Paul and Silas travel to Thessalonica where Paul preaches in the synagogue. Some are persuaded but others became jealous and attack believers. Today, we tread our own Thessalonican paths, facing doubt and opposition. Like Paul and Silas, let's stand resolute in truth.

Pr. David Palmquist

Is What Paul Said True?

Power of the Holy Spirit
Acts 17:1-5a, 10-11
April 28, 2024
Paul and Silas travel to Thessalonica where Paul preaches in the synagogue. Some are persuaded but others became jealous and attack believers. Today, we tread our own Thessalonican paths, facing doubt and opposition. Like Paul and Silas, let's stand resolute in truth.

Grace be to you in peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen The text for our meditation today is recorded for us in the book of the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 17, verses 1 through 5, and then 10 and 11. When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days, he reasoned with them from the Scriptures. Explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah, he said. Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas. As did a large number of God fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women. But other Jews were jealous, so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob, and started a riot in the city. As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue.

Now, the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness, And examine the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. This is the word of the Lord. Join me in a word of prayer. Heavenly Father, we ask your blessing upon us as we look into your word. Send your Holy Spirit to us to work through that word to explain his work to us. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen. In keeping with our sermon series theme about the power of the Holy Spirit. We are going to jump ahead a few chapters in the book of Acts. Uh, last week it was Acts 3, now we go all the way to, uh, chapter 17. So we skip over chapter 8 and 9 where the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus to become the Apostle Paul took place. And now we’re about 15 years. past that occurrence in, in, at Saul’s life. And he’s been preaching and working and learning for those 15 years. And now we see him then with a companion, Silas, and they travel to a major Greek city, Thessalonica. And they entered the synagogue and listen, they explained and proved That Jesus had to suffer and then rise from the dead. But how did these people then, just after three sessions, three Sabbaths, three Saturdays in the synagogue, that’s all it took, and these people came to believe that what he said was true. How did that happen like that? Well, some of them didn’t. We’re told that there were Jews there who got jealous and they formed a mob and started a riot in the city.

So after this message about Jesus today, you better look for protesters outside. We may have a problem. But Paul and Silas, they snuck out of town that night. They left, they traveled 50 miles away to the city of Berea and it says there were people there that every day they wanted to see me. if what Paul said was true. Yeah, that’s pretty important, isn’t it? Pretty important is what Paul said true. Because no matter where you’re from or what’s your background, I’m sure that you would agree that truth matters. You probably heard recently about one journalist who said, for their station, that truth is a distraction. Well, another one formally came up and said, well, you know, truth isn’t hate speech. And that’s true. But truth is never a distraction. Truth is good. Lies are evil. And so, we don’t know what is really true sometimes, right? We hear news. Is it false news? Misinformation? Are we being lied to? All of that stuff that goes on in our culture, we come to hear these days, and that, that can really mess with your head, can’t it? Really messes up your life. But when you can find the truth, you then know what to do, don’t you? Now, not everybody knows that this famous line came from Jesus, but remember, he said in the Gospel of John, if you continue in my word. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free if you continue in my word. And so we ask, what’s your truth? What do you believe as your truth? Do you go along with your gut? Do you listen to your friends? Do you listen to the culture that’s around you, your parents, your professors? And the answer probably is Maybe, maybe not. It can be good to listen to advice, but all of us can think of whole groups of people down through the years that strayed away from God’s design.

History has thousands of examples of this. So who has the truth? Does this church have the truth? Do we in our association have the truth? In the LCMC, teach and preach the truth. Jesus once prayed to his father, sanctify them by the truth. Your word is truth. Now if that’s true and this book contains the truth, the whole truth, then let me ask, who better do you think in this room Right now, to trust me. I’m a pastor. Trust me. Now, if you’d ask God that question, should I trust the church, this pastor, or other pastors, or our pastor to be? Based on this text, what would he say? God would probably say, Trust me. And here’s why. If your eternal life matters, if the connection that you have with your God and your spiritual situation is, is not just for the 70 or 80, I know some of you have made it all the way to 90, but if it’s also for eternity, Then, who should you trust? Now, what I’m going to tell you maybe make you feel a little bit uncomfortable, and it does me too because you think I’m bragging, but I’m just not boasting about this, because all pastors go through this sort of thing.

It’s part of our training. We spend years. I went to a Lutheran high school. No, it wasn’t Norwegian Lutheran high school. I went to a college for four years. I went to seminary for four years. And we had a very narrowly focused education. It It was a Bible, Bible, Bible. That was it. We took semester after semester of Greek so that we could read the New Testament in its original language. And then they made us go through semester after semester of studying Hebrew so that we could read the Old Testament in its original language. The one book that then sat on my desk, it was never put up on a shelf, it never collected dust because it was open every single day and that book was The Bible. It’s a beautiful book, isn’t it? It’s a little complicated. Sometimes hard to know where things are. But there are people, trained, right here in this church, who pastor you, who shepherd you, who in one conversation, maybe quoting one or two Bible passages, can comfort you. and tell the truth that sets you free.

We have these people right here. We are blessed in this church with this staff that can do just that. And so we still ask God the big question. Should I trust them? Should I trust those pastors in this church? And God is going to still say, maybe, maybe not. Because you’ve seen the headlines, right? The experiences that maybe some of you have had in the church and it doesn’t. Stick to the whole truth sometimes. People lie. Pastors are people, and so pastors can lie. In fact, the Bible is ridiculously honest about that. Remember what happened to Moses when getting the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai. He was up there a whole month, and the people got impatient in what they do. They decided they wanted somebody to lead them in making a golden calf so they could fall down and worship the god of the Egyptians that they had just left. And who did they get to do that? It was Moses brother. He was the high priest. They forced him into it. He was the leader of the church. And he helped them create an idol. About 1500 years later, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, is there standing in flesh and blood in a courtroom with Pontius Pilate. We heard about it during Lent, didn’t we? And the governor then says to him, What is truth? Jesus says, those who listen to me testify to the truth. Pilate couldn’t find anything wrong with him, couldn’t stick a charge against him, and so he’s gonna let him go. And what happens? Who leads the chants of crucify him, crucify him? It was a church, wasn’t it? The religious leader, Pharisees, stood up and said, no, we’re not listening to you, Pilate. But we want him dead. And when the New Testament was being written some years later, just three chapters down the road from what we have here in Acts chapter 20, the Apostle Paul there is talking to a bunch of guys who are going to become pastors and he says this.

Even from your own number, men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. Be careful, he said. From your own number, from within the church itself, people will rise up. Now they won’t totally reject the truth, they just twist it. They distort it too much. They don’t tell you the whole truth. And here’s why. They want to draw away their followers to themselves. And so sometimes the church, to get popular, comfortable, get rich, to get what it wants out of people. Takes this book and ignores half of it. And so Paul said to those people, and so he would say to you, Be careful. Be careful, my friends. You can’t always trust the church. Ooh, that was hard to say. But you can, if you search the word. Because there’s an awful lot of good things that are said in the church and especially here at our church. Good things that are the truth that you want to listen to from this dedicated staff that we have. But how do you know? How can you be sure? How do you know it’s the truth? Well, it’s the same way that the people in our scripture reading that we heard moments ago New. It’s through the power of the Holy Spirit. The first letter to the Thessalonians was written by Paul first letter on the New Testament in the Bible, and he sent it back to where he was earlier on his second missionary journey. He’s now on his third missionary journey and listen to some of the words that he says to them. Again, we know brothers and sisters loved by God that he has chosen you because our gospel came to you not simply with words. But also with power, and with the Holy Spirit, and deep conviction. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message, listen, with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. So here’s some truth. I can’t share them all with you, but here’s some basics for you. We will tell you, in the power of the Holy Spirit, that you’re not an accident. That God has made you. This is true. He formed you in your mother’s womb. You were fearfully and wonderfully made, the psalmist wrote. You are unique by God’s design. And He didn’t just make you, He loved you. He knows you. You’re not just one of the 8 billion people that happen to reside on this planet. You’re not just a number, you’re a name. He knows you. And He adores you. Your name is written on the palm of His hand, the Bible says, and that is true. And not just that, He loved you.

He loved you so much that he sent his only son to come down here to live and then to die, to shed his blood, to go to the cross, but then to arise from the dead to save you, to forgive all of your sins. To rescue you from all of the pain, anxiety, illness, and grief that you have. This life is short compared to the eternal life that is waiting for those who trust in Jesus. And that, my friends, is absolutely true. He’s working everything for your good. Even when bad stuff happens, He chooses to bless His people. I can say all of that and much, much more if I had time. Because it’s all true. What are you going to do with it? Now you’re challenged. You’re going to live your faith. To be transformed in love by the power of the Holy Spirit. And Jesus gives you some tough thing. He says, deny yourself. Repent of your sins. Every day. The Apostle Paul, even 15 to 20 years into the ministry, Would write in Romans chapter 7, The evil that I don’t want to do, That I do, the good that I would, I can’t do, what a wretched man I am. Forgive me, Lord. Continue to repent of our sins every single day. And He forgives you. Give up what you want. Start praying for things like, Father, your will be done. Your kingdom come. Do I follow my heart? The world around me? What culture is teaching? What am I going to do? Just remember what those Bereans did in our scripture reading that we heard. Paul and Silas went away at night. They arrived at the Jewish synagogue in Berea, and then it says, Those Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica.

