Text Acts 3:1—26
C.I.T.: The early church’s ministry was one of power
THESIS The church of today can experience the power of God
S/O Christians will follow the pattern of the early believers
TITLE: ”Three Foundational Practices of a Powerful Church”
A- Acts is an enjoyable book to study. The powerful ministry of the early church
serves as a challenge for us today.
B-Summary of Past Studies
1-Chapter 1: The great commission and Ascension of Jesus
2-Chapter 2: Pentecost
T.S Notice Three practices of the powerful early church
I- THE PRACTICE OF PRAYER (Vs 1)
*In the practice of prayer in vs.1, we see three Principles that we need to remember and employ
A-The principle of Prayer partners (vs. la) “Now Peter and John went up together “
1-We are to share burdens
(James 5:16) “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
2-We find strength in Shared prayer
(Ephesians 6:19) “…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints––“
(I Thessalonians 5:25) “Brethren, pray for us.”
(2 Thessalonians 3:1) “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified…”
B- The principle of a place of prayer (vs. 1b) “to the temple”
1-Jesus had a special place of prayer
(Luke 22:39) “He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed”
2- Prayer-time becomes a retreat when we have a special place of prayer.
C- The principle of an established period of prayer (vs. lc) “…at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.”
1-It becomes an anticipated time.
(Psalms 63:1) “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.”
2-It becomes a time to activate power.
* Example of the early church praying after persecution
(Acts 4:31) “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
3-It becomes a time of adoration and worship.
(Psalms 40:16) “Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, "The LORD be magnified!"
Il-THE PRACTICE OF MINISTRY (vs. 2-11)
A-The possibility for ministry (vs. 2-4)
1-Be attentive to the possibilities for ministry
(Philippians 2:4) “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
2-Be active when faced with opportunity
(Galatians 6:10) “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
B-The priority of ministry
1-Top priority placed upon ministry
a- Don’t be like the priest and Levite in the story of the good
Samaritan (Luke 10)
2-Total energies given to minister
C-The power for ministry (vs. 6)
1- That power comes from Christ as we surrender to His Lordship.
D-The practice of Ministry (vs. 7-11)
1- Don’t offer platitudes of empty words, really minister.
(James 2:15-17) “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
2- The world’s attention is drawn to a ministering church
(Acts 2:46-47) “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
Ill- THE PRACTICE OF WITNESSING ( 12-26)
A-Perceiving the opportunity to witness (vsl2a)
1- Peter was perceptive to opportunities to serve Christ
2- Be watchful for your opportunities witness
(Colossians 4:5) “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.”
B-Seizing the opportunities to witness (v12b-26)
1-Peter seized his opportunity
2—Opportunities not seized are forever lost
(Proverbs 27:1) “Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth.”
A- Church has a powerful ministry when it employs:
(1) The practice of prayer
(2) The practice of Ministry
(3) The practice of witnessing Are we a powerful church?
Charity Baptist Church, Warren, OH ………………….Wednesday, June 25, 2008