May 15, 2016
First Baptist Church
What’s the number one thing?
The Glory of God!
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever
you do, do all to the glory of God.
May Memory Verse
John 13:34-35 ESV
“A new commandment I give to you;
that you love one another: just as I
have loved you, you also are to love
By this all people will
know that you are My disciples, if you
have love for one another.”
Median Adults Service Day
Where: Mission First
When: Saturday, May 21, 2016 —
8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Why: To be difference makers and
serve our neighbors.
Sunday, May 22
KidsRock Musical “iAM”
5:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary
We will then go to President Street and
the Capitol lawn for a “Block Party”.
Festive activities, Food Trucks and a
Be one of the great people who grills
great food. Sign up to participate in
this part of the block party. Great
evening to kick-off #BEST SUMMER
Ever 16 with these activities taking
place for fellowship and connecting
Acts 9:36-43 ESV
Dorcas Restored to Life
36 Now there was in Joppa a disciple namedTabitha,
which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of
good works and acts of charity.
37 In those days she became ill and died, and
when they had washed her, they laid her in an
38 Since Lydda (LIH dah) was near Joppa
the disciples, hearing that Peter was there,
sent two men to him, urging him, “Please
come to us without delay.”
39 So Peter rose and went with them. And when
he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All
the widows stood beside him weeping and
showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas
made while she was with them.
40 But Peter put them all outside, and knelt
down and prayed;
and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, rise.”
And she opened her eyes, and when she saw
Peter she sat up.
41 And he gave her his hand and raised her up.
Then calling the saints and widows, he
presented her alive.
42 And it became known throughout all Joppa,
and many believed in the Lord.
43 And he stayed in Joppa for many days with
one Simon, a tanner.
Acts 9:36-43 ESV
Joppa -The Harbor
Joppa (Jaffa) is one of the oldest (possibly
4,000 years old) functioning harbors in the
This was the port to which Jonah came
when fleeing from the Lord toTarshish
For the construction of Solomon’sTemple,
cedars were floated from Phoenicia to Joppa
and then transported to Jerusalem (2 Chr 2:16).
While in Joppa, the apostle Peter stayed at the
house of Simon theTanner.
When Peter was praying on the roof of
Simon theTanner, he had a vision of a
large sheet filled with animals being
lowered from Heaven (Acts 9:43-10:23),
signaling to him to go with the
messengers from the Gentile, Cornelius.
The Church of St. Peter in Joppa marks the
traditional site of Peter’s vision of the great
Today Joppa has a Jewish majority (mostly from
other Mid-Eastern and North African countries)
with a sizeableArab Christian and Muslim
The modern city ofTel Aviv was founded
on the outskirts of Jaffa in 1909 and today
it encompasses the ancient city.
Tel Aviv means “the Hill of Spring” and it is
the same name as the city of a settlement
in Babylon during the Exile (Ezekiel 3:15).
Ezekiel 3:15 ESV
15 And I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who
were dwelling by the Chebar canal, and I
sat where they were dwelling. And I sat
there overwhelmed among them seven
The nameTel-aviv was found fitting as it
embraced the idea of a renaissance in the
ancient Jewish homeland.
“Tel” is a man-made mound (hill)
accumulating layers of civilization built
one over the other and symbolizing the
Aviv is Hebrew for "spring", symbolizing renewal.
Today theTel Aviv area is the largest metropolitan
area in Israel.
Due to the international dispute over the
status of Jerusalem, all national embassies
are inTel Aviv or environs.
Israel's main international airport, Ben Gurion
International Airport is 9 miles southeast ofTel
Aviv at Lydda on Highway 1 betweenTel Aviv
The scene in the book of Acts now shifts from
Paul back to Peter, who will again be the central
figure in the narrative for the next three chapters.
The continued expansion of the church outside
Jerusalem (assisted by the persecution in Acts
8:1-2) required movement on Peter's part.
Acts 8:1 ESV
1 And there arose on that day a great
persecution against the church in
Jerusalem, and they were all scattered
throughout the regions of Judea and
Samaria, except the apostles.
Acts 9:4-5 ESV
4 And falling to the ground he heard a
voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are
you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who
are you, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus,
Whom you are persecuting.
Jesus identified with His followers.
“Why are you persecuting Me?”
Acts 9:13 ESV
13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have
heard from many about this man (Saul),
how much evil he has done to your saints
at Jerusalem. (Persecution is evil.)
Persecution comes whenever and
wherever people are coming to Christ.
Eighty percent of the believers in our
world are experiencing persecution.
When 80% of a group is experiencing
something then you can consider it
“normal” and the Bible sees persecution as
normal, to be expected, a by-product of
Half of the book of Acts involves
Persecution increases as people respond
more and more to the activity of God.
