‘The basics of church life’ (Acts 2:42-47)

The early church was a remarkable witness and a living testimony to Jesus. In this message on Acts 2:42-47, PCV Moderator, Rev Ian Hutton explores Acts 2:42-47 in a search for the ‘basics’ of church life that we should do well and so also be effective in our witness.



Introduction …

  1. A Church that is keen to learn (v.42)
  2. A Church that fellowships (v.42-45)
  3. A Church that prays (v.42)
  4. A Church that worships (v.46-47)
  5. A Church that grows (v.47)


‘Responding to the true God’ (Acts 17:22-31)

There’s no doubt that the Scriptures are full of challenges to the reader. This is especially true in the account of Paul’s message to the people of Athens recorded for us in Acts 17:16-34. While the Athenians had many gods that they wished to acknowledge, their altar to the ‘Unknown God’ gave the Apostle Paul a great opportunity to address their ignorance and tell them of the God to whom all must respond with repentance and faith, as Ryan Smith explains as he opens up the text.



• Some truths require a response!
Acts 17:30-31

1) God is going to judge the world (v.31)

2) The resurrection of Jesus assures this (v.31)

3) The required response is repentance (v.30)

‘Understanding covenant baptism’ (Acts 2:39)

The Christian Church has been long divided over whether or not the children of Christians should receive the sacrament of baptism or not. As a Presbyterian Church we believe they should, and that the covenant promises of God to Abraham still stand. While this is an important aspect of what we believe, it is still not the gospel and not worth breaking faith over. Even so, God’s promise of salvation is to ‘you and your children’ (Acts 2:39)

Full service

00:00 Welcome
Song: Come People of the Risen King
00:14 Introduction
00:40 Prayer
05:28 Bible reading: Genesis 17:1-26
10:20 Mission Spot
Song: He Will Hold Me Fast
13:34 Bible reading: Acts 2:14-41
Song: O Lord my Rock
18:17 Sermon: Understanding covenant baptism (Acts 2)
Song: Marvellous Grace
41:27 Closing

‘God’s saints in tight spots’ #11: Peter (Acts 12:1-25)

Being incarcerated for preaching the gospel of Jesus would be no fun. Especially not if you were being held there until your imminent execution. While that was the case for the Apostle Peter in Acts 12:1-25, God had other plans and these plans not only brought about peter’s release, they also served to spread the gospel message of Jesus even further than before. The whole incident brought two things together as well – the mystery of the will of God and the prayers of His people – somehow they fit together!

Full service

00:00 Introduction
Song: At the Name of Jesus
00:41 Prayer
Song: Revelation 3:20
06:25 Children’s talk
Song: The Chooky And Her Chickies
09:03 The Persecuted Church
Song: There is a Higher Throne
11:47 Bible reading: Acts 5:12-26
Song: Meekness and Majesty
13:56 Bible reading: Acts 12:1-25
17:40 Sermon: Acts 12:1-25
40:45 Closing

‘Relying on the real hero of Acts’ (Acts 1:1-11, Ryan Smith)

We currently live in a super-hero obsessed culture and it can often affect the way we think about sharing the message of Jesus. We can fall into the trap of thinking the apostles are like ‘super-Christians’ and sharing Jesus is for other ‘super-Christians’, [pastors, trained-evangelists, extroverts, people gifted in talking and sharing]. We often think “I’m ordinary, I’m unimpressive, I’m unequipped, I can’t do it, Jesus can’t be expecting anything from me”. But according to Acts 1:1-11, Jesus is the real hero of the book of Acts. We don’t need to be super or a hero, but just need to be used by Him.

‘Memo to self: Remember what the angels said!’ (Acts 1:10-11)

The text of Acts 1:1-11 brings together some of the main events following the resurrection of the Lor Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. After Jesus had spent 40 days with the disciples, teaching them many things and explaining how the main theme of the Scriptures find their fulfilment in Him, while gathered with the disciples on the Mount of Olives, Jesus ascended bodily into heaven. The disciples were left standing there, gazing with wide eyes and open mouths, when 2 angels appeared to them, giving them a gentle rebuke to get them moving and a strong encouragement that the Jesus they had just seen leave would return again.  In a world that seeks to undermine the this truth that all believers know, this return of Jesus (at a day and hour that no-one knows) is the well spring of our great hope.

‘Get up close’ (Acts 8:26-40 – Alan Canavan)

In this message, Alan Canavan (with Wycliffe/SIL) highlighted the text of Acts 8:26-40 concerning the conversion of the Ethiopian man in the desert, illustrating his message with examples from his experience as a missionary in Papua New Guinea for over 20 years. As a linguist, Alan focused upon the imperative commands in the text and also touched upon the need to trust the Holy Spirit’s prompting to share the good news of the gospel with those outside of God’s Kingdom.

‘The Apostle Paul’s view on the eldership’ (Acts 20:13-38)

The text of Acts 20 concerns Paul’s meeting with the elders from Ephesus and his parting words to them. From this we can glean what Paul understood to be the role of an elder in God’s church. The elder is to minister to people with sincerity, handle the truth of the Word of God with care and protect the flock of God’s people with truth. No-one is perfectly suited to this high calling in themselves, yet this does not negate the fact the God calls and appoints men to lead His people. In the end being like Jesus the Chief Shepherd is what makes a man suitable for this noble task.