Israel Day 2: Antipatris, Caeserea, Mt. Caramel/Jezreel Valley, Nazarath

We had a great 2nd day here in Israel.  Everyone is doing well &  adjusting to the “jet -lag”.  We visited several key places & continued our “Gospel Driven” theme by continuing to look at the life of Paul while in Antipatris (Acts 23) & Caeserea (Acts 12).  At Mt Caramel/Jezeel Valley we looked at the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18).  We closed the day by journeying to Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus, & looking at the Year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25).  The Lord is already teaching our team many things & it is our prayer that he continues to show and use us in a mighty way this week!

Lesson: “Tell Your Story” – Acts 26:1-29

Acts Purpose Statement: The unstoppable ministry of Jesus continues By the power of the Spirit through the witness of God’s people.

I. A Gospel-Driven Life Has A Story to Tell

II. A Gospel-Driven Life Encounters Opposition.

II. A Gospel-Driven Life seems Insane to the World. 

III. A Gospel-Driven Life is Convincing

Fortress Ruins site at Antipatris (Acts 23)

Antiatrisruins2

Lesson: The Gospel Driven Life- Paul

Gospel-Centered People-They are driven by a love for Jesus and his work on our behalf. Gospel-centered people are focused on Jesus His Finished work, His Present Work, and His Future Work. Joe Thorn

 Outline of Acts 23:

A. The Council for Paul (Acts 23:1–11)

B. The Conspiracy Against Paul (Acts 23:12–22)

C. The Cartage of Paul (Acts 23:23–35)

I. A Gospel-Driven Life will Persevere. (1-5)

II. A Gospel-Driven Life is Perceptive. (6-11)

III. A Gospel-Driven Life experiences Persecution. (12-22)

IV. A Gospel-Driven Life is Preposterous. (23-35)

preposterous- contrary to reason or common sense; utterly absurd or ridiculous.Two centurions, each commanding a hundred men, were assigned to the task. In addition, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen were also assigned to the task force. This constituted a small army, a rather formidable force just to protect one man. But the commander was taking no chances. He knew the Jews well enough to suspect that the conspiracy against Paul might be extensive.-Wade, J. W. (1987). Acts: Unlocking the Scriptures for You. Standard Bible Studies (245). Cincinnati, OH: Standard.

Ruins from the Herod’s Palace at the Caesarea

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Lesson: Gospel Centered People Put Off Pride- Herod (Acts 12:19-23)

I. A Person of Pride. 

II. The Punishment for Pride. 

Principles for Putting Off Pride:

1. Realize pride is deceptive.

2. Cultivate accountability that calls for repentance.

James 5:16 (ESV)16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

3. Realize neglecting the Body of Christ (Church) is prideful opposition to God. (Heb 10:25, Acts 12:24) Hebrews 10:25 (ESV)

25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

But the Bible says the local church is important. God has entrusted local churches with godly leaders who teach us His Word and care for our souls (Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:1–8; 1 Tim. 3:1–13; 5:17; Titus 1:5–9). God has united us together in local churches to keep one another from sinning and straying from Christ (Gal. 6:1–5; Matt. 18:15–20). God has commanded us to gather together in local assemblies where we preach God’s Word, celebrate the Lord’s Supper, baptize new believers, and pray for and encourage one another (Acts 2:42; Heb. 10:24–25). Then we scatter to care for believers and to share the gospel with unbelievers (Acts 2:43–47). Clearly, being a disciple and making 

disciples involves committing your life to a local church where you are joined together with other believers under biblical leadership to grow in the likeness of Christ and to express the love of Christ to the world around you. – Francis Chan

4. Recognize pride invites God’s judgment

James 4:6 (ESV) 6. But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” opposes-to oppose someone, involving not only a psychological attitude but also a corresponding behavior—‘to oppose, to be hostile toward, to show hostility

Mt. Caramel/Jezreel Valley

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Lesson: Gospel-Driven Faith- Elijah  1 Kings 18:20–40 (ESV)

1. Gospel-Driven People Reject Compromise.

2. Gospel-Driven People Have Conviction.  

Hebrews 11:1–3 (ESV) – 1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

3. Gospel-Driven People Live Courageously

4. Gospel-Driven People Reflect Confidence.

Nazareth

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Lesson: The Man of Jubilee: Jesus

I. The Year of Jubilee in Leviticus.  Leviticus 25:10 (ESV)

The Year of Jubilee Meant:

1. You get back all land that belonged to your family that was sold.

2. All the slaves and people who had sold themselves to try and take care of their families were set free.

3. Any debt that you had that was outstanding was marked off as paid in full and completely forgiven.

4. You had to rest and trust God for provision. The world spins because of God, not us! Leviticus 25:18–21 (ESV)

18 “Therefore you shall do my statutes and keep my rules and perform them, and then you will dwell in the land securely. 19 The land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and dwell in it securely. 20 And if you say, ‘What shall we eat in the seventh year, if we may not sow or gather in our crop?’ 21 I will command my blessing on you in the sixth year, so that it will produce a crop sufficient for three years.

II. The Year of Jubilee in Isaiah. Isaiah 61:1–3 (ESV)

1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

III. The Man of Jubiliee in Luke.  Luke 4:16–21 (ESV)

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Lessons From The Man of Jubilee:

1. Gospel-Driven People Model Christ As The Man of Jubilee.  (We Give Others What They Don’t Deserve/cancel debt, free slaves, give back land)

2. Gospel-Driven People Recognize Christ As The Man of Jubilee. 

3. Gospel-Driven People Worship Christ As The Man of Jubilee. (who cancels debts, free slaves, and gives back life!)

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About George Ross

I am a pastor, church planter, husband, and father of four.
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