The clearest predictor of persecution is
RESPONSE to the Gospel so getting rid of
persecution is not our goal.
Persecution (a very bad thing) can be used by
God for His purposes (a very good thing).
Matthew 5:10 ESV
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted
for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the
kingdom of Heaven.
God took the worst thing that ever
happened on this Earth, the persecution
and death of His Son, and used it to bring
about the best thing that ever happened
to us, our daily and eternal salvation!
Since God took the worst thing that can
ever happen and made it into the best
thing for our sakes, He can certainly take
any persecution that comes our way and
use it for His purposes.
Jesus’ response to persecution was, love
and to pray for those who persecuted him
“Father forgive them.” (Matthew 5:44
and Luke 23:34)
Matthew 5:44 ESV
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
Luke 23:34 ESV
34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them,
for they know not what they do.”
Our final response to persecution is, “God,
Every believer has the responsibility to glorify
God regardless of the circumstances.
You can choose to glorify God regardless of
Obedience will result in persecution.
Satan desires to deny entire people
groups (Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch)
access to the Gospel.
Therefore, the goal of persecutors is to deny
people access to Jesus and persecutors will do
whatever it takes to reach their goal.
The two great spiritual opportunities are:
1) Access to Jesus and
2) Opportunity to witness for Jesus.
Therefore, choosing Jesus as your Savior
and Lord and then sharing His love with
others are the clearest ways to stand
against evil and to oppose evil.
We do not need to be guilty of refusing to
push back against evil.
When you choose to not share your faith, it
denies people access to God and you are
supporting the cause for evil.
Persecutors often use violence to
reach their goal and when you do not
share the Gospel (deny people access
to Jesus), you are bringing about the
same result as their evil violence.
Your silence = their violence.
When you witness to someone, you are
identifying with those in chains who are being
persecuted for their witness.
Hebrews 13:3 ESV
3 Remember those who are in prison, as
though in prison with them, and those
who are mistreated, since you also are in
When you are silent, you are identifying with
those who placed them in the chains.
Persecution decreases when people stop
coming to Jesus.
Persecution increases when people are
God allows persecution because people
will be saved.
God was content to leave Joseph in prison
in Egypt for a long time.
God gave purpose to this long time of
suffering in Joseph’s life.
If someone would have rescued Joseph
prematurely, they would have been
contributing to the starvation of the
Israelites (God’s people) and the Egyptians
(not yet God’s people).
God can use persecution (one to suffer for the
salvation of many) to deliver both believers and
In God’s perfect timing, Joseph
interpreted Pharaoh’s dream that led to
the preparation for the coming
God has a higher purpose than lessening
the suffering of persecuted believers.
Here in the USA, we are free to worship
but we are also free to witness.
Believers in Iran are free to share Jesus, it
just carries more severe consequences for
Being a witness for Jesus has little to do
with political freedom.
Our willingness to witness has everything
to do with obedience and using the
courage God has already given us.
Spiritual brokenness cannot be fixed
through political (human governmental)
Jesus teaches that persecution is normal
and to be expected by the obedient
To stop persecution is to work contrary to His
Matthew 16:21-23 ESV
21 From that time Jesus began to show His
disciples that He must go to Jerusalem
and suffer many things from the elders
and chief priests and scribes, and be killed,
and on the third day be raised.
22And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him,
saying, “Far be it fromYou, Lord! This shall never
happen toYou.” 23 But He turned and said to Peter,
“Get behind Me, Satan!You are a hindrance to Me. For
you are not setting your mind on the things of God,
but on the things of man.”
Matthew 16:21-23 ESV
(His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Isaiah
Persecution is the result of obedient
The only way to stop persecution is to
Working to stop something that Jesus
told us to expect puts us in a strange
God has great purposes tied to the
suffering of His people.
Don’t run from the suffering, don’t give
in to the desire to – above all else, be
The flesh will naturally work against the
purpose of the Spirit.
Spiritual awakenings on Earth today
are in countries where persecution
The best way we can help persecuted
Christians is to witness consistently
where you are every day.
Believers who are being persecuted today do
not ask us to pray that the persecution will
cease, they ask us to pray that they would be
obedient through their suffering.
The question is not, “How can we
keep persecution from happening to
The question is, “Why are we not
Acts 9:32-35 ESV
32 Now as Peter went here and there
among them all, he came down also to the
saints who lived at Lydda. 33There he
found a man named Aeneas (uh-NEE-uhs),
bedridden for eight years, who was
34 And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus
Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.”
And immediately he rose. 35 And all the
residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him,
and they turned to the Lord.
Acts 9:32-35 ESV
The statement “as Peter went here and
there” shows the ceaseless itinerant
character of Peter's ministry at that
On one of his trips, he came down to
visit the saints who lived at Lydda.
Peter was not set in some hierarchical
office but was moving, which made it
easy for God to direct him.
