A Great Church

Text: Acts 2:41-47

Great growth around the words of God (Acts 2:41)

  • First of all the only way for a church to grow God’s way is with God’s words
  • We’ve adopted this ends justify the means mentality in Christianity since abandoning the words of God.  Look, the ends don’t justify the means, the means determine the end!
  • Some of us here are KJV bible believers because we’ve inherited that belief, but when is the last time the words of God changed your life.  These folks receive the words with joy.  We have to learn to feed ourselves and grow, not live on past cliches.  I realize nothing is original, but parroting information you heard years ago is not growth.  Get with God and develop your relationship with him, not your pastor’s or your dads or your moms.
  • The challenges of a second generation Christian are these right here.  We’ve had things handed to us.  A first generation Christian faces different challenges with sin and such, but a first gen Christian understands this is between them and God.
  • A great church is being added to numerically through the salvation of souls.  That means we are a light in the community and people are coming to see that light.

Great faithfulness to the words of God (Acts 2:42)

  • Continued stedfastly
  • 1 Timothy 3:15 – every eternal work of God is done through the church – the body of Christ.  If the local church goes, there is not another organization like it on earth.  It is the words of God that do the work.  Unto you have been committed these things.  Therefore we are ambassadors
  • Not just effective on Sunday, but everyday – daily
  • the just shall live by faith… But people lose faith because:
    • Life seems unfair.  Do you believe that God is good?  Do you believe that God is in control?  Ok, then the statement is not that life is unfair, the truth is that God is working things to your good and the question is Lord, what wilt thou have me to do because I know you’re good and I know you’re in control.
    • Laborers are few.  Sometimes we look around and wonder where is everyone else?
    • Leaders fail.

Great fellowship as a family (Acts 2:42)

  • Accepting and loving.  Accepted in the beloved.  I can say something about them, but you better not.
  • story of man who complained about a fellow member and how God could possibly use that man.  The pastor told him you don’t know this and I shouldn’t tell you this but I’m going to.  2 years ago when you lost your job and ran out of money and needed help, that man brought groceries to set on you front porch.
  • Having a family means Accountability and Responsibility.  That is being part of a body.  Each member has accountability and responsibility.  If the nose stops smelling, the rest of the body says, he, what happened there?  How do we get our nose to start smelling again?
  • Strength in numbers – one guy who has faith, but get 100!

Great congregational prayer (Acts 2:42)

  • Two or more are gathered in my name there am I in the midst – Corporate prayer – Acts 12:5-16, many local churches have a designated prayer service, midweek, weekend.  Gives you an opportunity to pray for others and have others pray for you.
  • Private prayer is good, but congregational prayer serves a different purpose in the life of a great church.  It helps the congregation see and move forward with energy and joy around God’s purpose for the flock.
  • Acts 1:14 – prayer made while waiting on the Holy Ghost to be sent.  Can you imagine when the answer came on Pentecost in power?  You now had the full commitment of all those who had been in prayer.
  • Acts 1:24 – prayer made about a replacement for Judas, then everyone cast their ballot – gave forth their lot.  So the Lord directed the congregation through their agreement.
  • Acts 12:5, 12-17 – Peter’s jail break.  Can you imagine being the guy that didn’t want to be at the prayer meeting that night?  And that answer to prayer coming

Great willingness to serve (Acts 2:43)

  • Here am I send me.  We are good at picking what we’re willing to do in the way of service.
  • Service – Assault elements have to travel light.  No man that warreth entangleth with the affairs of this life.
    • Our willingness is sapped by fear.  Did you know one thing that limits God is our fear.  See Joshua, Caleb and the other 10 spies.  Fear will keep God from working in you.  How about a simple thing like telling someone about Jesus Christ?  Fear is limiting.
  • Our willingness is sapped by sin – I like what I’m doing, so I’m not willing to put myself in a position where I might be uncomfortable.
  • Our willingness is sapped by ambition – entangleth himself in the affairs of this world.  Business ambition, personal ambition,
    • If you are willing, God will use you.
  • Exodus 35:22 And they came, both men and women, as many as were willinghearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the LORD.
  • Do you know who was used?  Everyone that was willing.  Do you know whose possession were used?  Everything that was given to the work of the Lord.

Great commitment (2:44-45)

  • Ministry is not yours, but it has to be personal.
  • Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.  Giving – provides for the physical need of the local church.  If you ever get the idea that God owns it all anyway it will mature you in ways you never imagined.
  • 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 – ministers live of the gospel (See also 2 Corinthians 9:7, Luke 6:38, Malachi 3:10)
  • Commitment is easy when:
    • People know they are a part of something with purpose – Ephesians 4:11-16
    • People know what the plan is and where we are going.
    • People trust each other, no.  People trust God.  Things are so much easier when you know God is in it.  Think about that.
    • When you ask the question, how can I be a blessing?  And stop asking the question, when are you going to bless me?
    • Charity is the basis of commitment.

Great testimony with others (Acts 2:47)

  • We have come full circle from the Lord adding to the church in verse 2:41 (Romans 1:8, 10:13-15)
  • Don’t quit, don’t bunker down; we’re not treading water.  Paul to Timothy says Charge!  Not build a bunker.  We are so full of excuses sometimes.  Well, we just live in tough times.  Do you understand the church that was doing all these things was being persecuted and killed.