:13)
A. The gospel keeps JESUS at the FOREFRONT. (v.18,31; I Cor. 2:2)
1. It does this in WORDS and ACTIONS. (v.14, 18, 28; Jn 1:14)
B. Trusting GOD beyond the visible CIRCUMSTANCES. (v.25; Mt. 28:18; Rom. 10:9; Rom. 8:28-29)
C. The gospel CHALLENGES and CHANGES the status quo. (v.16-40; Lk. 15:1-2)

As we look at the beginnings of the church in Philippi, there are several things that we can apply to what we are doing here in Hope BC, 2023. There are some basic practices that help keep us centred on what the whole purpose of being the church is.

6. How have you seen Jesus effectively communicated in words? How about in action? Where can you do the same?
7. Read the scriptures attached to Point III.B. What questions do these texts raise in your own mind? Does God really work all things for our good?
8. Where has the gospel challenged you? Where is it challenging the culture around us? How can you live into that challenge as an agent of change?