Drop files to upload.
Faithlife
Faithlife

Acts 2:41-47

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 2 views
Notes & Transcripts
41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.
44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common.
45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
A Picture of “Church”
ADVERTISEMENT
INTRODUCTION
This is a a beautiful facility, isn’t it? I often catch myself calling this a church, but I am trying to overcome that traditional way of thinking. Why? Because it subconsciously begins to condition your brain to associate “church” with places and not people.
We will be looking at a text this morning that gives us a true picture of what “church” is.
After Jesus’ ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ followers, Peter preached the gospel to a large crowd of people in Jerusalem. The response was overwhelming and the result was the early church. They had no facilities or traditions, just each other and the presence of God within them.
After Jesus’ ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ followers, Peter preached the gospel to a large crowd of people in Jerusalem. The response was overwhelming and the result was the early church. They had no facilities or traditions, just each other and the presence of God within them.
BODY
As we look in the passage, we will notice that the church as it reflects three distinct marks:
I. Mark #1: Converted Membership (41)
I. Mark #1: Converted Membership (41)
Your Bible likely shows this verse as a resultant action in the previous paragraph, but grammatically it more accurately goes with this paragraph.
41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (No individualism)
We live in an “I” culture, which is indicative of the iPhone (originally meant “internet” but Steve Jobs stated it better stood for “individual.”
There is no such thing as an iChristian. If you are converted, then you need to be added.
Transition: From a converted membership we have a consistent ministry, which is the 2nd mark of the church.
II. Mark #2: Consistent Ministry (42-47a)
5 characteristics of the ministry:
A. Devoted (42)
42 And they devoted (imperfect) themselves to the apostles’ (1) teaching and the (2) fellowship, to the (3) breaking of [the] bread and (4) the prayers.
B. Moved (43)
43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.
C. Cared (44-45)
44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common.
45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. (open pockets)
D. Unified (46)
46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
E. Blessed (47a)
47a praising God and having favor with all the people.
Sounds like a lot of time spent together! You might say, “But that was the 1st century and those people didn’t work like we do.”
Do you know that the average work day in the 1st century was 12 hours?
This describes a consistent ministry, not a convenient ministry.
Transition: The converted membership that is in consistent ministry provides the Lord something to work with. With this activity the church experienced . . .
III. Mark #3: Continual Multiplication (47b)
47b And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
We love our outreach strategies and evangelism plans, but being the “church” IS God’s plan of evangelism!
E.g., giving God something to work with!
We do not need complicated programs. When we are the church that God designed, he has something to work with!
When was the last time you were a tool in God’s hand?
CONCLUSION
Have you ever placed yourself in God’s hands by trusting in him?
THREE MARKS OF A HEALTHY CHURCH
When you are doing something, isn’t it good to know whether or not you are reaching the objective? Well, we can do that with what we do in church as well. We are going to look at a passage the reveals three healthy marks of a church.
I. Mark #1: Converted Membership (41)
Peter invited the people to: “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (2:38). What followed is amazing:
A. People “received” the message. They received Peter’s message in the sense that they actually did what Peter invited them to do in v. 38 – repent of sins and were baptized (both spiritually and literally!).
B. People joined the membership. The church is a faith family of like-minded citizens of the Kingdom, yet you are in a foreign land. The church is the embassy and there is purpose and protection.
POINT: (The strongest baptism rate in the church goes all the way back to the 19th century when they were more concerned about a converted membership than a large membership). Are you a converted member?
II. Mark #2: Consistent Ministry (42-47a)
There were a number of activities that impacted both the membership and the local community. We derive from the text seven keys to a consistent ministry:
A. The people were “devoted” to four things (42): (1) doctrine, (2) fellowship, (3) breaking of bread, and (4) prayer. These activities lead to growth and intimacy with each other and the Lord.
B. The people were fearful (43a). As a result of the previous four things they were devoted to, the people had a healthy fear of the Lord, both inside and outside of the church.
C. The Apostles performed many wonders and signs (43b). The original 12 Apostles were a unique gift to the foundation of the early church (). It is clear that God used these Apostles in a special way to authenticate the message they preached, but the focus was not the signs. The focus was Jesus. However, that does not mean that God does not do signs today. If he so chooses to do so, you will certainly know it. NOTE: the Bible is a record of these signs and wonders and they have been recorded for us today. We must not discount them because we don’t see them.
D. The people shared with each other (44-45). They shared both time and resources!
E. The people met regularly (46a). They met in both the church and the homes. Church is more than Sunday and Wednesday; it is a lifestyle of relationships that carries everywhere!
F. The people ate cheerfully (46b). They were glad and simple in their meal together. We are to enjoy our time together.
G. The people knew blessing (47a). The people both praised God and received favor with all people.
POINT: (When hurricane Ike came we needed and helped each other and it was a beautiful picture of community, but when the power came on we no longer needed each other.) Has that thought crept into the church?
III. Mark #3: Continual Multiplication (47b)
While the people and their actions have been the focus up to this point, Jesus and his actions are now the resultant subject: The Lord added daily to the numbers that were being saved. This text shows us that not only were they sharing the gospel as Peter did in a public setting, but that each member was engaging the gospel message in a private setting. They lived the gospel.
POINT: We like to think of strategies to reach the lost and multiply the church, but it is God who grows the church. God multiplies the church through our converted membership and consistent ministry!
Conclusion: A healthy church will reflect these three marks.
RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →