Text: Acts 1:6-14

The Spirit-filled Congregation (Full Sermon Manuscript)

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Background:

The book of Acts is the sequel to the Gospel of Luke. Luke was the author of both the Acts and Luke. He is a physician and closely works with Apostle Paul during his missionary journeys, struggles, and gospel proclamation (see 2 Timothy 4:11).

In Acts 1, Jesus Christ told the disciples that they needed to wait for the Holy Spirit (verse 4). This promised gift was told by Christ during his farewell discourse to his disciples. (John 14:16-17, 25-26); John 7:39; John 16:7, 12-15.

Main Idea:

The ministry of Christ continues through the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit of God applies these works of Christ through the church. Hence, the church should follow the Holy Spirit. It is not the Spirit that we ask to follow us, but rather, it is the Spirit that must lead the church.

I. A Spirit-filled Church is a Prayerful Church
II. A Spirit-filled Church is empowered to witness
III. A Spirit-filled Church is led by the Holy Spirit

When we let the Holy Spirit lead our church by being filled by the Spirit, only then that we can truly find joy and excitement in worshipping God. “As church members obey the command to yield to the Spirit, their endeavors to relate deeply to one another, praise God corporately, thank him continually, and submit to one another will flourish in genuine community living.” – Greg Allison and Andreas Kostenberger

Conclusion: UCBC Global Vision

The church must worship somewhere: “The church is not geographically bound to one place … but it is not geographically agnostic, in that it lives, moves, and has its being in some spatiotemporal (space and time) reality. It can be anywhere, but always is somewhere also.” – Reid Monaghan cited by Greg Allison and Andreas Kostenberger

For UCBC to be a Spirit-filled congregation, first and foremost, it must devote to prayer, then to commit to the empowerment to be witnesses to the world, and lastly, to submit to the Spirit’s leading.

 

Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
March 6, 2022

 

This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.

 

 

Text: Psalm 78:1-8

Christ, Church, and the Nexus Generation (Full Sermon Manuscript)

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Introduction:

Who is the author? Asaph. He is one of the Chief musicians during the reign of King David. He is part of the worship service if we will put that in today’s context.

What is a Maskil? A wise saying, verse, or a musical composition. What is he telling us? He is urging the Israelites to take care and give importance to the next generation. Henceforth, the next generation matters. He is also warning them that if they will not obey God’s command to take care of the next generation, they will fail like what happened to their ancestors.

Two things that we can clearly take home from this passage: let me pose it from a negative point; first, not reaching out to the next generation is unbiblical. Second, not seeing the next generation as important to the community is a sin—disobedience to God’s imperative call.

Main Idea:

Further Biblical grounds of reaching to the next generation:

  • Deuteronomy 6:7-9, “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
  • Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

The Generation of Nexus

  • The Millennials (Working Young Adults – 25 to 35 years old)
  • The Gen Zs
    ▪ College Young Adults – 18 to 25 years old
    ▪ Youth – 12 to 18 years old
  • The Generation Alpha (Students – 12 years old below)

The Visible Nexus: Church as a Hub

Titus 2:4-8, “Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”

Meaning, the duty to take care of the next generation is only dependent on one person. Not the youth pastor, not the pastor, not the Sunday school teacher, nor the Elders and deacons. But rather the entire community of believers.

The Ultimate Nexus: Christ

Jesus did not only embrace the next generation. But he is the ultimate nexus of this world. It was on the cross of Christ that he offered reconciliation, redemption, and the connection of God to humanity. Our goal is not simply catering to the next generation to the church. But we need to lead them to Christ.

Conclusion:

Nexus Generation in a word is a generation that is ought for Christ. Christ the ultimate manifestation of nexus. Connecting both humanity and God. Reconciling the relationship between God and man. It is Christ the nexus generation needs. And the church as the visible community of Christ should be the frontliners and defenders of each nexus point.

 

Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
February 20, 2022

This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.

 

 

 

Text: 3 John 1-8

Missions Made Possible (Full Sermon Manuscript)

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Background:

The letter is written by John dedicated to Gaius—who is an elder of an uncertain church. Probably, a church at Corinth or Ephesus, or another place. Again, since this is an epistle, this is designed to be read out loud to the entire church. Hence, the address is to everyone.

John designed his letter by commending his brother Gaius to what they have been doing regarding their support to ministerial workers, missionaries, and church planters—in a word, Gospel-proclaimers.

Main Idea:

In verse 1, John addressed Gaius as his beloved brother in Christ. Furthermore, he said that this love is grounded in truth. It states, “whom I love in truth.” Others would say, “whom I truly love.” But the word order here seems logical as well. Why? Because I believe, love is not grounded only in feelings or emotions.

Since Jesus is the Truth as stated in John 14:6, then we ought to love our beloved brothers and sisters in Christ in the truth of Jesus—a gospel-shaped love. In verse 2, we pray that everything is well with you. We pray that their soul-spiritual health—is well too.

Studying the rest of the verses, I will list 3 important duties as Christians to fulfill our assigned tasks.

Duty to Build Relationship

Verses 5-6, these strangers were treated as if they are not. Meaning, they were able to build relationships with these people. Knowing them, understanding, and loving them in Christ.

Duty to Give

Verse 7 indicates that these preachers, missionaries do not ask for money in exchange for the gospel of Christ. Unlike the ancient philosophers, sophists, Christian missionaries are not motivated by money.

However, in verse 8, John said a strong imperative—a command—“Therefore, we ought to support people like these.” WE OUGHT TO SUPPORT! There is a duty to give. 

Duty to be Fellow Workers

Given that we can be fellow workers through prayers. However, we should be careful about the so-called “false spirituality.” True spirituality in Christ is that character. If you can, yet you suppress it, then there is something wrong in your heart.

Practical Directions:

  1. Put up a bulletin board where we can see our missionary updates, so we can post pictures, and their names so we are all aware of them.
  2. Send teams to visit them and help for specific purposes.
  3. Get to know our missionaries.

Conclusion:

When we follow these things, what did John say? “I have no greater joy than these…” meaning, may this also be our ultimate joy in Christ. Doing and supporting missions and church planters.

 

Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
October 31, 2021

 

This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.