Back to the Future
discerning God’s purpose for our life as His church
“.. and to the ends of the earth …” [Acts 1.8]
Welcome to a new decade! It’s appropriate (all the more so in the year 2020!) that we have a clear ‘vision’ going forward: some clarity, that is, as to what the Lord calls us to be and to be doing as a fellowship of His people here at Gilcomston. Otherwise we’ll simply drift.
So over these next weeks we’ll be seeking together to discern clearly what the Lord is intent on doing among us and through us – and how that will shape the pattern and priorities in our life as His people here.
Antioch is as good a place as any to start. It was one of the major cities in the ancient world, and, more significantly for our purposes, very rapidly became under God the launch-pad for the spread of the gospel into the Gentile world.
As such the lessons we can learn from the church at Antioch – the way the church came into being, the constituency which formed the church, the ethos of the church, and the missionary perspective of the church, etc – such lessons will hopefully stimulate our thinking and excite our hearts.
Given the changing context of the church’s life and work in Scotland today, the church at Antioch provides perhaps one of the most helpful ‘templates’ for church life which can be found in the New Testament. Hence our using the narrative relating to that church as our starting point for this important study.
May the Lord fire our hearts afresh and lead us forward into His future with a real expectancy and boldness!
One of the most helpful commentaries on the whole book of Acts is that by David Gooding, entitled ‘True to the Faith’. It’s published by Myrtlefield House, and the whole commentary is available on line:
click on ‘Download’, and then on ‘PDF’ when asked to ‘select format’.