Eugene Cho

opposition to the church

I am very much enjoying the process of studying and teaching through the Book of Acts.  It’s taken us several months to get to Chapter 7 which means we’ll be in the Book of Acts for a long time.  Others have asked me for my list of “must teach” books in the Bible since I have a joy for expository narrative style of teaching.  Sometimes, it’s easy for pastors to get too fancy with topics rather than allowing the Scriptures – and the wrestling with Scriptures – to speak for itself.  At least, that/is the case for me if I’m not careful.  

My Top 5:  Genesis, Exodus, Acts, Romans, and one of the Gospels.  Teaching through Genesis revived my personal spiritual journey  and impacted – in a way that I can’t articulate – my leadership as a pastor.

Question: Whether you’re a pastor, educator, or layperson, is there a book in the Bible you’d love to teach through?  Why?

For those that are interested, here’s the sermon from last Sunday on Acts 6:8-15 entitled, “The Rise of the Opposition to the Church.”

 The Church is growing and flourishing but nevertheless experiencing growing pains.  But even while the church is growing by thousands, we see the wisdom and compassion of the early apostles when they pause to listen, survey, and address the concerns of the Hellenist-Jewish community and widows in the early church.

Stephen is amongst the first group of leaders that are selected, equipped, and ordained as deacons to support and care for the widows.  He, like others, are selected because they are full of Spirit and wisdom, and exemplify God’s power in their lives.

Acts 6:8-15 shows the emergence of Stephen’s leadership but also the beginning of the opposition against the Christian church. The church, previously, had “gained the favor of people around them.”  Why the sudden change?  Why did the opposition begin at this point in church history? 

The opposition begins in my interpretation because of two main aspects in this context:  1] the church becomes a viable Threat to the Empire and to the Institution.  People now begin to pay attention.  2] The opposition of the Evil One. 

What I find so interesting and provocative is the people that choose to oppose Stephen and the early church [and in part, continues to be the case].  The opposition comes from religious folks and what’s the disinction between these religious folks that stone Stephen and let’s say…us.

The answer obviously is Jesus.  But it’s not just the truth, theology or orthodoxy of Jesus.  It’s also the life, way, and expression of Jesus which is why I think words and concepts like Grace, Mercy, Compassion, Kindness – shouldn’t just be words.  They must always accompany our Belief in Jesus.

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Filed under: , religion

6 Responses

  1. Eric says:

    Pastor Eugene,

    Really enjoyed the sermon last Sunday. Fairly new and getting used to the style at Quest but appreciates its high view of the Scriptures.

  2. I think we must be on the same preaching schedule… we just finished ch 7 in Acts.

  3. Randall says:

    When is a pastor going to go verse by verse through Song of Solomon?

  4. Saifuddin says:

    BismillaharRahmanirRahim

    as-salaamu ‘alaikum. eugenecho, how are you? I pray you and your loved one are healthy, strong in faith and love for the Messenger of God, Jesus (‘Isa bin Maryam). This was an interesting sermon, good message, who is your teacher or mentor (not sure what you might call it)?

    -Saifuddin

  5. danielktaylor says:

    I just finished Revelation, which was a lot more fun than I thought it would be, and we’re stepping into malechi. Song of Songs is up for exploration next year.

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One Day’s Wages

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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove .
May we keep working 
on ourselves 
even as we seek 
to change the world. 
To be about the latter 
without the former 
is the great temptation 
of our times.

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