You can’t steer a ship that is not
moving - the movement creates the
opportunity to steer.
Those actively involved in ministry are
usually the ones to whom God grants
the most ministry opportunities.
God has always seemed to entrust His
richest ministries to His busiest saints.
Just being wholeheartedly active in
ministry (which could even be an active
prayer ministry if you are not mobile)
places one in strategic opportunities.
Acts 9:33 ESV
33There he found a (certain) man
named Aeneas (uh-NEE-uhs),
bedridden for eight years, who was
The use of the term “a certain man” to
describe him, when contrasted with the
description of Dorcas as "a certain
disciple," suggests he was not a believer.
There are no examples in the New
Testament of believers being healed
(though Lazarus, Dorcas, and
Eutychus were raised from the dead).
Luke does not say whether Aeneas
was paralyzed due to a stroke, an
illness such as polio, or an injury.
In any case, his paralysis was beyond
the abilities of the limited medical
knowledge of that day.
He had already been bedridden eight
years, and faced that prospect for the
rest of his life.
Peter's availability because he was
involved gave him an open door for
The miracle, besides its obvious impact
in the life of Aeneas, was to be used by
God to bring large numbers of people
in the surrounding region to faith in
Acts 9:34 ESV
34 And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus
Christ heals you; rise and make your
bed.” And immediately he rose.
1 Peter 4:11 says,
"Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were,
the utterances of God; whoever serves, let
him do so as by the strength which God
supplies; so that in all things God may be
glorified through Jesus Christ, toWhom
belongs the glory and dominion forever and
Aeneas immediately arose, with no
As noted in the discussion of Acts 3:8,
the healings performed by Jesus Christ
and the apostles were instantaneous
The NewTestament knows nothing of
"progressive healings," where someone
has been "healed," and is now gradually
Peter's availability led to an even
more astounding opportunity; Aeneas
was healed, but Dorcas was raised
from the dead.
While Peter was at Lydda, tragedy
struck the church at nearby Joppa.
One of the most beloved members was a certain
disciple namedTabitha (more commonly known by
her Greek name of Dorcas; both names mean
The epitaph on this lovely lady was that
this woman was abounding with deeds
of kindness and charity, which she
Specifically, as verse 39 shows, she made
clothes for the poor and needy.
In contrast to Aeneas, she is specifically
called a disciple.
Mathetria (disciple), the feminine form
of mathetes ("disciple"), appears only
here in the NewTestament.
Dorcas was certainly an appropriate
model for what a Christian woman
She fulfilled her calling as a disciple.
Naturally when at that time she fell sick
and died, it was a serious blow to the
believers in Joppa.
They washed her body in preparation
for burial, as was customary.
However, instead of burying her
immediately, as was also customary
(Acts 5:6,10), they laid her body in an
Evidently, they had something else in
What that was becomes immediately apparent.
Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples heard
that Peter was there.
No doubt they had also heard of his healing of
Aeneas, which gave them an idea.
They sent two men to Peter, entreating him
urgently, "Do not delay to come to us."
Despite his consuming duties among the
masses confessing Jesus as Lord, Peter
arose and went with them (as Philip did in
He was never too busy (compassionate
Christians seldom are too busy) with the
crowds to be available to help in time of
When he had come to Joppa, they brought
him into the upper room where they had
laid Dorcas's body.
Peter saw firsthand how deeply loved Dorcas
was and what a loss her death was for the
church at Joppa.
All the widows of the church stood beside him
weeping, and showing all the tunics and garments
that Dorcas used to make while she was with them.
The church's responsibility to care for widows,
though often neglected today, was taken seriously
in the early church (Acts 6:1 ff.; 1Tim 5:1 ff.).
Employment opportunities for women were
severely limited, and widows without family
to care for them were often left destitute
(Mark 12:41-44; Luke 7:11-15).
The loss of Dorcas, therefore, was a serious
blow to these widows.
Many believe that to deny women
leadership roles in the church is to deny
them the opportunity to minister.
Nothing could be further from the
Dorcas neither preached nor led the newly
born church, yet her ministry in the Joppa
church was so crucial as to endear her to all.
Acts 9:40-41 ESV
40 But Peter put them all outside, and knelt
down and prayed; and turning to the body
he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened
her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat
up. 41 And he gave her his hand and raised
her up.Then calling the saints and widows,
he presented her alive.
As he had seen the Lord do when He
raised Jairus' daughter (Mark 5:40),
Peter sent them all out of the room
where Dorcas's body lay.
Mark 5:37-42 ESV
37 Jesus did not let anyone follow Him except
Peter, James and John the brother of James.
38When they came to the home of the
synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with
people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in
and said to them, “Why all this commotion and
wailing?The child is not dead but asleep.”
