Summary: Haggai said, “The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former.” Therefore, we need to contend for signs and wonders to be restored to the church today!
SUPERNATURAL #1: CONTENDING FOR SIGNS AND WONDERS TODAY
OPENING: Intro to the Book of Acts:
• Acts is the 5th book of the New Testament, and was written by the physician LUKE.
• It chronicles the birth and growth of the Christian church for 33 years after Christ’s death.
• It is both a HISTORY (of what happened in the first century) and a BLUEPRINT (for what God wants to see happen in the church today).
• Today we are going to explore the first two chapters of Acts, starting with the end:
“Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 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, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:41-47).
• Here is a 12-point picture of God’s Blueprint for the Church:
1. TEACHING (apostle’s doctrine)
2. Fellowship (breaking of bread)
4. Sense of awe
5. MANY signs & wonders
• (sign = points to Jesus, wonder = causes people to wonder)
6. Sharing & generosity (had all things common)
7. UNITY (one accord)
9. Sincerity of heart
10. PRAISING God
11. Favour with the people
12. DAILY salvations
• How does our church compare to that picture? We’re not there yet!
THE BIG IDEA: The prophet Haggai said, “The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former.” However, this last days’ church is not yet greater in power and glory than the church was in the Book of Acts. Therefore, we need to contend for signs and wonders to be restored to the church today!
HOW DO WE DO THAT?
• We go back to the beginning of the church: Acts Chapter One!
“1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. 4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now… 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:1-5,8).
• Jesus had declared, “I will build my CHURCH!” (Matt. 18:16).
• This was His plan! He wanted to create a force that would get ignited, and take the planet by storm with the fire of the Holy Spirit!
• He said, “Before you go and ‘be the church’, I need you to get the power!”
• In the rest of the chapter: Jesus ascends to Heaven, the disciples go to the Upper Room
WHAT WAS THE FIRST THING THIS CHURCH DID TOGETHER?
• “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer.” (Acts 1:14, NASB).
• PRAYER! They CONTINUALLY devoted themselves to prayer – for TEN DAYS!
“A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.” (Leviticus 6:13).
“Where there is no fuel, the fire goes out.” (Proverbs 26:20).
• Although these verses speak of a literal fire, there is a spiritual principle for us today.
• We need to stoke the fire of our love and passion for Jesus!
• This happens in the place of PRAYER. How’s your passion for Jesus?
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4).