Text: Acts 2:41-47
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
Growth God’s way (Acts 2:41)
- First of all the only way for a church to grow God’s way is with God’s words
- The folks responded to the words of God which meant the words of God had to be preached and taught for them to respond.
Perseverance in the right things (Acts 2:42)
- Continued steadfastly
- Right doctrine which is the words of God. Apostles doctrine is what we continue in. We read and believe letters and scriptures written by the apostles, of course the Holy Spirit being the author.
- Fellowship with each other
- Accepting and loving. Accepted in the beloved.
- Not isolationists.
- 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!
- 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.
- If you are honest today, some of you stopped really praying years ago. You’d have a hard time pointing any answered prayer in the last six months because you’ve stopped getting a hold of God.
- 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
Edified through the gifts of the Holy Spirit (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 willing hearted, 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.
- Honestly, some of you have no idea what your spiritual gifts are because you haven’t given the Lord enough opportunity to work through you to find out what it is.
Selfless fellowship (Acts 2:44)
- Unity of believers. Not unity for unity’s sake.
- We are in this together they say.
- All things in common, there was not a “that’s mine” attitude
Commitment to God’s work (Acts 2:45)
- 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.
- 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.
Characterized by joy (Acts 2:46)
- Maintaining the right spirit
- I have a philosophy in ministry to protect me from getting sour and bitter. It’s this, I’m going to spend twice as much time with joyful people than I am with grumpy people.
- I’m going to devote time to the greatest possibilities instead of trying to uproot a dead stump.
Reproductive testimony (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.
- Christians reproducing Christians. When is the last time you reproduced a Christian? How about an easier question, when is the last time you told someone about the Lord Jesus Christ?