Category Archives : Acts (Rayburn)


Paul’s Reformation Acts 26:1-32

Download audio Download sermon Acts 26:1-32 Last week we considered the circumstances that provided an opportunity for Paul to make still one more defense of his life and conduct, this time before the governor, Festus, and one of Rome’s client kings, Herod Agrippa II, and his sister, Bernice. Now we hear the defense itself. Text […]


Making the Case Acts 24:1-27

Download audio Download sermon Acts 24:1-27 Paul has been taken from Jerusalem to Caesarea for his own safety and for the adjudication of charges made against him by the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem. Text Comment v.2       Isn’t it amazing how similar that world was to ours today? The Jews came to present their charges, but […]


Concursus Acts 23:11-35

Download audio Download sermon Acts 23:11-35 Paul has been placed under guard by the Roman authorities in Jerusalem. Remember, Jerusalem was not the capital of the Roman province of Judea. That was Caesarea, a new and beautiful city built by King Herod the Great on the Mediterranean Coast, where Paul was soon to be taken. […]


Christian Experience Acts 19:1-10

Download Audio Download text Acts 19:1-10 Now Paul arrives in Ephesus where he will remain for between two and three years, the longest period of residential ministry on any of his three missionary tours. And Luke begins with an interesting and somewhat odd report of the apostle’s encounter with some disciples of John the Baptist. […]


The Day of Salvation Acts 18:1-17

Download audio Download sermon Acts 18:1-17 We’ve been away from Acts for a month, so let me remind you where we are. Paul is in the midst of what is called his second missionary journey. Remember, “journey” is an appropriate description of this period in Paul’s career so long as we realize that very little […]


Making the Argument Acts 17:16-34

Download audio Download sermon Acts 17:16-34 Apparently Athens had not been part of Paul’s plan for this second evangelistic and church-planting tour. He had established churches already in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea. Where he would have headed next, had he not run into opposition in Berea, we are not told, but it would probably have […]


How the Gospel Goes Acts 16:6-40

Download audio Download sermon Acts 16:6-40 We had an extensive account of Paul’s evangelism and church-planting ministry in chapters 13 and 14. Now Paul returns to that ministry and, in this case, we are furnished with more personal detail. There are sermons aplenty in the text we are about to read, but I plan to […]


Love at Work Acts 15:22-35

Download audio Download sermon Acts 15:22-35 We considered last time Luke’s record of the first formal meeting of the leadership of the international Christian church. They met to resolve a disagreement about precisely how Gentiles were to be incorporated into the Christian Church. Today is Pentecost, the celebration of Christ’s gift of the Holy Spirit […]


The Gospel’s Offense Acts 14:1-28

Download audio Download text Acts 14:1-28 Paul and Barnabas, driven out of Antioch by the city’s rich and powerful element, made their way to Iconium, some 90 miles eastward along the Roman road. Iconium is, today, the large Turkish city of Konya. Text Comment v.1       Once again the word of God proved itself powerful to […]


A Missionary Faith Acts 13:1-12

Download audio Download text Acts 13:1-12 Chapters 13 and 14 of the book of Acts relate the first extensive missionary activity conducted on behalf of the Christian gospel. We cannot say, of course, that Paul was the first Christian missionary. But he is the first of whose missionary work we have a contemporary report. Other […]


Reading the Signs Acts 12:20-25

Download audio Download text Acts 12:20-25 We’ve been away from Acts for several Sunday mornings and return to it at a paragraph that relates an incident that has, at first glance, little obvious connection to the main drift of the narrative to this point. It is not about what the Christians were doing to spread […]


The Early Church at Prayer Acts 12:1-19

Download audio Download sermon Acts 12:1-19 We have now witnessed the epoch-making introduction of Gentiles into the Christian church, a development that, in the nature of the case, happened in areas where Gentiles were concentrated. The Word of God, as our Savior had said it would, was spreading outward from Jerusalem, but events there now […]


A Model Church Acts 11:19-30

Download audio Download sermon Acts 11: 19-30 Text Comment v.19     In other words, Luke is picking up the thread of his narrative from 8:4, where he described the persecution in Jerusalem that had scattered many of the Christians there. v.20     Most of the Jewish Christians who had left Jerusalem to escape the persecution had been […]


Witness Acts 11:1-18

Download audio Download text Acts 11: 1-18 The report of the phenomenal events recounted in chapter 10 had spread like wildfire throughout the Jewish Christian community. That is more evidence of how unprepared the Christian community – at this point entirely Jewish – was for this dramatic change, that Gentiles would belong to the church […]


The Conversion of Peter Acts 10:1-23

Download audio Download text Acts 10:1-23 Text Comment v.2       “God-fearer” here is probably the technical term. In those days a “God-fearer” was a Gentile who had embraced the Jewish faith, its monotheism and its theology of God, but was not yet a practicing Jew in the full sense, since he had not submitted to circumcision. […]


A Changed Life Acts 9:1-31

Download audio Download sermon Acts 9:1-31 We read most of our text last Lord’s Day morning, vv. 1-19, and considered the narrative for its apologetic significance. The conversion and subsequent ministry of the Apostle Paul is one of the great demonstrations of the truth of the New Testament record, of the historicity of the resurrection […]


The Next Step Acts 8:26-40

Download audio Download sermon Acts 8:26-40 I have made a point of this repeatedly in our consideration of Acts to this point, but it is very important to remember. The narrative of Acts is very definitely not an account of everything that Luke might have included in a history of the earliest church, as if […]


Stephen Acts 6:8-8:1

Download audio Download sermon Acts 6:8-8:1 We have an unusually long text to read this morning, but it is very clearly a distinct section of Luke’s narrative, what scholars call a pericope. As we read it put these two questions to yourself: why did Luke think it important to tell this story with so much […]


Really? Acts 5:12-16

Download audio Download sermon Acts 5:12-16 We are in the midst of Luke’s narrative of the explosive growth of the fledgling Christian church and the gathering of storm clouds as the establishment had by this time realized that the Christian movement was a serious threat to their power and prestige. We have just been treated, […]


Not Again?! Acts 4:32-5:11

Download audio Download sermon Acts 4:32-5:11 In this case, the chapter division is not well placed. Remember, the Bible was not divided into chapters until a thousand years after Christ, so these divisions are hardly original to the biblical text. Some are better than others. We ought to begin a new chapter in v. 32 […]


Christian Courage Acts 4:23-31

Download audio Download sermon Acts 4:23-31 It is Reformation Day and for two reasons I have decided to continue our sermons in Acts rather than preach a sermon apropos that great theological and spiritual renewal of the 16th century, the event that created, however unintentionally, the Protestant Church of which, of course, Faith Presbyterian is […]


The Only Name Acts 4:1-12

Download audio Download sermon Acts 4:1-12 We read these verses last time and, indeed, to the end of the paragraph at v. 22. This morning we read the first twelve verses again in order to pay attention to Peter’s monumentally important statement in v. 12. As I commented on the text last Lord’s Day morning, […]


The Fact of Unbelief Acts 4:1-22

Download audio Download sermon Acts 4:1-22 A great miracle had been performed in a most public place. The news was spreading through the city and great excitement had overcome the crowds of people in the temple. We now learn what happened next. Text Comment v.2       The Sadducees were particularly annoyed by the apostles because they […]


A New Community Acts 2:42-47

Download audio Download sermon Acts 2:42-47 What we will now see is typical of Luke’s narrative style: a major narrative – in this case the Pentecost event – the miracle of tongues, Peter’s sermon, and the response of the people – is concluded by a short summary. Obviously Luke was constrained by the amount of […]