For they received the message with great eagerness and they explained the scriptures and they examined them every day to see if what Paul said was true. He literally fact checked the greatest theologian and the best Christian this world has probably ever known. And what did the Bible say about these Bereans? They were noble. They weren’t disrespectful. They weren’t disobedient. They weren’t mean. They had noble character. Because they examined the scriptures. Every day. To see if what Paul said. So friends, here is the power of the Holy Spirit. Dust it off. Open it up. Examine it. Study it every day. And you’ll know if we’re telling you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but. Can you trust this church? Maybe. Maybe not. You have to find out. Study the Bible, and you will know. And best of all, if you do that, You’ll get to know God. Join me in a word of prayer. Oh Heavenly Father, it’s such a blessing when we hear your word. The Holy Spirit works through that to lift us up, to go into our hearts and encourage us. Bless us as we continue to study it and draw us close to you. And help us share that message with many other people. In the name of Jesus we pray this. Amen.

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Whether you are new in faith or are seeking to deepen your walk with Jesus, we are eager to connect with you.

Don’t hesitate to reach us out at (480) 830-5024, or message us filling the form below.

GriefShare

The GriefShare Program is a 13-week series of videos that we watch each week of the meeting. Each weekly GriefShare group begins with a 30-minute video featuring respected experts on grief-related topics and helpful stories from people who have experienced loss. Their insights will help you manage your emotions, gain clarity, and find answers to your questions as you walk through the grief process. We welcome everyone who has a loss; whether it be a child or a parent or spouse.

The videos are followed by discussion. Talking with other people who understand what you’re experiencing brings great comfort, normalizes the grief experience, and offers a supportive environment to work through your grief.

Each session stands alone, so you can join anytime. Consider a single session to learn about the program.

We meet every Monday from 12:30-2:30pm here at Victory.
Check out the schedule.

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Do you have more questions? 
Don’t hesitate to reach us out at (480) 830-5024, or message us filling the form below.
Learn more about GriefShare at their webpage: www.griefshare.org.

WOMEN’S MINISTRY

We meet throughout the year on the 2nd Tuesday of the month for Bible Study.

Summer Schedule (May-Sept): 2nd Tuesday of the month all groups meet together on campus at 9:30am

Winter Schedule (Oct-April): 2nd Tuesday of the month

Esperanza Bible Study – 9:30am

Mary Bible Study – 1:30pm (in home)


Women’s Ministry

PURPOSE STATEMENT

As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts,  support one another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world.

We meet throughout the year on the 2nd Tuesday of the month for Bible Study:

Summer Schedule (May-Sept)

2nd Tuesday of the month all groups meet together on campus at 9:30 am.

Winter Schedule (Oct-April)

  • 2nd Tuesday of the month
  • Esperanza Bible Study - 9:30am
  • Naomi Bible Study - 2:00 pm
  • Mary Bible Study - 1:30 pm (in-home)
  • Women’s Ministry

    PURPOSE STATEMENT

    As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts,  support one another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world.

    We meet throughout the year on the 2nd Tuesday of the month for Bible Study:

    Summer Schedule (May-Sept)

    2nd Tuesday of the month all groups meet together on campus at 9:30 am.

    Winter Schedule (Oct-April)

  • 2nd Tuesday of the month
  • Esperanza Bible Study - 9:30am
  • Naomi Bible Study - 2:00 pm
  • Mary Bible Study - 1:30 pm (in-home)
  • Stephen Ministry

    Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide confidential one-to-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or relocation.

    Stephen Ministers are trained by their congregation’s Stephen Leaders using resources from Stephen Ministries St. Louis. The training they receive in the congregation equips them to provide high-quality care to people who are hurting.

    Care receivers are individuals in the congregation or community who are going through a crisis or life difficulty. Potential care receivers first meet with a pastor or Stephen Leader, who assesses their needs for care and matches them with a Stephen Minister.

