Nick Lica


I.What is the mission of the church? What was the content of their message?

“ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 is the key verse of Acts and also a key verse of the mission of the early church. Acts are obedience of the disciples to Great Commission of Jesus. Mission of the church is spread the gospel to the whole nations and makes disciples. To be able to do these things God sent his Holy Spirit to empower the believers in mission. The main theme of their recorded messages is Jesus Christ and calling to repentance and to salvation through faith in Him. He is the Messiah and they had rejected him. The instrument of evangelism of Paul was his personal testimony that is repeated in chapters 9, 22 and 26. I believe that personal testimony is the most powerful instrument in personal and friendship evangelism today. Every Christian had an encounter with Jesus and when we use this to tell the people how Jesus can change lives we are His witnesses.

II. How is it accomplished? What pathways were used by the early Christians in carrying out the mission?

  1. by preaching and teaching

In the day of Pentecost we have first preaching in the history of the church sustained by Peter. It’s a history sermon about how in Jesus was fulfilled all what Israel was waiting for. The early church understood their responsibility for sharing the teaching of Jesus with others and that’s why they accomplished it. The whole book of Acts it is a testimony of their obedience to the task of spreading the gospel by preaching and teaching. Early church did not have the possibilities that we have today for teaching. But in spite of this they used what they had and God blessed the early church with growth. They were so exciting about their Savior and His teaching that they taught about Jesus in many different places like:

1. Public places:

  • Temple (Acts 5:21,25)

  • Synagogues (Acts 18:19, 19:8)

  • Areopagus (Acts 17)

  • River side (Acts 16:13)

2. Private places:

  • Their homes (Acts 18:26)

  • Room of meeting for fellowship (Acts 20:8)

What amazed me when I read the book of Acts, is the fact how they used every situation and circumstance in which they were to preach and teach about Jesus. They saw a great privilege in the first place of telling about Jesus than for complaining.

3. Difficult places

  • In front of Sanhedrin (Acts 4:1,22; 7)

  • In front of enemies (Acts 22)

  • In front of roman governor (Acts 24)

  • In front of the king (Acts 26)

  • During the storm in the ship (Acts 27)

Early church did a great job in teaching about Jesus and is a good example for church of our generation to follow. We have also our responsibility for the task of teaching so that we can present everyone perfect in Christ (Col 1:28).

III. Who participates in the mission?

We can divide mission of the church in Acts in two parts:

  • Home mission with Jerusalem as the center (1-7).

  • Foreign mission with Antioch as the center (8-28).

To this mission participates the Holy Spirit who empowers Peter, Stephen, Philip, Paul, Barnabas, John Mark, Judas, Silas, Timothy, to travel and preach the Gospel to the Jews and Gentiles. There are others helpers, disciples, women, deacons who participate in mission. We can say that the whole church was involved in mission in spite of the persecution that they faced. Early church was a mission church. Mission was their first priority and their vision was to be obedient to The Great Commission.

V. What are some of the obstacles they faced?

  1. Persecution and opposition from the Jews (Sanhedrin, Sadducees, Pharisees, the High Priest). First persecution in Acts we find in Acts 4 where priests and Sadducees put Peter and John in jail. Jews were the greatest opossitors of the gospel during that time. They fight against Jesus and now they keep fighting against his disciples because they spoke about Him and His resurrection.

  2. Unfair treatment from Gentiles.

Everywhere were the disciples gone they were treated unfair, because of the gospel. Majority of Jews spoke about apostles many things which were not true, for example they called the Christianity a sect in Acts 25:14. Paul turned from the Jews to Gentiles but he faced the same as from Jews. He was put in jail for his speech and bitten even he was a Roman citizen.

VI. How did they evangelize the Jews? The Gentiles?

They were following the strategy and program of Jesus from Acts 1:8. They started in Jerusalem in the day of Pentecost when Peter preached the first anointing sermon with a result of 3 000 of new Christians. I like the sentence from Acts 2:46: Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They could meet in other places, but they met where there was many Jews who did not know the one who is bigger that the temple –Jesus. The second sermon of Peter in the area of the temple won for Jesus 5 000 people. Because of this strategy of using the temple area for preaching Jesus we read in Acts 6:7: So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

Gentiles have been reached beginning with Samaria were Philip preached and did a lot of miracles. Than they went to Judea and they won Cornelius and other people. Because of Stephen’s persecution many Christians went to others cities like Antioch (11:19-20). The Holy Spirit called Barnabas and Paul to spread the gospel to others cities so Paul became a missioner sent by the church in Antioch. He did 3 mission trips and everywhere he went he planted a church so that the Christianity was rapidly growing among the Gentiles.

VIII. What were the motives of the early Christians?

The generation of early Christians was very special because they were eyewitnesses of the Lord. If they did not obey the Great Commission after a while nobody would understand what the gospel means and why the attitude of every man to Jesus is so crucial for his destiny.

The early Christians were motivated to spread the gospel so rapidly by their obedience to Jesus Christ. The divine commission is fulfilled only because of their love for the Lord. Jesus was the one who made a way for them through the icy see so that they may travel and announce to everyone the good news of resurrection of Jesus. Jesus demonstrated to the disciples how to face conflicts, rejection, oppositions, pressure, crisis, running to other place to escape, confrontations. Because of His marvelous resurrection and the Holy Spirit who filled their lives, they were prepared to speak boldly and with courage about Christ. The impact of Christ in their lives was so big that they could not shut up. (For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” 4:20). Obedience and loyalty to their Master made a difference in their cities because they had the right priority in their lives: Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men! 5:29.

Conclusion: when we are obeying God rather than men, the church from the 20th century will be a mission church, which has a clear vision and effective strategy for making disciples and conquer the world for Jesus.