10/21/12 We Can Do That!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 Under: Sermon

Text: Acts 2:41-47 (NKJV)

41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

11 These things command and teach. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue    in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” 1 Timothy 4:11, 16 (NKJV)

Intro:  I would love to stand here behind this pulpit and tell all of you that the church is fine and there are no problems; but in reality the church is under attack and it has little impact in today’s world. Too many spectators and not enough committed Christians! More interested in methods than messages, too concerned about public image, little concern for lost people. The New Testament church was dynamic. So the question must be asked what made the New Testament Church Different.

Application: “These things command and teach.”

What made the New Testament Church Different?

1. Its Efforts in Evangelism: vs. 41

"Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them."

It is a Billy Graham Holy Ghost Evangelistic Crusade. He is in a Coliseum with 20,000 people, and you can see thousands walking down the long isles during and invitation making their way to the center field where Dr. Graham leads them in a sinner’s prayer and thousands get saved. In Chapter two in the Book of Acts it tells us that 3,000 where saved that day when Peter under the same Holy Ghost guidance that Billy Graham experienced in that Coliseum watch God perform a miracle in the lives of thousands. The efforts of the 120 believers at the Day of Pentecost made a difference. These believers took serious the call to evangelize!

They were all witnessing as commanded by Acts 1:8! This power that these believers received at the day of Pentecost is still available today. Evangelism is largely forgotten now but it doesn’t have to be, not many win others to Christ. Few churches hold evangelistic meetings, we have settled for lesser causes, but hear my heart the world needs the Gospel.

"For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

It is my prayer that we here at Ocean View Baptist Church will respond to that need!

What made the New Testament Church Different?

2. Its Wonderful Worship: Vs. 42-46

"And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart."

They continued steadfastly: in studying the Word of God, in loving the people of God, in sharing the table of God, in lifting their prayers to God. They weren’t formalistic but fiery and faith-building. Not ritualistic but spiritually refreshing.

The world and even the church today has their own ideas for worship, but it doesn’t need to be filled with ceremony or that it must be characterized by silence. Worship can include praising, singing, sharing: “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:19 (NKJV)

What made the New Testament Church Different?

3. Its Fantastic Fellowship: vs. 44-47

“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

Here is the Fantastic part; they loved one another, they cared for people more than things. The fellowship that this New Testament church experienced put away all divisions. They responded to crises in each others lives, they were all of one accord. No wonder the church exploded in growth.  “WE CAN DO THAT!”

The True church, a true body of believers, does not just hear and listen to the Word. They are not just present to join the crowd and see what is going on. They do not sit with wandering minds and closed hearts. A true church receives the Word of God; they: welcome it, believe it, take it in, practice it, experience it, hold on to it, and hunger for it, have joy and rejoice, they share and have fantastic fellowship. They love the Lord with all their heart all their mind and all their soul. They do all things through Christ!

Who is rich? A rich person is anyone who has anything beyond what he needs. What Christ demands is that we give all that we are and have to meet the needs of those in such desperate need. We are to hold back nothing. This is often the great complaint against Christians, that we just do not believe, not really. The evidence of our unbelief is seen in the perseverance of Christ, the demand that we give all we have to feed the starving and meet the desperate needs of the poor and lost of the world. But we don't. Gandhi, the great leader of India's independence, is said to have never embraced Christianity for this very reason. How many others have rejected Christ because of our hypocrisy?

“Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

WE CAN DO THAT!

This church had favor with all the people, the public noticed its daily growth: Evangelism – Worship - Fellowship. So how do we measure up?

How can we become more like the New Testament Church? What made the New Testament church different? This was a people who:

- A people who received the Word - gladly
- A people who continued - steadfastly
- A people who stirred souls with a godly fear
- A people who were together - sharing in ministry
- A people who were unified
- A people who worshiped and praised God - daily

Ol’ Man Kline

A certain Mr. Kline, discouraged, defeated, and convinced that life just wasn’t worth living because no one cared for him, walked past a church one Sunday evening when services were in progress. As the congregation sang he caught the strains of that familiar hymn: “Saved by grace alone, this is all my plea. Jesus died for all mankind, and Jesus died for me.”

His hearing, however, was not very good, so when the congregation came to the words, “Jesus died for all mankind,” he thought they sang, “Jesus died for ol’ man Kline.” “Why”, he said, “that’s me!” Stopping in his tracks, he turned and entered the small auditorium. There he heard the simple message of the Gospel as the minister presented the good news that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Mr. Kline believed and was saved. - Richard De Haan

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