Yes, this message's title is a play on the words demon-possessed. Deacons were among the church's earliest leaders and so were elders. Leadership is needed in every sphere of life from governing a nation, managing a business, growing a marriage, and superintending a church. Jesus called the church His church, so no single person or denomination can lay claim to it. But how is the church to operate as an organization? And how is it that some deacons and elders stop being helpful and humble and become downright hurtful?
From the teaching series Church? Who Needs It
|Acts 6 (NKJV™)|
|1||Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.|
|2||Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.|
|3||"Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;|
|4||"but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word."|
|5||And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch,|
|6||whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.|
|7||Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.|
|8||And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.|
|9||Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen.|
|10||And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.|
|11||Then they secretly induced men to say, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God."|
|12||And they stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes; and they came upon him, seized him, and brought him to the council.|
|13||They also set up false witnesses who said, "This man does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law;|
|14||"for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses delivered to us."|
|15||And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel.|
|Acts 20 (NKJV™)|
|1||After the uproar had ceased, Paul called the disciples to himself, embraced them, and departed to go to Macedonia.|
|2||Now when he had gone over that region and encouraged them with many words, he came to Greece|
|3||and stayed three months. And when the Jews plotted against him as he was about to sail to Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia.|
|4||And Sopater of Berea accompanied him to Asia--also Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.|
|5||These men, going ahead, waited for us at Troas.|
|6||But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days.|
|7||Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.|
|8||There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together.|
|9||And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead.|
|10||But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, "Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him."|
|11||Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed.|
|12||And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted.|
|13||Then we went ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, there intending to take Paul on board; for so he had given orders, intending himself to go on foot.|
|14||And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene.|
|15||We sailed from there, and the next day came opposite Chios. The following day we arrived at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium. The next day we came to Miletus.|
|16||For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.|
|17||From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.|
|18||And when they had come to him, he said to them: "You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you,|
|19||"serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews;|
|20||"how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house,|
|21||"testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.|
|22||"And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there,|
|23||"except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.|
|24||"But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.|
|25||"And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.|
|26||"Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.|
|27||"For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.|
|28||"Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.|
|29||"For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.|
|30||"Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.|
|31||"Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.|
|32||"So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.|
|33||"I have coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel.|
|34||"Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me.|
|35||"I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"|
|36||And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.|
New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.
Who We Are:
We pursue the God who is passionately pursuing a lost world; we do this with one another, through worship, by the Word, to the world.
What We Do:
We express our adoration of Jesus through dynamic worship and uncompromised obedience.
We explain the relevance of the Bible to empower and transform lives for service.
We extend hope to a hurting world by proclaiming the gospel and demonstrating Christ's love.
We Believe that there is one living and true GOD, eternally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory; this triune God created all, upholds all, and governs all.
We Believe that the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, fully inspired, without error in the original manuscripts, and the infallible rule of faith and practice.
We Believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in Holiness, wisdom, power, and love; that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; that He hears and answers prayer; and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ.
We Believe in Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit.
We Believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teaching, His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal, visible return to earth.
We Believe in the Holy Spirit, who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; and to regenerate, sanctify and empower all that believe in Jesus Christ for ministry.
We Believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is an abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide.
We Believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and in the exercise of all the Biblical gifts of the Holy Spirit.
We Believe that all people are sinners by nature and choice and, therefore, are under condemnation; that God regenerates by the Holy Spirit, those who repent of their sins and confess Jesus Christ as Lord.
We Believe that Jesus Christ baptizes the seeking believer with the Holy Spirit and empowers the believers for service, often subsequent to regeneration.
We Believe in the universal church, the living spiritual body, of which Christ is the head, and all regenerated persons are members.
We Believe that Jesus committed two ordinances to the church: 1) Baptism and, 2) the Lord's Supper. We believe in baptism by immersion and communion open to all believers.
We Believe also in the laying on of hands for baptism of the Holy Spirit, for ordination of pastors, elders, and deacons, and receiving from the Holy Spirit through the believer the gift of healing.
We Believe in the personal, visible return of Christ to the earth and the establishing of His Kingdom, in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment and eternal blessing of the righteous, and the endless suffering of the wicked.
We Believe in what is termed the Apostles Creed as embodying the fundamental facts of Christian faith.
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From the Series:
Church? Who Needs It
The Church. Who really needs to be a part of it? Why should we belong to something so archaic and so narrow? The culture around us seems to ask this question relentlessly, but what is the answer? Pastor Skip Heitzig presents a series of reasons why the church, as Christ established it, is so vitally important to the Christian walk. From God's original intent for His church, to the ways in which He uses us today, and the reasons why people attend and leave the church, this series emphasizes the importance of the Church and the need to revere it as divinely established.