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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"He must become greater; I must become less." - John 3:30 We have to remind ourselves of this truth every day lest we forget:

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The answer to who you serve makes all the difference... It's the day after International Women's Day - and it's still important to celebrate the contribution of women in our lives, society, and world. As we honor women all around the world, I'm also reminded of how women and children are those who are most deeply impacted by injustice - especially poverty.

Sadly, I have witnessed this reality in too many places. ​In 2012, I traveled to a remote area in Eastern Kenya as part of a @onedayswages response to a famine that struck the Horn of Africa region. This famine impacted nearly 13 million people and according to some sources, took the lives of about 250,000 people. During my trip there, I had the chance of meeting many people but the person that still remains in my memory was a Muslim woman named Sahara.

She was so hospitable in inviting us to her small and temporary home. During our conversation, I learned that ​Sahara traveled 300 kilometers (a little under 200 miles) – some by cart and some by foot – as they sought to escape the worst drought that has impacted East Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) in the past 60 years.

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200.

She traveled about 200 miles on cart and foot. ​And all along, she was ill. If you look closely ​at the photo, you might notice the large lump in her throat - likely a large cancerous tumor.​ She did not travel alone. She traveled with her husband who I was not able to meet because he was staying with one of his five other wives in this polygamist community.  She did not travel alone. She also traveled with her six children – the youngest being about 1 and the oldest being around 8. She had just given birth to her sixth child when they began her journey. Her youngest was severely malnourished when they arrived to this new settlement in a town called Benane. 
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