Summary: How we can get back to basics and become the church that God desires.
This morning I feel led to remind you of some truths that we shared in the beginning of our study of the book of Acts. You as a church soon will enter into a new season with the arrival of a new pastor. I encourage you to pray for the Owens family as they transition and for Triumphant Assembly as they prepare to merge with Mt. Calvary. You may also want to drop a card to the Owens to let them know you are praying for them.
In our series we have looked at what a church on the move looks like. It is here where if you say well didn’t I hear that before or does he know he is repeating himself. They answer is yes and yes. I have 2 more Sundays to preach with you; so I want to firm up some of the key lessons and truths of our study of the book of Acts.
It is here where we get the best definition of what a healthy church looks like. Turn with me to Acts 2 beginning in verse 42. The name Acts imply action, movement, transformation and change. Some call this book Acts of the Apostles, but for me I like to call this book Acts of the Holy Spirit. It is here in this book where we read of the birth of the local church. It is here where we see the separation from the temple to the church. It is here where we see many signs and wonders and boldness beyond measure because God chose to Act and to pour His Spirit upon
Jew and Gentile, slave and free,
man and woman, rich and poor,
educated and uneducated, young and old
to see a movement begun – a movement that was started 2000+ years ago and continues to this day. So what truths can we glean that help us define a church on the move or one that is healthy.
First, a church on the move is utterly dependent upon the Holy Spirit
Before Jesus Died, after his resurrection and before his ascension, he clearly told his disciples to wait on the gift, The Holy Spirit.
Listen to Jesus’s words literally hours before his violent death: John 15: 7-13
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
Forty days later before Jesus ascends to heaven he says this to his disciples in Acts 1: 4-5
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.”
Francis Chan in his book the Forgotten God, puts it this way:
“If I were Satan and my ultimate goal was to thwart God’s kingdom and purposes, one of my main strategies would be to get Christ followers to ignore the Holy Spirit. The degree to which this has happened is directly connected to the dissatisfaction we feel with and in the church. We understand something very important is missing… I believe that this missing something is actually a missing someone- namely the Holy Spirit. Without Him, people operate in their own strengths and only accomplish human sized results. He goes on further by saying: “The Holy Spirit is vital to our situation today. Of course, He is always vital, but perhaps especially now. After all, if the Holy Spirit moves, nothing can stop Him- If he doesn’t move we will not produce any genuine fruit- no matter how much effort or money we expend. The church becomes irrelevant when it becomes purely a human creation. We are not all we were made to be when everything in our lives and churches can be explained apart from the work and presence of the Spirit of God.”
Not only must we be dependent upon the Holy Spirit in everything.