40 But they laughed at Him.After He put
them all out, He took the child’s father and
mother and the disciples who were with
Him, and went in where the child was.
41 He took her by the hand and said to her,
“Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I
say to you, get up!”).
42 Immediately the girl stood up and began
to walk around (she was twelve years old).
At this they were completely astonished.
Mark 5:37-42 ESV
Peter would not put on a display before
the crowd that would draw all attention
to him, and he also wanted a quiet
place to pray.
Some might think that Peter, who had
been involved in countless healings (Acts
5:12-16), should have simply commanded
Dorcas to rise.
He knew, however, the source of his
power and presumed nothing about the
will of God.
Accordingly, he knelt down and prayed.
Essential to all successful ministry,
prayer acknowledges dependence on
Prayer realizes that God is "able to do
exceeding abundantly beyond all that
we ask or think, according to His power
that works within us" (Ephesians 3:20).
Peter had learned the importance of
prayer from His Lord, having seen and
heard Him many times in communion
with His Father. (Matthew 14:23; Luke
Many years ago five young college
students made their way to London to
hear Charles Haddon Spurgeon preach.
Arriving early at the Metropolitan
Tabernacle, they found the doors still
While they waited on the steps, a man
approached them and asked, "Would
you like to see the heating apparatus of
That was not what they had come for,
but they agreed to go with him.
He led them into the building, down a long
flight of stairs, and into a hallway.
At the end of the hallway he opened a
door into a large room filled with seven
hundred people on their knees praying.
"That," said their guide (who was none
other than Spurgeon himself), "is the
heating apparatus of this church."
Having finished praying, Peter turned
to Dorcas's body and said, "Tabitha,
arise." And she opened her eyes, and
when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he
gave her his hand and raised her up;
and calling the saints and widows, he
presented her alive.
For those who loved her the joy must
have been inexpressible.
That God did not raise her solely for
their benefit, however, will soon
Acts 9:42 ESV
42 And it became known throughout all
Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.
God's greater purpose for raising
Dorcas now became clear as word of
her return to life became known all
God used miracles as confirming signs
that the Gospel is true.
He also used them to authenticate the
apostles as His messengers.
God used the raising of Dorcas as the spark for
the salvation throughout the city.
As with the healing of Aeneas, Peter's ministry
bore much fruit.
Because of Dorcas's resurrection, many in
Joppa believed in the Lord.
Again Peter's God-empowered ministry, both in
Lydda and Joppa, caused many souls to be
added to the kingdom.
Acts 9:43 ESV
43 And he stayed in Joppa for many days
with one Simon, a tanner.
This footnote serves as a bridge between
this passage and the following account of
Peter decided to remain in Joppa and
stayed many days with a certain tanner
These were challenging days for Peter, as
the walls of his lifelong prejudices tumbled
First came the conversion and Spirit-filling
of the Samaritans (Philip in Acts 8), with
whom no self-respecting Jew had any
Yet Peter had been forced to welcome them as
brothers in Christ.
Soon will come an even greater shock, as
Gentiles enter the church.
In this seemingly insignificant footnote, yet
another wall comes down, as Peter stays with a
Tanners were despised in first-century
Jewish society, since they dealt with the
skins of dead animals.
Tanning was thus considered an unclean
occupation, and Simon the tanner would
have been shunned by the local
Prejudice is devastating to any ministry.
In far too many Christian circles, those who
do not fit the mold are rejected.
Any bigotry is a blight on the cause of God,
Who "is not One to show partiality" (Acts
There is no place in an effective
personal ministry for prejudice.
Peter knew the principles for an
effective personal ministry, and lived
Because of that, the Lord blessed his
ministry to individuals as much as his
ministry before the huge crowds.
In fact, one led to the other.
It would be through his ministry to another
individual,Cornelius, that the final barrier
would be thrown down, and Gentiles would be
admitted to the church.
The Plan of Hope & Salvation
John 3:16 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have
John 14:6 ESV
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the
life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Romans 3:23 ESV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23a ESV
23a For the wages of sin is death,
• Death in this life (the first death) is 100%.
• Even Jesus, the only one who doesn’t deserve death, died in
this life to pay the penalty for our sins.
• The death referred to in Romans 6:23a is the second death
explained in Revelation 21:8.
Revelation 21:8 ESV
8 “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as
for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters,
and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns
with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Romans 6:23b ESV
23b but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our
Romans 5:8 ESV
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still
sinners, Christ died for us.
Revelation 21:7 ESV
7 "The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will
be his God and he will be my son.”
Romans 10:9-10 explains to us how to be conquerors.
Romans 10:9-10 ESV
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is
Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from
the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one
believes and is justified, and with the mouth one
confesses and is saved.
Romans 10:13 ESV
13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be
If you have questions or would like to know more, Please,
contact First Baptist Church Jackson at 601-949-1900 or