Hope for the City – Gospel in Life

Hope for the City

Tim Keller |  November 15, 2009

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  • Cities
  • The Church (Unity, Fellowship, Leadership)
Acts 8:1-8
RS 316-08


Christians need to be devoted to cities. Cities have a disproportionate impact on the wider culture. The population of cities around the world is exploding, and Christians need to be wherever people are. Christians can effectively reach cities through proclaiming the Gospel, through acts of mercy and justice, and through living in such a way that embodies racial reconciliation.

Acts 8:1–8

The story of Philip in Samaria, as told in Acts 8, shows us three major things. First, it teaches us what it means to be a dynamic force for change. Second, it shows us how to serve effectively in a city. Lastly, it illustrates how to apply the lessons from the gospel in our everyday lives. The gospel’s power to change people and communities is best shown when we serve in the city. The goal is not just to be a church or an organization, but to be a lively network of churches and ministries throughout the city.

1. What it means to be a force for change

Stephen’s death had a big impact on the early church. Even Paul, who watched Stephen’s death and later became a Christian, was affected. When Christians were forced to leave Jerusalem because of persecution, they spread the message of Jesus wherever they went. This shows that even during tough times, the church can grow and the gospel can spread if every believer takes part in sharing it.

2. How to serve effectively in a city

The Bible often talks about serving in cities. This started when God’s people were scattered in the Old Testament and continued with the early Christians in Acts. The power of the gospel not only changes people’s hearts but also brings different races together and resolves feelings of superiority and inferiority. When the gospel was shared in cities, it reached people from different backgrounds and influenced many areas of life, like art and law.

3. How to apply the lessons from the gospel in our lives

The pattern of the gospel, as shown in Acts 8, is that joy and life come out of suffering and death. This pattern is seen in the history of the church, like when the Christian church in China grew even when they were being oppressed. If we live out the lesson of self-sacrifice found in the gospel, we can bring joy to our communities and make a difference in the world.



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