    After being matched with a person experiencing a life crisis, the Stephen Minister meets with that person on a weekly basis for about an hour to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support. The caring relationship lasts as long as the need for care exists.

    “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2, NRSV)

    FAMILY PROMISE

    Four times a year we host families experiencing homelessness at Victory for a week at a time. Volunteers needed to set up rooms, preparing a meal, serve/clean-up dinner or stay as an overnight host.

    Upcoming Host Weeks: April 16-23, 2023 & November 112-19, 2023

    STEPHEN MINISTRY

    Stephen Ministers are lay congregation members trained to provide one-to-one care to those experiencing a difficult time in life. 

    GRIEFSHARE

    A grief recovery support group where you can find help and healing for the hurt of losing a loved one.

    13-week Program: Mondays, 12:30-2:30pm, February 13-May 8, 2023
    (No meeting April 10th)
    GriefShare.org

    LSS-SW

    Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest (LSS-SW)

    I-HELP PROGRAM: We provide a safe and secure place for women who are currently experiencing homelessness the 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month.

    FOOD PANTRY: Food boxes distributed Mondays & Wednesdays, 9:00-11:30am.
    Utility & rental assistance by appointment only 480-654-4539.

    Victory Quilters

    We meet the 3rd Tuesday and Wednesday of the month at 8:30am. Come when you can, stay as long as you can; everyone can cut, sew, pin and tie knots. You do not need to be a church or circle member to attend. Bring a friend! The quilts are donated to Navajo Lutheran Mission, Orchard: Africa and Lutheran Social Ministries. We typically break for the summer. Please check schedule.

    MUSIC MINISTRY

    Ensembles at Victory practice weekly during the high season to prepare for weekly worship and special events. In addition, many people share their talents individually. Click here for our concert line-up!

    NAVAJO LUTHERAN MISSION

    Serving the Navajo community of Rock Point, AZ, a remote, isolated village near the Four Corners. The Mission campus includes a K-2 private Christian school, clinic, cultural center, water project and food bank.  (nelm.org)

    FAIR TRADE

    Victory Women support Lutheran World Relief (lwr.org) by selling Fair Trade hand-made crafts, jewelry, coffee and tea that generates income for small-scale businesses in third world countries. 

    OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD

    A “shoebox ministry” of Samaritan’s Purse, delivering gift-filled shoeboxes to boys and girls around the world.

    ORCHARD: AFRICA

    To equip the church to respond to poverty & injustice, thereby caring for the vulnerable using four programs: Food & Agriculture, Care, Education and Ministry.  (orchardafrica.org)

    Stephen Ministry

    Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide confidential one-to-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or relocation.

    Stephen Ministers are trained by their congregation’s Stephen Leaders using resources from Stephen Ministries St. Louis. The training they receive in the congregation equips them to provide high-quality care to people who are hurting.

    Care receivers are individuals in the congregation or community who are going through a crisis or life difficulty. Potential care receivers first meet with a pastor or Stephen Leader, who assesses their needs for care and matches them with a Stephen Minister.

    After being matched with a person experiencing a life crisis, the Stephen Minister meets with that person on a weekly basis for about an hour to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support. The caring relationship lasts as long as the need for care exists.

    “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2, NRSV)

    WOMEN’S MINISTRY

    Welcome to the vibrant women’s ministry at Victory Lutheran Church! As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are committed to growing in faith, affirming our gifts, and supporting one another in our callings. Our purpose is to engage in ministry and action, promoting healing and wholeness in the church, society, and the world. At Victory Lutheran Church, our women’s ministry provides a nurturing and empowering space for women of all ages to connect, grow, and serve together. Through uplifting worship, inspiring Bible studies, enriching events, and impactful service opportunities, we equip women to live out their God-given purpose and embrace their unique gifts. Join us as we journey together, fostering fellowship, spiritual growth, and making a lasting impact within our church, our families, and our wider community.

    PURPOSE STATEMENT

    As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ,  and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts,  support one another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world.

    We meet throughout the year on the 2nd Tuesday of the month for Bible Study:

    Summer Schedule (May-Sept)

    2nd Tuesday of the month all groups meet together on campus at 9:30am.

    Winter Schedule (Oct-April)

    • 2nd Tuesday of the month
    • Esperanza Bible Study – 9:30am
    • Naomi Bible Study – 2:00pm
    • Mary Bible Study – 1:30pm (in home)