Writings on Christianity

Upside Down World (Acts 17:1-9)


Intro: Bible held upside down—imagine how different it would be if you turn it right-side up?
                  –GENUINE Christianity, authentically lived out, turns the world upside down!
CONTEXT: Acts tell us about the establishment and expansion of God’s kingdom on Earth…
      -Acts 1:8 is the mission, and the book shows us how this came to pass.
                  -Currently, we’re following the 2nd missionary journey of Paul and his companions.
                              -Today, we see the gospel reach a city called Thessalonica.
                                          -Opponents of Christianity referred to them as ‘men who turned the world upside down!’
                  -Spoke truer than realized: Genuine Christianity, authentically lived out, turns the world upside down!
      -Paul and his companions are traveling through Macedonia and preaching the gospel, planting churches
                  -Now the gospel mission has reached “Thessalonica”
                              -Kingdom of God is continuing to spread as God’s people preach the gospel!
Paul PREACHES the GOSPEL in the Synagogue (1b-4)
      -Paul went in on 3 Sabbath days and reasoned with them from Scriptures (2)
                  -Commentators note: Paul used Scriptures when engaging a Jewish audience
                              -Paul is intentional in evangelism: he reminds us we too are to be intentional in evangelism.
      -Paul Proclaimed Christ (3)
                  – from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead
-Isaiah 53:4-6
                  – saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.”
-The long promised Messiah, has arrived! It is Jesus!
      -Some were converted (4)
                  -Diverse group of Jews and Gentiles.
                              -THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS EXPANDING! More people are entering in.

      -Some of Jews were “jealous,” and out of this persecuted the Christians (5a-6b)
      -The charge against the Christians (6b-7)
                              –“These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also,
-Upset everything and turned the world upside down!
                                                      -In many ways spoke TRUER than they realized…
                                                       *GENUINE Christianity, authentically lived out, turns the world upside down!
                              – 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar,
-Seditious: opposed to Rome and Roman emperor
                                                      -FALSE: Christians are called to honor emperor (1 Peter 2:17)
                               –saying that there is another king, Jesus.”
-Partial truth: Christians do believe Jesus is king—the long promised king
                                                      -But, Christians serve other kings in this life (giving ultimate allegiance to Jesus)
      -The accusations disturbed the citizens of Thessalonica (8)
                  -After taking security money, they released Paul and companions (9)
                              *GENUINE Christianity, authentically lived out, turns the world upside down!

Upside Down Beliefs of GENUINE CHRISTIANITY:
-Jesus is God, not merely a human
-Bible is God’s Word, without error and completely true
-God is love, but also just: some people will go to heaven, but others will go to hell
-There is only one way to be right with God: through faith in Jesus. (All other religions are wrong)
-There are only two genders: male and female
-Sex is for context of marriage (one man and one woman), and any other kind of sexual activity/marriage is a perversion
-Marriage is for one man and one woman only.
        -Justification by FAITH ALONE in Jesus Christ (Gal 2:16)àMartin Luther in Protestant Reformation

Upside Down Practice of GENUINE CHRISTIANITY: (1 Peter 4:1-5)
-Jesus calls us to forgive our enemies—not hold on to bitterness
-Jesus calls us to love our enemies
-We are called to give generously, and not store up treasures in this world.
-We are committed to loving each other sacrificially—even when we feel annoyed/irritated by each other.
-Husbands and wives are committed to each other in marriage, even when hard or someone else attractive comes along
-Men refrain from sexual humor and lusting after other women
      -Husbands sacrificially love their wives
                  -Fathers: spiritually leading your family.
-Wives, respect their husbands and follow their leadership
      -Ladies (and men) refuse to gossip or slander
-Children obey their parents
      -Children choose not to grumble about school work or chores
-College Students Living differently
      -Choosing not to cheat
      -Choosing sexual purity (putting away porn, sex outside of marriage)
      -Not wasting countless hours on diversions, but using your time well for mission and growth in godliness and service
-Employees respect their managers and work hard
      -Being an employee who works ‘unto the Lord’ and not for man
-Enjoying good food and alcohol, but not being a glutton or a drunkard
      Receiving the good gifts of food, but not being ‘self-indulgent’
 -Christians in ancient Rome adopting babies who had been thrown away

Upside Down Christianity in SUBURBIA: (Romans 12:1-2)
-To not REGULARLY miss church or fellowship for children’s activities or events (sports, athletics).
-To value Christ above a nice yard, nice home, more money
-If needed, to willingly work less hours so that you can invest more in marriage, family, church, and mission
-To push past superficial conversations and talk about Christ with each other and unbelievers
-To reject a consumeristic approach to church and Christianity
-To cherish God above all the beautiful and pleasant things of Naperville.
      -Often it is small acts, unseen by most, not large extravagant. (1 Tim 2:2 ‘peaceful and quiet life’)

Upside Down Christianity is Actually the RIGHT SIDE UP View of Reality: (John 8:31-32)
-God’s design for life and relationships is good
-We were meant to know and love God
-Holiness and love is beautiful.
      -God’s way is actually the good and right way to live.
                  -Because of sin, we have all gone astray from it (Romans 3:23)

-But God loves sinners, and loved us even when we were dead in our sin (Rom 5:8)
      -Jesus is the king of God’s kingdom who died for his people (Matt 20:28)
                  -His death defeated sin and death
                  -His resurrection showed his victory over sin, Satan and death

                              *Genuine Christianity, authentically lived out, turns the world upside down!

By Tom Schmidt

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

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