DON’T FORGET TO EXERCISE

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

bcoc excerciseThe Aqueduct of Segovia is one of the most well preserved elevated Roman aqueducts in the world. Likely constructed toward the end of first century or beginning of the second century CE during the reign of Emperor Domitian or Trajan, the aqueduct transported water from the Rio Frio River to the city of Segovia, Spain, spanning a distance of nearly eleven miles. The elevated portion of the aqueduct measures 2388 feet in length and is 93.5 feet tall at its maximum height. It consists of approximately 24,000 granite blocks fit together to make 165 arches, which are more than 30 feet tall. This amazing feat of engineering continued to carry water to the people of Segovia up until the 20th century. According to legend, it was during this time period that people decided that the aqueduct should be preserved rather than used. So, they laid modern pipes to bring drinking water to the town and allowed the aqueduct to rest as a treasured monument. But the unexpected happened. The aqueduct began to deteriorate. Apparently, the lack of water flowing through the aqueduct allowed the sun to dry out the rocks and mortar which then caused the structure to crumble. Now, the Aqueduct of Segovia is listed by the World Monuments Fund as a monument to watch due to its deteriorating state. Ultimately, the lack of use brought about the aqueduct’s demise.

DEVOTED TO EVANGELISM

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

evangelismIn Acts 2:42-47 we are given a glimpse into the life of the first century church, and this section begins with the simple phrase “they devoted themselves to.” In the following verses we discover devotion to God’s Word, fellowship, the Lord’s Supper, and prayer, as well as an emphasis on benevolence, involvement, and worship. But there is one more detail about the first century church mentioned by Luke in this passage that should not be overlooked. The eighth and final detail we discover about the first century church is that “the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). In this simple statement, Luke acknowledged that the first century church was multiplying rather than stagnating, and such a statement is an indicator that the first century church was devoted to evangelism.

DEVOTED TO PRAISE

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

bcoc praisegodFor the past several weeks we have observed what the first century church devoted itself to based on Luke’s description in Acts 2:42-47. The seventh detail we discover about the first century church is that they were “praising God” (Acts 2:47).

DEVOTED TO BENEVOLENCE

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

bcoc helpAccording to Acts 2:42-47 the first century church was devoted to the Word of God (i.e. apostles’ teaching), fellowship, the Lord’s Supper (i.e. the breaking of bread), prayer, and, as we noted in the previous article, involvement. It was also devoted to benevolent activity. Throughout the book of Acts the church is depicted as a people who denounced materialism and adopted a communal lifestyle in order to meet the needs of the poor. In other words, they emphasized benevolence.

DEVOTED TO INVOLVEMENT

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

involvementFor the past few weeks we have been exploring the details outlined in Acts 2:42-47. In this brief passage, we are given a glimpse into the life of the first century church. In it, we not only learn that the first century church was “devoted…to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayers” when they assembled, but we also learn that “every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts [and] they broke bread in their homes” (Acts 2:46, emphasis added). A similar description appears just a few chapters later in Acts 5:42, which says, “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah” (emphasis added). Additionally, we read about Paul’s work with the church in Ephesus and how “he withdrew from [the synagogue] and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus,” when opposition against his teachings arose (Acts 19:9, emphasis added). Based on these narrative statements about the life of the first century church we discover that the earliest Christians assembled on a “daily” basis. But why?

DEVOTED TO PRAYER

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

devotedprayerFor the past few weeks we have been exploring the details outlined in Acts 2:42-47. In this brief passage, we are given a glimpse into the life of the first century church, and in particular what “they devoted themselves to.” According to Acts 2:42, the first century church “devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayers.” We have already explored their devotion to God’s Word (i.e. “the apostles teaching”), fellowship, and the Lord’s Supper (i.e. “breaking of bread”), so now we turn our attention to “prayers,” and this is not the only occasion that the infant church is described as being devoted to prayer. After Jesus’ ascension the Apostles were “with one accord [and] were devoting themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:14). Later, the Apostles appointed seven men to oversee the distribution of food to widows so that they could “devote [themselves] to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). So, what does it mean to be devoted to prayer?

DEVOTED TO THE LORD'S SUPPER

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

BreakingBreadBCOCIn Acts 2:42-47 we are given a glimpse into the life of the first century church, and this section begins with the simple phrase “they devoted themselves to.” And as the church’s story unfolds throughout the book of Acts it becomes apparent that their measurement of growth was not based on numbers but on one’s level of devotion to God. So, in this series of articles, we are exploring what the first century church devoted itself to so that we can determine whether or not we are devoting ourselves to the same things. According to Acts 2:42, the first century church “devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayers.” We have already explored their devotion to God’s Word (i.e. “the apostles teaching) and fellowship so now we turn our attention to “the breaking of bread.”

DEVOTED TO THE FELLOWSHIP

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

FellowshipIn Acts 2:42-47 we are given a glimpse into the life of the first century church, and this section begins with the simple phrase “they devoted themselves to.” In the following verses we discover that they possessed devotion to God’s Word, fellowship, the Lord’s Supper, and prayer, as well as an emphasis on giving, involvement, worship, and evangelism. And as the church’s story unfolds throughout the book of Acts it becomes apparent that their measurement of growth was not based on numbers but on one’s level of devotion to God. So, in this series of articles, we are exploring what the first century church devoted itself to so we can determine whether or not we are devoting ourselves to the same things. According to Acts 2:42, the first century church not only devoted itself to God’s word (i.e. Apostles’ teaching) but it also devoted itself to fellowship.

WHY DOES GOD ALLOW EVIL TO EXIST? (PART 2)

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

good evil bcocIn last week’s article entitled Why Does God Allow Evil to Exist? (Part 1) we contended that reconciling the existence of God and the presence of evil is like driving a car down a curvy mountain road on a foggy night. In order to arrive at your destination, you have to stay between the known boundaries (i.e. yellow and white lines). The same principle applies to our investigation of the relationship between a good God and an evil world. As long as we stay between the boundaries of what we know about God and what we know about this world, then we can arrive at a destination that makes at least partial sense out of the presence of evil and suffering.

WHY DOES GOD ALLOW EVIL TO EXIST? (PART 1)

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

evilPart1Events such as the Time Square car attack that occurred on Thursday, May 18, killing one and injuring more than 20, as well as the suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England following an Ariana Grande concert on Monday, May 22, killing 23 and injuring in excess of 120, remind us that we live in a fallen world that is susceptible to suffering and evil. Sometimes it can be difficult to reconcile the existence of God with the presence of evil. For centuries the question has been posed: if God is good and in control of this world then why does He allow so much evil and suffering to occur?